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Doc Roc
2011-03-09, 10:53 PM
So, I hope you'll pardon me for being grandiose, but I've something pretty darn good for you guys this time. We're not releasing the beta yet, though we're on track for Friday. But I do have the Player's Brief for you, for A Very Long Trip.






I hope you like horror, murder mysteries, airships, replay value, oblique references, and good old fashioned walls of text.



The Brief (http://tinyurl.com/LegendSC2)Player Cards (https://docs.google.com/document/d/1Ugj0TWHqVYLvSmnDj43UDYW1dwMq46udKzIioa1jOqo/edit?hl=en&authkey=CKzcv6EL#)
GM's Brief (https://docs.google.com/document/d/10cubTVgmDjF5uJKSIJkNCsZ8WVkDeOxsIZfeIYuSsfo/edit?hl=en&authkey=CK7XmOAI)
The Beta! (https://docs.google.com/viewer?a=v&pid=explorer&chrome=true&srcid=0B8lf_LtvhqMlMTQ1MzU4YWQtZTlhYy00MTRlLThlZjI tZDYzOTQxYWFjNGQ4&hl=en&authkey=CL-xzbQI)

Doc Roc
2011-03-09, 10:54 PM
<Reserved>

Land Outcast
2011-03-09, 11:31 PM
Looking good!
Anxiously waiting for the Beta and for the adventure itself. :smallcool:

Doc Roc
2011-03-09, 11:52 PM
What did you think of the player cards? Should I add a direct link?

Cieyrin
2011-03-10, 12:15 AM
What did you think of the player cards? Should I add a direct link?

Yes please, people may miss it if they're not reading carefully. :smallsmile:

potatocubed
2011-03-10, 11:08 AM
Now this looks interesting. Ever play Final Flight of the Santiago, by any chance?

Doc Roc
2011-03-10, 01:53 PM
Always meant to, never actually got a chance. B5 was a hard sell among my friends by the time I was watching it, much less now.

9mm
2011-03-10, 09:30 PM
Always meant to, never actually got a chance. B5 was a hard sell among my friends by the time I was watching it, much less now.

in retrospect, you didn't miss much.

Doc Roc
2011-03-10, 09:36 PM
in retrospect, you didn't miss much.

Really? I adored the actual rules at the time, but I was pretty naive back then.

Thoughts on this alpha, guys?

Land Outcast
2011-03-10, 10:10 PM
Proofread

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Ability scores, random generation:

Roll 5d6 six times. Take the 3 highest dice from each five and add those three together (for example, if you rolled two 6s, a 4, a 3 and a 1, you would add 6+6+4 for a result of 16). Once you have six numbers, apply those to whichever abilities you wish. If you have odd numbers, you should spend 1 from one score and add it to another until you have even numbers for your ability scores. You should make clear what happens with 5 even scores and one odd.


18.
2.2.5 Item Selection

Choose a set of items, tokens, and other commodities from the list given in Chapter 10, subject to the number of wealth units granted by your Game Master (but not less than the minimum number of wealth units listed in the table in Chapter 2.3)There is no mention of "wealth units" in said table.
---

Paladin

Coldfire Ingot:
Lesser Item
Description: A small flame twinkles inside this unmelting block of ice. Regardless, it seems to be designed to serve as a whetstone.

A coldfire ingot is an odd item, possessing two distinct functions, with one chosen upon acquisition. Despite this, only one Coldfire Ingot may be carried.What would be the consequences of carrying another Ingot? would they neutralize each other? Is it neccesary to apply it to the weapon?


The Just and the Unjust (Ex): If your partner has this feature, and has you as his or her partner, you can share the effects of two Lesser or Greater magic items. If your partner is a Paladin, you act during the same turn at the higher of your two initiatives. If your partner is not a paladin, your partner is affected by any one of your Lesser or Greater magic items. Given that the benefits vary completely if the partner is a paladin, it should be worded starting by the benefit to non-paladin and then "In addition, if your partner is a paladin..."


