New Erfworld Campaign - "Darkness Rising" - Rules

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Re: New Erfworld Campaign - "Darkness Rising" - Rules

Postby Nnelg » Sat Sep 29, 2012 7:48 pm

What if you had some Luckamancy spells with effects determined by the roll of a die? For instance, have a spell that costs 5 Karma, but then increases Karma by 2d6?
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Re: New Erfworld Campaign - "Darkness Rising" - Rules

Postby WhirdCheese » Sat Sep 29, 2012 9:39 pm

Could I cast Luck Ward on others?

Otherwise it looks good.
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Re: New Erfworld Campaign - "Darkness Rising" - Rules

Postby MarbitChow » Sat Sep 29, 2012 10:13 pm

Nnelg wrote:The caster or the target? Also, I meant for the Luck Ward to be a sort of Anti-Karma sort of thing for both attack and defence. Something you'd cast on your most important units, such that you could control whom gets hit by the backlash better.
WhirdCheese wrote:Could I cast Luck Ward on others? Otherwise it looks good.
For this round, I think I want to implement Luck Ward as a continuous ability, not a spell. That means it only affects the caster, but is always on. There are a number of ways to 'manage' Karma, so if you don't want it hurting your side, keep it positive. I don't mind shielding the Luckamancer from the effects, but if all of the PCs are never at risk, there's far less incentive to avoid negative Karma.
Nnelg wrote:What if you had some Luckamancy spells with effects determined by the roll of a die? For instance, have a spell that costs 5 Karma, but then increases Karma by 2d6?
Let's play-test the new system a bit first.

-----

One simple change I could make to the current system, however, is implementing "Criticals" and "Fumbles". Since most rolls are 2d6, probabilities are pretty simple. We could make 2s and 12s fumbles and criticals (3% chance of each). Once we determine what a normal critical or fumble means, we could then allow Luckamancy to force or negate them. Thoughts?
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Re: New Erfworld Campaign - "Darkness Rising" - Rules

Postby Nnelg » Sat Sep 29, 2012 10:53 pm

Hm, well obviously increasing the 'threat' range of this could be a luckamancy spell... But simply changing 12 to 11-12 triples the range. You might want to think about a spell that changes the crit from exactly 12 to exactly 11, if you need a smaller increment to improve luck by.

As for the effect...
I'm not used to this kind of system, so I'm not sure what would be appropriate. But for crits, maybe simply adding an extra die of damage would do? Then there could be a spell that maxes that die's damage...
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Re: New Erfworld Campaign - "Darkness Rising" - Rules

Postby WhirdCheese » Sat Sep 29, 2012 11:23 pm

I like the idea of criticals and fumbles (I say that a lot don't I?) But what would a fumble do?
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Re: New Erfworld Campaign - "Darkness Rising" - Rules

Postby WaterMonkey314 » Sun Sep 30, 2012 11:32 am

Would crits and fumbles make your life as GM too difficult? The other thing I can see is that their addition would significantly increase the potential variation in results, which might also cause unexpected knock-on effects in balance.
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Re: New Erfworld Campaign - "Darkness Rising" - Rules

Postby 0beron » Sun Sep 30, 2012 11:42 am

This might be an easy way to do crits and fumbles:
Fumble: Automatically misses, regardless of how many bonuses you have
Crit: Damage is only reduced by the unit's natural un-boosted defense, ignoring all leadership, inspiration, and other bonuses.
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Re: New Erfworld Campaign - "Darkness Rising" - Rules

Postby Exate » Mon Oct 01, 2012 11:16 am

Luckamancy as it's currently implemented basically establishes a resource management minigame, where a Luckamancer has strong incentive to Curse friendly units who aren't going to be succeeding at anything anyway in order to build up a Karma bank, and the side as a whole has an incentive to farm low-level encounters that they artificially drag out in order to maximize Karma. The exploitability of these mechanics strongly reminds me of power-leveling in Final Fantasy Tactics, where you leave the last enemy on the field alive, surround them with your guys, and then alternately smack him and heal him until everyone gains like ten levels. It's not quite that bad, but it still actively encourages players to squander time and energy repetitively harvesting abstract resources.

