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 Post subject: non-combat abilities?
PostPosted: Thu Aug 27, 2015 1:59 pm 
Shelled Plebeian

Joined: Thu Aug 27, 2015 1:51 pm
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I've been doing some research into OVA. 8) You can thank Lord Raziere at rpgnet who posted about OVA in the two cows thread. I've read the previews and a bunch of different reviews and forum threads here.

Anyway, I'm interested in running OVA with less of a combat orientation. There will be combat, but I want more emphasis on non-combat abilities. Except for "knowledge", it seems like most of the abilities in OVA are combat abilities. :?: Are options such as repair (mechanical, computer, program), programming/security-systems, intimidate/persuade/etc, and similar things handled as knowledge specialities?

:?: Has anyone ran a mystery campaign with OVA?

Thanks!


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 Post subject: Re: non-combat abilities?
PostPosted: Thu Aug 27, 2015 2:58 pm 
Worthy Tortoise

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Okay, basically, the vast majority of the abilities are non-combat or at least have a number of non-combat applications- it's only things like Attack and Combat Expert that are purely combat-centric. There are a whole bunch of social and technical abilities.


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 Post subject: Re: non-combat abilities?
PostPosted: Thu Aug 27, 2015 3:04 pm 
Shelled Plebeian

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R-90-2 wrote:
Okay, basically, the vast majority of the abilities are non-combat or at least have a number of non-combat applications- it's only things like Attack and Combat Expert that are purely combat-centric. There are a whole bunch of social and technical abilities.


Thanks--I assume that will be obvious once I buy the PDF tonight. :mrgreen: I was just wondering because I really only saw combat ability examples.


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 Post subject: Re: non-combat abilities?
PostPosted: Thu Aug 27, 2015 8:23 pm 
Worthy Tortoise

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Tod13 wrote:
R-90-2 wrote:
Okay, basically, the vast majority of the abilities are non-combat or at least have a number of non-combat applications- it's only things like Attack and Combat Expert that are purely combat-centric. There are a whole bunch of social and technical abilities.


Thanks--I assume that will be obvious once I buy the PDF tonight. :mrgreen: I was just wondering because I really only saw combat ability examples.


That's right. As was said above, there are a lot of mental and social Abilities in OVA, such as Beautiful, Charismatic, Companion, Connected, Cute!, Famous, Intimidating, Intuitive, Inventor, Iron-Willed, Knowledge, Lucky, Minions, Passion, Perceptive, Performer, Position of Power, Smart, and Wealthy for example.


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 Post subject: Re: non-combat abilities?
PostPosted: Fri Aug 28, 2015 7:45 am 
Shelled Plebeian

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The Reddest Mage wrote:
That's right. As was said above, there are a lot of mental and social Abilities in OVA, such as Beautiful, Charismatic, Companion, Connected, Cute!, Famous, Intimidating, Intuitive, Inventor, Iron-Willed, Knowledge, Lucky, Minions, Passion, Perceptive, Performer, Position of Power, Smart, and Wealthy for example.


Thanks!

I got the PDF -- it looks great. :D It might be nice to have a mechanic (Patlabor) or Sherlock Holmes type detective as one of the free example characters, so so people know characters like that are supported. I really like the non-combat Abilities--especially how Famous and Connected work. Inventor is awesome. (I've been catching up on Girl Genius lately.)

I told my wife this game seems designed for how she and the rest of the group play. The three women play young women from a girls' school traveling on their "final exam". Their normal method of entering an occupied dungeon room was for the giant water-loving feline-humanoid to throw the little pixie Sprite (who is invisible to mortals) into the room, and have her scout or hit the occupants with a magic spell to start. It started as a "needlessly complicated plan" to match one of the character's Descriptors, but everyone loved it so...

Once I finish my BareBones Fantasy chargen Java program (which is what the above play was from), I'll probably write one for OVA. (It runs in Java, and writes out a PDF.) It doesn't appear that any of the PDFs are still around.


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 Post subject: Re: non-combat abilities?
PostPosted: Fri Aug 28, 2015 8:37 am 
Worthy Tortoise

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Tod13 wrote:
It might be nice to have a mechanic (Patlabor) or Sherlock Holmes type detective as one of the free example characters, so so people know characters like that are supported.


Well, Braun is an inventor which is pretty close to the mechanic archetype, as he can probably fix things as good as he can invent them (Miho the gynoid wasn't one of his own inventions yet he was able to repair Miho after finding her in the trash one day). And Cora is an occult detective at least.


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 Post subject: Re: non-combat abilities?
PostPosted: Fri Aug 28, 2015 8:40 am 
Shelled Plebeian

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The Reddest Mage wrote:
Tod13 wrote:
It might be nice to have a mechanic (Patlabor) or Sherlock Holmes type detective as one of the free example characters, so so people know characters like that are supported.


Well, Braun is an inventor which is pretty close to the mechanic archetype, as he can probably fix things as good as he can invent them (Miho the gynoid wasn't one of his own inventions yet he was able to repair Miho after finding her in the trash one day). And Cora is an occult detective at least.


I was thinking of the three downloads you can get before buying the PDF--Auren, Miho, and Raine.