The Quick and the Dead (Ex): If your partner has this feature, and has you as his or her partner, your partner may move up to his or her speed when you take your first movement action in a round. If your partner is a Paladin, you may each take a move action before the start of combat. This preempts surprise rounds. If your partner is not a paladin and is 25 feet or less from you, enemies further than 10 feet from you cannot draw LoS or LoE to your Partner. The wording can prove confusing. By the way, out of pure curiosity, is there any reason why paladins can't profit from the LoS/LoE protection beyond balance issues?
If there isn't you might want to change it to "If your partner is a paladin who has you as a partner, at the start of the partner with highest initiative's round it must be decided one of the two to benefit form the LoS/LoE protection." (Better worded, maybe)


Escalation (Ex): When your Struggle ability activates, any attacks you make against that opponent for the remainder of the round inflict a Fortitude save (DC 10 + 1/2 your level + your Charisma modifier) and add the [Battered] condition. A failed stun leaves the opponent dazed until the beginning of your next turn.
So:
a) the fortitude save is to avoid being stunned?
b) if you hit thrice in a round your opponent is automatically dazed?


Annihilation (Ex): When you charge, add your Charisma bonus to your damage rolls for the duration of the encounter. This stacks up to two times.
Does this mean that you can add your Charisma bonus to damage up to two times? or that you can add the charisma bonus to demage derived from anihilation up to two times?

---
Ranger:

Into the Trees (Ex): Starting at 7th level, as a move action, you can meld into plants, earth, or stone for up to 5 rounds. While melded, you continue to perceive your surroundings and can use spells, spell-like and supernatural abilities, but cannot otherwise attack or move. While melded, you are effectively completely hidden from attack. At any time, you can exit the meld (also a move action) and act normally. The stress placed on your body from the meld prevents you from activating this ability for 10 rounds after you exit. Shouldn't this be (Su)?

Tracking 2 (Sp): Rangers work very hard to identify their opponents' intentions. Starting at 4th level, as a swift action, you can activate a detect thoughts effect on your quarry. This effect only functions if your quarry is within Melee or Close range, and you can maintain the effect's concentration requirement with a swift action. In all other ways, it functions exactly as the spell. The DC for this is equal to 10 + your Wisdom modifier + your character level. "Melee" becomes redundant, I belive... or is it possible to be within melee range but not at close range?

Rogue

Sweeping Scythe: You move through a crowd, leaving enemies crumpled and bleeding on the ground. Starting at 16th level, as a full-round action, you can make an attack roll and move up to your base movement speed. Every 10 feet of movement, you can apply that attack roll to a single opponent within your reach; if it hits, you deal normal damage (including sneak attack damage, if warranted). Perhaps specify if a critical hit is possible or not.


Smells Like Victory: You love the smell of a good firebomb in the morning. Or afternoon. Or evening, for that matter. As a move action or swift action, you can mix noxious chemicals into a vial. You can throw such a vial as a ranged attack (range increment [Close]), and it does 1d4 points of acid damage per level. The chemicals react violently with each other, so any target struck by the vial must make a Reflex save (DC 10 + ˝ your level + your Intelligence modifier) or catch fire (doing 1d6 damage per round until they spend a move action and a standard action to put the fire out).

Once you have mixed the chemicals together, you must throw the mixture before the end of your next turn. Otherwise, the chemicals blow up in your face, and you must make a Reflex save (same DC) or catch fire.

Since throwing a Smells Like Victory bomb is a normal ranged attack, you can make more than one such attack in a turn if you normally could do so. You can also use When to Fold to make a second Smells Like Victory bomb, but you probably shouldn’t if you can’t get rid of it before your next turn.

Nitpick, but might be important: "When to fold" would actually allow for a third bomb (move action + when to fold + swift action).
---

I'll be editing this post as needed

Amphetryon
2011-03-10, 10:17 PM
Proofread

-----

Ability scores, random generation:
You should make clear what happens with 5 even scores and one odd.

There is no mention of "wealth units" in said table.

---

I'll be editing this post as needed
I do believe these issues may have been mentioned in development. It appears the final solution did not make this doc.

Doc Roc
2011-03-10, 10:28 PM
I do believe these issues may have been mentioned in development. It appears the final solution did not make this doc.

A point which brings me miles of frustration.

dextercorvia
2011-03-10, 10:28 PM
Just a minor nitpick. You refer, in the bit about player choices affecting the plot, to the "titular murder." The title appears to be "A Very Long Trip."

I liked the player cards, and the setting info. I rather wish the game were staying in Bron.

