New Erfworld Campaign - "Darkness Rising" - Rules

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

Postby MarbitChow » Tue Oct 02, 2012 4:13 pm

Nnelg wrote:
MarbitChow wrote:Karma only changes when it makes a difference.
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)?
The original example would not be valid any more if the lone barbarian wandered into a well-defended town. There has to be a realistic chance of units dying on both sides. This will get enforced for both positive and negative scenarios. If even a single flier moves into a hex filled with only warriors, and those warriors have no way to get out of the line of fire (like hiding in a cave), I won't even run a combat - the flier just gets a whole bunch of free XP, and doesn't lose any of his boosts.

Now, if the flier enters with ground units on his side that the enemy warriors CAN kill, that changes the dynamic. How fast the flier kills the warriors may mean the difference between all the allied warriors croaking or living, so now boosts come into play... UNLESS the flier has a guaranteed kill with each shot (in which case the boost still doesn't trigger).

I'm not going to explicitly enumerate when Karma can change and when it can't. You'll see it change when it does. The boosts and curses won't fire unless it makes a difference in the small scale, and combats won't be run if they're guaranteed in the large scale. If you want to min-max Karma, you'll have to send units out that have a chance of losing into fights. Personally, I see no down-side with that.
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Re: New Erfworld Campaign - "Darkness Rising" - Rules

Postby Exate » Tue Oct 02, 2012 6:07 pm

A couple other notes on Luckamancy.

First, the way that Lesser Boost/Curse read at the moment, you roll twice, take the better/worse, and then get a Karma shift equal to the difference. I'd point out that if you roll twice, then the first roll is your original "luck", meaning that it's what you'd have rolled anyway; Karma should probably not shift unless the second roll is the one actually used. It's a micro thing to quibble over, but it makes the spells a tad less likely to cause Karma shifts when they didn't actually have any effect on events.

Second, I'm not 100% on this, but I'm considering whether Karma changes from Luckamancy should be "banked" during any given engagement, and only snap back in subsequent encounters. The way that it was described in-comic, the reciprocal effects of Luckamancy are subtle enough that it appears to units other than the Luckamancer that nothing's wrong, all the more so because the bad things happen when "no one is looking", that is, focused against less prominent units when no important people are with them. That would seem to imply that a blessed unit won't have their enemies hitting harder against them and the people right next to them, particularly during the time when they're still the one blessed. Obviously we can't have it only hit unled units here because we have such ridiculously high numbers of Warlords that the only unled units in the whole game are basically scouts, but we can at least make a token effort in that direction.


Other topics. City management and such.

By the comic rules, having a Manager makes a city gain income rather than having no Manager make it lose income. No real difference, though, so no matter.

The ability lines for city management are powerful enough that I can't think of a side that wouldn't want dedicated city management professionals in their line-up. I would anticipate this build seeing a lot of use:
Warrior/Spearman (Archer)
Level 1: Leadership (bank if Archer)
Level 2: Regent (Leadership here if Archer)
Level 3: Bank (Regent if Archer)
Level 4: Two (or one) of [Comptroller, Logistician, Paragon, Inspiration, Trainer, Instructor] with a bias toward the Inspiration line, since it lets you pop straight-up stronger troops that you can't access in any other fashion.
Such warlords wouldn't be particularly strong in combat proper, but they wouldn't be overly weak- AP abilities only matter so much- and they drastically shift the production capacity and prowess of the city they're in.

Perhaps too drastically. In particular, the Comptroller and Logistician abilities can overshadow the base production of the city they're in completely- and they're no less effective in a level 1 city than a level 5. That strikes me as an issue; perhaps expressing them as a % gain over the base production would be more appropriate, with some rounding rule of course applied?

