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 Post subject: Re: RGS 3.0
PostPosted: Fri May 22, 2020 12:06 pm 
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I plan to do another Patreon RGS3 PDF drop this weekend.

I will have most sections laid out by then, and we can see how to best order and organize the various sections.

The biggest thing that is still up in the air for the Children of Eriu is the board organization. I have been trying out quite a few since we made the pregens last year. Here are the options so far:
1) 4 boards per archetype: Actives, Passives, Social and Skills - that means 4 bindings per rune (2019 version)
2) 2 boards per archetype: Actives/Social & Passives/Skills - that means 2 bindings per rune and 2 types of abilities sharing a board.
3) 2 boards per archetype: Actives/Social/Skills (Talents) & Passives - that means 2 bindings per rune and all 3 Talents sharing a board.
4) 1 massive board per archetype: a full mix of all 4 bindings all over the place and each spec starts somewhere unique on this massive 2-page board.

There are other permutations of these ideas, but you get the point. Which would you lean towards and why?
Maybe I'll make this into a forum poll and invite more peeps.

jstomel wrote:
So, in the most recent RGS3 rules I have read both skills and social abilities have meta tags and work off of the same basic calculation as an attack or other combat action. As far as I can tell, when you level your essence you pick two things, a passive and a talent (which could be an active power, a skill, or a social ability). In that case, it makes sense that all talents should mechanically work the same, or at least similarly. If skills, active powers, and social abilities are each going to me their own thing then that's fine and they can all have their own mechanics, but that isn't the way the rule set seemed to be developing.

I think that passives altering skills is totally doable. In fact, the same passive could alter all three (active power, skill, and social) when they share a situation. I can envision a passive called "group effort" or somesuch that applies a +1AV mod whenever three or more dwellers are working together to accomplish the same goal, wether that is attacking the same monster, convincing the guards to let them in to a fort, or forging a blade.

As for maintaining compatibility with RGS2, that might be more difficult. But I don't think that the change under discussion alters that problem in either direction. On the other hand, I find that RGS2 sometimes has difficulty being compatible with itself, especially if you are using stuff from LotA and FotN:R together. Swarm rules just don't work with half the conditions out there and the simplified combat rules make some powers useless and others super powerful.


I'll leave the Swarm rules for our other thread, but as for the Talents working the same way, that was my big goal after DotN. That's why LotA actually had a skill with meta tags. I wanted Social, Actives and Skills to work with one unified mechanic. So how do you propose the logical concepts ordered in the rules chapter?

Panjumanju wrote:
jstomel wrote:
...all active powers are talents, which can be skills, powers, or social abilities. They all have meta tags, are played as a rune chain from a wyrd, and generate an Action Value mechanic. Passive powers could affect skills, powers, social abilities, or any combination of them. It looks to me like when you level up your essence you pick a new (or increase rank in) talent and a new passive. The talent could be a skill, power, or social. The passive is its own thing.


So, if I understand you right, the kind of structure you're suggesting is:

1. Talents (Active by default)
* Skill
* Power
* Social Ability

2. Passive Powers
* Augment any of the above

Is that right?

It's an interesting idea. The framework of RGS2 was:

1. Active Power (things you activate)
2. Passive Power (always on)
3. Skill (typically outside of combat, no meta tags)

In restructuring to accomodate the social aspect (Social Ability? Social accumen? Social skills? The term does not quite stick yet) the problem is constructing a new information hierarchy for RGS3 that makes sense but can co-exists with the simpler RGS2.

But you make a solid point. If all the Talents are going to work the same way, which they're doing on purpose, then why aren't they all sorted under Talents? If that's the case I feel like Passive Powers need a new name, because they want to be able to augment Powers, Social Blah-Blahs, and maybe even Skills. (Is that too much? Getting them to alter Skills? I'm not sure off the top of my head if Skills could use any tweaks other than more +1s. Maybe the way that the Blacksmith augments some skills could be Passive Skill-Powers?)

The rules are solid. It's just a case of how best to present them.

//Panjumanju


Well if we start with Talents, I think we're putting the cart before the horse. I strongly believe we need to start with Cinematic actions first, and even let the player know that they can start playing after reading that section and learn the rest as they go.

Panjumanju wrote:
I support the idea of making [Social] an sub-type like [Manoeuvre] or [Spell]. For many reasons.

On the player end, it's easier to understand. It maintains the dichotomy of Active Powers and Passive Powers. Some of those Powers may be social, some magic, some just fancy physical maneuvers. It's all good - what's operative is whether they are governed by an Active behaviour or a passive. That makes a lot of sense to players, as well as from a design perspective.