Doc Roc
2011-03-10, 10:29 PM
Just a minor nitpick. You refer, in the bit about player choices affecting the plot, to the "titular murder." The title appears to be "A Very Long Trip."

I liked the player cards, and the setting info. I rather wish the game were staying in Bron.

We'll be using Bron for at least two more adventures, actually, so don't worry! In fact, I think Chris has most of one scribbled out.

dextercorvia
2011-03-10, 10:31 PM
We'll be using Bron for at least two more adventures, actually, so don't worry! In fact, I think Chris has most of one scribbled out.

Roc on! I still have to dig into the alpha doc, but I'll comment when I do.

Doc Roc
2011-03-10, 10:32 PM
Roc on! I still have to dig into the alpha doc, but I'll comment when I do.

I see what you did there. I think we have an EL 3 or 4 temple heist planned for Bron. Not sure when that drops. Probably sometime towards the end of next week?

Demons_eye
2011-03-10, 10:50 PM
Ok, this looks really cool. Reading it right now but wanted to post my first reaction.

Edit: I like it a lot but tracks confuse me. I've reread them but I don't understand them or how they work.

Doc Roc
2011-03-10, 11:43 PM
Ok, this looks really cool. Reading it right now but wanted to post my first reaction.

Edit: I like it a lot but tracks confuse me. I've reread them but I don't understand them or how they work.

Improved extensively in Beta, I feel.
But each class is made of three tracks, basically lines of seven abilities with a good amount of internal cohesion. These can be swapped out via feats through a couple different mechanics.

Land Outcast
2011-03-10, 11:48 PM
Good, I went until page 39... any further will be no use for the time being (almost just ran my eyes over the last lines instead of reading).

Seeing the power levels I'm anxiously curious about the monsters' stats...

I might go further at a later time.

Hope it helps.

Demons_eye
2011-03-10, 11:50 PM
Improved extensively in Beta, I feel.
But each class is made of three tracks, basically lines of seven abilities with a good amount of internal cohesion. These can be swapped out via feats through a couple different mechanics.

When do you gain each though? At the level listed? if its the level listed why bother with three tracks?

imperialspectre
2011-03-10, 11:56 PM
The point of creating tracks that independently progress is to open up the possibility of "multiclassing" by trading one set of options with another set of options that are balanced to the same power level. This allows for customization in a way that no other level-based character progression does. (It also allows for predictable balancing, because you can compare tracks with each other and determine how they match up in terms of power - then you know that a Level X PC and a Level X monster actually generally threaten each other similarly.)

Demons_eye
2011-03-10, 11:59 PM
Ok, that makes a lot of sense now. Thanks.

Eldan
2011-03-11, 04:36 AM
I think you got me interested now. I might try to convince a few people to test this on Skype sometime.

Doc Roc
2011-03-11, 04:38 AM
I think you got me interested now. I might try to convince a few people to test this on Skype sometime.

High praise! Oh, and just for you, I added a strong BC element to ranger, as part of making it a more interesting role and adding a soft-controller to our class repertoire.

Eldan
2011-03-11, 04:48 AM
Heh.

Oh, and just from reading the player cards...

This is getting me Arkham Horror vibes. Which is a good thing, I suppose.¨

Are the cards supposed to be handed out before or after people make their characters?

Edit: another thing. As a DM, how does one "get in on the Beta", as it is called in the documents? My players will probably want to do their own characters.

Doc Roc
2011-03-11, 08:24 PM
I favor Tcp/ip, though we could try IPoCP. In short, just ask nicely.

Beta is up! DM's guide for A Very Long Trip becomes available tomorrow!

Eldan
2011-03-12, 12:08 PM
I... don't even know what any of those abbreviations mean.

Gralamin
2011-03-12, 12:13 PM
Good to see these up!. I'll be running it on the 20th, it looks like.

Draz74
2011-03-12, 01:00 PM
Correction to Section 2.2.1: The example of the Level 7 Barbarian with +4 STR, +2 CON needs an additional +2 to another score.

Section 3.1 Intro: I'm pretty sure elves and dwarves can "successfully procreate." :smallwink: I think the question is whether they can successfully procreate with humans, and I fully support the initiative of leaving that up to individual DMs/setting authors.

Also, does the absolution of level-based Feat prerequisites apply to the freely-selected bonus feats of Halflings and Humans?