I'm not sure how to completely get around that, except to make it impossible to deliberately gain Karma by any means. Maybe making Luckamancy boosts last a specific number of turns instead of lasting until discharged, would help by making Karma more chaotic and difficult to micromanage- if there are a dozen boosted or cursed units in a battle rolling every round, your Karma will start to reflect your actual influence on the battle regardless of careful control efforts on the Luckamancer's part. That might be overly powerful, but on the other hand since it does already come with a built in drawback and the given bonuses aren't significantly larger than those from dance-fighting or having a good warlord on hand, I'm not that concerned about it.
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Re: New Erfworld Campaign - "Darkness Rising" - Rules

Postby MarbitChow » Mon Oct 01, 2012 12:01 pm

Exate wrote:Luckamancy as it's currently implemented basically establishes a resource management minigame, where a Luckamancer has strong incentive to Curse friendly units who aren't going to be succeeding at anything anyway in order to build up a Karma bank, and the side as a whole has an incentive to farm low-level encounters that they artificially drag out in order to maximize Karma.
Ultimately, boosting Karma costs Juice, but Karma, unlike Juice, persists from Turn to Turn. Positive Karma can be burned to summon helpful creatures or create random encounters. Personally, I don't mind that a mechanic is exploitable if it's not unbalancing. You can't use Karma to get instant-kills or XP, for example. However, I do agree that there needs to be some basic checks on it. How about something simple:

    Karma can't change if the change in roll does not change the outcome of the action.
Units that couldn't possibly hit with a 12 and units that kill the target outright on a 2 don't change their side's Karma score, for example.
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Re: New Erfworld Campaign - "Darkness Rising" - Rules

Postby 0beron » Mon Oct 01, 2012 12:07 pm

MarbitChow wrote:
    Karma can't change if the change in roll does not change the outcome of the action.
Units that couldn't possibly hit with a 12 and units that kill the target outright on a 2 don't change their side's Karma score, for example.

Good idea, but I point you back to your concern about complicating matters for the GM. Would keeping track of this be a tax on you?
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Re: New Erfworld Campaign - "Darkness Rising" - Rules

Postby MarbitChow » Mon Oct 01, 2012 12:15 pm

0beron wrote:Good idea, but I point you back to your concern about complicating matters for the GM. Would keeping track of this be a tax on you?
No, because the success or failure occurs right there. There's nothing to keep track of afterwards. It's just like wards & Hits - there's a tag on the character to indicate they're warded, so when I apply damage, I take it from the ward first. Same accounting idea applies here.

In fact, it's simpler to say that Boost or Curse only triggers if it can change the outcome. So, if both rolls are misses, or both rolls are kills, or both rolls are equal, boost / curse doesn't trigger at all, and Karma doesn't change. This matches the description Clay gave about how (paraphrasing) if they would have rolled a 4 anyway, the boost can last for several turns. This also makes it harder to game the system, I think, but still possible. (Since positive Karma can be used in other spells, I want there to be *some* gaming of the system. And I also want to believe that Clay was a shmuck, and could have gamed the system if he had half a brain. :D)
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Re: New Erfworld Campaign - "Darkness Rising" - Rules

Postby Exate » Mon Oct 01, 2012 12:16 pm

MarbitChow wrote:Personally, I don't mind that a mechanic is exploitable if it's not unbalancing.
My objection isn't to the exploitability of the mechanic so much as the fact that the way to exploit this mechanic is through laughably artificial karma-harvesting, which isn't clever or interesting. It's just repetitive, and demands time and attention on the part of players and GM which, as I perceive it, distracts from focusing on meaningful tactics and plot.

MarbitChow wrote:
    Karma can't change if the change in roll does not change the outcome of the action.
Units that couldn't possibly hit with a 12 and units that kill the target outright on a 2 don't change their side's Karma score, for example.
That helps a little and is sensible.
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Re: New Erfworld Campaign - "Darkness Rising" - Rules

Postby Nnelg » Tue Oct 02, 2012 8:13 am

The way I see it is like this:

Even if Karma didn't exist, Luckamancy wouldn't be game-breakingly powerful. (Or, at least, no more powerful than a +5 boost would be...)

