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 Post subject: Re: Over-the-top Idea
PostPosted: Sat May 20, 2017 4:15 pm 
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Its cool, I like it!

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 Post subject: Re: Over-the-top Idea
PostPosted: Tue May 30, 2017 3:52 pm 
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Malancthon wrote:
For quick reference, here are the min-max values for Health and Endurance per level.
1: 200-500
2: 400-1000
3: 1000-2500
4: 2000-5000
5: 4000-10000


This wasn't quite as helpful as I wanted. With the Frail and Languid Weaknesses and the Tough and Vigorous Abilities, Health and Endurance actually ranges from 10 to 100 points (plus Extras start at 10/10 and Secondaries at 20/20). So here is a better reference table, giving anyone a quick idea of how hardy they want a character to be.

0: 10, 20, 30, 40, 50, 60, 70, 80, 100
1: 50, 100, 150, 200, 250, 300, 350, 400, 500
2: 100, 200, 300, 400, 500, 600, 700, 800, 1000
3: 250, 500, 750, 1000, 1250, 1500, 1750, 2000, 2500
4: 500, 1000, 1500, 2000, 2500, 3000, 3500, 4000, 5000
5: 1000, 2000, 3000, 4000, 5000, 6000, 7000, 8000, 10000

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Over-the-Top Idea: Monstrous/Mecha scale Abilities.
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 Post subject: Re: Over-the-top Idea
PostPosted: Thu Aug 31, 2017 4:30 am 
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Blobathehutt wrote:
Sabersonic wrote:
Blobathehutt wrote:
I like both rules and will most likely use them both in my games :)

If you are, might I offer a suggestion and not make it immediately available to players?
Nothing really screams tension and suspense such as a foe with that high of an HP and that one's prudent and rational reaction should be thus:
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Don't worry I have been thinking about how to do this for a while.


Well, throwing an Eldritch Abomination at the end of your first session is obviously a bad idea unless you plan on killing your party right away, and that's no way to play at all. It's certainly better to build up to that. For example, an Extra character (base 10/10 Health/Endurance) with Monstrous Durability +1 now as 50/10 stats, which is still less than a baseline Heroic character (40/40) while still showcasing how frighteningly more powerful than normal Extras are. A werewolf or alien encounter powered this way would be a wake-up call that 'it's gotten real'. Also, this would be about the right strength for a first mid-boss or even a first session final boss.

A Secondary character with Monstrous Durability +1 is 100/10, which is slightly stronger than most Heroic characters, but still weaker than, say, Shadow Man. This would probably be more appropriate for a first session final boss. At this point, if you want to continue building up using Monstrous Abilities, you should start letting the players access to them.

Damage is a little bit trickier. If you want to use Monstrous Destruction, I'd probably lower the accuracy of them, so that they rarely hit the PCs but if they do, they'll feel it. Or you could delay using Monstrous Destruction with your encounters until the players have gained the Abilities themselves so that the playing field is even. Once the players have Monstrous Abilities +1, you can start treating the encounters like normal, just with MD +1 and having the basics multiplied.

In general, you should slowly introduce your players to no more than +1 MD more than they currently have access to.

You could also designate certain arcs to be of a certain level of MD (IE, Monstrous Abilities of X level are not available until you have reached Arc X).

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 Post subject: Re: Over-the-top Idea
PostPosted: Thu Aug 31, 2017 4:52 am 
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StarRaven wrote:
I've got my own personal beef with these kinds of rules (my experience with Rifts was incredibly frustrating) and I have no intention of ever using them, so I have no interest in finding ways to integrate them. (Other people are welcome to though, if they want to use them together.)

So, the problem is not with Abilities, but how it was handled in Rifts (which then colors your opinion of similar rules).

I agree.

With Rifts, My initial thought was "this is really cool!" And then, later, "This is really unfeasible!"

The problem, which mostly lies with Kevin Siembodia's gaming style, is that many of the encounters are vastly more powerful than the PCs, and it's 'wrong' for PCs to try and match the villains in power. If you happen somehow defeat something like an Alien Intelligence or a God, or the Four Horsemen, it's probably through flagrant powergaming (which is generally frowned upon) or rules lawyering (also frowned upon), and then it doesn't matter since there is a 90% chance they'll teleport away anyway. Slogging through a battle like it was in an anime, fantasy movie, comic book, or video game is just not feasible.

