A couple of questions

monboesen

Explorer
Hi

Having read the OLD rules and attempted a couple of character creations some questions have popped up.

1. Why is the gladiator the only martial career that grants acces to armor skills? It seems especially strange that the Knight and Man-at-arms careers doesn't get them.

2. Magic seems pretty limited and forces you to specialise a lot. You are only going to be able to increase 2, maybe 3, magic skills to a point where you can really do stuff. And you are only going to be able to do anything impressive a couple of times per day before being out of magic points. And at the price of being very weak in any combat situation.

3. When does affected creatures get a chance to shake of conditions? Say a mage charms a target and the spell has a duration of say 1 hour. Will the target get any chance of shaking off the effect before the end of the duration?

4. The "pay for it" method seem to indicate that a character that does not know a relevant exploit can't for instance disarm og trip a target. Is that right?

5. Being small and defensive minded (shield, defensive skill) seems to push melee defense to a point where it will be almost impossible to hit the character. Am I missing something crucial here?

6 How are the armor rules intended to work. Can I buy a full plate armor and stack it with a helmet and gauntlets? Thats a lot of SOAK.
 

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Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
Hi

Having read the OLD rules and attempted a couple of character creations some questions have popped up.

I love questions! :)

1. Why is the gladiator the only martial career that grants acces to armor skills? It seems especially strange that the Knight and Man-at-arms careers doesn't get them.

Actually, all careers have access to them. Armor skills are defensive skills, which means they are always available as a skill choice. Listing them in that career is a bit superfluous, I guess.

2. Magic seems pretty limited and forces you to specialise a lot. You are only going to be able to increase 2, maybe 3, magic skills to a point where you can really do stuff. And you are only going to be able to do anything impressive a couple of times per day before being out of magic points. And at the price of being very weak in any combat situation.

That's a reasonable analysis of a starting magic user, though in practice you'll find they're not all *that* weak. Magic certainly isn't D&D style magic; it'll usually be part of a character's arsenal, more like, say Tolkien. Higher grade magic users are capable of some very powerful and impressive feats though.

3. When does affected creatures get a chance to shake of conditions? Say a mage charms a target and the spell has a duration of say 1 hour. Will the target get any chance of shaking off the effect before the end of the duration?

Yes, non-permanents conditions are shaken off as an action.

4. The "pay for it" method seem to indicate that a character that does not know a relevant exploit can't for instance disarm og trip a target. Is that right?

Yep, you have to learn combat maneuvers and techniques.

5. Being small and defensive minded (shield, defensive skill) seems to push melee defense to a point where it will be almost impossible to hit the character. Am I missing something crucial here?

Optimizing your character for defense makes you pretty good at defense, yep. Opponents will need to use some clever tactics/positions. A heavily armoured dwarf can dig in pretty well. Though a bit of feinting, flanking, aiming, higher ground, LUC dice, etc. will negate that pretty well.

6 How are the armor rules intended to work. Can I buy a full plate armor and stack it with a helmet and gauntlets? Thats a lot of SOAK.

Yes, armor, helm, and and gauntlets stack. You'll be surprised how much damage a mountain troll can do to a low level character. Remember they'll be power attacking by buying extra damage dice.
 
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monboesen

Explorer
Actually, all careers have access to them. Armor skills are defensive skills, which means they are always available as a skill choice. Listing them in that career is a bit superfluous, I guess.
Great, does it actually spell that out somewhere in the books? Because I thought it might be the case, but could not find it.

That's a reasonable analysis of a starting magic user, though in practice you'll find they're not all *that* weak. Magic certainly isn't D&D style magic; it'll usually be part of a character's arsenal, more like, say Tolkien. Higher grade magic users are capable of some very powerful and impressive feats though.
I do not agree that it will be only part of their arsenal. All their skill points and most of their exploits will be eaten up just to be competent at magic. Which will leave them incompetent at most other things. The real problem might be the lack of specialised careers (like the Firemage).

Yes, non-permanents conditions are shaken off as an action.
That weakens any attempt to be something other than a blaster mage a lot. I would see no point in being an enchanter then. Your spells will be completely unreliable.

