New Erfworld Campaign - "Darkness Rising" - Rules

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

Postby MarbitChow » Wed Oct 31, 2012 10:33 am

Nnelg wrote:How about have subduing be a pure pass/fail thing, so if you fail to subdue your target you do no damage at all?
Depending on the type of pass/fail, each method I can think of has issues:
If it's pure pass/fail type (same chance for all units), it's harder to avoid abuse. If everyone has the same chance, then a horde of low-level scrubs can take down a high-level unit easily.

If it's adjusted for level, then we need to create a new mechanic. My preference is to tweak existing mechanics whenever possible.

Even if we use the mechanism that we're discussing (Fatigue damage), and instead make that pass/fail, you run into situations where a unit cannot attack a unit without killing it, but also cannot do enough damage to ever subdue it. I'd rather just make it a cumulative damage type that does less damage.

Nnelg wrote:And instead of damage adjustment, how about just rolling 1d6 on the attack, instead of 2d6?
That ends up being essentially a straight -3 damage penalty over the long run, which negligibly impacts high-damage targets but might change low-level units's chances from slim to impossible. It also eliminates the chance for a Critical Success/Failure Subdue attempt.

0beron wrote:I would tweak it to half damage just for ease though.
Agreed, but not because it's easier. Attacks to Subdue shouldn't be that easy to make, so a 1/2 damage penalty seems right. We could even add abilities that increase Fatigue damage for attackers who wish to specialize...

0beron wrote:The only question left to answer is whether Fire attacks can do this too. I think Marbit's post suggested that they can't, though I could see arguments in either direction so I just wanna make sure.
I think I'm going to rule that attempts to Subdue must come from an adjacent unit (the attacker must carefully control the attack), so while Fire attacks COULD be used, it's unlikely that they would be unless the battlefield is already well-controlled.
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Re: New Erfworld Campaign - "Darkness Rising" - Rules

Postby 0beron » Wed Oct 31, 2012 10:40 am

MarbitChow wrote:
0beron wrote:I would tweak it to half damage just for ease though.
Agreed, but not because it's easier. Attacks to Subdue shouldn't be that easy to make, so a 1/2 damage penalty seems right. We could even add abilities that increase Fatigue damage for attackers who wish to specialize...

Agreed, it's a 2 birds with one stone thing. Its easier, and more realistic too.
Also, I personally would rather that Attack and Strike actions deal Fatigue damage and Fire cannot, rather than the "attacker must be adjacent" rule.
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Re: New Erfworld Campaign - "Darkness Rising" - Rules

Postby Exate » Wed Oct 31, 2012 10:44 am

We're saying "half damage"; how is this calculated? There's a huge difference between needing to attack at half your effective Com score and doing a normal attack and then having any resulting hits converted to fatigue damage. One makes subduing tough opponents almost impossible- the other merely slows things down. I think we're looking at the latter, but this needs to be clear.
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Re: New Erfworld Campaign - "Darkness Rising" - Rules

Postby 0beron » Wed Oct 31, 2012 10:48 am

It means you make a normal attack, and figure out how much damage it would have done. But instead it deals half of that amount in fatigue. I thought my post was pretty clear...
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Re: New Erfworld Campaign - "Darkness Rising" - Rules

Postby MarbitChow » Wed Oct 31, 2012 10:59 am

Exate wrote:We're saying "half damage"; how is this calculated? There's a huge difference between needing to attack at half your effective Com score and doing a normal attack and then having any resulting hits converted to fatigue damage. One makes subduing tough opponents almost impossible- the other merely slows things down. I think we're looking at the latter, but this needs to be clear.
It is the latter. The attack is computed as normal (including all criticals), and the final result is halved (rounding down).

Also, Constructs and Undead cannot be subdued, but I think that it might make sense to make beasts easier to subdue - allow full damage against them, perhaps.
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Re: New Erfworld Campaign - "Darkness Rising" - Rules

Postby 0beron » Wed Oct 31, 2012 11:01 am

MarbitChow wrote:Constructs cannot be subdued

*fist pump the air*

To clarify on the rounding down though Marbit, if the attack would have done 1 damage, will it still deal 1 Fatigue?
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Re: New Erfworld Campaign - "Darkness Rising" - Rules

Postby MarbitChow » Wed Oct 31, 2012 11:15 am

0beron wrote:To clarify on the rounding down though Marbit, if the attack would have done 1 damage, will it still deal 1 Fatigue?
Nope. You must do at least 2 normal damage to deal any Fatigue.
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Re: New Erfworld Campaign - "Darkness Rising" - Rules

Postby Nnelg » Wed Oct 31, 2012 5:49 pm

MarbitChow wrote:If it's adjusted for level, then we need to create a new mechanic.