So, it's not the high numbers that makes Rifts a terrible game, just a visible headache, which you've obviously experienced.

Most RPGs avoid the problem by sticking with lower numbers, but it also makes stuff like Godzilla, DBZ, Superman, Final Fantasy, not really feasible, and trying to replicate those things replicates the flaws of Rifts, that having high numbers and not able to deal high damage without cheese makes slogging games that are not fun.

However, when I came across the x50 formula while looking at ways to convert Super Robot Wars (either increasing numbers by x50 or dividing the SRW numbers by 50), I was able to tackle the idea in a way that keeps the mechanics feasible while maintaining the other aspects of the game (OVA in this case).

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 Post subject: Re: Over-the-top Idea
PostPosted: Fri Sep 01, 2017 4:22 am 
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My understanding is that the problem with Rifts was that initially megadamage was for big stuff like mechs which then slowly but surely made its way into player stuff due to power creep (and then, to make it worse, the original stuff that used megadamage was never scaled up to compensate, making for some seriously unbalanced situations.)

In the particular campaign that I played in, the problem I recall the most distinctly was that there didn't seem to be any rhyme or reason to what had or used megadamage -- right up until every single thing we had to fight had it but only about half the players did. Generally I would put this off as bad GMing, but we played a lot of games with that GM and he was consistently one of the best we had. A fluke maybe? Who knows. You're absolutely right that it put me off of similar systems.

To zoom out like... a lot, here:
There is an inherent "flaw" with virtually every modern gaming system in terms of the way entity survivability works (it's not really a flaw, per se, but it's a bit of weirdness that I never really see addressed) and that's that there's generally multiple vectors to take into account. (An actual flaw, though: these are frequently badly balanced or badly differentiated, so that players end up focusing on one and ignoring the others or ignoring defense entirely in favor of figuring out how to build the fastest glass cannon.) Most games have at least two: HP and Defense, and usually add a Dodge/Accuracy mechanic as well. Some games have many more. (Conversely, some games reduce this complexity by eliminating some of these vectors. Monster Hunter and Iron/Jade Claw get rid of variable HP by giving all PCs the same amount of HP except in rare circumstances. Final Fantasy Tactics does away with damage reduction entirely in favor of having all defense go straight to the character's HP. Etc.)

In OVA, you can increase the survivability of an entity by adding more Health, which is what your Monstrous Durability does. But in OVA, you can also increase survivability by adding Defense, Armor, or Resistances. Your Monstrous rules don't really take some of those into account.

Take Armored for example. How does Armored work against Monstrous Damage? Is it applied before or after the DX increase? (Let's say we're looking at MD +3 DX 3 vs up to +3 Armored.) If it's applied before, it's hilariously effective -- reducing a DX of 75 down to 50/25/~12. If it's applied after, it's obsolete. Basically just flavor text now. In the former case, you'd have to seriously redefine what counts as armor, or else a sturdy bulletproof vest could potentially halve the damage of a nuclear blast, which is exactly the kind of situation you're trying to prevent. In the latter, you've (possibly unintentionally) made both an Ability and a Perk a waste of points (and the Low Penetration Flaw, because of how absurdly ineffective Armored is anyway, is now basically just free points.)

Resistance is in the same boat as Armored, except that it has no minimum damage reduction.

Looking at your most recent examples of minor bosses, the only difference between them (a 50/10 extra and a 100/20 secondary) and just adding some levels of Tough and/or bumping them up a tier is the huge de-emphasis of Endurance. That tells me you probably don't think they're going to be using it at all (so they're either playing out their major attacks within 2-3 turns or none of their attacks use Endurance) and it's probably just being used as a minor secondary HP pool. This weakens another one of OVA's mechanics: the Fatiguing Perk. Rather than lowering the amount of times a boss can use its attacks and forcing them to rely on 0 End attacks, Fatiguing attacks are now just regular attacks that have their total damage capped at a laughably small amount.

Meanwhile, you can get levels of durability comparable to low levels of Monstrous by adding more armor and defense to an enemy. Check out these charts showing the average damage for an attack roll vs a damage roll.

