House Rules feedback wanted

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House Rules feedback wanted

Postby Findanniin » Fri Mar 13, 2015 12:55 am

Hi guys.

Sadly, I'm not a player here. I move around too much, and while I would greatly welcome the opportunity - you're all very very far away :).

That said, I'll be starting another 7th Sea campaign soon, and like many people who GM this system - I've written out a few house rules.
They've gotten bigger and more numerous as the years went by, and I've recently made some pretty hefty changes to the skill system I'd like some feedback on before I subject my players to them.

First of all, thanks to Mark for letting me post 'm here and bothering you lot :).

Here goes:

I've got 2 design principles when changing rules - and I'm trying not to break them.
These are "Don't fix what isn't broken", and "Keep It Simple Stupid".

I've posted them all scattered on my own group's forums - and will be compiling them in the days to come.
What I'd like to do is get a few more people to look them over and think about some effects I might not have anticipated, or just generally give me some feedback.

"This is awesome, I'm stealing this next time I GM" is what I'm hoping to hear - but what I mostly want out of this is a better ruleset.
Your own suggestions are also welcome.

I'll take the liberty of double or even triple posting as there'll be quite a bit of material here. Trying to post them together thematically.
The biggest changes are probably #2, and the skill changes in the followup post.
These are also the ones I want feedback on the most.

Thank you for reading.

1. Drama dice are not worth EXP.

(Self explanatory, and I think a houserule in many of your campaigns as well. Or worth exp even if you spend them, I think the motivation behind this rule change is clear. On to the bigger ones)

2. There's only 3 defensive knacks - and they can't have the same score

And these knacks are Footwork, Parry and Stunt. At character creation, all characters get one at 3, one at 2 and one at 1 for free.
Forget what you know about where these knacks normally are, dear AEG board - skills got quite an overhaul as well.
Their use is pretty much what you'd expect.
Footwork when you can normally use it, same with Parry, Stunt for /everything/ else.

3. Pommel Strike & Corps a Corps are toned down.

Prone opponents now use Stunt for defence, which makes Corps a Corps less of a total killer. A character can also spend a drama die to get up from prone without spending an action.
Basically - you steal your GM's drama dice (players like this) and it's still a good knack to bring defence down by a lot.
Still a powerful knack, but no longer the complete end of combat it used to be.

Pommel Strike no longer sets a character's defence to 5, it simply reduces it's passive defence by 10 for the same duration.
That's still powerful - and it's an excellent way to make hard-to-hit enemies become far, far easier to deal with, or open weaker enemies up to killing blows.

4. Negative Reputation and Reputation do not cancel each other out.

They are instead tracked separately and grant advantages separately.

5. Porté

One of my players will play a 1/2 blooded Porté Sorcerer, so these changes were made just for him. I ill incorporate them in future campaigns though. We also ruled bring can be done as part of an attack action because throwing the same bloodied knife at 3 opponents is just cool factor.

Attunement, Pocket and Catch are all fine. Catch is strictly a combat knack, and has it's unique niche - giving plenty of reason for increasing it. Pocket and Attunement both have static effects; you know what you're getting.

The ones that don't work are Blooding and Bring.

Blooding

In it's current state, Blooding forces the player to roll a (relatively) high TN check, with no penalties for failure - and a hefty reward for critical success.
There's nothing keeping a player from rolling again and again and again... and again. What's more; critical success in Blooding decreases the difficulty for Bring by so much, it makes much more sense to invest more in Blooding rather than Bring, even if Bring is the knack you want to be better at.
So here's a suggested overhaul.

To Blood an object, the sorcerer spends 10 actions. Success is automatic. The sorcerer can have 2 blooded objects for every rank in this knack.

In other words, I took away Blooding's ability to make Bring better (I folded that into Bring), but in return - you get to blood more objects - and there's incentive to increase the knack. It also does away with rolling dice just to roll dice (I don't think this will ever be done mid combat where the 10 wasted actions would matter).

Bring

You'd never increase Bring as it's written in the book. Blooding was the better way to increase Bring. Without it though, Bring's still a bit weak in comparison (after all - it's only use is getting a completely static TN of 20 to Bring an item. It'll make bring completely redundant once your resolve is high enough. So let's make it relevant again.

For ever rank in Bring, a Porté sorcerer can invest one of his blooded items with a drama die. Every die invested this way permanently decreases the difficulty of any Porté knacks with that item by 3. In addition, the number of drama dice invested this way are added to the sorcerers ranks in Attunement with regards to this item.
There's certain risks involved with being so narrowly bound with an item however.
The sorcerer loses the ability to "give up" his bond with the item at will, and must spend one drama die to dissolve the bond.
What's more, the TN to 'hand off' the item to another sorcerer increases by 5 for every drama die invested this way.
Should the item be destroyed - the sorcerer takes one dramatic wound.

Attunement

Works fine as is but with the change to Bring needs the following addendum.

Every rank above 5 in Attunement increases the range by 10 miles.

---

I have a lot of smaller house rules and changes in place - but I don't really want feedback on those.
If people are interested though, I can type 'm up.

Please do take a look at post #2 where the skill changes are.
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Re: House Rules feedback wanted

Postby Findanniin » Fri Mar 13, 2015 12:55 am

Skill changes


Last time I did this, I simply folded some bloat skills together; typed 'm up and called it a day.

Then I went through some old character sheets, and saw how many characters really had just a skill with one knack in 'm (and sometimes some crap they got for free. Fashion. Skinning. Knotwork. You get the idea.)
So I started thinking 'is there a lot of point in having skills separated into knacks?'
Which is why I started with Martial skills - quite a lot of otherwise never used knacks suddenly become viable if you can purchase them outside of a (sometimes contrived) skill.
So I put it against "Don't fix what isn't broken" and "Keep it Simple, Stupid"... and as a result of folding the knacks together - it is broken.
If a character wants a new knack, they have to look up the knack - check my table to see if it's changed or folded because they have to see what skill it's under to see if they're even allowed to buy it.

That's more steps than there should be. In addition, it's broken for the balance reason I already pointed out as advice in the character creation thread:
It's far cheaper to buy skills now and knacks later because of the difference in HP and XP.

So I did away with skills.

The result is you take the following list, buy it if you want for 1 HP / knack and done. At 1HP = 3 XP, it's really easy to make the cost of purchasing them identical so picking them up at creation or in mid game becomes a matter of preference, not powerplay.
Ingame, they'll cost 2 exp for a new knack, then the same as increasing a knack in the old system. 6 exp total for a knack at 2 in game, or 6 converted at character creation. 9 for a knack at 3 at character creation, 12 once play's started - so a small discount for the ones you want to specialise in.
Sounds fair to me.
At the very least, better than it was.

We went from about 200 knacks (excel says 182) to 31. A few here and there worked better as static advantages (memorize, hand signals) - and a few have simply been dropped (menial tasks, shopping, shill, ...).
I've cheated here somewhat and created 4 'blanket' skills, where you pick something just as narrow as the old knack; but it's in a neat self-contained space.
Some of these have also been folded together though, mostly for knowledges.
the knack "Profession" needs to have a field nominated, and that's where all those things like cooper, blacksmith brewer and so on went. Same with "Perform" and a few others.
"Knowledge" will work the same way, but I'll create an advantage that basically gives you a few knowledges grouped together at a discount at 1 rank; Basically - an easy way to keep the system uniform and not make scholarly characters more expensive. A similar one for characters who want to be all-around performers, rather than 'Castillian with Guitar'.