Barbarian Deadly Presence ability (Path of Destruction): the save DC involves "half your Barbarian level." Is that supposed to be in there? If so, how does this ability work for non-Barbarians who pick up Path of Destruction via multiclassing?

imperialspectre
2011-03-12, 02:46 PM
Barbarian Deadly Presence ability (Path of Destruction): the save DC involves "half your Barbarian level." Is that supposed to be in there? If so, how does this ability work for non-Barbarians who pick up Path of Destruction via multiclassing?

It's an artifact from a MUCH older form of Legend. It should read "1/2 your level" like similar texts elsewhere.

Doc Roc
2011-03-12, 03:40 PM
Re: feat requirement absolution

Oh god no. There was supposed to be a caveat regarding that.

imperialspectre
2011-03-13, 01:41 AM
Okay, so we need 3 plot cards and 2 endgames to be ready with A Very Long Trip. Jake is considering some kind of Vote Up A Plot Card thread tomorrow. Any interest?

Cieyrin
2011-03-13, 11:20 AM
Okay, so we need 3 plot cards and 2 endgames to be ready with A Very Long Trip. Jake is considering some kind of Vote Up A Plot Card thread tomorrow. Any interest?

Sounds like a neat concept, especially since I've offered my services on devising the left over cards twice now without much of an effect. :smalltongue:

Land Outcast
2011-03-13, 12:22 PM
DM's guide for A Very Long Trip becomes available tomorrow! "You need permission to access this item."

Not quite "available" for me :smalltongue:

Doc Roc
2011-03-13, 01:48 PM
Fffffff, fixing when I'm at a full sized keyboard. For now you have full edit rights.

Eldan
2011-03-13, 04:13 PM
Update: seems I'll be getting a few people interested for this. So I think I'll run it sometime next week, if I manage to have a look at everything before then.

Doc Roc
2011-03-13, 04:17 PM
You know how to reach me if you need help. Tell me when, an I can lend a hand with set up.

Eldan
2011-03-13, 04:22 PM
Well, so far, I still need to read the beta and the adventure itself. So, we'll see.

Edit: I had a look at the DM brief and the player brief. Just to make sure: will there be more material for the DM, or do I just take the plot cards and more or less write my own adventure and NPCs around it? I'm really fine either way (as I tend to rewrite everything I get my hands on anyway).

Doc Roc
2011-03-13, 04:34 PM
We'll provide some more cards, and about 5 end games, as well as a couple over-arching plot threads. It's more like an extremely sophisticated GM's toolkit than a normal adventure, but it can be run straight out of the box with no real additional effort. Our emphasis is on freedom without compromising deep support for both player and GM.

Eldan
2011-03-13, 04:38 PM
Good, then. Seems like I'll have to start by writing descriptions of the NPCs and the ship. Should take me a few days.

Glimbur
2011-03-13, 04:54 PM
Concerns with Beta:

The 1/day reroll of a save for Barbarian from Path of the Ancestors at 12th level (Ancestral Blessing) feels a little weak. Have you considered 1/encounter? This is the only 1/day ability barbarians have.

Melee is getting nice things. I like.

Heroica's first ability seems quite strong, but by the time it really kicks in you are at mid levels anyway.

In the Smiting Strand, were Conflict and Scorched Earth intended to stack? I think they do now but I'm not certain. Also Scorched Earth seems a little boring for such a high level ability.

Can Fonts still be placed as a Move Action once I get Icon in the Strand of Virtue?

I'll probably read more later.

Doc Roc
2011-03-13, 04:55 PM
Good, then. Seems like I'll have to start by writing descriptions of the NPCs and the ship. Should take me a few days.

I'll have a couple rough maps of the lithos, if you want it. Like the adventure then?

Eldan
2011-03-13, 04:56 PM
Well, I haven't read much of it so far, I must admit. Only just started having a glance at the DM brief, and it seems still incomplete. So I'll probably read the rules first, so I'll have an idea how to stat things up.

Edit: just had a look at the rules. Between reading and remembering all that, and writing the adventure, I'll probably take two or three weeks, at my current schedule.

Doc Roc
2011-03-13, 11:41 PM
Edit: just had a look at the rules. Between reading and remembering all that, and writing the adventure, I'll probably take two or three weeks, at my current schedule.

