Erfgame 3 (CLOSED) - Rules and Discussion

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Re: Erfgame 3 (closed) - Rules and Discussion

Postby Kaed » Sat Nov 03, 2012 6:45 pm

Oh you guys. Am I really that great a titan? :oops:

Speaking of which, update time for everyone! (except Koliup)
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Re: Erfgame 3 (closed) - Rules and Discussion

Postby Koliup » Sat Nov 03, 2012 7:19 pm

Aw man. What did I do to deserve losing all my updates?
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Re: Erfgame 3 (closed) - Rules and Discussion

Postby Lord of Monies » Sat Nov 03, 2012 8:06 pm

As I've mentioned in one of my posts, you are a fantastic and evil Titan. I wouldn't have it any other way.
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Re: Erfgame 3 (closed) - Rules and Discussion

Postby Exate » Mon Nov 05, 2012 4:19 pm

The spellcasting system, suggestions for changes/improvements, and some of my perception of its problems.


Multi-disciplinary casting is poorly structured. While it's clear from the comic that some casters have talent for casting outside their discipline and others do not, there is also indication that talent aside, being able to cast outside one's own discipline at all is a matter of focused study and effort as well as talent; the only field that casters naturally know and intuitively understand is their own. Arbitrary limits that they can spend on other disciplines when they manage them seems like nonsense; juice is juice, however spent; if they choose to spend it on something they're bad at that should be likely to result in a worse effect, or the possibility of error, but not "welp, that's half my juice, I'm done here".

A better way to do this overall might be to reference the caster skill ratings:
-An unskilled caster can cast basic spells with a risk of spell failure/side effects and increased juice cost.
-A novice caster can cast basic spells reliably, attempt intermediate spells with a risk of spell failure/side effects, and attempt advanced spells with a high risk of spell failure/side effects and increased juice cost.
-An adept caster can cast basic spells reliably and at a reduced juice cost, cast intermediate spells reliably, and attempt advanced spells with a risk of spell failure/side effects.
-A master caster can cast basic spells reliably and at a vastly reduced juice cost, cast intermediate spells reliably and at a reduced juice cost, and cast advanced spells reliably.

Each caster will then pop with their native discipline at "novice". If they spend a turn attempting to learn another field, they have a chance of developing a capability for it at the "unskilled" level; they can repeat attempts to learn but each retry takes longer and has a cumulatively reduced chance of success. Establishing capability in fields related to a caster's native discipline is somewhat easier than for completely unrelated fields. A caster's native discipline can advance without assistance during the course of their natural work, but others always require a tutor and deliberate effort to advance beyond "unskilled", and obviously no tutor can raise someone to a level of understanding they haven't yet achieved.

This makes it fairly easy to see why most casters stick to their discipline for casting- they understand it so well they can intuitively work their way up to master level, they probably have better bonuses there, and it takes a lot of time and energy to become a capable multi-discipline caster. At the same time, this leaves multi-discipline casting as something that any caster can roll the dice for if they have time and inclination, and gives casters an actual reason to collaborate and talk to one another- it helps them advance in skill tiers.


Gaining 10% of spent juice as XP resulted in casters leveling far, far more quickly than other units in the other game I referenced. There's just not enough combat to keep other units reliably leveling, while casters have enough juice that they'll advance through the levels fairly quickly- though we see in the comic that casters who are kept at home doing the same sort of casting turn by turn are usually mid-level at best while the casters who are sent to the front for combat, or have major casting projects, reach the highest levels. This is, of course, subject to XP scaling- in the other game it didn't take much to level; if even getting from level 1 to 2 here takes 100 XP then we don't have a problem with caster levels outpacing others. Also, non-casters need training options if casters can auto-level by sitting around. The only other units that do that are supposedly courtiers, for managing cities- and I'm not sure that's scaled appropriately either, or that courtiers shouldn't also gain experience from popping improvements and such.