Looking at where RGS3 is going, I'd say we'd have to do this anyway, down the line, if not this time, if we wanted to have both Active Powers that are Social and Passive Powers that are Social. Currently, the Social mechanics are not much more or a departure than Mental damage or Spiritual damage. What we don't want is people having to flip through several sections to look up what their powers can do - which is already the biggest player-end slowdown in the entire FotN system.

At the end of the day it's just more streamlined. If we want Social offencive and defensive techniques to be used as a core part of the systme; make it a part of the core. They're Powers, like any other, and should be folded into that architecture, not trying to hover around outside it.

If it conceptually makes sense, and all that has to change is the layout, the damn the layout. Do it once, do it right. Make the changes that will help save player and GM time for the next ten years.

//Panjumanju


I think you're onto something here, so let me play devil's advocate, how about rolling Skills into Actives as well, do away with the "Active" monicker and call them all talents, with sub-types of: spells, social, skill, manoeuvre, etc...
This way it's Talents with many sub-types and Passives.
This is more than a section re-org, but I have to rewrite tons of content, so the question is: is the juice worth the (proverbial) squeeze?

If powers/social lookups is time-consuming, we can just section part of the book as Talents and place everything in the in alphabetical order.
What are other good reasons for this re-org?

creativehum wrote:
Hi,

I got the email for the Creatures Kickstarter.

Creatures from Fairy-Tale and Myth FOTN will contain a new application of the RGS rules.

I can use the materials in the FotN:R books I already have, but replace some/all of the current RGS rules found in FotN:R books with the new rules. I'm assuming the spells, skills, and abilities will remain pretty much the same, but that the rules "around" their use will be altered.

Is this pretty much correct?

Thanks!


Yes all previous books will be 100% usable, and you will be able to "bolt-on" Social powers to existing RGS2 dwellers to give them all of the best innovations of 3.0
The goal is to allow players playing dwellers from Core Rulebook to play alongside players with archetypes from the Children of Eriu and the process shoudl require minimal Norn acrobatics.

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 Post subject: Re: RGS 3.0
PostPosted: Fri May 22, 2020 4:08 pm 
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andrew wrote:
I plan to do another Patreon RGS3 PDF drop this weekend.

I will have most sections laid out by then, and we can see how to best order and organize the various sections.

The biggest thing that is still up in the air for the Children of Eriu is the board organization. I have been trying out quite a few since we made the pregens last year. Here are the options so far:
1) 4 boards per archetype: Actives, Passives, Social and Skills - that means 4 bindings per rune (2019 version)
2) 2 boards per archetype: Actives/Social & Passives/Skills - that means 2 bindings per rune and 2 types of abilities sharing a board.
3) 2 boards per archetype: Actives/Social/Skills (Talents) & Passives - that means 2 bindings per rune and all 3 Talents sharing a board.
4) 1 massive board per archetype: a full mix of all 4 bindings all over the place and each spec starts somewhere unique on this massive 2-page board.

There are other permutations of these ideas, but you get the point. Which would you lean towards and why?
Maybe I'll make this into a forum poll and invite more peeps.



1) would be most compatible with current rulesets. You could just bolt on the social board to all the existing archtypes and there would be an easy conversion.
2) I don't see any point in passives sharing a board with anything else. The other three are mechanically similar and don't balance well with passives.
3) I like this option, but it is a massive change in character and game structure. I don't see how this could be balanced to work with RGS2. RGS2 and option 1 automatically produce balanced characters with an equal acumen in combat, social, and skill spheres. Option 3 will invariably produce characters that specialize in combat or social or skills, but probably not all three. As a Norn, that means that if you have a social dominant character you will need to provide opportunities for that character to shine and realize that the berserker might not have much to do in that encounter.
4) No. Just no.

Over all, I would say that 3) provides the most narrative and character diversity and would make for a more interesting game. Option 1) would maintain better backwards compatibility and would produce a game that is easier to play and run.

A few balance points to keep in mind: For vikings, combat is always an option to solve your problems. Engaged in diplomatic negotiations? Just start killing people. Now you have a different problem. Need to sneak into camp? Just start killing people, no need to sneak any more.
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So even though the sagas are full of stories that are solved through skills (crafting and such) or trickery (Loki anyone?), the Thor approach (combat) will probably have more utility if I know gamers.