Well, if you tell me a bit about what you'd need to better run the adventure, I can generate that content for you. :)

Finally at a full sized keyboard, sorry about my slow rejoinders. Let's talk about individual concerns, I think:


Concerns with Beta:

The 1/day reroll of a save for Barbarian from Path of the Ancestors at 12th level (Ancestral Blessing) feels a little weak. Have you considered 1/encounter? This is the only 1/day ability barbarians have.


I agree. At the time, the balance point was different, and I was unaware we hadn't changed it. A mistake on my part that I'm grateful you caught.



Heroica's first ability seems quite strong, but by the time it really kicks in you are at mid levels anyway.

In the Smiting Strand, were Conflict and Scorched Earth intended to stack? I think they do now but I'm not certain. Also Scorched Earth seems a little boring for such a high level ability.

Can Fonts still be placed as a Move Action once I get Icon in the Strand of Virtue?

They do stack, but scorched earth is pretty boring. I'm curious about if anyone has an idea regarding it? It's certainly strong, just.... dull.

As for fonts, you can still place as a move action. That needs to be clarified.

Eldan
2011-03-14, 04:00 AM
Thing is: I suck at balance and statting things.

As a DM in 3.5, my usual approach consists of equal parts "I hope that they got the CR right on this one in the book" and guesswork. With a new rules system I'm not yet really familiar with ...

When I looked at it yesterday, I didn't actually see any stats for any of the encounters, so that had me worried I had to do it myself. Now that I'm actually mostly awake and looking at it for more than a few minutes, I saw that there actually are. That should make things go a lot faster. Still, I'll write down detailed stat blocks for everything first, I can do something like that while gaming.

I'll also need to write up descriptions of rooms and NPCs, include a few non-plot relevant encounters with them, make up a few diversions, and generally things that make the ship feel more real. Not everything on it should be a monster out to eat you, so there will just be a lot of normal, if a bit weird, rooms.

Doc Roc
2011-03-14, 04:13 AM
GMs only

EL Generic stat-blocks will be included for every monster mentioned. All monsters are 1-20 progressions, so we can actually do this without serious pain. I'm going to be writing up some Lead-In cards, so that it's not the same intro every time, and doing up three more plot cards, and two end-games, probably before tomorrow night.

As for non-deadly rooms, yes, there definitely ought to be a good number. Right now, AVLT only comes packed with three Not Going To Kill You cards, but they're pretty potent. It wouldn't hurt to have five or six more, things of interest that are just a bit odd to stumble across, instead of major finds. I suspect I'll be pretty bombed out when it comes time to write those, but I'll try.

RE: NPCs
I'll try to do up a couple sample NPCs, but the issue is that I don't want to make anyone feel like they have to run this adventure Just One Way.

Eldan
2011-03-14, 04:14 AM
I'll write a few up anyway when I'm done going through all this stuff, so I might as well share them later.

Doc Roc
2011-03-14, 04:24 AM
I'll write a few up anyway when I'm done going through all this stuff, so I might as well share them later.

The digital version of AVLT is CC 3.0 licensed, or will be when it's closer to finished, so feel free to remix, rewrite, add, remove. Unlike Legend which is closed-source for the most part, AVLT is something I can give away at the deepest level.

Eldan
2011-03-14, 05:15 AM
Reading the rules Beta now. Just a small thing:

Leave some space between the header and the main text. Having it all in one block is annoying to read. I stumble over it every page.


And if you only have two rates of BAB advancement, why call them fast and medium? Seems like an odd artefact from earlier editions.

Edit: and shame on you for writing pieces of fluff with so many cryptic and interesting allusions :smalltongue: I'm writing world fluff like crazy now, when I should be working or reading the rules, at least.

And another thing: I'm up to the races chapter now... while I'm aware that you cover quite a bit of this over the bonus and racial feats, I still like my races with more random small abilities and boni. A spell-like ability or skill bonus here and there goes a long way towards giving a race an ecological niche in the world.

Eldan
2011-03-14, 08:45 AM
Okay. I have a problem now.

I generally like your adventure*, but I also dislike your rules system, especially the classes.

Some classes, i.e. the Barbarian, get no choices between class abilities at all when building their characters. They get feats and the option to multiclass, sure, but their abilities are pre-defined. Other classes, i.e. the Monk, gain very few choices.