I meant to say, something like this:

Make an attack using 2d6, with a significant negative modifier (maybe the opponent's combat). If this would do enough damage to croak the unit, it is subdued instead. Otherwise, no damage is dealt.


MarbitChow wrote:Even if we use the mechanism that we're discussing (Fatigue damage), and instead make that pass/fail, you run into situations where a unit cannot attack a unit without killing it, but also cannot do enough damage to ever subdue it.

I don't see that as a bad thing. Realistically speaking, setting up a good chance at capture is just as hard if not harder than actually pulling it off. And in any capture attempt, there's a non-insignificant chance of accidently killing the target instead.

Perhaps if you said an attacker could willingly use a single die on a standard attack, it would alleviate this concern somewhat.
(In fact... Call such a thing a "controlled attack", and the fact it can't crit -in either direction- might have usefulness in areas other than capture attempts.)


MarbitChow wrote:I'd rather just make it a cumulative damage type that does less damage.

Well then, I guess that's your choice to make. If you'd rather have yet another stat to keep track of...

Still, I think that it makes capturing too easy. Just throw a horde of units at a target with orders to subdue, and you have 100% chance of capturing, 0% chance of croaking. Seems to me there still wouldn't be any reason not to always subdue valuable units if you can afford to take the extra losses.
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Re: New Erfworld Campaign - "Darkness Rising" - Rules

Postby Lord of Monies » Wed Oct 31, 2012 5:53 pm

Nnelg wrote:Still, I think that it makes capturing too easy. Just throw a horde of units at a target with orders to subdue, and you have 100% chance of capturing, 0% chance of croaking. Seems to me there still wouldn't be any reason not to always subdue valuable units if you can afford to take the extra losses.


Take away the part where you say this is too easy, and this, to me, makes logical sense. Think about it realistically. If there's someone you want to capture, and you surround that individual, then capture obviously becomes easier. The trick comes in taking out anyone else who might be around who'd be a problem, and then still having the units to surround the target of interest.
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Re: New Erfworld Campaign - "Darkness Rising" - Rules

Postby MarbitChow » Wed Oct 31, 2012 6:07 pm

Nnelg wrote:Make an attack using 2d6, with a significant negative modifier (maybe the opponent's combat). If this would do enough damage to croak the unit, it is subdued instead. Otherwise, no damage is dealt.
Can't use target's combat; there's no reason a low-defense Archer would be significantly tougher to subdue, relatively speaking. It would pretty much need to be defense, so we're looking at an attack that's already similar to a normal attack.

Nnelg wrote:Perhaps if you said an attacker could willingly use a single die on a standard attack, it would alleviate this concern somewhat.
Now that we've got criticals and luckamancy involved, any tactic that allows a player to control whether criticals are possible will, unfortunately, have to be rejected out-of-hand. That would make the crit system way too easy to abuse.

Nnelg wrote:Still, I think that it makes capturing too easy. Just throw a horde of units at a target with orders to subdue, and you have 100% chance of capturing, 0% chance of croaking. Seems to me there still wouldn't be any reason not to always subdue valuable units if you can afford to take the extra losses.
Your points are valid. A mob of units that could have croaked a target should be able to also subdue them - but they'd have to inflict double the original damage, or control their attacks to weaken sufficiently first.

Your argument does give me a good reason to add an additional qualifier: Constructs, Uncroaked, and Beasts cannot choose to strike to subdue. I'll probably add an additional Construct ability so that the Construct ALWAYS strikes to subdue, though it won't be able to inflict regular damage and can't be taken by Explody units. (The unit gets made with padded weapons.)

Heck, we could even limit Subdue attacks to units with Leadership - only they have enough self-control to refrain from attempting to croak. (I don't think I really want to go that far, though - I'm just tossing the idea out.)
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Re: New Erfworld Campaign - "Darkness Rising" - Rules

Postby Exate » Wed Oct 31, 2012 6:13 pm

I don't know about the whole "cannot strike to subdue" thing; we certainly see in the comic that commanded beasts can capture- megalogwiffs do it all the time. It just takes a commander issuing appropriate orders.