For convenience, I've included "what gets folded into this knack from the old terminology" behind the skill. This won't have any more in-game effect but to serve as some examples and to work with to convert vanilla materials.
Note that the skill name is often changed to reflect something broader, when I renamed a skill that contains only one knack. Demolitions is more than fuses, just like intimidation is more than interrogation.

I'm debating an optional rule where you could pick an incompetence for your character within the now much broader field, and in return get an extra die on another branch of that skill. For example, Bihari might have 'diplomacy' on 3 - but take incompetent on socialising. In return, he gets +1 die when giving speeches.
That's somewhat breaking KISS - hence why it would be optional.
If you'd like to see that in play though - let me know.


Enough Ado - here goes nothing.




Skills


Acrobatics (Balance, Break Fall, Circus, Leaping, Rolling, Stunt, Swinging) [7]

Appraise (Appraising) [1]

Artefact Evaluation (Artefact Evaluation) [1]

Athletics (Climbing, Lifting, Long Distance Running, Sprinting, Swimming) [5]

Captain (Pilot, Navigation, River Navigation, Sea Lore) [4]

Contortion (Contortion) [1]

Demolitions (Fuses) [1]

Diplomacy (Bribery, Diplomacy, Etiquette, Haggling, Oratory, Mooch, Seduction, Socializing) [8]

Disguise (Disguise) [1]

Empathy (Cold Read) [1]

Forgery (Forger) [1]

Gambling (Cheating, Gambling, Gaming) [3]

Handle Animal (Animal Training, Bird Handling) [2]

Heal (Diagnosis, First Aid, Surgery) [3]

Intimidate (Interrogation) [1]

Knowledgemust pick specific field (Architecture, Astronomy, Biology, Chemistry, Cryptography, Occult, History, Law, Mathematics, Physics, Philosophy, Politics, Syrneth Lore, Theology, Trap Lore) [x]

Lip Reading (Lip Reading) [1]

Perception (Alert, Examiner, Perception) [3]

Perform must pick specific field (Acting, Dancing, Instrument (specify), Juggling, Singing, Storytelling) [x]

Pick Lock (Pick Lock) [1]

Poison (Poison) [1]

Professionmust pick specific field (Accounting, Apothecary, Baker, Barber, Bartender, Blacksmith, Brewer, Butcher, Calligrapher, Carpenter, Cartographer, Ceramic, Chandler, Cobbler, Composer, Confectioner, Cook, Cooper, Dentist, Distiller, Dyer, Embalmer, Fletcher, Florist, Furrier, Gardener, Glassblower, Gunsmith, Hatter, Innkeeper, Jenny, Jeweler, Mason, Masseur, Miller, Paper Maker, Perfumer, Potter, Printer, Sail Maker, Scribe, Sculptor, Seamstress, Seneschal, Shipwright, Spinner, Steward, Tailor, Tinker, Valet, Veterinarian, Vintner, Weaver, Wigmaker, Writer, ...) [x]

Research (Research) [1]

Ride (Drive Carriage, Drive Sleigh, Mounting, Ride, Snatch & Grab, Trick Riding) [6]

Rope Use(Knotwork, Rigging) [2]

Sleight of Hand (Conceal, Prestidigitation, Pickpocket) [3]

Society Loremust pick specific field (By secret society) [x]

Stealth (Ambush, Camouflage, Lie in Wait, Shadowing, Stealth, Unobtrusive) [6]

Streetwise (Street Navigation, Underworld Lore) [2]

Subterfuge (Sincerity, Quack) [2]

Survival (Direction Sense, Fishing, Scrounging, Set Traps, Skinning, Survival, Tracking, Weather, Traps, Trail Signs) [10]


------

Martial SKills

The changes, together with the ones in Civil skills are mostly to get rid of skill bloat. That effect is still here in Martial Skills, going from 50 knacks to 19 (see the list of changes in the OP), but here the primary purpose is to give some more freedom to non-swordsman to make characters with more mechanical options than attack. Swordsmen are of course more than welcome to incorporate all these into their arsenal.
It also hopes to add flavour to weapons such as the whip, which in vanilla only has one knack - Attack.
All of this is accomplished using only material already in the book; so it fits my KISS principle.
In fact, I hope people not exposed to the previous incarnation of martial skills will find this way of doing things both easier, as well as giving more exciting possibilities.
Enough pitching; here goes -

Martial Skills






Martial skills (Just like Civil skills - hold on) no longer exist. Instead, you buy knacks at a straight cost of 1 HP / knack, and can buy all the knacks after character creation at a standard exp cost.
Most knacks on this list are weapon dependant, and you buy them separately for every weapon. The listing is intended to be exhaustive, and every weapon currently in crystalkeep's document can be used with them.
Knacks listed as [sup]not weapon specific[/sup] can be used regardless of your character's current loadout, as long as the other prerequisites are met.
For example, a character who has both attack: fencing and eye-gouge can make either attack on her turn as long as she meets eye-gouge's prerequisite of having one hand free.

Layout is as follows;

Knack Name. Weapons allowed to use the knack. Other prerequisites for using the knack.


Attack. Artillery, Blunt Weapon, Bow, Crossbow, Fencing, Firearms, Hand Axe, Heavy Weapon, Improvised Weapon, Knife, Panzerhand, Polearm, Shield, Unarmed, Whip.

Bash. Blunt Weapon, Heavy Weapon, Panzerhand, Shield. [font color="1979e6"]Bash is rolled at -2k0 (in Vanilla 7th Sea, Bash is strictly better than a normal attack. This balances that out)[/font].

Bear Hug. Unarmed.

Break Limb. Unarmed.

Catch[sup]Not weapon specific[/sup]. Must have one hand free.

Entangle. Cloak or Whip.

Escape Grapple[sup]Not weapon specific[/sup]

Eye-Gouge[sup]Not weapon specific[/sup] Must have one hand free.

[font color="1979e6"]Far Shot. Bow or Crossbow. Every rank in this knack increases range by 20 ft. New knack, mostly there together with expanded Trick Shooting to give Bows and crossbows their own niche next to the otherwise far superior firearms.[/font]

Grapple. Unarmed.

Head Butt[sup]Not weapon specific[/sup]

Jab. Unarmed.

Kick.[sup]Not weapon specific[/sup]

Set Defence Polearm. When not moving yourself and using a polearm against charging infantry or cavalry, you can roll this knack in addition to your standard attack: polearm

Sidestep[sup]Not weapon specific[/sup]

Trickshooting Bow, Crossbow, Knife.

Throat Strike. Unarmed.

Throw. Hand Axe, Improvised Weapon, Javelin, Knife.

Uppercut[sup]Not weapon specific[/sup] Must have one free hand. [font color="1979e6"]Panzerhand users receive a free raise[/font]. Note that the damage inflicted uses your unarmed strike damage rating.
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Re: House Rules feedback wanted

Postby Black Jack Rackham » Fri Mar 13, 2015 2:02 pm

Ok, since you asked, I’m going to give you the feedback in the order you wrote them.