Since the GM is running the whole XP end of the system, my recommendation would be to wipe that paragraph from the rules document, keep an eye on caster leveling, and handle it manually so that it doesn't get out of control or end up stalling out completely.


On juice scaling, the primary reason that the cap on advancement and discount for spells is needed is, I think, because of the powerleveling thing- correct me if I'm wrong on that one. Ditch the XP advancement rules and use the skill tier system for casting discounts, and you can let juice capacity scale indefinitely with level, like any other stat.


I'm not going to worry about the link rules, because honestly they're a niche enough thing that they shouldn't normally come up.


The spell compendium... I don't think I even need to go into how horrible some of the effects and prices listed in here are. They're wildly unbalanced at best, and the choices of which listed disciplines are available and which aren't are often baseless. Because we're not actually using this spell system anyway, I would strongly recommend that all the example spells get deleted. Perhaps replace them with bulleted lists of ideas for what each discipline can generally be relied upon to do, and trust player/GM creativity from there?
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Re: Erfgame 3 (closed) - Rules and Discussion

Postby 0beron » Mon Nov 05, 2012 4:35 pm

*facepalm* Okay Exate I've said it once before...the spells themselves are suggestions that give a general idea of what a school can do. Ultimately it doesn't matter how unbalanced they are, because Kaed isn't really using them anyway. And I for one don't feel like deleting it and essentially wasting the work of whoever wrote it originally. It's nice to have something there to spark the player's ideas and inspire them. If you don't like it, ignore it.

As for which ones are available, I'm totally failing to see your point there. The disciplines that are not available are all ones that we either haven't seen at all in-comic, or ones that are very poorly explained. It would be unrealistic and contrary to the purpose of the game (faithfulness to the comic) to try and extrapolate them based on our own ideas.

As for the multicasting, I agree that it is structured poorly however I'm not sure your idea works any better. We don't really have any mechanic in place for specifying what the Novice/Adept/Master class actually means, so trying to base multicasting off that just muddies the waters further. I'm personally tempted to say we do away with multicasting altogether just because we know so little about it, but maybe I'll get some lightbulb later about it.

I won't comment about leveling, because I want to look at the numbers in more detail before I agree or disagree with you.
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Re: Erfgame 3 (closed) - Rules and Discussion

Postby Exate » Mon Nov 05, 2012 6:08 pm

0beron wrote:*facepalm* Okay Exate I've said it once before...the spells themselves are suggestions that give a general idea of what a school can do. Ultimately it doesn't matter how unbalanced they are, because Kaed isn't really using them anyway. And I for one don't feel like deleting it and essentially wasting the work of whoever wrote it originally. It's nice to have something there to spark the player's ideas and inspire them. If you don't like it, ignore it.
If we aren't using a rule, it should not be in the rules document. The extension of the "we're keeping them for inspiration" principle is to keep all obsolete and/or terrible rules suggestions on hand for "inspiration"- and that's crap. A rules document needs to be accurate, easily referenced, and as streamlined as possible. As things are written right now, our main rules document- linked from the first post- says that we are using those rules on magic, and that document says that we are using those spells. There's not so much as a disclaimer otherwise in either location.

So with all due respect, you can keep your facepalms to yourself. If you want those spells somewhere, make up a "past rules reference" document or something, don't put rotten food in a sandwich and tell us we're supposed to pull out the pastrami before biting down.

0beron wrote:As for which ones are available, I'm totally failing to see your point there. The disciplines that are not available are all ones that we either haven't seen at all in-comic, or ones that are very poorly explained. It would be unrealistic and contrary to the purpose of the game (faithfulness to the comic) to try and extrapolate them based on our own ideas.
While that appears to be the intent, what's actually written is more arbitrary. Findamancy, Mathamancy, Lookamancy, Shockamancy and Rhyme-o-mancy, all have full listings in spite of being hardly featured in the comic- we've seen no action or explanations from casters of those types, and only seen them used in some modified form; scrolls, artifacts, links, natural effects, and so forth. Signamancy and Carnymancy have all gotten at least as much screen time, and Carnymancy even has a significant caster character and multiple spell effects. Weirdomancy and Date-a-mancy have at least gotten mention and a bit of discussion, so it's not like they're less prominent than say Findamancy is.