Yep, you have to learn combat maneuvers and techniques.
That kind of sucks. In that case you could be a very very competent melee combatant, but be unable to even attempt disarming, tripping etc. Just because your career have a lot of exploits you need to take before getting to pick the universal ones.

Optimizing your character for defense makes you pretty good at defense, yep. Opponents will need to use some clever tactics/positions. A heavily armoured dwarf can dig in pretty well. Though a bit of feinting, flanking, aiming, higher ground, LUC dice, etc. will negate that pretty well.
Doesn't relly take much, or any, optimizing. Any small character with decent str/agi and a couple of points in dodging qualifies. And one step into the Man-at-arms career (shield exploit) pushes defense to at point where opponents with at dice pool equal to yours are in trouble.
 
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Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
Great, does it actually spell that out somewhere in the books? Because I thought it might be the case, but could not find it.

It's in the errata thread at the top of this forum. The errated version of the book goes out hopefully this week, incidentally (good timing!)

I do not agree that it will be only part of their arsenal. All their skill points and most of their exploits will be eaten up just to be competent at magic. Which will leave them incompetent at most other things. The real problem might be the lack of specialised careers (like the Firemage).

I guess it depends what you want out of your magic system - as I mentioned, it's a lot more like Tolkien than D&D. People don't throw spells around indiscriminately (the firemage is a bit of an exception with its free firebolt). But higher power spells can get extremely powerful.

That weakens any attempt to be something other than a blaster mage a lot. I would see no point in being an enchanter then. Your spells will be completely unreliable.

They still have to succeed in the opposed check to shake it off, remember; and that's still eating into their actions, and they may have to reduce it by multiple stages. And high WIL targets are less common than high CON targets.

I've found enchanters to be easily as effective (in some situations more so) than blaster types in my games. Give it a whirl and see what you think! I suspect that maybe your sense from just reading it doesn't quite match how it works out in actual play.

That kind of sucks.

Sorry to hear you feel that way. :)

My feeling is that a skilled melee fighter will have taken the time to spend the XP to learn those maneuvers. Otherwise, he's maybe not quite as skilled as he claims. But YMMV, of course.

Doesn't relly take much, or any, optimizing. Any small character with decent str/agi and a couple of points in dodging qualifies. And one step into the Man-at-arms career (shield exploit) pushes defense to at point where opponents with at dice pool equal to yours are in trouble.

Sure. I'm not too clear on the question? I agree, a defensive character is hard to hit. That's kinda the idea. :)

Even a perfectly optimized score of 30, which I've yet to see - it really doesn't happen often! - can still be hit on 5d6 (though only just!) -- add in some feinting, a flank, higher ground, and your odds dramatically improve. It's a tactical game, designed to encourage use of position.

If the fight does turn out too easy - then they get fewer XP. :)
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easl

Explorer
I generally agree with Morrus, but thought I'd add a few more comments.

1. True, your spellcasters aren't going to be able to go toe-to-toe in combat with the fighter builds right out of the gate. Whether you, the GM or player consider that "as it should be" or "that kinda sux" is really up to you. The way the system is designed, I would say the mages and alchemists function more as a "skill monkey" type of character; with a few skills at 3 and a bunch of secrets, they can basically "magic substitute" for a whole heck of a lot of mundane skill effects. Yes, you may need skill 5 to throw an effective fireball, but you only need skill 2-3 to create objects out of shadow, cast 'knock', and s on.


2. I also agree that the skill limitation on spell effects is the primary reason why mages are limited in combat. But assuming you want to be a blaster, Evoke 5 takes 5 skill slots out of a starting 13. That still gives *some* room for breadth.

And in fact it's pretty easy to be a fighter-mage in this system. Let's say you take Grand Elf. You can conceivably start with MAG 8 and AGI 10. So with Swords 1 (from race) and Dodge 1 (from, well, anything), you're already rolling your maximum 5 dice attack, have maxed out your derived defense, and longsword will do 3D+[2+str dice as flat bonus] damage, which is pretty decent. Why work so hard to create fireball guy when you can be as accurate a swordsman (or swordswoman) as the best fighter in the party for one lousy skill point?