1. No problems with this at all. HoA will be going to this once we’re half way through the campaign (and will be sticking with it throughout the next three campaigns)

I would also add that you either get a static number of DD (say 3 for everyone) or make it based on the average of Traits, otherwise you have folks upping their Traits just for the DD bonus, not because of RP reasons.

2. Couple of problems with this. First off, as you’ve written it, Stunts is now HEAVILY weighted toward the best of the three. After all, Balance, Climbing, Leaping, Rolling (see more about this below), etc., are all encompassed into one. And I am certain your players are going to figure out a way to ensure they are always doing one of these so that they only really need one defensive knack.

Which is, I think, the reason there are so many Defensive Knacks. Heroes can only learn to protect themselves so many different ways. It behooves us GMs to put them in positions where we force them out of their comfort zones. If you want to make it easier on them, by all means, I just think your shooting yourself in the foot.

Second thought, if the numbers cannot be the same, then there is only one method for you to increase the numbers. 1st increase whichever one was a 3 (up to 4) then the 2 up to 3, and finally the 1 to 2. Any other method (even if it makes sense RP’wise) will not work. Just seems like an odd/arbitrary rule to me.

3. Not a lot of folks realize this, but there is already a knack that protects you when you’re flat on your back, Rolling (PG, p. 151 if you want to check it out). Problem is, most folks don’t bother to buy it. I tend to throw it in with villains every once in a while. Really irksome for players :twisted:

As for the Pommel Strike, I’m not sure about this one, on the one hand I think your solution works somewhat, on the other though, I still think a good Riposte (and held action for just such an occasion) works as a defense

4. I agree, The good you do does not cancel out the bad. I’ve seen a duel rating like this before, but I don’t know if that’s the right way to go about things. I’ve toyed with the idea of building “A” reputation, and having that aid you in some manner. For example, lets say I want to build a reputation as a duelist. Well then I get in lots of public duels (and win hopefully). So over time as I win more and more, I can add bonus dice to any role I can convince my GM will be complimented by my reputation (say asking for higher pay in tough duels, warning fops not to trifle with me, etc.) But it wouldn’t do anything if, say I was trying to convince a young lady to dance if I had a rival who had a reputation as, say, a phenomenal lover.

5. Deferring this for now, I really need to re-read the parts you’re referencing.

Ok, so that’s it for part one (I’ll go take a look at Porte and see what I can see.)
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Re: House Rules feedback wanted

Postby Black Jack Rackham » Fri Mar 13, 2015 5:08 pm

Ok re-read Rolling with an eye toward nitpicky wording. That, combined with the paragraph about Lying Prone and Getting up (p. 185) leads me to believe that my assessment was more of a personal rule than actual RAW. Rolling is used when you're on the ground (though perhaps its more a matter of putting yourself on the ground) and Lying Prone is more for getting knocked down.

But I could certainly make a case for using Rolling to defend yourself once you had an action (without needing to expend an action to stand back up). And maybe I'd even let PCs use that to get back into a standing position and not have to deal with the TN 5 while in the process of standing up.
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Re: House Rules feedback wanted

Postby Findanniin » Fri Mar 13, 2015 10:57 pm

Black Jack Rackham wrote:2. Couple of problems with this. First off, as you’ve written it, Stunts is now HEAVILY weighted toward the best of the three. After all, Balance, Climbing, Leaping, Rolling (see more about this below), etc., are all encompassed into one. And I am certain your players are going to figure out a way to ensure they are always doing one of these so that they only really need one defensive knack.

Which is, I think, the reason there are so many Defensive Knacks. Heroes can only learn to protect themselves so many different ways. It behooves us GMs to put them in positions where we force them out of their comfort zones. If you want to make it easier on them, by all means, I just think your shooting yourself in the foot.

Second thought, if the numbers cannot be the same, then there is only one method for you to increase the numbers. 1st increase whichever one was a 3 (up to 4) then the 2 up to 3, and finally the 1 to 2. Any other method (even if it makes sense RP’wise) will not work. Just seems like an odd/arbitrary rule to me.


It does feel arbitrary - I'm not entirely happy about the re-work.
Let me explain the effect I'm trying to achieve - there might be a better way to go about it that I'm not seeing.

Part of the problem with 7th Sea is knack bloat. A lot of defence knacks got folded together anyway (down in post 2) but that's neither here nor there - What I disliked about vanilla 7th Sea's defence knack system is how it seems to punish players for trying to be as heroic as possible.
"Oh, you're an expert duelist? You're not used to ships however, so now you can barely defend at all!"
"You'd Like to swing on that chandelier, but you won't because it's really not worth losing 15 passive defence?"
Either you force your players to spend lots of exp (or worse, HP) on being swashbuckly, or you deal with mechanics that punish them for being swashbuckly.

Using stunt all the time won't be all that easy though. Unless the player is constantly looking for ropes to swing from.
Using it on the deck of a ship, I can totally see. Ballroom? Maybe for a turn or 2-3, with description?
Fancy tumbling around to dodge blows?
That's footwork.

I agree it makes things 'easier', and I'm okay with that.

The reason for not making the knacks identical is that it keeps some strategy in combat. Force an opponent into using one he's less comfortable with will result in him taking /at least/ -5 or -10 to passive defence.
Maybe more.
It also will no longer ever set people's PD to 5, which basically means "out of the fight".

Increasing a knack becomes a pain (the rules on my campaign forums are bit more in depth) and the part I'm least happy with.
You can increase a knack that's on 2 to 3 (even though you'd have 2 knacks on 3 that way) but you won't get the benefit of the increase - just the freedom to take it to 4, ending you up with 4, 3, 1 in defence knacks.

Cumbersome - but open to suggestions to make it better!

Thanks for the reply so far, Mark!
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Re: House Rules feedback wanted

Postby Findanniin » Sat Mar 14, 2015 2:48 am

Black Jack Rackham wrote:I would also add that you either get a static number of DD (say 3 for everyone) or make it based on the average of Traits, otherwise you have folks upping their Traits just for the DD bonus, not because of RP reasons.


Good idea. The less linked to the all-powerful traits, the better.


Black Jack Rackham wrote:As for the Pommel Strike, I’m not sure about this one, on the one hand I think your solution works somewhat, on the other though, I still think a good Riposte (and held action for just such an occasion) works as a defense


See, that's true enough. Any knack that asks for a specific held action with a counter though probably needs some fixin'. Especially if the player wins initiative.
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Re: House Rules feedback wanted

Postby Black Jack Rackham » Sat Mar 14, 2015 9:55 am

Findanniin wrote:Any knack that asks for a specific held action with a counter though probably needs some fixin'. Especially if the player wins initiative.


For me, that is one of the cool things about 7th Sea. For every swordschool/means of attack out there, there are at least half a dozen things that you simply cannot account for.

oh sure, my Aldana swordsman is ready made to deal with pommel strike/corps-a-corps (both because the school fairly begs you to hold actions and because it helps ensure you always get to go first). BUT, throw in an Eisenfaust who takes my sword away? Pffhhtt. I'm done.

But switch the Aldana for Ambrogia, and suddenly the loss of the sword is irrelevant (of course the Ambrogia is going to go down from the corps-a-corps...)