Furthermore, and this is an even bigger issue, some classes have few if any abilities with out-of-combat use, which, to me, makes them boring. My eyes mostly just glaze over when I read "and another source of +X bonus damage", "enemies take status effect" or "can kill enemies even better". It would mean that in perhaps 75% of all encounters, the character would have few abilities that allowed him to contribute. It's often also not entirely clear how often you can use abilities outside of an encounter**. The Barbarian has nothing here, most others have one or two such abilities. Even fewer abilities look like players could really try to creatively apply them to anything outside of their core intention. Few if any abilities invoke interesting fluff. And, well, who really ever needs so many combat abilities? The only really interesting class is the Tactician, and more than half of it's spells are still boring. I think this:

Minor Image – should we keep this? It doesn‘t do anything interesting. -CAC
says everything. It's one of the most interesting and useful spells in the game, and you are considering taking it out.

This, however, is at least slightly made up for by feats. I really like what you did in your feat chapter, even if I dislike your classes. Congratulations on those, this is what feats always should have been. New things to do, not improvements of those you already have. Some of these, however, look like they'd really need better prerequisites. I.e. how can a character with no previous magical talent whatsoever learn, upon leveling, how to teleport his allies (I'm also not sure how comfortable I am with people teleporting at will. This changes the world around the characters a lot, all of a sudden). Why does The Bitter Dregs give a bonus on all d20 rolls? I fail to see the connection.

While I like your guild mechanic (I'd immediately adopt Planescape factions for this), late buy in seems strange. Your guild training makes you forget abilities you already had? How do you justify this in fluff?

And then, there's a few things that are just strange, mostly with the ranger. Why can the ranger call down storms? Why do I have to multiclass if I want a ranger who is just a mundane hunter? (And not even then, really, since two tracks have such powers). Why do you have to yell certain phrases to use your abilities? (That's just silly, really).

*
Adventure spoilers:
There are a few strange things. Encounters seem to have little or no connection between each other, plotwise. If i decide to run it, I'll have to do quite some work to get them into a coherent whole. I also dislike that, in a few situations, the players are apparently assumed to know their options &c. E.g. in the library: why do they know they can gain ghostwise sight? Sure, I could give them a tome with an introduction to that effect and allow knowledge checks to find out what it's about, but just telling them? No. Sometimes, I fail to see the connection between clue and effect, e.g. in the murder: the players find out: lycanthropic blood, sigil with a true name, a fairy tale that this happened before, the victim was a sage, and is still alive. How, from this, do they determine that it was the two strange gentlemen?

**Example: a rogue can gain extra move actions every so often. If he were carrying a message, on foot, from one village to another, by running all day, how quickly would he get there? And so on. These things are important. Similar for the Sage's Steppenwolf: just how often can you teleport?

Cieyrin
2011-03-14, 10:44 AM
This, however, is at least slightly made up for by feats. I really like what you did in your feat chapter, even if I dislike your classes. Congratulations on those, this is what feats always should have been. New things to do, not improvements of those you already have. Some of these, however, look like they'd really need better prerequisites. I.e. how can a character with no previous magical talent whatsoever learn, upon leveling, how to teleport his allies (I'm also not sure how comfortable I am with people teleporting at will. This changes the world around the characters a lot, all of a sudden). Why does The Bitter Dregs give a bonus on all d20 rolls? I fail to see the connection.


And then, there's a few things that are just strange, mostly with the ranger. Why can the ranger call down storms? Why do I have to multiclass if I want a ranger who is just a mundane hunter? (And not even then, really, since two tracks have such powers). Why do you have to yell certain phrases to use your abilities? (That's just silly, really).

These are some of the things I can answer, as I helped design some of these mechanics. One of the things about designing anything is you can't please everybody all the time, only some people some of the time. So, we designed to a certain theme (heroic individuals gaining powers, often supernatural ones, to deal with the adversity of the world around them) and ran with it. Adventurers meddle with strange artifacts, explore forgotten ruins hiding lost magics, deal with mythic creatures only detailed in stories of long ago and are changed by it. Hence, the track powers and feats that we have. How characters gain these abilities we leave to the individual player to decide for themselves, as every game will be different. If you want to go the extra mile and have your characters apprentice themselves to the last Great Seer of Mount Up-So-High to learn to move people and things without having to physical travel the distance between the two points, hey, cool beans, sounds like a great story and you should run with it.