There's just no consistency. Given that many of the suggested effects (which admittedly are apparently meant to be ignored?) from each school are essentially without basis in the comic, I don't think it can be argued that we're trying to avoid significant extrapolation here. It would be better to either cut it down to what we actually know, or throw it open to what we have even a little knowledge of instead of this mix-and-match of both styles. Given that we're trying to make a functional game system at all out of what is strictly meant as a story with game trappings, the latter option seems far preferable.
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Re: Erfgame 3 (closed) - Rules and Discussion

Postby Lord of Monies » Mon Nov 05, 2012 6:19 pm

No no no no, don't abolish multi-casting! I'm relying on it so House can do some moneymancy for me in the long term. I think the idea of a tutor of some kind works, or self-teaching based on natural talent, however the latter would likely take longer.
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Re: Erfgame 3 (closed) - Rules and Discussion

Postby 0beron » Mon Nov 05, 2012 7:04 pm

Exate wrote:Findamancy, Mathamancy, Lookamancy, Shockamancy and Rhyme-o-mancy, all have full listings in spite of being hardly featured in the comic- we've seen no action or explanations from casters of those types, and only seen them used in some modified form; scrolls, artifacts, links, natural effects, and so forth.
These schools have had the main core of their function explained. They didn't get much screen-time, but what time they did get was pretty clear.

Exate wrote:Signamancy and Carnymancy have all gotten at least as much screen time, and Carnymancy even has a significant caster character and multiple spell effects.
By contrast, these have gotten a fair degree of screen-time, but have lacked clear explanations. Their explanations have been very open-ended and susceptible to different interpretation.

Exate wrote:Weirdomancy [has] at least gotten mention and a bit of discussion.
What comic are you reading? If we have even ever heard of Wierdomancy in the comic, we certainly haven't gotten anything remotely resembling an explanation.

The one point I'll agree with you on is Date-a-mancy. It's right on the fence between defined and not, however I'm concerned that we lack the mechanics to actually implement it. I have a similar opinion about Predictamancy, but at least that school has applications beyond the long-term prophecies.

But fine, you get your wish because I'm sick of defending the spell list all by myself when it's not even my work to begin with. I hope you like the new version, feel free to go check it out.
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Re: Erfgame 3 (closed) - Rules and Discussion

Postby Lamech » Mon Nov 05, 2012 10:26 pm

If I may comment?
Here is how I would categorize our knowledge of the schools, and possible suggestions for use in a game:
Spoiler: show
Findamancy: Summons stuff. May perform other functions. Let it "summon" or effectively pop new units. It simply requires some sort of juice--> stat conversion.
Predictamancy: Tells us what fate does. Major combat boost as well. Sadly, in a game predictive magicks are a pain in the ass. I would say fate has suffered a temporary failure for the duration of the game. I.E. Not appearing in this game.
Mathamancy: Calculates combat odds. Probably other things too. Unfortunately, to actually do it requires the GM to perform mathamancy. He probably can't do a better job than anyone else. So its a pointless discipline for a game. Not appearing in this game.

Turnamancy: Boosts production, at least of units. I would extend this to other turn based effects. Creates self-powered vehicles. Specifically ones that involve turning. Makes units flip sides. Allows off turn movement.
Dollamancy: Creates units with proper materials and items. Some items require extra special materials.
Weirdomancy: Adds or removes abilities. Flight, growing food or whatever. For a game, I would make a juice to ability conversion. It seems possible to make permanent, but that might cause an increase in upkeep.

Dirtamancy: Builds or repairs buildings. Cost discount. Creates traps. Tunnels. Creates golems. Can make farms.
Change-a-mancy: Heard nothing hear. Either make something up or don't include it.
Dittomancy: Doubles units, production, bonuses or objects. Temporary though. I would extend it to temp doubling of just about anything for sufficient juice. To make more juice it costs an equal amount though.