And speaking of mobbing... I'm envisioning a swarm of units attempting to grapple, and trying to figure out how much combat stats would even enter into that. The Subdue mechanics revolve around knocking people out, but that's not the only way to incapacitate for capture even in the absence of magic or special abilities.
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Re: New Erfworld Campaign - "Darkness Rising" - Rules

Postby tigerusthegreat » Wed Oct 31, 2012 6:19 pm

I think megalows have a special, though, because they essentially are big gummy nets
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Re: New Erfworld Campaign - "Darkness Rising" - Rules

Postby Nnelg » Wed Oct 31, 2012 9:17 pm

MarbitChow wrote:Can't use target's combat; there's no reason a low-defense Archer would be significantly tougher to subdue, relatively speaking.

Yes there is. He's quick, agile, and trying to stab you with arrows while you're trying to hit him in exactly the right spot to knock him out without killing him. And, he doesn't have any heavy armor slowing him down... Really, there shouldn't be any reason why an archer would be easier to capture than a footsoldier, and factoring in both combat and defence levels the chances greatly.


MarbitChow wrote:Now that we've got criticals and luckamancy involved, any tactic that allows a player to control whether criticals are possible will, unfortunately, have to be rejected out-of-hand. That would make the crit system way too easy to abuse.

I don't see the possibility for abuse here. Rolling 1d6 has the distinct disadvantage of ignoring positive criticals, not just negative; and on top of that there's the effective -3.5 damage.


MarbitChow wrote:A mob of units that could have croaked a target should be able to also subdue them

I think you're missing my point here. My point was that a mob of units should never be able to 100% guarantee capture and not croaked, no matter how big that mob is. It's both unrealistic and exploitable.


MarbitChow wrote:Heck, we could even limit Subdue attacks to units with Leadership - only they have enough self-control to refrain from attempting to croak. (I don't think I really want to go that far, though - I'm just tossing the idea out.)

I think that's probably the best idea, if you insist on using this "100% guaranteed chance of success given enough brute force" approach. Limit it to PCs like you were going to for complex tactical maneuvers like that 90º Bull Rush at the Battle of Dis City.
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Re: New Erfworld Campaign - "Darkness Rising" - Rules

Postby MarbitChow » Wed Oct 31, 2012 10:44 pm

Nnelg wrote:I don't see the possibility for abuse here.
An enemy caster casts Greater Curse on a PC; PC switches to using Subdue attacks instead of regular. Since Critical Failures are a function of level, a Lvl 5 PC could take a -3 Penalty to attack, and have their damage halved instead of taking a -20 penalty to the attack, and burn through the curse in this manner.

But I do like the idea of uncertainty when capturing. Perhaps we'll throw one additional roll on top of a Subdue attack - a single extra d6:

    1-3: Attack does 1/2 Fatigue damage.
    4-5: Attack does 3/4 Fatigue damage.
    6: Attack does full normal damage.
Any time a unit with Fatigue takes normal damage, all fatigue damage is converted immediately to lost Hits.
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Re: New Erfworld Campaign - "Darkness Rising" - Rules

Postby Nnelg » Thu Nov 01, 2012 2:20 am

Sounds like that'll work; playtesting will show if it needs to be tweaked.
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Re: New Erfworld Campaign - "Darkness Rising" - Rules

Postby 0beron » Sun Nov 04, 2012 9:09 am

MarbitChow wrote:The comic has established that foolamancy isn't as effective if the changes being made are observed. Jack needs a flash mob to distract from his casting at Exposition Bridge, after all.

No offense Marbit, but you're being obtuse and stubborn on this one. Jack needed a flash mob then because he was trying to make people DISAPPEAR! That's entirely different. In the case Nnelg is trying to pull off, he is trying to trick the enemy into thinking a Healomancy spell was cast...a spell which if it were real WOULD have a visible effect on the unit's appearance, right in sight of the enemy.
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Re: New Erfworld Campaign - "Darkness Rising" - Rules

Postby MarbitChow » Sun Nov 04, 2012 11:11 am

0beron wrote:In the case Nnelg is trying to pull off, he is trying to trick the enemy into thinking a Healomancy spell was cast...a spell which if it were real WOULD have a visible effect on the unit's appearance, right in sight of the enemy.
Veil is a disguise spell. We're play-testing it now to see how it behaves. While I agree that Foolamancy / Illusion in general should probably be more flexible, primarily what this is showing me is that the Veil spell as it stands is currently insufficiently explicit.