Going more specifically into things, The Bitter Dregs represents sobriety's clear vision. Call it a vow of abstinence from alcohol or whatever, it's basically the character gaining confidence through their will. Same deal with the Ranger, she's one with the land and draws power from it to defend her friends and goals. I'm sorry you dislike what we did with the Ranger between Alpha and Beta but we felt it provided more options for the Ranger, as it was our weakest class at the time. The track we replaced will be back as feats, hopefully fairly soon. If I'm remembering right, you can remove more than one track through multiclassing and pursuing the right guild so that, if you want to completely change your ranger into a mundane hunter, you can.

Finally, I don't recall requiring Calling out your Attacks. That's just the names and fluff. As always when it comes to fluff, feel free to ignore it or substitute your own, won't hurt our feelings any that you came up with something cooler. :smalltongue:

imperialspectre
2011-03-14, 12:04 PM
Eldan,

I started writing an epic wall of text that would try to address every line of your post, but that seemed argumentative and I really don't want to argue with people who are providing feedback. So I'm going to try to write an explanation that will hopefully set us up for more of a dialogue.

First off, tying out-of-combat ability to class features is, in our opinion, a Bad Idea. It's fairly intuitive that different character classes will not have the same abilities; that being the case, locking out-of-combat ability to specific classes means that other classes are effectively locked out of that ability. That's a terrible design decision, because it means that characters actually are either exclusively capable of dealing with an out-of-combat situation, or they're completely incapable of dealing with an out-of-combat decision.

Instead, we chose to link out-of-combat utility almost exclusively to skill use, while heavily condensing skills so that a 3- to 5-character party would reasonably have all of them. We think that this makes out-of-combat utility much more useful, and additionally spreads it out among characters so that no one character is the One True Answer to all of your game's out-of-combat needs.

Second, there is exactly one thing that D&D-type games always include, regardless of GM and players: Combat. At the very least, if your group's sessions don't consistently include combat encounters, you're insane to be playing D&D, or Pathfinder, or Legend, or any other similar system. So we wrote classes that focus on combat, and wrote subsystems that give out-of-combat abilities.

Third, it's important to note that Legend spellcasters are much less flexible than, say, 3.x spellcasters, because all Legend spellcasters get a total of 20 spells known over 20 levels. That's why spells like Minor Image, which is a terrible ability that is strictly inferior to, say, Silent Image + Ghost Sound*, aren't included. It might come back at some point, but it would definitely be rewritten to at least allow for distinct sounds including actual words.

Fourth, if we say "per encounter," it means "5 minute cooldown" when you're out of combat. I would have sworn that was in the current document, but now I can't find it anywhere, so that will definitely go in the next update.

Fifth, and finally for now, don't consider late buy-in "training." Late buy-in is a terrible ceremony that burns away some of your being to make space for the essence of a dragon, or magitech brain surgery that replaces your swordfighting skills with the ability to shoot fireballs out of your arse. It's not a training montage.**

* I'm going to write a feat or three that gives a couple of thematically-linked 3.x cantrips as at-will SLAs. Ghost Sound + Dancing Lights would definitely be a feat.

** Groups still have the right to decide that track-switching is accomplished via training montage, of course. I just don't conceptualize it that way, and am not planning to include it in the guild fluff that we're working on.

Eldan
2011-03-14, 01:38 PM
Well, I'll just try to justify my opinions here...

I think that certain out of combat abilities should be tied to class archetypes. That does not mean that, as in 3.5 core, some classes should have them and others shouldn't. But your track system seems, to me, predestined, to make, as an example, one track the utility track, to borrow a term from 4E. Every class should have some out-of-combat powers tied to it's archetype, but a magician has entirely different ones from a rogue. Almost all of the magic I saw in your system was entirely tied to combat, as an example. If I play a mage, I usually try to limit myself mostly to versatile powers. And, well... most characters have half a dozen or more class features that boil down to "I hit that guy", "I hit that guy harder", "I hit that guy and deal a status effect" and "I hit several guys". Does anyone ever need more than one or two of those in a normal adventure?