Quote:
I think you're onto something here, so let me play devil's advocate, how about rolling Skills into Actives as well, do away with the "Active" monicker and call them all talents, with sub-types of: spells, social, skill, manoeuvre, etc...
This way it's Talents with many sub-types and Passives.
This is more than a section re-org, but I have to rewrite tons of content, so the question is: is the juice worth the (proverbial) squeeze?

If powers/social lookups is time-consuming, we can just section part of the book as Talents and place everything in the in alphabetical order.
What are other good reasons for this re-org?


That's kind of what I assumed you were doing with RGS3, based on the most recent rules drop. I've been working on an organizational rewrite proposal. It's not finished yet, but here (https://drive.google.com/file/d/14xVCIB1YdtjtcCe80NMF1lrxOAggmw27/view?usp=sharing is what I've got. Basically, I don't think it makes sense to go through the three levels of crunch, then cover items, equipment, and range, then go back to talking about the three levels of crunch, but this time with action value. It ends up making you repeat a lot of information and bulks the page count. That could be an important factor if you are planning on including it in multiple physical books. I mean, do you really want to add 100+ color pages to two books you have already committed on a price point to? There is a certain point at which that becomes economically unviable.


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 Post subject: Re: RGS 3.0
PostPosted: Sat May 23, 2020 10:57 am 
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I was going with option 1 for about a year, but with expanded testing, I ran into players who were overwhelmed with the amount their character can do. 4 Essence meant 16 abilities. 6 essence meant 24 abilities. Those are starting dwellers. So I was looking for a way to keep it to 3 bindings but somehow include the Social abilities. It could mean a yet different split of:

option (5) Actives, Passives, Skills/Social or
option (6) Actives/Social, Passive, Skills

Its a fine line if you don't want to turn players off by overwhelming their dweller sheet with options and text. But yes, option 1 is the best for backwards compatability, since you just bolt those social tables onto existing archetypes and away you go (hence that was my first design).

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 Post subject: Re: RGS 3.0
PostPosted: Sat May 23, 2020 7:27 pm 
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andrew wrote:
I was going with option 1 for about a year, but with expanded testing, I ran into players who were overwhelmed with the amount their character can do. 4 Essence meant 16 abilities. 6 essence meant 24 abilities. Those are starting dwellers. So I was looking for a way to keep it to 3 bindings but somehow include the Social abilities. It could mean a yet different split of:

option (5) Actives, Passives, Skills/Social or
option (6) Actives/Social, Passive, Skills

Its a fine line if you don't want to turn players off by overwhelming their dweller sheet with options and text. But yes, option 1 is the best for backwards compatability, since you just bolt those social tables onto existing archetypes and away you go (hence that was my first design).


I think you could combine social with skill, the skill board is underused in my opinion. It would also be fairly backwards compatible (you just rule that older characters are social pariahs who haven't picked up any social abilities yet). Are social abilities balanced with skills? I would need to see some social abilities to be sure. Though to be honest, skills aren't really balanced with skills.

Also, with the new Rank mechanic most people wouldn't have 24 abilities at 6 essence (under option 1) because they would have spent some bindings ranking up. Newer players could just focus in a few abilities they find cool and rank them up until they get the hang of it. And with the ranking system the skill boards are going to clear out anyway, due to their being no point in multiple skill instances on the same board.

I *really* like option 3, though. It has an elegance to it. Which do people have more fun playing?


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 Post subject: Re: RGS 3.0
PostPosted: Mon May 25, 2020 11:09 am 
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jstomel wrote:
Also, with the new Rank mechanic most people wouldn't have 24 abilities at 6 essence (under option 1) because they would have spent some bindings ranking up. Newer players could just focus in a few abilities they find cool and rank them up until they get the hang of it. And with the ranking system the skill boards are going to clear out anyway, due to their being no point in multiple skill instances on the same board.


That's exactly what I'm hoping for with the rank system, allowing players to keep the number of variables within their comfort zone (unlike other RGSs that you have to "love it or leave it" the crunch and the number of variables). My preference is still leaning option #1, but I'm willing to hear pitches and be sold on an alternative.

jstomel wrote:
I *really* like option 3, though. It has an elegance to it. Which do people have more fun playing?