Looking at your Monstrous Damage rules, I see something similar -- a de-emphasis of Endurance. What would normally be achieved by adding the Effective Perk (extra damage) is now given for free. I assume Perks and Flaws are calculated before the DX boost -- otherwise with Monstrous Damage high enough, Effective would become obsolete and characters could skim off a petty amount of damage with Ineffective Flaws to get huge amounts of Perks for nearly free.

The way Endurance works also makes your Monstrous Drive Ability, as you pointed out, pretty broken.

So, I think maybe there are still some kinks to work out.

OVA's lack of inherent gear options and extremely informal system of character growth mean that all the characters are heavily front-loaded, and I definitely relate to the desire to implement some kind of rules for that. Actually, that's literally what my next post was gonna be, before I got sidetracked thinking about Fusion. :P This has me thinking of some new ideas as well though....


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 Post subject: Re: Over-the-top Idea
PostPosted: Fri Sep 01, 2017 6:05 am 
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The Monstrous modifier is the last thing to apply, so things like Attack, Armored, and Tough, etc. are calculated before multiplying by the Monstrous modifier.

So, for example, Character A has Attack +2 against a Character B who has Armored +1.

With no MD, a successful attack would have a DX of 2 (base 1, plus Attack 2, minus Armored 1) instead of DX 3.

With MD 1, a successful attack would have a DX of 10 (base 1, plus Attack 2, minus Armored 1, times 5 for MD 1) instead of DX 15.

With MD 5, a successful attack would have a DX of 200 (base 1, plus Attack 2, minus Armored 1, times 100 for MD 5) instead of DX 300.

A character with Monstrous Durability equal to the Monstrous Destruction, takes about the same percentage of damage regardless. So while it seems to be tremendously effective, it evens out the same.

Of course, if a person with MDestruction 1 is fighting against someone with more MDurability, then the scratch becomes less of a scratch. And conversely, even if the DX is lowered, the character with less MDurability is going to take a lot of damage despite their armor (but it might be enough to save the character, or Chunky Salsa goes into effect).

Since the Monstrous Abilities are rooted to the character, unless specified otherwise, the reason why even a light shield is so effective is because of how effective the character is. And if specified otherwise, then you'd have your answer why even light armor is so effective.

Now, I will admit I place a lesser emphasis on Endurance. When I initially worked on the idea, I wasn't fully understanding Endurance's place in OVA, and part of Me debated whether to just separate Health and Endurance to not have them overlap, since that's the standard for most games. In the end, I decided to allow the funkiness of the disparity between low Endurance and high Health as just a part of how OVA is. After all, normal Extras and Secondaries already suffer a low Endurance that cripples them. Take the Fairy fragment, for example. With Magic 1, casting a level 1 Ability is 20 EN, which a Fairy at the Extra level does not have (umm... it's probably a Health 5/Endurance 10, since the Frail -1 makes their Health a bit wonky). As a Secondary, they could only do that once and their drained; as a Heroic, they could do it twice.

When I build characters, I generally go with a couple of 0 EN attacks, figuring if they need a boost, then they can burn EN for either Effective or Accurate (unless the Attack fits having some sort of EN cost). There is a potential for players to spam out EN costs without care because they think they have enough EN to coast through spamming out- that'd require a bit if tinkering on the GM, either adding more encounters (since now the character can go far longer now without being drained), making encounters more powerful (thus requiring the character to drain their Endurance faster), or by restricting Monstrous Drive. It's not quite broken (although it can appear to be so), but it does make it tricky, and would probably be the least used of the three Monstrous Abilities.

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 Post subject: Re: Over-the-top Idea
PostPosted: Tue Sep 05, 2017 5:31 am 
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Malancthon wrote:
Take the Fairy fragment, for example. With Magic 1, casting a level 1 Ability is 20 EN, which a Fairy at the Extra level does not have (umm... it's probably a Health 5/Endurance 10, since the Frail -1 makes their Health a bit wonky). As a Secondary, they could only do that once and their drained; as a Heroic, they could do it twice.

Yeah, I don't find that the NPCs in the OVA book really suit my needs, so I generally don't use them. (I've got a collection of monsters I've been working on compiling for like... ever, heh.)

(Although, for the sake of argument, that fairy's magic could be cast a number of ways -- it could take a round of uninterrupted concentration and elaborate gestures, it could require assistance from more fairies, etc. Since Arcane Magic is buff spells and given the rest of their description, I'd say those probably aren't enemies to be fought but rather potential NPCs to encounter.)


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