Fate of the Norns

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 Post subject: Swarms
PostPosted: Mon Mar 21, 2016 7:18 am 
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This is a combination of the LotA Swarm rules and some modification from experience using Horde rules in the 40k RPGs

- A swarm moves as a crowd not as individuals, so covers a fixed area of hexes on the map, 1 hex per member of swarm, that like an Alka must always be adjacent until the swarm is shattered.

- Swarm moral. Every 25% of deaths in swarm pull a rune, if spiritual the swarm shatters and attempts to flee as individuals

- Attacks as a crowd, damage from the size of the swarm is added as a bonus to their attacks at a rate of :: swarm volume / denizens * swarm dweller level OR Base dmg * swarm size / targets in reach (both these versions are being considered and tested)

- Destiny 1 + 2 / 5 Swarm Members.

- 2 free move actions.

- A basic melee or ranged attack action hits ALL targets within reach/range

- An Active Power Attack hits a single target, Base damage is reduced number of Targets within range.

- Swarm Health = Essence per Swarm Member . (i.e. Member Essence 4 And 10 in crowd = 40 health)

- No Damage Track - Each DF that hits the swarm reduces health by one.

- At 25% Health Loss reduce base damage bonus by 25% rounded up
- At 50% Health Loss reduce base damage bonus by 50% rounded up
- At 75% Health Loss reduce base damage bonus by 75% rounded up

- Swarms are not effected by conditions (good or bad) unless amplified by Volume / 5 times (i.e. a swarm of Volume 15, would only be affected by a condition that was amplified 3 times. And then only once for each three multiplications)

- Swarms use active powers as normal and attack all targets within range.

- All Damage types to a Swarm are considered the same.

- Area Attacks against a Swarm do treble damage.

- Alkas effect a Swarm as normal (though conditions need to be amplified by volume) , and are absorbed multiple times if a swarm passes over multiple hexes of an Alka

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Last edited by khunkwai on Sat Mar 26, 2016 10:29 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Swarms
PostPosted: Wed Mar 23, 2016 1:08 pm 
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Swarm rules are something I'm actively working on for LotA. I'd like players to have the option to use it if they gate or summon many creatures. One of my BETA players is a 7th Sea fan and he's taking a stab at working out some rules similar to those. We've run two different swarm rules, but each time the Condition management broke down.

What are the implications of shattering a swarm?

Morale is a good idea

Swarm size adds to damage: Let me know how it goes, because damage is one thing, but knock-backs, conditions, spells, cinematic actions, etc are many other facets of what swarms can do.

Destiny count is something we've been playing with. In the two tests we ran, we had one Norn play Destiny < Swarm size and the other test was Destiny > swarm size. Both worked, but there was an anomaly for the first 1, when we lost a few members of the swarm, but destiny remained constant. The last member left felt like a mini-boss. So in hindsight, second scenario worked better.

Two move actions? Interesting, we had been doing 1. What was the rationale for 2?

OK so when swarm attacks, every other enemy combatant within reach is hit?

Health seems reasonable. Scales by which track you choose. We have been using the white track.

Quote:
- Crowds are not effected by conditions (good or bad) unless amplified by Volume / 5 times (i.e. a swarm of Volume 15, would only be affected by a condition that was amplified 3 times. And then only once for each three multiplications)


This is our biggest sticking point. We had arrived at a similar conclusion that it must be an all or nothing, and we have "Resistance to X" passive per 10 swarm levels (calculate based on Essence and Destiny). It works, not ideal, but works. It feels very hard to attain at low levels, and brutally easy on high levels. I'm also getting a little concerned about various scalar formulas which need to be maintained and change. The swarm needs to simplify, and a lot of scalar formulas have the opposite effect I find.

Now as per your attack below, did you find that resolving so many powers is time consuming, or you dish it out to all players and they deal in an acceptable amount of time? We haven't tried multi-target yet, so I'm curious about your mileage here.

RE: damage types. Yeah this was a major sticking point after conditions. Especially mental damage which can stun an entire swarm. And then Spiritual for book keeping was tough. My concern with your approach is that certain types of effects will be useless compared to others. Why do small Mental or Spiritual damage when you can do twice the amount of Physical damage. Also if you are facing a swarm that heals itself like crazy, nullifying Spirit damage renders a whole strategy null and void. I'd rather preserve the distinctions if possible- and it must be an elegant solution.

"treble"? Did you mean "triple" or "terrible"

Alkas we tested, but the swarms avoided them as to not complicate matters. I think the Norns will be more ballsy to jump into Alkas when the other issues as cleared up. What was your experience?

Thanks a lot for this post, it does give us some common ground for testing and exchanging ideas on what works and what doesn't. If swarm rules don't make it into LotA, I definitely want them inside the FOTN Bestiary. But my aim will be for LotA.