3. You mentioned a lack of specialized spellcasters. Those careers include Cleric, Druid, Diabolist, Firemage, and Necromancer. That's a pretty wide selection IMO. However if you want more, just an FYi: I asked the designers in an earlier thread about other 'elementalist' such as the firemage. They may be coming up with them. Until then, hoewever, they said it seemed very reasonable to use firemage as a template for whatever sort of specialized elementalist you want.

4. Re: your comment about having to take all the career exploits before universal ones: this is not true. Your PCs can always take general exploits instead of a class exploit, so long as they meet the preconditions. Heck, your mage character could take trip, disarm, etc, instead of career exploits, so long as he/she met the prereqs.

[UPDATE: the rules are contradictory on this. Page 16 says you can take a career *or* universal exploit when picking a career. Page 36 says you can only take universals once you have taken all career exploits. Hopefully the designers will address this in the corrected version; until then, I'd go with page 16]

Sure. I'm not too clear on the question? I agree, a defensive character is hard to hit. That's kinda the idea. :)

Just an observation back to Monboesen, but your complaints of "a good defense seems impossible to hit" and "mages seem weak" answer one another. Your mages are not so weak when they are the only PC in the party who can hit the high DEF opponent, with an attack that is opposed by mental defense.
 
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Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
One house rule you could use to emulate D&D-style magic would be to create a new exploit like this. A magic-user could use their free exploit to take it. It's not to my tastes, personally - I'm not a fan of at-will magical attacks - but it may suit some play styles. It's similar to the Firemage's firebolt, but a little weaker on the range and lacks the "Greater" upgrade. I haven't playtested this.

Arcane Missile. You gain an at-will ranged attack based on a secret you know, which uses MAG as its attack attribute. It has a maximum rage of 30' (one range increment) and does 2d6 damage of the appropriate type.

[UPDATE: the rules are contradictory on this. Page 16 says you can take a career *or* universal exploit when picking a career. Page 36 says you can only take universals once you have taken all career exploits. Hopefully the designers will address this in the corrected version; until then, I'd go with page 16]

Actually, it doesn't say "only" on page 36. :)
 
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easl

Explorer
One house rule you could use to emulate D&D-style magic would be to create a new exploit like this. A magic-user could use their free exploit to take it. It's not to my tastes, personally - I'm not a fan of at-will magical attacks - but it may suit some play styles. It's similar to the Firemage's firebolt, but a little weaker on the range and lacks the "Greater" upgrade. I haven't playtested this.

Arcane Missile. You gain an at-will ranged attack based on a secret you know, which uses MAG as its attack attribute. It has a maximum rage of 30' (one range increment) and does 2d6 damage of the appropriate type.

I would say its still too powerful. The Firemage only gets the 2d6 bolt after taking a pre-req exploit. Also without any pre-req or MAG requirement, you've just rendered 8 of the ranged weapons in the basic book mostly obsolete. So it seems unfair or unbalanced to me to hand it out to any mage that wants it. I'd require at least a prerequisite exploit to keep things even, plus a MAG 4 requirement. Or, as an alternate, allow a firemage to take firebolt without flaming touch first.

A second issue, however, is the attack roll. Neither option is probably any good if your attack roll is just MAG vs. ranged defense. It looks like, from the "Selena" example character, that her Evocation skill is adding to her attack roll with firebolt (well something is, that seems to be the best candidate). If so, taking your Arcane Missile exploit still doesn't allow a combat mage to go without Evoke. Though maybe that's a good thing.

Speaking of which, does Fiery Affinity add 1d6 to an attack roll with Firebolt? From the description, it seems like it should.
 

Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
Yeah, you're probably right. It was just thing off the top of my head.

Selena's fire bolt does use evocation as the skill component of her dice pool, yeah.

That affinity applies to anything with fire. One little side effect of that is that if you're running a mixed sci-fi fantasy game, with magic and laser rifles, a firemage's affinities apply to the use of heat based energy weapons, too.
 

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