Fate of the Norns

LotA 3/24/2016
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Author:  raleel [ Sat Mar 26, 2016 12:10 am ]
Post subject:  LotA 3/24/2016

Like the area meta change. Does an additional area meta add two to the range and give the logical increase of width as well? Or does it increase it in some other fashion

Love the fortify meta. Something to defend against auras is good. I always felt that aura was just on this side of too powerful.

I really like the resistance added onto swarms. Might I also suggest keen senses, as it is resistance to shroud? A group tends to find things much easier.

Even without that, though, I think it's a really excellent add. I think I understand where you are going with them now to. I think the only real difference between what you are doing and how I would go is that I wouldn't track damage... Just a hit and they drop. Yours does really nicely reward area and multi, though. I can see a lot of swarms with tactical advantage and mob mentality in my future!

Author:  andrew [ Sat Mar 26, 2016 9:24 am ]
Post subject:  Re: LotA 3/24/2016

Yeah we qere playing around with a few templates for the cone area, but no consensus in ALPHA yet.

Adding keen senses to shroud is a good idea.

Raleel picture you're a player with a good sized gate chain. Instead od making a really big creature, you opt for a bunch of low levels. How would you want swarm to help you manage? This is a major use-case for swarm.

Author:  raleel [ Sat Mar 26, 2016 9:50 am ]
Post subject:  Re: LotA 3/24/2016

Well, I can picture as a GM, and the use case is practically the same. Essentially, no rune tracking is the big one. I'd want a movement to be free/untracked so the mob can move around as needed. I'd want damage to be fixed, and maybe all at the same time, so they are in effect amplifies on each other (one swarm member next to you does X, two does 2X, only one defend in either case, say)

I think it really comes out to that if I have to have a play mat for every swarm member, it's going to suck. If I have a play mat for the swarm itself it's probably fine, but still a bit cumbersome. I like the one hit drops idea, but I think your example of 3 points and they go down is very close to the same. It means that area and multi really gets the strength on these (hit 3 for 4 points with an area bone snapper, you take out 4, as you just did 12 to the swarm)

In my mind, a "swarm play mat" if you will is probably much smaller... Top part of the mat mostly, with almost no conditions. They might not even really be able to do contingencies. In hand, in play, in essence, or death/drain and that's it.

Also, I might say that mental damage just becomes physical damage. If heal can abstract reinforcements, mental damage can abstract running away :)

edit: some more thoughts on swarms (which I might accidentally call mooks on occasion)

--- on the model I think about with them---
In Feng Shui, mooks are one hit and done. You increase your difficulty to hit more than one, or you have a power that allows it. I like this model for it's simplicity

In 13th age, mooks are directly derived from Feng Shui have 1/5 the HP of a normal creature. They also have overflow damage. That is to say, if you hit a 5 HP mook for 10HP, that'll take out another mook. The player or the GM is to make up a reason why it got the other mook, even if it was across the map. If you hit an area of them, that amplifies the damage (whole mass takes number of members hit * full damage, which tends to make fireballs rock on them). I like this model for it's ability to handle the high damage numbers.

My gut says that the 13th age model is a closer match to FotN. It means that Egil can Amplify power attack and do a truly stupid amount of damage, cutting off a mooks head and knocking someone out with the head as it hits the other guy between the shoulder blades. it means that Freydis can area up her bonesnap and take out a truly staggering number. I like this because it makes the image of the coming Ragnarok pretty epic - think Viking Dynasty Warriors.

I think your "3 hp, remove a model" is very close to this as well. It's the damage of a weapon roughly (weapons are a little light for this particular example), and that matches about what 13th age did (mook HP = avg damage for a weapon on a hit)

I also found in 13th age that it was hard to manage more than two groups of mooks at a time. You had to keep track of the groups separately, and a lot of movement.


Another way to think about swarms - what's the difference between a swarm and a moving alka? Imagine you summon an alka with the (As yet created) "movable" meta. It can move some number of spaces per token. It still has to be contiguous (or close, with Stutter). It's effect is "do X DF to an adjacent opponent". If you don't maintain it, it drops after getting "hit" once. I think the primary difference here would be that running through the alka space wouldn't bestow an effect, it would end it.

Author:  khunkwai [ Sat Mar 26, 2016 10:55 am ]
Post subject:  Re: LotA 3/24/2016

Need to down load the update and create magic items with the new powers on them !!!

Author:  andrew [ Sat Mar 26, 2016 11:11 am ]
Post subject:  Re: LotA 3/24/2016

The swarm uses cases are:
1) A Norn wants to use a bunch of henchmen once in a while which will compliment BBEGs
2) A Norn wants to run simplified combat 100% of the time and wants to use swarm rules to accomplish this goal
3) A player has a summon +24 levels and decides to have 8 effigies and wants to use swarm along with their power boards
4) A player gates a large creature and wishes to use the levels to run several smaller ones without losing the flavour

We want all of these to work. 1st two are the easiest because the Norn can live with "oversimplification". The problems start to surface when players are exposed to "oversimplification" (ie. all damage types are same, conditions are ignored, etc). Since players may have certain types of builds, they may not want to see them negated when swarm rules get applied. Examples:
- The 1-2 punch. One player hits for Physical damage and then another player sets up in initiative to go right after and hit with spiritual. Negating spiritual damage nerfs his build
- The player uses mental damage exclusively in order to stun lock opponents. He wants his strategy to keep working.
- The player has a bloodied build where he does extra X against bloodied opponents.
- the player has a condtion build where he inflicts conditions and gains benefits when his opponents are under condition influence.

There are many more examples, but I think you get the point. Too much rules simplification reduces the applicability of player builds and then they get dejected each time they see swarms. this goes double for a player trying to apply swarm rules to summon/gate thanes and seeing that their effectiveness/flavour vanishes.

I think we need to look at streamlining and generalizing rather than negating and equating effects. It needs to run quicker, but without losing the flavour/builds. Perhaps a playmat is in order, and that is something we haven't yet explored. The "resistance to x" passives I think are on the right track for generalization. I think free moves and pooled destiny/essence is good in terms of streamlining.

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