I'm not necessarily disagreeing with you (I do see the glut of players who wait for the corps-a-corps or pommel strike then dogpile the poor unfortunate villain) BUT I think there are ways to avoid that (set the adventure in Castille or Ussura and have players only make natives*, disallow the schools that have either of the knacks,** etc.)

*because none of the swordschools in either of those two countries have pommel strike or corps-a-corps
**and that's just IF you consider them problems. I don't really, because the kind of games I run are heavy on psychological torture rather than on dangers that can be dice-rolled away.
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Re: House Rules feedback wanted

Postby Black Jack Rackham » Sat Mar 14, 2015 9:59 am

Back to my feedback...

Porte.

You started with Blooding, so, so will I.

Not having them make a roll is excellent. I agree completely that it’s, in general, a useless roll. The only scenario I could think of in which it might be worthwhile to have a roll would be one in which the sorcerer was under pressure/time constraints (for example in the midst of a chase). And I’m even cool with not giving them a bonus for good rolls (Tagging, for example, has no raises for extra DD, you get the one and that’s it).

BUT, I think if you were trying to compensate players by giving them the 2 blooded objects per pip in Blooding, you missed the mark. Assuming they start at 1 pip and work their way up, they start with one less blooded object than normal, and end with just one more. So, all you’ve really done is flattened out the curve. That said, I don’t really think 2 blooded per pip is bad per se. I think it works out fine, and I don’t think giving them access to more (say 3 blooded per pip) is “better” (because really, who needs 15 blooded objects?). I guess what I’m saying is that I just wouldn’t call it an exchange.

Next, Bring.

First a question, you said …

Every die invested this way permanently decreases the difficulty of any Porté knacks with that item by 3.


Why 3? Every other roll/bonus/penalty in this game is based on 5 (oh there are a few exceptions, I know, but in general). So why not just a free raise or use of the “Bring” die as a bonus kept die for this item only?

Second, if I “invest a Drama Die” does that mean I lose one of my DD from play? For example, we start the game for the night and I have 3 DD (because you went with the static 3 per player, which is awesome btw) and I decide to create one of these links. Do I then have 2 DD to begin the session because I invested the third?

And if I do get to use the invested die as a bonus kept die, why doesn’t it go away after I use it?

Now that I’m thinking about it, that might be a more interesting way to deal with it. No roll is needed to blood an object, BUT if you want to invest the DD, there is a roll (maybe the old TN 20 + a raise or two?) and to avoid the infinite rolls, make it so every roll counts. Say a failed roll means the object can never be invested again? Or if you want to be less severe, it can’t be invested for a month or week or some such. THEN, the invested DD works only once (so it must be re-invested)

You’d still be able to have the, causes 1 DW if destroyed (and makes them think twice about leaving the object in a porte pocket…)

Attunement

Every rank above 5 in Attunement increases the range by 10 miles.


Above 5? Am I missing something or is that below?
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Re: House Rules feedback wanted

Postby salamanca » Sat Mar 14, 2015 10:34 am

I think you are making a huge heaping pile of changes that are going to be a hassle to keep balanced with each other and all you are doing is complicating character generation for player used to using things the way they are.

I glanced over that list of knacks and am not processing the thought process behind removing certain knacks I see regularly used but keeping stuff like demolitions. This also breaks the diversity of players allowing for spreading spotlight among players.

It removes the point balance of restricting players from cherry picking key knacks or grabbing everything under the sun (thus removing possible weaknesses and vulnerabilities) as well as herding stuff together that has no relative connection.

As for the Drama dice XP issue. Drama dice are a great mechanic because they encourage players to get creative to earn more. But what happens when there is no need to spend them? On a good day, i can grab 10-15 Drama dice through creative descriptions and witty comments made at the table (and I know that is on the high side but it's how I play) I also have a sword school that generates temporary dice every combat that usually cover my needs in combat. By the end of the fight, I am usually sitting on at least 7 dice that have never had a need to be rolled. while I do not advocate letting me get away with cashing in an extra 7 XP every session, I deserve some sort of pay off for having earned those dice I did not end up needing to roll.

Your Defensive knack idea just does not work for me. It's going to penalize me in a certain situation every time. I cannot raise it without raising the other abilities, I will always be in trouble with a specific situation because the other styles of defense will prevent me from getting beyond rank 3.

I will need to break that for my own advantage. first off, I'm going to take stunt as my high rank because there are too many factors to make it easy to active defend with that catch all that now links to rolling, balance, swinging, swimming, etc. I will take footwork second and ignore parry. then I am taking a no weapon school like finnegan and totally never needing to worry about parry. After which I will pump the hell out of my wits and rely on keeping an action free to actively defend when needed.

As for Porte, I am anti-magic. I would ignore it either way so I have no feedback.
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Re: House Rules feedback wanted

Postby Findanniin » Sat Mar 14, 2015 11:57 am

Black Jack Rackham wrote:
Findanniin wrote:Any knack that asks for a specific held action with a counter though probably needs some fixin'. Especially if the player wins initiative.

I think there are ways to avoid that (set the adventure in Castille or Ussura and have players only make natives*, disallow the schools that have either of the knacks,** etc.)

*because none of the swordschools in either of those two countries have pommel strike or corps-a-corps
**and that's just IF you consider them problems. I don't really, because the kind of games I run are heavy on psychological torture rather than on dangers that can be dice-rolled away.


Please understand I agree with the gist of what you're saying - but offering solutions such as "don't give players access to them" & "instead give them problems that they can't fight their way out of" reinforce the notion for me that these knacks /are/ in fact problematic.

Black Jack Rackham wrote:I think if you were trying to compensate players by giving them the 2 blooded objects per pip in Blooding, you missed the mark. Assuming they start at 1 pip and work their way up, they start with one less blooded object than normal, and end with just one more. So, all you’ve really done is flattened out the curve. That said, I don’t really think 2 blooded per pip is bad per se. I think it works out fine, and I don’t think giving them access to more (say 3 blooded per pip) is “better” (because really, who needs 15 blooded objects?). I guess what I’m saying is that I just wouldn’t call it an exchange.


Flattening out the curve is exactly what I was aiming for. My sorcerer is 1/2-blooded after all, so vanilla; the most objects he can get blooded is 3.
The biggest advantage to raising blooding was scoring easier raises for Bring before - now it lets you blood more, and removes a pretty "meh" restriction for something you sunk 20 HP into.

I also just like buying static improvements - the dice might betray you, and that's fine for a 2 exp / level knack; but you sunk 20/40 HP into that sorcery - and I want you to feel like that was worth it.
Static advantages are a great way to do that. Letting my 1/2-blooded Porté sorcerer get 3 times as many blooded items is worth that.

I realize I come off a bit as asking for feedback and tossing it out the window; not true at all - but I really liked my change to Blooding (and will listen to reason, but straightening out the curve is a bonus in my book, especially with how long journeyman takes to get!) :).

Black Jack Rackham wrote:Why 3? Every other roll/bonus/penalty in this game is based on 5 (oh there are a few exceptions, I know, but in general). So why not just a free raise or use of the “Bring” die as a bonus kept die for this item only?

Second, if I “invest a Drama Die” does that mean I lose one of my DD from play? For example, we start the game for the night and I have 3 DD (because you went with the static 3 per player, which is awesome btw) and I decide to create one of these links. Do I then have 2 DD to begin the session because I invested the third?