Paragon bonuses don't seem that impressive... until you remember that Inspiration bonuses stack. Consider a full stack of the following:
Warrior/Spearman
Level 1: Well-Armed, Well-Protected, Dance-Fighting
Level 2: Bank
Level 3: Bank
Level 4: Paragon, Berserker, Guardian
That's a cool +27 to Combat and Defense thanks to AP abilities at level 4. Not half bad- and that's before bringing any warlords into it. Admittedly you need a full stack of these guys to pull that off, and each one that dies weakens the group as a whole by a noticeable amount- but they are nice until and unless that happens, and not overly weak in their early levels, either. Archers can do the same thing, though presumably they'd drop Well-Protected and Guardian and get a couple combat modifiers with their 1 spare AP.
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Re: New Erfworld Campaign - "Darkness Rising" - Rules

Postby MarbitChow » Tue Oct 02, 2012 8:29 pm

Exate wrote:First, the way that Lesser Boost/Curse read at the moment, you roll twice, take the better/worse, and then get a Karma shift equal to the difference. I'd point out that if you roll twice, then the first roll is your original "luck", meaning that it's what you'd have rolled anyway; Karma should probably not shift unless the second roll is the one actually used.
My intention was to have Karma change by the amount the 2nd roll improves the 1st. If the 2nd roll doesn't improve the first, no Karma is generated. I probably could have made that clearer in the examples.

Exate wrote:The way that it was described in-comic, the reciprocal effects of Luckamancy are subtle enough that it appears to units other than the Luckamancer that nothing's wrong, all the more so because the bad things happen when "no one is looking", that is, focused against less prominent units when no important people are with them.
This one you're just going to have to trust me on. Since negative Karma triggers at GM's whim, there won't be an explicit writeup as to how it gets used. Massive negative Karma would overcome blessed units and do horrible things, but if Karma is near zero, I won't by trying to screw the PCs.

Exate wrote:In particular, the Comptroller and Logistician abilities can overshadow the base production of the city they're in completely- and they're no less effective in a level 1 city than a level 5.
Good point. I'm ok with generating the same Shmuckers for lvl 1 vs. lvl 5, since it all goes into the same pool - it wouldn't matter where your managers are. But let's limit the UP production to 1/2 the city's production; otherwise they'd be more effective than a turnamancer.

I think that this bonus UP should count towards the city's base UP, though, so a Turnamancer would multiply both the city's UP and the regent's.

Exate wrote:Paragon bonuses don't seem that impressive... until you remember that Inspiration bonuses stack.
So, from a balance perspective and a "this looks like fun" perspective, is that a thumb's up or a thumb's down? :)
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Re: New Erfworld Campaign - "Darkness Rising" - Rules

Postby MarbitChow » Wed Oct 10, 2012 12:56 pm

NOTE TO SELF: Enhance sections on movement, delayed actions in combat, and rethink cover vs. dodging.
Edit: Add Critical Success/Failure, luckamancy spell to influence ranges, and list effects of artificial criticals on Karma.
Last edited by MarbitChow on Thu Oct 11, 2012 6:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: New Erfworld Campaign - "Darkness Rising" - Rules

Postby WaterMonkey314 » Wed Oct 10, 2012 7:37 pm

Marbit - a rules/mechanics clarification: can I both Dodge and Block at the same time?
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Re: New Erfworld Campaign - "Darkness Rising" - Rules

Postby MarbitChow » Wed Oct 10, 2012 7:57 pm

WaterMonkey314 wrote:Marbit - a rules/mechanics clarification: can I both Dodge and Block at the same time?
Yes.
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Re: New Erfworld Campaign - "Darkness Rising" - Rules

Postby tigerusthegreat » Wed Oct 17, 2012 6:23 pm

How much is the chief warlord bonus? 1/2 leadership rounded down, or is it just 1/2 level
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Re: New Erfworld Campaign - "Darkness Rising" - Rules

Postby MarbitChow » Wed Oct 17, 2012 6:47 pm

tigerusthegreat wrote:How much is the chief warlord bonus? 1/2 leadership rounded down, or is it just 1/2 level
Rounded down. There are no fractional bonuses.
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Re: New Erfworld Campaign - "Darkness Rising" - Rules

Postby tigerusthegreat » Thu Oct 18, 2012 12:54 pm

Rules Question: How does the attack from the explody trait interact with walls and towers? What if the unit also had the siege special?
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Re: New Erfworld Campaign - "Darkness Rising" - Rules

Postby MarbitChow » Thu Oct 18, 2012 2:00 pm

tigerusthegreat wrote:Rules Question: How does the attack from the explody trait interact with walls and towers? What if the unit also had the siege special?
The two types of damage are independent. Explody does damage to units (only), Seige does damage to structures (only). We could add a couple of abilities that increase Siege damage and require Explody.
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Re: New Erfworld Campaign - "Darkness Rising" - Rules