Foolamancers should absolutely be able to make it appear as if other spells have been cast. There's no argument there. But *VEIL* is not the spell that should allow it. It's intended only as a disguise, to mask the unit type until it attacks. It looks like the foolamancer's 'free' spell selection should probably look more like this:

"Veil (0.5 AP for non-foolamancers) : Mask the Combat, Defense, Hits, Move, and Special stats of up to 8 units in the same stack. Units can appear to be any other unit on the same side. The Veiled unit must be roughly the same size as the unit used for the disguise. If units are wounded, Masked Hits lost are proportional to the real damage the unit has taken.
Eidolon (0.5 AP for non-foolamancers) : Duplicate the appearance of one of the following spells : Space Out, Revitalize, Hiya, Damage Ward. Target of the spell is aware that no effect occurs, but other units must overcome the illusion as normal."

Since there are other, better ways to protect Whump in the current scenario, I'd prefer that the players don't try to use what is ultimately a gimmick based on a poorly-defined spell instead of using standard rules.

There are times when I'll allow game mechanics to be used in ways they were not intended, because the wording of a mechanic explicitly allows it. This is not one of those times. I'm not going to allow a disguise spell to be stretched into other uses simply because the spell is poorly-defined.
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Re: New Erfworld Campaign - "Darkness Rising" - Rules

Postby Nnelg » Sun Nov 04, 2012 11:48 am

I agree with 0beron... This isn't a gimmick. It's a proper (and lateral-thinking) use of the spell.

If you don't allow me to disguise hits lost in addition to all other the other stats of a unit, you are needlessly and pointlessly restricting my abilities. Even a level 1 foolamancer should be able to provide short, temporary bits of tactical misdirection, which is exactly what veiling whump as an unwounded version of himself would accomplish.


I'll give you the benefit of the doubt that using veil to disguise wounds wasn't part of of your original vision for the uses of the spell. But have you considered that your original vision was perhaps too limited? That it doesn't have enough room for lateral thinking?

This is different from trying to disarm with a hiya, because a hiya is a distinctly unsubtle spell with a very blunt and obvious purpose. Veil, by contrast, has a very subtle and indirect effect on the battle, and is supposed to encourage lateral thinking. I'm not trying to do something "just because you didn't say I couldn't", I'm trying to do it because it's a logical extension of the effects of the spell.
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Re: New Erfworld Campaign - "Darkness Rising" - Rules

Postby Nnelg » Sun Nov 04, 2012 11:54 am

MarbitChow wrote:The comic has established that foolamancy isn't as effective if the changes being made are observed. Jack needs a flash mob to distract from his casting at Exposition Bridge, after all.

That was only because Jack was using a displacement spell. If Jetstone hadn't been distracted, they would have noticed the displacement occurring and would have known that the units they were seeing weren't where they actually were. That's just a logical effect, not something that is inherent to all foolamancy.

As 0beron pointed out, this change is one an observer can logically explain. The marbits don't know we don't have a healomancer, and they can't see who's casting the spell, either. So, it would make perfect sense to them that Whump just got healed. No need for a spell effect for that one, it's just the most logical explanation for how a wounded unit suddenly became unwounded.
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Re: New Erfworld Campaign - "Darkness Rising" - Rules

Postby MarbitChow » Sun Nov 04, 2012 12:59 pm

Nnelg wrote:I'll give you the benefit of the doubt that using veil to disguise wounds wasn't part of of your original vision for the uses of the spell. But have you considered that your original vision was perhaps too limited? That it doesn't have enough room for lateral thinking?
Yes, as my post indicated, I've already considered that the foolamancy tree is not flexible enough, which is why I've posted that I want to expand it.

Nnelg wrote:This is different from trying to disarm with a hiya, because a hiya is a distinctly unsubtle spell with a very blunt and obvious purpose. Veil, by contrast, has a very subtle and indirect effect on the battle, and is supposed to encourage lateral thinking. I'm not trying to do something "just because you didn't say I couldn't", I'm trying to do it because it's a logical extension of the effects of the spell.
Subtle vs. unsubtle is not a designation that matters when you are designing rules. When rule-building, all that matters is clear and explicit vs. vague. Veil was too vague, and that will be corrected.

Veil is supposed to make a unit look like a different unit. The only reason we're even having this discussion is because I did not include the word "other" in the original spell description. Based on my intentions, this is how the spell should have read:

Veil - Change the appearance of up to 8 units in the same stack to look like any other unit on the same side. +4 FSM. (1 Juice / target)

We're all in agreement that Foolamancy should have the ability to mimic other spells. Where we disagree is whether Veil has the ability to do that. As the author of these rules and the GM, I've stated that it doesn't. I'm open to discussion on how the Foolamancy rules should be modified so that it captures as much of the spirit of the comic as possible, and those changes will go into effect once the new rules are applied to the entire campaign world. What's not open to discussion is the interpretation of the Veil spell in the current scenario.
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