I was really torn between 2 and 3, strictly for worthwhile enough to make an impact & not so big to make other knacks again worthless in comparison.
I went with 3 since it will have a bigger impact in the early game when it's relevant, and -10 vs -15 at rank 5 won't matter so much with the expected higher traits at a later campaign stage.

There's precedent for non-straight up 5 increases in swordsman schools and sorceries (Wall of steel immediately coming to mind), so I don't feel too bad about including it.

"Investing a drama die" does mean you lose it for the session, but it's invested into the item permanently. For all future sessions to come.
A single tick/die behind the item on your sheet will keep handy track of it.
Remember - you're limited to no more invested dice / item than your bring knacks.

Black Jack Rackham wrote:Now that I’m thinking about it, that might be a more interesting way to deal with it. No roll is needed to blood an object, BUT if you want to invest the DD, there is a roll (maybe the old TN 20 + a raise or two?) and to avoid the infinite rolls, make it so every roll counts. Say a failed roll means the object can never be invested again? Or if you want to be less severe, it can’t be invested for a month or week or some such. THEN, the invested DD works only once (so it must be re-invested)

You’d still be able to have the, causes 1 DW if destroyed (and makes them think twice about leaving the object in a porte pocket…)


I think TN 20's already quite high for characters with a trait at 2, where my starting characters will be at (so I won't ask for the additional raises) - but an investment roll is a good suggestion, thanks.
And it plays nicely with 7th Sea' gambling raises theme.

Black Jack Rackham wrote:Attunement

Every rank above 5 in Attunement increases the range by 10 miles.


Above 5? Am I missing something or is that below?


Maybe I worded it poorly. An invested item (as per the new bring rules) would be easier to detect with attunement than a non-invested item.
For example, your character has attunement 4, and lost (or planted) his lucky bloodied penny, which he over the course of a few sessions (and 3 drama dice invested in it) invested to the maximum he could with bring 3.
Normally, attunement 4 would let him detect it from 5 miles away (or w/e the entry for 4 attunement is).
His 3 invested drama dice would raise his attunement to a 7 for this item only, increasing the range to 25 miles.
A small, strategic, perk for a player investing drama dice into being able to do it and planting it.

--

Edit:
use of the “Bring” die as a bonus kept die for this item only?


I somehow read over that line completely.
That's genius.
It'd have to be an unkept die, balance-wise - but it's neater than "+3 / per".
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Re: House Rules feedback wanted

Postby Findanniin » Sat Mar 14, 2015 12:21 pm

salamanca wrote:I think you are making a huge heaping pile of changes that are going to be a hassle to keep balanced with each other and all you are doing is complicating character generation for player used to using things the way they are.


You think so?
What do you think will end up being hard to balance?

salamanca wrote:I glanced over that list of knacks and am not processing the thought process behind removing certain knacks I see regularly used but keeping stuff like demolitions. This also breaks the diversity of players allowing for spreading spotlight among players.


Interesting. I really care deeply about sharing the spotlight between my players (and so do my players!).
Which knacks stand out for you as removed?
Please remember that folded and removed aren't the same thing for me, but this list is very much a work in progress and something I'm really keen to get some input on to balance out.

In effect, no longer asking for a point sink in skills resulting in knacks no player will ever increase (menial tasks? Shill? Snatch & Grab?) is a bonus in my book.
Since the cost for specific (though more general) knacks will roughly be identical to simply buying the skill, I don't see how it will decrease 'uniqueness' amongst characters - but I'd like to hear how I might be missing something.

As to demolitions specifically - things that couldn't easily be folded in which each other that I still could see players interested in remained as their own knack, broadened somewhat in the theme of more general skills.


herding stuff together that has no relative connection.


I'd really like to hear about these - Pointing these out are very likely to result in me changing things around.

On drama dice; I deserve some sort of pay off for having earned those dice I did not end up needing to roll.


Here I disagree with you. Your reward is the drama dice. If you didn't need them, I should have challenged you more. Giving you relative more exp, especially 7 or so for a session, in relation to other players wouldn't be my idea of fun. I think my players would agree with me here, but if I hear more people raise concerns similar to yours, I'll make sure to make sure before assuming.



Your Defensive knack idea just does not work for me. It's going to penalize me in a certain situation every time
.

Aaah, yes. But, that's a bit unfair since... unless you buy every defence knack under the sun in vanilla, you'd have the same problem.
It's also the point - I want to create a system where it's always possible to create a situation where creating an advantage by forcing an opponent (npc or pc) to use a sub-par defence knack is possible.

I cannot raise it without raising the other abilities, I will always be in trouble with a specific situation because the other styles of defense will prevent me from getting beyond rank 3.


I agree. I'm not happy with this part. Mind you though that you can increase it beyond rank 3, you're just a bit more limited in how to do it. Worst case scenario, you pay 4 exp which /temporarily/ does nothing but allow you to buy the next rank.
It's counter-intuitive and arbitrary, and I'm not entirely pleased with it - but hardly as bad as you seem to think at first reading.

I will need to break that for my own advantage. first off, I'm going to take stunt as my high rank because there are too many factors to make it easy to active defend with that catch all that now links to rolling, balance, swinging, swimming, etc. I will take footwork second and ignore parry. then I am taking a no weapon school like finnegan and totally never needing to worry about parry. After which I will pump the hell out of my wits and rely on keeping an action free to actively defend when needed.


Hmm, I raised this point with Mark before, but since you're the second one to point it out I'll give it more weight.
That said, if this change leads to players wanting to take stunt as a main defence and use swinging / climbing in as many situations as possible - that screams swashbuckler to me so much it sounds like a pretty good trade-off for an occasional +5 to passive defence over the normal 7th Sea parry/footwork standard.
"I'm simply swimming" would clearly not work, and rolling implies the prone 2 extra raises needed for attacks and Active Defense. You're welcome to it.
While I adore the idea, still, of constant climbs and swingings - I just don't see it as being so feasible that I'll have 4 characters in my campaign constantly swinging from branches every chance they get when they could be dodging and dashing all over the place with simple footwork main, while the stunt defence simply means they won't be arse-boned (I made that word up just now) every time the situation calls for dramatics.
Still, That's 2 voices against my one - and I'll take it into account.

As for Porte, I am anti-magic. I would ignore it either way so I have no feedback.

Your prerogative of course but mechanics feedback's mechanics feedback.
I'm pretty anti-monk in D&D (tis silly), but I can still give balance advice on a monk only feat giving +3 dodge ac.
I don't see the connection, but I do thank you for the rest of your thoughts.
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Re: House Rules feedback wanted

Postby salamanca » Sun Mar 15, 2015 11:55 am

Lets talk about the shortening of the knack list and spotlight.

Everybody under the sun wants to reduce the knack list recently. Mostly because, as players, it means they are going to end up in situations where they will not have the right knack and thus have to depend on either falling back on a penalized trait check or let another player handle the problem.