Postby Nnelg » Thu Oct 18, 2012 11:08 pm

MarbitChow wrote:Personally, I want to be able to have large-scale battles like this, but I want them to be able to move more quickly as well. Those seem like cross-purposes, though.
Maybe, instead of being able to give specific orders to each unit individually, make it so that all NPCs can only be given a limited set of orders?
    Attack [Target type 1, Target type 2, Target type 3] - Ranged units fire, melee close and attack at closest target
    Hold - Melee units remain where they are, but attack any unit that comes in range
    Dodge - Remain dodging until ordered otherwise
    Delay - Delay moves and actions until ordered otherwise
That way, there's less incentive (or ability) to micromanage, and special maneuvers (like WH05's tactical bull rush) would require a PC to pull off instead of a random scrub. Thoughts?

MarbitChow wrote:I think I'd prefer something like a "rally" command instead. Have one or two predefined formations for a stack, with a certain square considered the 'rally' square, and allow the stack to move to that new location in formation.

MarbitChow wrote:Even if PCs are leading the stack, I think giving general orders to the stack and letting the PCs dictate their own actions is sufficient. Any moderately complex orders (like the bull rush) would need a PC to pull off, which makes a degree of sense to me.

Hm, but it would also make sense for a bull rushing PC to lead a stack-wide bull rush...

Perhaps you should take this idea further, and expand it to a full rework of the stacking/leadership system. Perhaps even make formation a more integral part of the game. A few basic formations like Line (of variable width and depth), Column, Square, Mob, etc. can be defined in the rules. Any other formation the players can describe in a few sentences without drawing a picture can probably be applied on the fly too (and if you misinterpret the orders, Marbit, we can always assume the troops did as well ;) ). The formation restrictions would probably have to be loosened significantly when a stack engages in close combat with the enemy, though.

This would imply a fundamental shift on the way stacks work, though. By necessity, the units in a stack would have to stay relatively close together merely because they must in order to maintain formation. Even players should be made to keep to formation, or rather be forced to de-stack if they wish to go in a different general direction than the stack they're in is going. (For instance: in a stack that has engaged the enemy in melee and thus has lost its cohesion a player would have plenty of room for tactical maneuvers, but in a line formation they'll need to stick with the line.)

A change of orders for a stack should also require a PC in the stack, or at least close to it. This might require some reworking of the stacking rules so that a PC can attach to a stack and give it orders without booting out a regular member of that stack.


And there's so much more that can be done with such a system.

For instance, on top of standard formations there could be special formations, especially for dancefighting (which should require that a special formation be used for the effect to be had). This is a formation that is well-defined (with pictures) beforehand. A unit with leadership could drill one special formation into one specific stack; setting a new special formation would erase the old one (even if it was on a different stack) unless a 0.5 AP ability which allows for an additional formation was bought by the player.
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Re: New Erfworld Campaign - "Darkness Rising" - Rules

Postby MarbitChow » Fri Oct 19, 2012 1:03 am

Nnelg wrote:Hm, but it would also make sense for a bull rushing PC to lead a stack-wide bull rush...
I should have been more clear here. I meant "Like the bull-rush that was just used in Dis City, in which a lone Heavy ran out into position, then bull-rushed from the right angle. That should be a PC maneuver, not a random scrub. Bull Rush would fall under the normal stack attack orders.

Nnelg wrote:Perhaps you should take this idea further, and expand it to a full rework of the stacking/leadership system. ...
We discussed the idea of formations and dance fighting during one of the previous rules upgrades. The consensus was that it was too difficult to adjudicate, and I still lean towards that. I think formations should really only be for the Rally-type orders. Once units are in formation, if their order is changed to Attack, they move to the nearest targets and attack, or immediately fire, or whatever. This is primarily to simplify orders ("Stack 1 moves to J5 in Line formation") rather than to complicate rules.