So why should it be so hard for a side with a luckamancer to gain a net positive Karma? Exploiting the system that "should" be zero-sum gains seems a lot more fun IMO.
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Re: New Erfworld Campaign - "Darkness Rising" - Rules

Postby Exate » Tue Oct 02, 2012 11:34 am

Nnelg wrote:So why should it be so hard for a side with a luckamancer to gain a net positive Karma? Exploiting the system that "should" be zero-sum gains seems a lot more fun IMO.
I don't actually have a problem with a Luckamancer leading their side into ridiculous hundreds-of-Karma territory (although positive Karma should probably automatically start using itself at GM discretion just like negative Karma rather than sitting around banked). My issue is less with balance and more with gameplay; at the moment Luckamancy feels to me like it's more of a micromanagement challenge than a fun game mechanic.

But hey, I guess this whole game is a micromangement challenge already. What's a little more?
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Re: New Erfworld Campaign - "Darkness Rising" - Rules

Postby MarbitChow » Tue Oct 02, 2012 12:34 pm

Exate wrote:positive Karma should probably automatically start using itself at GM discretion just like negative Karma rather than sitting around banked
Fantastic idea. Consider it implemented.
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Re: New Erfworld Campaign - "Darkness Rising" - Rules

Postby Nnelg » Tue Oct 02, 2012 2:42 pm

MarbitChow wrote:
Exate wrote:positive Karma should probably automatically start using itself at GM discretion just like negative Karma rather than sitting around banked
Fantastic idea. Consider it implemented.

Wait, this wasn't already? Well, I guess I need to read a bit more carefully.

You should also have Karma (of both types) gradually dissapate between turns. I figure it'd be used on mundane things, such as the cook rolling bad and preparing a somewhat less-than-fantastic meal the night all the lavoratories are being maintananced save one, or four players in a game of poker playing a royal flush simultaneously.
Last edited by Nnelg on Tue Oct 02, 2012 2:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: New Erfworld Campaign - "Darkness Rising" - Rules

Postby 0beron » Tue Oct 02, 2012 2:45 pm

Nnelg wrote:You should also have Karma (of both types) gradually dissapate between turns. I figure it'd be used on mundane things, such as the cook rolling bad and preparing a somewhat less-than-fantastic meal the night the lavoratories are being repaired, or four players in a game of poker playing a royal flush simultaneously.
THIS idea I dislike, one because it's one more thing for Marbit to deal with behind the scenes, and two because it undermine's the Luckamancer's efforts to build up good Karma.
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Re: New Erfworld Campaign - "Darkness Rising" - Rules

Postby Nnelg » Tue Oct 02, 2012 2:46 pm

0beron wrote:THIS idea I dislike, one because it's one more thing for Marbit to deal with behind the scenes, and two because it undermine's the Luckamancer's efforts to build up good Karma.

It's not too hard, simply say that 10% or so of a side's Karma disappears each turn. And preventing a build-up of good Karma is kinda the point...
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Re: New Erfworld Campaign - "Darkness Rising" - Rules

Postby MarbitChow » Tue Oct 02, 2012 3:21 pm

Nnelg wrote:It's not too hard, simply say that 10% or so of a side's Karma disappears each turn. And preventing a build-up of good Karma is kinda the point...
You can only build up good Karma in situations where it matters: actual life-or-death combat, where you're changing the results for the worse and risking your units. I'm going to enforce it on both this micro-level and the macro-level, meaning that if you send off a bunch of cursed scrubs to die (and they would have died anyway), or you send out some cursed fliers to wipe out some warriors (who will eventually win no matter the die rolls), you get no Karma. Karma only changes when it makes a difference.

I don't see the need to put in an artificial method of reducing Karma. I can arbitrarily burn through both positive and negative Karma if I want to. I'd much rather do something like

    "Your side discovers a new mine in the mountains! [Lose 200 Karma]"
then just arbitrarily drain it away each turn, and I think most players would prefer it as well.
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Re: New Erfworld Campaign - "Darkness Rising" - Rules

Postby Nnelg » Tue Oct 02, 2012 4:03 pm

MarbitChow wrote:Karma only changes when it makes a difference.

Hm, well this seems a bit strict. What about that original example you gave, showing how Karma could potentially be managed? And will you also enforce this rule on negative Karma gains (for instance, when a bunch of 'buffed' fliers take out a column of warriors)?
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