Now, if you reduce things via folding into 31 skills (because that is what you are doing regardless of what you name it) you are creating two very probable outcomes. And my thoughts on this stem from using skills to replace knacks in the LARP system)

1- 31 knacks lets a player who opts to not go with a sword school or sorcery potentially grab most of them. If everybody can do everything, then nobody gets regarded as a specialist in their field because there is no point in it.
Every player takes your diplomacy skill, every player takes athlete, every player takes doctor, every player takes sailor, every player takes stealth, streetwise, criminal, perception and they all end up doing the exact same thing. at this point you can ignore any skills at all and just assign the players a set number of dice to roll in every situation because they all have the same talents.

2- Player confusion on where a certain skill applies. Can a player get away with using subterfuge when they should be using diplomacy because they lied during their dramatic speech? (and have 5 ranks in subterfuge vs. 3 in diplomacy) It happens with the long list and it will increase here with a short one that has more overlap.

the issue of having point sink knacks is not applicable simply because there is not a single knack outside the sword schools sorceries that demands it be raised to benefit anything else. You get a rank of menial task with servant skill, it's part of the package and if you never use it or want more, nothing mandates needing to increase that. If there are knacks nobody is using, that is their option.

Now the balance issue: Even in your list I am seeing new skills/knacks that fold in 6 old knacks (or more) on your list followed by things like "pick locks" that does one thing. If you are going to merge these lists, it needs to be done in a manner that keeps the new list relatively balanced. Even in the listed system, you see players ignoring the ride skill because it offers limited knacks. If you are going to streamline, look to keep the folded abilities level.

but your bigger issue will be in what happens to the sword schools. Players grabbing bigger blended martial abilities will start balking at spending to increase something like wall of steel. worse for the schools that currently offer a general advanced knack like sidestep among their abilities.

Over to the issue of Drama dice. you missed my key point because I did not emphasize it. I am not looking to gain the extra 7 xp for the adventure. I agree that is too much. but the fact is that As long as I have ways of earning Drama in combat (via tagging, for instance) I am never going to need those other drama dice for anything. and that means that I have no incentive to earn them so I am going to end up not being creative in my game play. there is no point in it. I don't need to describe anything beyond " I attack him again with Bind." because there is not reward in my taking the time to give you a creative description about aiming to run my sword down the sleeve of his jacket to lock up his blade. If you give the players zero incentive to be creative, they are going to drop into default mode which is just boring and boring games do not lead to happy gamers.

the defensive knack issue to clarify my thoughts. I am not planning on getting away with being able to default to stunt as my top rank in every combat. but it.s going to get ranked highest because it DOES cover so many situations that it would be difficult to protect all of those with active defenses if the trouble arises in them. footwork falls second because it is something I CAN control with active defense (outside of firearms). And it lets me get away with being used in lieu of parry anyhow.

And as you admit limiting them to only one can be a given rank doesn't even work for you. For that matter, I have had players that opted to play "tank" and specialized in bodyguard knacks at heavy defense while ignoring attack to just protect the rest of the party. This takes that option right off the table. I could understand STARTING with the three at different ranks and letting players opt to increase them as they wish. but with the expanded coverage, that is going to require ANOTHER point cost balance.
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Re: House Rules feedback wanted

Postby Findanniin » Sun Mar 15, 2015 1:17 pm

salamanca wrote:Lets talk about the shortening of the knack list and spotlight.

Everybody under the sun wants to reduce the knack list recently. Mostly because, as players, it means they are going to end up in situations where they will not have the right knack and thus have to depend on either falling back on a penalized trait check or let another player handle the problem.


I'd say it's because having 182 knacks that offer very little synergy is broken.
Imagine your character is an excellent rider. Ride 5. Your friend uses his special swordsman school discount on called shots to knock the McGuffin out the mr. Villain's hand and it lands on the ground.
You dash in on your trusty steed, ready to snatch up that thing while hanging off the side of your saddle.
You've got Trick Riding 5, bitch is yours.
"Okay, now roll an untrained Finesse check"
'Say What, GM?'
"Do you have snatch and grab?"
"Well, no ... but.."
"Untrained finesse check".

Is that bad GM'ing?
Absolutely - but it's GM'ing the rules as written.
That's why everyone under the sun wants to reduce knack bloat. I consider there being too many knacks to pretty much be ojective fact.
I'm reducing them.
I'm open to opinions on how it should happen - and will listen to good arguments.
I disagree that there isn't a problem with the system as it stands though.
182. Count them.
edit: That's civil knacks, add in martials (not counting attack & parry / weapon) and you're up to 230. Count them per weapon and I don't have the number on my excel. 250+?


1- 31 knacks lets a player who opts to not go with a sword school or sorcery potentially grab most of them. If everybody can do everything, then nobody gets regarded as a specialist in their field because there is no point in it.


A player who specifically wants to play a skill monkey character can in fact build a skillmonkey character.
To do so, he'll give up excelling in a swordsman school, having sorcery or investing heavily in advantages and traits (which we all know matter more than knacks).
This sounds like a balanced trade-off, and while it's possible the entire party will do it, it's a suboptimal choice as opposed to simply boosting traits - which in the vanilla system will be more effective than spreading your points accross knacks anyway.
If anything, having less knacks to dilute them makes them a more worthwhile investment.

If this system would lead to everyone making characters that can do everything - I would agree with you; but I'm not convinced that will be the effect.

Finally, to even further refute this point:
You're acting like this was impossible in vanilla.
A castillian educated character with university giving up on sorcery and a sword school could do the exact same thing already (and it would have been just as suboptimal).
He couldn't increase his knacks after character creation as easily - but from a balance perspective, increasing any knack that's not in a swordsman school, sorcery or defence is a poor investment.
This is, incidentally, remedied by folding them.


2- Player confusion on where a certain skill applies. Can a player get away with using subterfuge when they should be using diplomacy because they lied during their dramatic speech? (and have 5 ranks in subterfuge vs. 3 in diplomacy) It happens with the long list and it will increase here with a short one that has more overlap.


True. SKill confusion happens. I personally think that it's easier to choose between "diplomacy" and "subterfuge" than between "Diplomacy, Sincerity, Oratory, Etiquette and socializing (and more!)".
If dishonesty is a large part of your sell - it's subterfuge.
If it's "I'm so charismatic you want to do this", it's diplomacy.
I think it's a lot less confusing than "I'm drinking with noble dignitaries from court and telling them some minor lies to look more important. Is this diplomacy, etiquette, socializing or sincerity, because a case can be made for all 4. Oh, or I could use a fifth, oratory, at +10 TN by the rules as written.

You've not shown me how my system makes things more confusing as opposed to how the rules were - but I'm not wearing blinkers and will listen to reason.

edit 2: You mention I create more overlap. Reducing overlap was the main intent - I think my example clarifies that, but please point out where you see increased overlap with vanilla & I will happily change things.


the issue of having point sink knacks is not applicable simply because there is not a single knack outside the sword schools sorceries that demands it be raised to benefit anything else. You get a rank of menial task with servant skill, it's part of the package and if you never use it or want more, nothing mandates needing to increase that. If there are knacks nobody is using, that is their option.


If there's a knack that nobody ever uses or increases (and really, what character ever in the history of swashbuckling heroes has ever increased menial tasks) - why should it exist?
'Because it doesn't take up space on a sheet' is a bit of a thin raison d'etre.
Still, neither here nor there - I agree that useless knacks can be take it or leave it.
I'd call them clutter and a waste of everyone's time (and graphite! pencils aren't free!).