That said, ultimately the rules are guided by what kind of game you all want to play. The consensus seems to be that micro-managing large-scale combats is not that much fun, I think. Fun is the only goal here, so that's got to be the overriding consideration.
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Re: New Erfworld Campaign - "Darkness Rising" - Rules

Postby WaterMonkey314 » Fri Oct 19, 2012 1:02 pm

MarbitChow wrote:
Nnelg wrote:Hm, but it would also make sense for a bull rushing PC to lead a stack-wide bull rush...
I should have been more clear here. I meant "Like the bull-rush that was just used in Dis City, in which a lone Heavy ran out into position, then bull-rushed from the right angle. That should be a PC maneuver, not a random scrub. Bull Rush would fall under the normal stack attack orders.

Nnelg wrote:Perhaps you should take this idea further, and expand it to a full rework of the stacking/leadership system. ...
We discussed the idea of formations and dance fighting during one of the previous rules upgrades. The consensus was that it was too difficult to adjudicate, and I still lean towards that. I think formations should really only be for the Rally-type orders. Once units are in formation, if their order is changed to Attack, they move to the nearest targets and attack, or immediately fire, or whatever. This is primarily to simplify orders ("Stack 1 moves to J5 in Line formation") rather than to complicate rules.

That said, ultimately the rules are guided by what kind of game you all want to play. The consensus seems to be that micro-managing large-scale combats is not that much fun, I think. Fun is the only goal here, so that's got to be the overriding consideration.


Another option is to forgo massive large-scale combat, either by focusing more on "Ruins Hex" type things, or by focusing more on small engagements within a hex-wide battle (e.g. hold this critical entrance to the Garrison where the enemy has committed its best troops).
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Re: New Erfworld Campaign - "Darkness Rising" - Rules

Postby Nnelg » Mon Oct 22, 2012 1:46 pm

I think I liked Marbit's original idea better, after all. Especially if stacks without PCs in them can't have their orders changed unless a PC warlord is close enough to give orders directly.


Right, so here's the changes I think would help:

1) Stacks of units must try to stick together if at all possible. They can spread out a bit, (especially PC stacks) but the moment one unit (read: PC) clearly attempts to go in a wildly different direction from the rest of the stack, it destacks. (If an explicit number of squares is required, 2-4 sounds about right.)

2) Orders must be given by stack, and not by unit. The exception is if a PC is actually in the stack -however, coordinate-specific orders still may not be given. (Example: a PC could say "You two attack these guys frontaly, you try to hit that guy's flank, you three move up to those rocks and set up a perimeter, and you delay for now", but not "W02, move to G7 and attack M03".)

2.5) To reduce Meta, Players should refrain from suggesting to other players precise moves unless asked, and exactly how to run thier stack unless they're close. (No official rule for this one, of course; but frowning upon such meta discussion would sure cut down, say, arguing amongst PCs in a tower about when units they can't even see should open the gate and sally forth...)

3) Every commander can only issue orders within his Leadership Range. (Tenetive value = 2, +2 if CW, +2 for Leadership, +1 each for Improved and Commanding Leadership) A stack is considered within a commander's Leadership Range if at least one of its units is within this range and has a clear LOS to the commander.

3.5) If the players want to get clever and use a runner to dispatch new orders, or a short-range thinkagram, or carrier Orlies, or whatever, then it's completely up to GM fiat.

4) Restacking during combat requires that both the original and resulting stacks be in Leadership Range of a commander at the beginning of a round. All units in the resulting stacks must also move to make their stacks coherent at the earliest opportunity.
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Re: New Erfworld Campaign - "Darkness Rising" - Rules

Postby 0beron » Mon Oct 22, 2012 1:54 pm

No offense Nnelg, but I think ur additions are too complex and unnecessary.

1) There's no basis for this in the comic, and is already touched upon by the Formation rule anyway.

2) Also already covered. I think it'd be reasonable that we could give orders separated by type though. So for example, if a stack without a PC in it has 4 Spearmen and 4 Archers, you could command the stack to move in formation, then have the Archers attack while the Spearmen screen/defend them.

3) TOTALLY unnecessary, because it has no basis in the comic and would be just another thing to keep track of (pronounced "slowing us down")
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Re: New Erfworld Campaign - "Darkness Rising" - Rules

Postby Nnelg » Tue Oct 23, 2012 12:28 am

0beron wrote:No offense Nnelg, but I think ur additions are too complex and unnecessary.

Too complex? The point of them is to make things simpler to control, easier to run, and so forth.

0beron wrote:1) There's no basis for this in the comic, and is already touched upon by the Formation rule anyway.

