Fate of the Norns

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 Post subject: Immortals Rules
PostPosted: Wed Jan 13, 2016 1:21 am 
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So for everyone on the LotA BETA, the immortal rules are coming. We're out of design and heading into ALPHA now. One of the things I noticed during design is that this is a good opportunity to head towards the RGS 3.0 by possibly creating a "2.5" rules-set.

Immortals are immortal (well almost, they can die if Divine Potence is down to 0) so combat that leads to death interests them less than the political and sociological plays occurring between the higher powers- ie. gods, jotuns and dvergar jockeying for position and influence. Each confrontation, no matter how violent should result in a power play for some faction. As a result combat is levelled much closer to skills and role play.

Immortals have tremendous movement capabilities as well as off-the-chart combat prowess, so right now their movement and area of effect is governed by area categories as itemized in the DotN section for playing without minis. Combat is measured by wounds, rather than individual points of damage (1 wound = 1 rune moved from Essence to Death) since their numbers were in the triple digits. The important thing is to make sure the immortals system is 100% compatible with the RGS 2.0

As I'm defining new immortal metas, I am looking at ways to sweep skills into the meta system. This is #1 on my hit-list for RGS 3.0 along with a new way of handling timing/initiative. I don't think "2.5" can handle a new initiative paradigm without breaking backwards compatibility, but I'm getting to a point where skills and actives will behave in much the same way.

So the point of this post is to ask what other wishlist items people had for the 3.0 system to see if we could design them into the "2.5" immortals rules.

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 Post subject: Re: Immortals Rules
PostPosted: Thu Jan 14, 2016 5:15 am 
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3.0 ?? Barely getting to grips with 2.0.

Initiative timing is something that could with a smoother less random implementation, be it weapon speed and skill based or what ever , but something that presents a level of control to the players.

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 Post subject: Re: Immortals Rules
PostPosted: Thu Jan 14, 2016 9:26 am 
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1.0 was released in 2006
2.0 came around 2012
3.0 will come no earlier than 2018 (I have many more books planned for this iteration)

But that said, I have a few high priority improvements I'm hoping to roll into "god rules". They would apply to immortal campaigns and would be designed to feel like a natural extension of 2.0

I would also like initiative to transition from non-combat tense situations into combat in a more fluid manner than "calling initiative". I get what you are asking, and the easy way that's done is to allow the ambushing party the opportunity to get a free shift in initiative before round 1 starts. That could be by 1 or more positions (up or down), judged by the Norn. Is there another scenario you had in mind?

There is an initiative system out there that i like, which involves the current actor to choose who will go after them. It's not an ideal way of doing it, because you lose some of the interesting initiative jockeying, but it has a smooth progression from role playing and into combat.

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 Post subject: Re: Immortals Rules
PostPosted: Fri Jan 15, 2016 1:52 am 
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Ok, so how many of the coming releases will be 2.0 focused? And how much backward compatibility do you expect to see between 2 and 3 ?

One thing i would like to see is "social combat" of a type.

Few games do it well, and at God level, or even high level mortals there is a lot of political / social manouvering going on, most games very much focus on the short term impact with very little thought for long term, and as the enemy is not dead, that becomes more important.

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 Post subject: Re: Immortals Rules
PostPosted: Fri Jan 15, 2016 8:56 am 
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khunkwai wrote:
Ok, so how many of the coming releases will be 2.0 focused? And how much backward compatibility do you expect to see between 2 and 3 ?

One thing i would like to see is "social combat" of a type.

Few games do it well, and at God level, or even high level mortals there is a lot of political / social manouvering going on, most games very much focus on the short term impact with very little thought for long term, and as the enemy is not dead, that becomes more important.


2.x will be just for immortals, and will be 100% compatible with 2.0 and both will be meant to be played side by side (ie. 2.x isn't a replacement of 2.0 but rather an extension). I don't know if it'll be designed and tested by late spring early summer, but it's my goal to try and get there.

The next 10 books are 2.0 focused and that's why we're looking at many more years.
- The Illuminated Edda (Story Book)
- Lords of the Ash (Divine Lore Book)
- Book of Beasts (Monster Manual)
- War of Shadow (Alfar Lore book)
- Under a Raven Banner (Saga hexalogy - book 1, Massive sandbox adventure before Ragnarok)
- The Axe Age (Saga hexalogy - book 2, Massive sandbox adventure during the first age of Ragnarok)
- The Sword Age (Saga hexalogy - book 3, Massive sandbox adventure during the second age of Ragnarok)
- The Wind Age (Saga hexalogy - book 4, Massive sandbox adventure during the third age of Ragnarok)
- The Wolf Age (Saga hexalogy - book 5, Massive sandbox adventure during the fourth age of Ragnarok)
- The New Dawn (Saga hexalogy - book 6, Massive sandbox adventure after Ragnarok, it leads to RGS 3.0)

This is what's planned. There will invariably be ancillary products such as novels, monster manuals, power card decks, minis, etc... I'll also be recruiting writers for the saga hexology because there is just so much to do.

Social combat is a great idea. Burning Wheel comes to mind, but I wouldn't want it as cumbersome. Any suggestions for games that do it well? And you're spot on, the god rules are all about long term impact. A fight is just a conversation that has gone off the rails. Very few fights will result in perma-death because magic items that drain Divine Potence will be ultra rare (Mjolnir) and be frowned upon by the immortal community. And when both sides have them, they act more as a deterrent than something someone uses casually (akin to nukes).

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 Post subject: Re: Immortals Rules
PostPosted: Sat Jan 16, 2016 1:37 am 
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Great stuff, looking forward to the Saga Hexalogy! ...well all of the books :D

Social Combat wise ; Exalted 2e had a reasonable system, and had a large chunk of the game focused
on social and political areas, it was not bad, I have not looked at how it has been done in 3e. Might
need to take a look and see what has changed

Game of Thrones (by Green Ronin) had a pretty nice system, however it collapsed horribly at higher power levels, but it
did keep in mind the longer term impact.

Never played Burning Wheel.

For minor encounters obviously social things are all about the role play, but when larger things are at stake then a good system
that covers groups as well as major players would be handy

I seem to recollect that Reign by Greg Stoltz has a social combat system for "groups", but again never used it

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 Post subject: Re: Immortals Rules
PostPosted: Thu Jan 28, 2016 6:53 am 
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Looking forward to all the releases!

Personally I do not use 'social combat' as I far prefer the players to role play things out and not rely on a set of mechanics. At best I allow particular skills or rolls to have a benefit in their negotiations but I still tend to just role play things out. If they ace their skill (or bomb it) I adjust how the NPCs conversation goes. I find that if there is a mechanical way out for players they will tend towards using it instead of thinking/problem solving for themselves.


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 Post subject: Re: Immortals Rules
PostPosted: Thu Jan 28, 2016 8:38 pm 
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VikingGod wrote:
Looking forward to all the releases!

Personally I do not use 'social combat' as I far prefer the players to role play things out and not rely on a set of mechanics. At best I allow particular skills or rolls to have a benefit in their negotiations but I still tend to just role play things out. If they ace their skill (or bomb it) I adjust how the NPCs conversation goes. I find that if there is a mechanical way out for players they will tend towards using it instead of thinking/problem solving for themselves.


Generally i agree but not all players are awsome role players and sometimes NPCs have more chram than the Norn has, so a mechanic can aid where real world interaction does not replicate the situation.

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