Now the balance issue: Even in your list I am seeing new skills/knacks that fold in 6 old knacks (or more) on your list followed by things like "pick locks" that does one thing. If you are going to merge these lists, it needs to be done in a manner that keeps the new list relatively balanced. Even in the listed system, you see players ignoring the ride skill because it offers limited knacks. If you are going to streamline, look to keep the folded abilities level.


Yes!
But that's making one very big assumption.
You're assumption is that old 7th Sea is a balanced system.
It isn't. (I can prove that. Objective number prove you a bunch of ill-thought out decisions)
If it were balanced, folding 6 knacks of the same worth into 1, and then letting another one stand on it's own would be unbalanced; agreed.
As it stands though - I folded stuff that's not mechanically different enough to warrant being it's own thing.
Anyway, that's subjective:
I could have folded lockpicking with sleight of hand and named it 'larceny' - but I see them as different enough beasts. That one was a single knack beforehand, and sleight of hand covers both concealing, picking pockets and prestidigitation still gives them both a unique niche.
If I left Diplomacy with 1/2 it's knacks in, and the other 1/2 out - they'd just be getting in each others way, and leading to that 'long list skill confusion' I spoke about.


but your bigger issue will be in what happens to the sword schools. Players grabbing bigger blended martial abilities will start balking at spending to increase something like wall of steel. worse for the schools that currently offer a general advanced knack like sidestep among their abilities.


All swordsman schools aren't created equal. They're ... what's the word. Unbalanced.
I'm compounding the problem for some swordsman schools, and making others more attractive.
You make a good point, and one I'm aware of.
Again, if I were disrupting a balanced system here this would be a major no-go; but this is a system where a school like Hopken exists alongside a school like Bogatyr for the same HP cost.

I'm actually agreeing with you here - I just don't think it matters much in the greater scheme of things.

Incidentally, Wall of Steel is a pretty solid knack in the right build.

and that means that I have no incentive to earn them so I am going to end up not being creative in my game play. there is no point in it. I don't need to describe anything beyond " I attack him again with Bind." because there is not reward in my taking the time to give you a creative description about aiming to run my sword down the sleeve of his jacket to lock up his blade. If you give the players zero incentive to be creative, they are going to drop into default mode which is just boring and boring games do not lead to happy gamers.

Salamanca, please understand that I appreciate your effort in replying to me. This is an honest comment, and not a snipe at you - but:
A) If my players often got more drama dice than they needed to succeed at encounters, I'd step up the difficulty of the encounters. Nothing to do with the rules. House or vanilla.
B) If I felt the one and only reason my players were being creative was to score drama dice, I'd find other players.

If this situation becomes a problem, there's nothing rules set in books can solve or cause.

the defensive knack issue to clarify my thoughts. I am not planning on getting away with being able to default to stunt as my top rank in every combat. but it.s going to get ranked highest because it DOES cover so many situations that it would be difficult to protect all of those with active defenses if the trouble arises in them. footwork falls second because it is something I CAN control with active defense (outside of firearms). And it lets me get away with being used in lieu of parry anyhow.


I don't follow what you mean with 'be difficult to protect all of those with active defences'.
Do you mean, by having the passive defence - you won't need the active defence?
The entire paragraph is somewhat wooshing me.
Since we might touch upon it - you're aware that Active defence is too often a suboptimal option in vanilla? Unless you really build for it?
(I have a house rule for that! But it's part of the 'not looking for feedback on' bit - it's simple, clean and works rather well, without making building for it too potent).

And as you admit limiting them to only one can be a given rank doesn't even work for you. For that matter, I have had players that opted to play "tank" and specialized in bodyguard knacks at heavy defense while ignoring attack to just protect the rest of the party. This takes that option right off the table.


I'd hate to take options away. I'm looking to create more.
Please explain how you defend the rest of the party in vanilla?

Finally, I'll happily admit to many things. I'm very happy with limiting them to one at a given rank, as it creates strategy without crippling pc's and npc's alike.
I don't like the effect limiting to one at a certain rank has to knack advancement.
This feels weird, and not in line with the rest of the rules.
It's the biggest KISS violation, in a way - and it's counter-intuitive.

Clearly - you and I are coming from very different sides at this; but nerds like to argue I've been told (that's a dig at myself!) but that might be exactly the side I need to hear.
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Re: House Rules feedback wanted

Postby Lady Grace » Sun Mar 15, 2015 2:00 pm

(and really, what character ever in the history of swashbuckling heroes has ever increased menial tasks)


*raises hand*
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Re: House Rules feedback wanted

Postby Findanniin » Sun Mar 15, 2015 9:26 pm

Lady Grace wrote:
(and really, what character ever in the history of swashbuckling heroes has ever increased menial tasks)


*raises hand*


:lol:

And did you ever roll it?
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Re: House Rules feedback wanted

Postby Lady Grace » Mon Mar 16, 2015 10:33 am

Actually, yes...

Valentina is a runaway illiterate Senzavista with no real skills to speak of...except Servant.
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Re: House Rules feedback wanted

Postby Black Jack Rackham » Mon Mar 16, 2015 1:36 pm

Yup I have to add in, that my longest running character Don Miguel Orozco de Torres y Reina del Mar del Castillo also has the servant skill (gained so that he could join the Knights of the Rose and Cross) and has used it (I spent an entire GenCon, 7 adventures, fetching and taking care of things for the other PCs to prove my worth).
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Re: House Rules feedback wanted

Postby salamanca » Mon Mar 16, 2015 2:28 pm

Maybe it will work for your group.

the players I see that are established in the system with experience are going to balk at needing to re-learn what you have folded and how. the new players are going to have no more or less confusion than they would with any new system.

but all I am seeing is a player posting his ideas and rapidly defending them to all posts so I'm done.

but as a GM that has needed to sit down and design several hundred characters using nothing but skills without knacks for the various LARPs that have been run, I can tell you that it is a very short time before all the sheets are identical. and when everybody has the same chances of success, it is far less interesting.
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Re: House Rules feedback wanted

Postby Black Jack Rackham » Mon Mar 16, 2015 3:58 pm

Woops, forgot to address this earlier.

Findanniin wrote:Please understand I agree with the gist of what you're saying - but offering solutions such as "don't give players access to them" & "instead give them problems that they can't fight their way out of" reinforce the notion for me that these knacks /are/ in fact problematic.

I was actually thinking of your earlier comment about not fixing things not broken. See to me, it isn't a problem. I like the idea that a tactically thinking player (who maneuvers him/herself into having a ready action) gets a tangible benefit from thinking through the fight (as opposed to say, just waiting for their next turn to roll to hit/damage).
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kenderleech wrote:If the cows were not meant to be ridden, why would they be so close to the chase scenes?
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Re: House Rules feedback wanted

Postby Findanniin » Mon Mar 16, 2015 11:54 pm

but all I am seeing is a player posting his ideas and rapidly defending them to all posts so I'm done.


That is absurd.
I put quite a bit of effort in designing these, of course I'm going to defend them.
Not in an unreasonable way, I'm finding either - though you're welcome to disagree.

I've taken some points on board, point out the parts I'm not happy with myself and look for more feedback on and give (or try to give) valid arguments for points where I disagree.

Re-reading my own post; I don't think I come across as 'rapidly dismissing things out of hand'.