Sure there is. Jillian and Wanda had to destack when they wanted to parley one-on-one. But that's besides the point, which is to makes things more streamlined. I suggested this as a looser alternative to strict Formations. I don't know about you, but for me it's fairly simple to see if 8 guys are going in "roughly the same direction".

0beron wrote:3) TOTALLY unnecessary, because it has no basis in the comic and would be just another thing to keep track of (pronounced "slowing us down")

Can a warlord order around units on the other side of the hex? Not that I know of. This change is actually designed so that there's less to keep track of, since you don't even have to worry about stacks which are out of your leadership range. If you're concerned about keeping track of the different ranges of different units, then let's just make it 8 squares for the CW and 4 for everyone else.
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Re: New Erfworld Campaign - "Darkness Rising" - Rules

Postby Exate » Tue Oct 23, 2012 11:48 am

Nnelg wrote:Can a warlord order around units on the other side of the hex? Not that I know of.
I wrote a bunch of stuff in reply to this, but then I realized that a much more relevant point is that none of our battles are anywhere near hex sized. I don't think our largest battlefield thus far could be reasonably taken to be more than a hundred meters across. That's just not a large enough battlefield to justify significant communication difficulties, particularly in a world where commanders back their shouted orders with more detailed telepathic clarity. If we were fighting on maps hundreds of tiles across I might be interested in following a rules system that needs runners and magic items and what have you to communicate, but we're not, so let's just not worry about it.

Now, limiting the number or detail of orders a commander can give at a time might be more reasonable, but I don't think distance is something to worry about.
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Re: New Erfworld Campaign - "Darkness Rising" - Rules

Postby Nnelg » Tue Oct 23, 2012 4:20 pm

Exate wrote:Now, limiting the number or detail of orders a commander can give at a time might be more reasonable, but I don't think distance is something to worry about.

Fair enough. The only real reason I had for limiting the range of orders is streamlining: reducing the load on each person's mind by reducing the number of things they have to think about.

I understand how you wouldn't want to lose control of things. But the problem is, in this game mutiple players are commanders of the same troops. And a discussion amongst the entire command corps about what to do with the stack of warriors on the right flank just slows things down immensely.

Perhaps it would be better to just forget the range, and instead try to limit "Talking as a Free Action" a bit? Not necessarily by rules, but more of by custom... If the players collectively agreed to just delay if they can't decide what to do, then at least the game can still progress dispite their indecisiveness.
(After all, if the players can't choose despite pondering for several hours, why should we assume their characters aren't frozen in hesitation for at least a few seconds?)
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Re: New Erfworld Campaign - "Darkness Rising" - Rules

Postby MarbitChow » Tue Oct 23, 2012 10:20 pm

Anything that adds complexity to things that I've got to check in order to resolve the turn are probably not going to fly. Validating range limits, formation requirements, etc. don't add anything to the 'fun factor' but adds to the amount of work I need to do to resolve a fight. I think that min-maxing/micromanaging orders isn't fun to most players, and often difficult to communicate. I'm looking for ideas to ease communication to the GM and make the larger fights fun still. My intention would be to have smart units (warriors, etc.) attack/defend 'optimally' (best formations & positioning) while golems / uncroaked / beasts would take more direct routes, and may make mistakes.

Maybe we could allow more units to be in a stack, but only the 'first' 8 units in that stack actually get the stack-related bonuses (Leadership, DF, etc.), making stack positioning more important. Screening rules would probably also be a possibility, but right now, we've got bodyguards & mounts to handle that, so I'm not sure I want to add that and make the PCs all but invulnerable until all other units are dead. I suspect you all may disagree with me on that point, though. :)
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Re: New Erfworld Campaign - "Darkness Rising" - Rules

Postby Nnelg » Tue Oct 23, 2012 11:35 pm

MarbitChow wrote:Anything that adds complexity to things that I've got to check in order to resolve the turn are probably not going to fly. Validating range limits, formation requirements, etc. don't add anything to the 'fun factor' but adds to the amount of work I need to do to resolve a fight.

Well, I don't know what to say, as most of what I'm suggesting is aimed at decreasing said micromanagement.

That's why I suggested merely "moving in roughly the same direction" as the only real formation limit, since I figured that'd be easy enough to eyeball.
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