We're still looking at 7x7 grids, meaning you have 3 Talents sharing 49 slots. So roughly 16 Active powers, 16 skills and 16 Social abilities would be available for selection within a balanced board. Perhaps for some archetypes the outer ring is blocked out, so 8, 8 and 8 for pre-fylgia or Celtic equivalent. Sell me! ;)

BTW, you're in for the Tuesday group. Some players may need to sometimes express their actions in French, but I can translate. We play around 7:30pm EST give or take 30 minutes (we'll confirm on the day). Everyone's level 9 I believe, so you can make a level 9 dweller. We use roll20 for video but we use Discord for audio (better quality).
ps. I plan to drop the new RGS3 Patron PDF tonight or tomorrow night. Again same as last week, there's a ton of player feedback that I need to incorporate.

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 Post subject: Re: RGS 3.0
PostPosted: Mon May 25, 2020 6:17 pm 
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Quote:
We're still looking at 7x7 grids, meaning you have 3 Talents sharing 49 slots. So roughly 16 Active powers, 16 skills and 16 Social abilities would be available for selection within a balanced board. Perhaps for some archetypes the outer ring is blocked out, so 8, 8 and 8 for pre-fylgia or Celtic equivalent. Sell me! ;)


Ok, here it goes, the case for option3. First, there is no need for all archetypes to have an equal number of skill, powers, and socials. It makes sense that blacksmiths would have more skills, skalds would have more socials, berserkers more combat powers. You would need to make all abilities both more powerful and less numerous. You would probably want to roll all or most of the craft skills together (or into two skills). Some of the socially oriented skills (like drinking/wenching, verbal manipulation, and sense motive) would get absorbed into social actions. Passives will become a much more important aspect of the character, you will have the same number of passives, but only half as many abilities. Or rather, your abilities are being spread thinner over a wider realm of engagement. Leveling might need to be done faster.

What this allows you to do is create space for characters to shine and be unique. To solve problems that only they can solve. No one is a better fighter than Achilles, no one is a better planner than Odysseus, no one can craft an item like the Sons of Ivaldi. If you want a game where you get to be truly Epic, you can have no peer, even among the other PCs. This will be a game where often one person will dominate a scene and the other players sit around and go "woah!" while you describe the truly awesome shit you are doing. They will also have their own time to shine, but not everyone is always going to have something useful to do. Exalted is a good example of this style of play. Once you are past the first few levels, anything that presents a credible threat to the combat-monster character will just wipe the floor with the other characters, so you sit back and let them get the job done, maybe throw in an assist every once in a while. On the other hand, when it comes time to motivate the whole town to rise up in revolution and overthrow the evil overlord, somebody else gets to shine. This makes for truly epic play, but a bad GM can totally screw it up and it will bore players who aren't into narrative play. It is also, to a certain extent, a different game, which is why I think it won't be compatible with RGS2. It just...takes a different play style. RGS2 characters would fall in the muddy middle, always the bridesmaid, never the bride.

Option 1+ (option 1, but with skills and socials on the same board) would produce balanced characters who are badass, but who are all badass together. They will have specialties, but any situation will give them all something useful to do and it will be harder to achieve something truly Epic. This play style is more accessible to most players and favors a more mechanical and tactical oriented game. It has the same flavor as RGS2 and will be more easily compatible with it.

If I am honestly advising you, Option 1+ better suits your stated goals for RGS3 and would take significantly less time to develop. It's what I would recommend you do for this. Option 3 is really a different game. I would take the ideas developed for Option 3 and put them on the back burner for a future "RGS Light" or "RGS Accelerated" game that exclusively uses the Simple Tactics rule set and focuses on narrative play.


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 Post subject: Re: RGS 3.0
PostPosted: Mon May 25, 2020 11:56 pm 
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I'll come right out swinging and say that I hate Option 1. Characters do not need four boards. That's too much. I already thought 3 was too much. It also would not save any development time at all, since it all has to be gone over anyway and more just means more in this case.

I'm also not a fan of option 3 because it drastically increases the prominence of Passives. New players already have a hard time remembering their Passives. Passives are a kind of orphaned exception to the structure of the rules, which is great, but if they are half the character abilities then you're getting farther away from the base mechanic and more into the characrer running themselves.

I believe 2 boards strikes a good balance. The issue for me is just how to divide content between 2 boards. Backwards compatibility does not have to mean keeping it the same - this is compatible, it's just striking a new balance, one which I think would lead to more varied and interesting character options and more diverse play styles.

Panjumanju

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 Post subject: Re: RGS 3.0
PostPosted: Tue May 26, 2020 7:23 pm 
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If I'm going to champion a 2 board solution I may as well go all-in. Honestly I can see nothing wrong with either:

    Active & Social
    Passives & Skills


or

    Active & Skills
    Passives & Social


Putting either Skills or Social on the Active board makes for some viable options for players who want to not have as many Actives and helps the players who want to go all-Actives with options they don't mind forgoing.