Lookamancy: Sees stuff in limited range. I would let it defeat foolamancy.
Foolamancy: Veils stuff. Warlords have a chance to break veils, and anything with foolamancy does as well. I would extend this too lookamancy.
Thinkamancy: Sends thinkagrams. Can inflict insanity as a attack form. Creates suggestions, or alters loyalty and the like. (Good for turning units.) Passively gives status of all units in hex and side.

Flower Power: Poison, plants and peace. Stops fighting in hex. Transforms plants and creates the needed materials to grow them. I would extend this to other plant flavored stuff. Controls the domain of poison. All in all a very powerful area of magic. The units it creates are slow, and poison is not quick acting.
Signamancy: We have no idea what this does.
Date-o-mancy: We probably don't have enough detail to include this in a game without making a lot up. It can tame units, and build connections. Probably good for loyalty boosting or destroying though. And turning.

Shockamancy: Stun and kill things. Make it do a very good job, since almost every other group can do that too.
Croakamancy: Animate uncroaked.
Retconjuration: Does not exist

Hat-Magic: Pull stuff out of a hat or make it disappear in the hat. Also create hat related items. It can create particularly good materials for a starting point for item create, or create outright units. Along with its own array of magic items.
Carnymancy: Umm... no idea what this does.
Rhyme-o-mancy: Makes units better. Your magic is better if you have this at any level. People can fight better, spot better, and probably do everything better. Basically bonuses everywhere. Everyone can do this at a basic level.

Luckamancy: Shifts rolls, any random effect it seems. However much it makes a change though goes into the backlash pool, and is used on someone else. (For some things this may require creative use of backlash.) Presumably like with thinkamancy being better than a novice allows direction of backlash. But for simple combat bonuses my idea would be for every battle a unit or side fights another unit or side suffers an equal penalty for one battle. If a side is boosted another side suffers an equal penalty for one turn. I would make the bonuses roughly equal to rhyme-o-mancy, backlash is a blessing and a curse.
Healomancy: Heals units. I would allow a "mass heal" since so many other units have mass versions.
Moneymancy: It can make gems and pop units for a price. I would probably leave this out and say everyone has a fairly cheap way of moving cash about. We could make a bunch of stuff up for a fuller class though.




For multi-casters casting, here is my first thought/ramblings on how to run it, the numbers probably need to all be rebalanced:
Spoiler: show
Each caster has a talent in all schools. 1 in their main school, between say .25 and .5 in other schools in their class and .05-.25 in other classes. You have five levels of skill.
None, crude, novice, adept, master. Then they have skill points in each school. None is 0 sp, Crude is X Novice is 2X, adept is 3X, Master is 6X. (No idea what X should be.) They start with 2X in their main discipline and may occasionally have X in others.. When ever a caster spends time/juice "studying" their discipline they gain a certain amount of SP towards it equal to half the juice spent+XP they would have gained from training. (But no XP or anything else useful.) Alternativly actually using their discipline gains them XP equal to 1/10th the juice spent. Doing this in the MK doubles the rate. Finally all SP gains are then multiplied by whatever the talent of the school is.

Archons and such have crude in their disciplines, and only casters can improve. (Or for a more interesting take you could let anyone gain SP in a school of magic.)

So for example: Sizemore wants to learn flower power. He goes to the magic kingdom, and spends his whole day learning their. Had he trained he would have gained +10XP, and he has 90 juice. This means he gets 100SP, multiplied by his talent of .05. He now has 5 SP in flower power. Unfortunately for him X is 1000, so it will be 199 more turns before he can do anything useful with it.

We need more from the comic to truly now how the classes effect disciplines, outside of a bit with thinkamancy and croakamancy.
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Re: Erfgame 3 (closed) - Rules and Discussion

Postby Lord of Monies » Tue Nov 06, 2012 5:38 am

Considering we only ever play as the ruler, and DM acts as everyone else, I'd say things like mathmancy and predictamancy ARE possible as the DM can make those calculations and relay them back to us via the caster. Predictamancy, well, that could still be a bit hit and miss, but again as the DM controls all, he could make sure that a prediction comes true one way or another.