LARPs that have been run, I can tell you that it is a very short time before all the sheets are identical. and when everybody has the same chances of success, it is far less interesting.


You realize you posted that right after saying you were done, right? :)
Look - I'm not looking to waste your time, but I will restate my previous argument:
The system as it stands in vanilla does exactly this.

http://www.crystalkeep.com/7thsea/rules ... tailed.pdf

Take the average TN of 15 for many a skill roll, and take an established character who invested character creation wisely with 3 in a majority of his knacks, and bought a lot of skills becuase they're cheapest at character creation.
We can for the sake of argument assume this is optimized play, I take it?
(I'm not looking for a 'a real role-player' wouldn't do that debate; the truth is a good system shouldn't punish people mechanically for building a solid concept)
The success chance for the average character on 4k3 (where most of the vanilla characters would be) is 85%.
Unskilled drops to 66%. For /everything else/.
Let me drive that home. Everything else this hero can do that he doesn't have skills in; he can do 66% of the time.

The way I changed it, with skills being a more worthwhile investment (while limiting initial characters to 2 in a trait) means that optimizing play means picking up skills.
A starting character with skills he's good at and actually buys up (despite your argument of my folding, you can't buy up and keep maxed all skills. It's the same cost as the old system - and nobody can juggle 31 skills) will have 73% chance of success.
Skills he's slightly invested in? 50% chance.
Unskilled? 28%.
Skills are more relevant now than they were, but you have to choose.
That sounds like exactly what you want! More character diversity!
Higher trait cap? Blanket 66% success chance.

A valid argument you can raise against this is "That wouldn't happen if players weren't trying to game the system".
And you're right.
...But why not have a system that isn't more complex that can't be gamed so easily?

when everybody has the same chances of success, it is far less interesting.


We just might agree more than you think.

I was actually thinking of your earlier comment about not fixing things not broken. See to me, it isn't a problem. I like the idea that a tactically thinking player (who maneuvers him/herself into having a ready action) gets a tangible benefit from thinking through the fight (as opposed to say, just waiting for their next turn to roll to hit/damage)


Again, I fully agree with the idea behind this, but the truth is that a player who picks up pommel strike & corps-a-corps is simply better armed to create strategic openings for his team than one with knacks such as beat (which is just god awful).
I also like the idea that tactics should be rewarded; and they still are - you still get a very tangible benefit from that readied action.
Now imagine you actually built a character just to counter corps a corps and pommel strike from vanilla.
As in, you literally optimized schools and techniques to beat just that knack.
That's your raison-d-etre. (a silly concept, but bear with me).
Other player wins initiative, hits you with corps a corps, you give up 2 of your actions just to defend but get a low roll, you get piled up on and have no reasonable in system way to not be ... dead.
Or you don't roll low, but are now out of actions to defend and he just does it again next turn.

That's because of one knack. Which has the same cost as the aforementioned beat. Or even worse, horse archery.

With the rewrite to the knacks that situation would look very different. You'd still fail because the dice aren't co-operating, you'd still get a very tangible benefit from your more likely success (no -10 to passive defence).. all the strategic options are still there.
A single bad die roll however no longer kicks you out of the fight and has your player twiddling his thumbs for the remainder of the combat.
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Re: House Rules feedback wanted

Postby Findanniin » Mon Mar 16, 2015 11:54 pm

but all I am seeing is a player posting his ideas and rapidly defending them to all posts so I'm done.


Bah that actually did leave a wry taste.
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Re: House Rules feedback wanted

Postby Findanniin » Tue Mar 17, 2015 12:09 am

Yup I have to add in, that my longest running character Don Miguel Orozco de Torres y Reina del Mar del Castillo also has the servant skill (gained so that he could join the Knights of the Rose and Cross) and has used it (I spent an entire GenCon, 7 adventures, fetching and taking care of things for the other PCs to prove my worth).


See, and that's cool.
Seriously Mark. Neat. Amazing.

And the system should reward that, not punish it by making you sink exp in a knack you will never ever ever ever roll.

Actually, yes...

Valentina is a runaway illiterate Senzavista with no real skills to speak of...except Servant.


She sounds like a blast.
I getcha, this is a LARP forum - things are a bit different. I'm not writing from a LARP perspective though, and if a player came to me with that concept for a tabletop in the game of swashbuckling heroic adventure we'd have a sit down chat about player expectations.
Even so, pray tell;
What were the consequences of failure?

I .. this is tangential, but I have pretty strong feelings about pointless dicerolls.
I'm quoting the Angry GM since he sums 'm up in a nice paragraph.
'. Only ask for a roll if the PC can succeed, can fail, and there is a risk or cost for failure. One roll is sufficient, unless that roll changes the situation. Of course, you can roll multiple times if there is a ticking clock the party can see, but don’t overdo that. And when designing complex encounters, focus on approaches and make sure each approach has at least one reason to prefer it and one reason to avoid it.

I don't know the circumstances, and I can see a scant few reasons why 'servant' should be rolled that fit the bill.
And in most of those I envision, subterfuge (see where my mind goes with when it's relevant) with a handwave penalty or bonus from the pc's background; "The rich girl who never changed her own sheets vs the character who spent a long time as a tyro" strikes me as preferable and at no penalty to the pc's exp cost.

Anyway, that's going into the realm of subjective which I'm happy to discuss - but also won't lead anywhere (unless you enjoy the conversation.)
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Re: House Rules feedback wanted

Postby Rebecca Iavelli » Tue Mar 17, 2015 5:21 am

Ah, but see, this is not a LARP form. We go to conventions, and play at the tables with dice. We do occationally run a LARP at the convention too (so far, for this campaign just one, but another is in the works in a couple of years from now).

I've just sort of half followed this thread, as I am a horrible "rules" person. I help Mark run at the conventions, and most of the time I am "Winging" it. If it sounds good and fun, I usually let the players do it, and see where things go to, and get themselves into trouble they have to work to get themselves out of. I've used many different traits and knacks together, depending on the situation, so why get so determined to change the whole thing anyway? Wing it and use what is out there to use, give them unexpected things to roll, but remember, this is mostly a "Role" playing game, not a "Roll the dice" playing game.

There is a difference in how to use the servant knacks, if being used like the spy knacks. For one thing, how they are dressed. (You character saids that they are going to try to be unobserved, using their servant skill, yet they are carrying a big ol' sword. While the nobles in the house may ignore them, they are not going to ignore the sword, because a servant would not be carrying a sword.) So to me they would have to use the spy knack, rather than the servant knack in such a situation. (Knowing Mark, that is going to come around and bite me in the Ass, the next time I have to use it, lol.)

Anyway, the whole thing is to remember to keep the fun in the game, and not get dragged down by the rules, but to also be constant in how you do rule things in your game.
That's my 10 cents.
Think! - Its not Illegal yet.
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Re: House Rules feedback wanted

Postby Harliquinn » Sat Mar 28, 2015 3:33 pm

I wanted to chime in with how we do Drama to XP

1) Starting Drama Dice never earn XP (Spend 'em or lose 'em)
2) Earned Drama Dice have a chance to become XP if you use them. When you use an Earned Drama Die, and you roll an 8, 9 or 10, you get an XP. We tried to make it an XP towards the knack you used, but that was too complicated and limiting.

John
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