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 Post subject: Re: Swarms
PostPosted: Fri Mar 25, 2016 7:29 am 
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Quote:
What are the implications of shattering a swarm?


The swarm breaks into individuals and generally attempts to run away, An enemy leader / hero may be able to rally them to reform with the right skill sets.

Quote:
knock-backs, conditions, spells, cinematic actions


Presently looking at swarms as mooks without spell casting abilities. Cinematic actions, something to consider

Quote:
Swarm size adds to damage


Yeap hope to test that this weekend :twisted:

Quote:
Two move actions? Interesting, we had been doing 1. What was the rationale for 2?


At lower levels I feel that a swarm would spend too long chasing around, but if you give them too much destiny, then if they
do catch up they could cause unbalanced havoc. So the trade off was less destiny but 2 free move actions.

Quote:
Area Attacks against a Swarm do treble damage.


yeap treble. Area attacks are not an arrow hitting one mook, they are blasts of fire etc that hit many and so the damage is increased
to take that into consideration.

Damage and actions and actually how easily it all flows....to be tested this weekend I hope, I have three encounters lined up to test a few things

A/ A few solo wolves
B/ A Pack (swarm) of wolves
C/ A lone Mega Wolf

Being the Norn, there is a lot more learning to be done to find a good balance...the upside being that when it goes wrong...everyone dies...and is happy :D

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 Post subject: Re: Swarms
PostPosted: Sun Apr 10, 2016 10:25 am 
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Another thought for Norn-side swarms. I think this probably is close to (maybe the same as) something that Andrew suggested some time back.

  • Swarm is a single entity for rune purposes
  • Essence defines the number of members (essence becomes the "attack face")
  • Spent a rune for movement, every members gets to move (It's still one creature) as they like
  • Spend a rune for attack, everyone gets to attack
  • Hit on a member does damage to the swarm
  • Hit on multiple members multiplies the damage by the number of members hit
  • Swarms tend to run on the "hard" damage track for simplicity
  • Powers tend to be on the simple side

Essentially, big front to attack multiple people (maybe equivalent to free areas or multis) but also more damage against them.


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 Post subject: Re: Swarms
PostPosted: Sun Apr 10, 2016 12:52 pm 
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I've yet to test swarms, meant to today but i deluded myself in to thinking my giant wolf would be tough enough alone...wrong....

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 Post subject: Re: Swarms
PostPosted: Mon Apr 11, 2016 11:29 am 
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Thinking about this more, a passive that gives you permanent free multi (swarm like a mob) or area (swarm like an insect) might be a great way to do this. After all, we already have passives that apply bleeding or impeded, etc.

--example--
Mob - you are a mob. you have +2 more people on the board and they can wander 5 hexes from each other. They share the same rune pool - all move when you move, all attack when you attack, all get the same metas. Additionally, if any of them are hit, you take the damage for all of them, and any individual conditions/effects applied to one of the mob only affects one of the mob
---

Additional Mob/Swarms would act pretty much exactly like Multi or Area, expanding the size/number of people.


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 Post subject: Re: Swarms
PostPosted: Mon Apr 11, 2016 11:36 pm 
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Quote:
any individual conditions/effects applied to one of the mob only affects one of the mob


The challenge there is that with a small mob that's great, but to me a mob is 20+ individuals... which is why I prefer a mob be considered a single entity with
greater resistance.

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 Post subject: Re: Swarms
PostPosted: Tue Apr 12, 2016 12:40 am 
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khunkwai wrote:
Quote:
any individual conditions/effects applied to one of the mob only affects one of the mob


The challenge there is that with a small mob that's great, but to me a mob is 20+ individuals... which is why I prefer a mob be considered a single entity with
greater resistance.


I've gotta agree there. I don't like to apply it to all of them, as it seems kind of silly.


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 Post subject: Re: Swarms
PostPosted: Wed Apr 20, 2016 9:55 am 
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Afetr quite a few plays, we have something working a little better, but there were a few behavioural issues that cropped up. I'd like to survey you guys on this. So we have a pooled Essence and a pooled Destiny for the swarm, but the minis can run anywhere on the map (they don't need to be adjacent). We can assign the Destiny however we want on the members of the swarm, however this breaks down then all runes get assigned to 1 member... players feel like you have a boss monster with a bunch of passive onlookers. So now we have a minimum of 1 Destiny per member, and you cannot pool the runes for a bigger chain unless you have the swarm adjacent to one another. Thoughts?

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 Post subject: Re: Swarms
PostPosted: Wed Apr 20, 2016 10:11 am 
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I think it makes sense to have at least one destiny per creature.

I think it probably makes sense to have at least two. Having one is kind of silly.

How do you determine at what point a swarm member goes off the board and is no longer an agent for the pool?


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