As for casters being proficient in disciplines other than their own, I don't think there's a need to implement a system and overcomplicate it any further. As has been said earlier when in regard to my Healomancer, him advancing in skill is something that only happens as a result of plot. Levels won't make him an adept or a masterclass. Practical application and a revelation of some kind is what will help him achieve that. We're going for accuracy to the comic after all, and while I can't speak for metheglin as he's not my Titan, Kaed at least seems to know what he's doing and has it in order. When it comes to casters, I wouldn't worry about it at all. It's really not that complicated.
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Re: Erfgame 3 (closed) - Rules and Discussion

Postby The Colonel » Tue Nov 06, 2012 7:58 am

Hey, Kaed, did I forget to send anything?
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Re: Erfgame 3 (closed) - Rules and Discussion

Postby Kaed » Tue Nov 06, 2012 9:23 am

So... who wants a florist? :D
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Re: Erfgame 3 (closed) - Rules and Discussion

Postby Lord of Monies » Tue Nov 06, 2012 9:28 am

Now regrets choosing Healomancer. Still, given the right casters I have a genius idea that I don't expect ever to happen.
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Re: Erfgame 3 (closed) - Rules and Discussion

Postby Kaed » Tue Nov 06, 2012 10:12 am

I think that any sufficiently high level caster can be this terrifying if left unchecked. For instance, dirtamancers. We've seen one collapse an entire level 5 capital city in less than a minute. Barely worked up a sweat.

Have we seen any evidence they can't do the same thing when used offensively?

Walls? What walls? I'm Sizemore, bitch.
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Re: Erfgame 3 (closed) - Rules and Discussion

Postby Lord of Monies » Tue Nov 06, 2012 10:21 am

It could be argued that Sizemore had optimal conditions for the collapse of Gobwin Knob. Beneath it was a network of tunnels, so rather than ruin the entire hex, he could cut down on the work by taking down key tunnels, thus chain reaction. Though a higher level sizemore could probably take down walls with ease, aye.
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Re: Erfgame 3 (closed) - Rules and Discussion

Postby Koliup » Tue Nov 06, 2012 2:56 pm

High level casters in general would be terrifying. A high level healamancer could keep an army topped off while they assault, or hand out healing potions like candy. Perhaps, with their power of heals, they could even delay a unit's healing?
Remember Sizemore was not really powerful, but he did manage to collapse a city. Now imagine what he could do to walls, or heck, even a tower if he got close. Shockamancer+Dirtamancer link up= Land Mines Everywhere.
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Re: Erfgame 3 (closed) - Rules and Discussion

Postby Lord of Monies » Tue Nov 06, 2012 3:03 pm

I wonder just what limits a masterclass healomancer would have. You say he could keep an army topped up, but might that perhaps be similar to Wanda's uncroaking? Something she can do en masse, but doesn't come close to the original stats of the units. The same might apply for me. Maybe House could do a heal spell over hundreds of units, but the payoff might be that he only heals a few hits. Something I guess I'll find out given time.
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Re: Erfgame 3 (closed) - Rules and Discussion

Postby 0beron » Tue Nov 06, 2012 3:49 pm

So......have we lost yet another co-Titan...? I see Metheg has been gone over a week...
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Re: Erfgame 3 (closed) - Rules and Discussion

Postby Kaed » Tue Nov 06, 2012 4:11 pm

The life of a Titan is stressful. One all can handle it.

I guess I'll just have to manage all of you.

By myself.

Yay!

... *twitch*
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Re: Erfgame 3 (closed) - Rules and Discussion

Postby Lord of Monies » Tue Nov 06, 2012 4:24 pm

Looks like auditions are open again people!

Looking for a Titan. Spangely Elvis jacket not required, but does help.
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