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 Post subject: Re: non-combat abilities?
PostPosted: Mon Sep 21, 2015 9:58 pm 
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The "two cows" thread is such great fun. I was tempted to poke a little fun with an OVA example myself, but luckily someone took up the slack. :)

In any case, as you’ve discovered, there’s quite a few non-combat Abilities in OVA. You may also want to check out the sidebars on pages 64 and 109 for more suggestions on avoiding the usual combat tropes.

The three sample PDFs were chosen because they seemed to apply most broadly to what RPG fans want to see. There’s a fantasy character, a modern/sci-fi character, and a Japanese-themed character (for the anime influence, and all.) They’re all proficient with combat because, well, for better or worse that’s what most people expect from an RPG. It’s also the source of most of OVA’s “crunch,” so they seemed to show off the rules most completely.

But I’d like to expand the Player Book selection one day. We’ll see!


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 Post subject: Re: non-combat abilities?
PostPosted: Mon Jan 04, 2016 7:31 pm 
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There are tons of non combat abilities. Even the 'combat abilities' like Quick and strong would be suited for normal athletics instead of combat.


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 Post subject: Re: non-combat abilities?
PostPosted: Mon Jan 11, 2016 10:23 am 
Shelled Plebeian

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I always find that combat almost always needs more rules because it's a lot harder to just role play through a fight for a lot of tables. Rules keep the flow of a fight moving, let you know how everyone is doing, and what they can do.

That said, I appreciate the wealth of non-combat abilities in OVA as well. That combat is focused down to so few abilities (relatively speaking) means there is a lot of non-combat that can go into a character and you can still (probably... :mrgreen: ) hold your own in a fight.

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 Post subject: Re: non-combat abilities?
PostPosted: Fri Jan 22, 2016 9:27 pm 
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I tried to condense combat Abilities as much as I could without hampering flexibility. Combat is important, of course, but it shouldn’t require 10 different purchases to remain competitive with other characters—as is common with certain other RPGS. :)

I probably could have taken it even further, but paradoxically too much simplicity can sometimes be hard to wrap your head around. I also wanted to avoid issues like the “Body” Stat in BESM, which requires patching your character with Advantages and Disadvantages to overcome the combination of “strong” and “quick” into a single stat.


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 Post subject: Re: non-combat abilities?
PostPosted: Thu Jan 28, 2016 5:07 pm 
Shelled Plebeian

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The abstraction of combat usually requires a good chunk of pages because it needs clearer rules. most of us know how to argue with someone. Most of us can figure out how a confidence scheme, heated debate, seduction, or spirited speech should go. But how the blast from your time displaced telekinetic cat-girl hero's "wicked awesome cool future lazer rifle" (patent pending) should be resolved against the shadow demon possessed gangster wielding two swords made of dark matter? Well, nothing about that's realistic, so you're gonna need some rules to smooth over the exchange. Hence, a requirement for pages to be spent on combat. Too few, and you have the cops and robbers situation and arguments over who shot who first. Too many, and it can bog down the game. The key is finding the "just right." I think this is one of the games that found that just right (kudos).

All that said, I really like how few abilities are needed to be at least marginally combat effective. And how many abilities simply flesh out the character with tons of fun stuff to do outside of a fight. If you're worried about that, you shouldn't be. It's simple target number or opposed test and best judgement/clever presentation of players, for what can apply to a check. The caps on ability mods are reasonable, but still make for some potent abilities. I think, as a continue to run it from time to time, I'd be hesitant to allow more than two abilities modify a single roll against a target number or opposed (taking the combat abilities as a model), but that's just me. I don't know if that's an actual rule in the game. And even then, I think in the right circumstances, I might allow more then two abilities to play in.

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 Post subject: Re: non-combat abilities?
PostPosted: Tue Feb 09, 2016 2:34 pm 
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One of my major goals with OVA was to greatly reduce the laundry-list-itis common to most RPGs. You shouldn't have to buy 10 different things just to be a bad enough dude to save the president. :)

Capping the number of Abilities you can stack was considered quite a few times throughout me creating the revised edition, but in the end I decided there were too many potential exceptions to make a clean rule out of it. Better for players to roll a lot of dice than forcing everyone to hammer out when two Abilities is a limit and when it is not. (And what about modifiers? Do they count as an "Ability"? etc. etc.)

That said, house-ruling it is perfectly reasonable!


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 Post subject: Re: non-combat abilities?
PostPosted: Wed Feb 10, 2016 2:41 pm 
Shelled Plebeian

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Sometimes I really dig having the laundry list of special combat abilities. (I own a robust collection of games like Anima, Rifts, and Chart, err, I mean Role Master and enjoy them all!) But just not for every game. And as long as the system lets you afford to have those 10 different things with points left over so that you can also be a master chef as well a a former elite navy seal, I don't think it's too big of an issue. Although, sometimes that amount of meh levels to get to someplace cool can be frustrating, looking at you d20 Modern.

Different strokes for different folks after all.

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 Post subject: Re: non-combat abilities?
PostPosted: Sun Feb 21, 2016 2:28 pm 
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Fair enough! I should rephrase that I enjoy crunch when the crunch has a point. If a game itself is focused on the rules, where playing the game and strategizing your level ups is part of the fun, then lots of granularity can be great. It's just when a game implies it's narrative in function but bogs down in minutia that rubs me the wrong way.

(And yes, I had plenty of good times with Chartmas—err Rollmas—I mean Rolemaster. I sort of miss the days when you bought an RPG and got a box of books, as much as I love the hardcover tomes common now.)


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