I prefer the second one for how it breaks down, given all the other changes in RGS3 that are happeneing anyway. All this is with the caveat that I think Powers / Skills are going to get bundled as Talents by the time this is done, so it really looks like:

    Talents
    Passives & Social


With the further caveat that some Passives are going to have to be Social, anyway, and especially if Social gets absorbed as a type into Talents we're really talking about two lists:

    Talents (with some being Social)
    Passives (with some being Social)


That's also pretty great for making two strong lists for players looking up.

However, I worry that's a little too much dependence on Passives being half of all abilities. The game has a lot of resource management to it and if we overload the Passives then, if a player fully knows their character, they would play largely on automation. Passives should maintain at a ratio of about one third of available options, but a player should be capable of making a Passive-heavy build.

Therefore where I'm going to land is:

    Talents (with Social)
    Passives and Skills (with Social)


And the mind towards the fact that every Archetype would be balanced individually as well as collectively. (Which is not that hard.) I think two index lists Talents and Passives (Passive Abilities?) should still stand. I could mark a square on the character creation board as Passive. So, basically, I guess I'd suggest doing two boards from scratch with the first one having lots of Active Powers and the second one lots of Passives but otherwise being a free for all based on the Archetype.

For Children of Eriu we could even characterise the boards like Sun and Moon. A yin-yang dichotomy is structurally sound.

The Crazy Way
But here's another, crazier way of going about it. The most fun part of FotN character creation, for me, is putting that first rune down and deciding if I want to go N S E or W, because that's usually a pivotal choice. Perhaps we could manage expectations on the boards by having the Western direction be physical or Active options and the Eastern direction be Social or Passive options. Northern and Southern borders would depend on the Archetype. That way even if the player does not know the Talents per se they can know their character"s direction. Graphically I could shade the squares to distinguish the mood as well.

In that case the difference between the boards could be, for lack of a better term, low to high fantasy? The first board could be more practical and grounded. Lunging Attack, Goad, Brew, etc. The second board could have Apples of Idun, Gate Whale, Frost Breath, etc. This could add another level of depth to the system. Maybe a GM with a low-fantasy approach would want their players restricted to the first Archetype board, with a mind towards emphasizing the historic Archetypes.

//Panjumanju

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 Post subject: Re: RGS 3.0
PostPosted: Wed May 27, 2020 9:01 am 
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I don't get the idea of putting passives on a board with anything else. I can't see any circumstance where, when given a choice between a passive and a skill, i would choose the skill (maybe if I was a blacksmith). A passive benefits you all the time, a skill gives you a +1 bonus every so often. I build characters around passives, they are usually the first thing I choose.


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 Post subject: Re: RGS 3.0
PostPosted: Wed May 27, 2020 10:00 am 
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jstomel wrote:
I don't get the idea of putting passives on a board with anything else. I can't see any circumstance where, when given a choice between a passive and a skill, i would choose the skill (maybe if I was a blacksmith). A passive benefits you all the time, a skill gives you a +1 bonus every so often. I build characters around passives, they are usually the first thing I choose.


Building a character around Passives is a great idea. I agree with you. But it shouldn't be the only way to construct a character.

One of the system's strenghts has always been that players with different levels of engagement (both in terms of interest and skill) can still be an effective party and make an enjoyable game. It's a common design problem that niche games require everyone to be on the same level, have the same understanding, and the same level of investment in order for the game to run at all.

I'd like to maintain RGS' strength in this regard, or strengthen it further. Casual players often don't want to deal with Passives, which are just more things they'll forget in play, whereas Active Powers (and Skills, the way they're being redrawn) force you to remember (or look up) what they are when you wyrd them, just so the player can review their available options.

So, I think Passives should be sharing their board with something else. (Furthermore the alternative is overloading the game with 50% Passives, which would throw the design quite a lot.)

I think you have a legitimate concern over - for the players who are in the know, what is comparable to choosing a Passive? Why wouldn't I choose a Passive every time?

Passives are usually pretty dependant on circumstance, just as much as Skills. With Skills you can sometimes engineer that circumstance, but Passives are something that happens or does not. I can't think of an example off the top of my head of a universally beneficial Passive. (Maybe there are a few?) Also with the addition of social abilities I think there's going to be a good pool of Passive social abilities, which is going to blurr the line a bit between social Skills and Passives, so they may just fit snugly together regardless.

I'll have to crunch more numbers and make some test tables.

//Panjumanju

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