And no, not all 3.5 games include combat. I'm entirely comfortable and able to run long 3.5 games with no combat at all. There is the chance of combat, but if the characters can intimidate the bandits, bribe the guards and sneak around the watchmen, they can easily go to an adventure or two without ever drawing their weapons. I try to think of at least two or three ways every encounter could be solved without combat whenever I plan for a session and a few ways the encounter could not even come at all. And the players usually find more. 3.5 is a perfectly useful system for this, but I'm reasonably sure Legend wouldn't do this as easily.

Furthermore, I have read the adventure now, and having actually finished the document, I'm now much less convinced I actually want to (or could) run it, without copious amounts of rewriting and preparation. It seems more like a collection of plot hooks than anything.

Details, and spoilers:

Most things that occur in the adventure don't seem to have any reasons for happening, and the few NPCs described don't seem to actually have any described motivation.
Example: the murder and the two strange gentlemen. Who was that sage? Why was he killed? How can he survive it? What's the connection from there to lycanthropy, which shows up all over the encounter? How can the characters connect the murder to the two strange gentlemen, if they actually did it? Why should they fight them? What was the two's motivation? What are they? Why did they do it?
This goes for a lot of encounters. What are these phenomena? Why do they occur? What exactly is this airship flying through, that there are so many monsters? Why are the PCs, a few times, exempt from them while everyone else is affected? What's up with the ship's engine, that it is connected to so many plots?
Yes, I could write all of this for myself, but at that point, there wouldn't be much of the original adventure left.

Doc Roc
2011-03-14, 01:54 PM
A lot of that will be written, some of that is part of the surreal horror genre. And if you could edit that into spoilers, I'd be grateful.

Eldan
2011-03-14, 02:00 PM
Gah, sorry. I keep hitting the quote instead of the spoiler button.

Doc Roc
2011-03-14, 02:14 PM
I don't much like to talk about these things.

I'm not a big pie in the sky guy, but I'll be perfectly blunt. I think it is truly a travesty to have a rogue class, to make this someone's lot in the game when everyone else gets to play what they want. I think I've gotten almost 20 e-mails or phone messages that sound something like:

"Well, it looks like we don't have a skill-monkey, Jake, so the players and I talked about it, and you have the least background in your char, so you should roll one, okay?"

Legend means never getting that e-mail again. Legend means a chance to play a paladin with stealth. Legend means a social skill system that isn't an absolute abomination. One thing I will not do is create a character class that is deeply superior to all the others when it comes to their skill load outs.

The last four times I've played 3.x, I rolled a bard or a factotum, because I knew that my fellow players would Play-What-We-Want, and we wouldn't have a good skill spread. This is truly not excellent.


On Ranger:
The original ranger was supernatural without ACFs from outside of core. Our ranger can become mundane with a single track swap, via guild initiation or another of the mechanisms available. The storms are there because I couldn't think of a compelling mundane description for a 10 second long area-of-effect. I'm trying to simulate covering fire, but you can't do covering fire with a bow, or a musket, so I opted for a magical effect.

Why?
It's more interesting, has deeper combat implications than bonus damage, gives the class a chance to do something other than hit things, and lets you call down lightning, which is surprisingly useful out of combat.

Why then?
It's approximately the level that the original ranger got a bit SPOOOOoooOOooOOky with its powers, all up in the eldritch, all singing songs of war to trees.

Eldan
2011-03-14, 02:19 PM
I don't quite follow, really.

You had to play a bard so that your friends could play what they wanted? Why? What? I don't see the connection.

Of course you can play a Paladin with stealth, if you want. What's the problem with doing that in 3.5?

Doc Roc
2011-03-14, 02:20 PM
I don't quite follow, really.

You had to play a bard so that your friends could play what they wanted? Why? What? I don't see the connection.


Because what they wanted didn't bring any of the supposedly-essential skills, and sometimes people don't really like it when you disassemble their entire dungeon with a wizard.



Of course you can play a Paladin with stealth, if you want. What's the problem with doing that in 3.5?

You'd be cross-classing two skills, dude. I don't mean a paladin who role-plays stealth. I mean a paladin who has mechanical support for his character concept at a deep and pervasive level.

Eldan
2011-03-14, 02:23 PM
Spend a feat, get an ACF, get a bloodline, join a faction, get a background, multiclass, ask the DM if you can have it as a class skill or just buy it as cross-class? It's perfectly possible.

And still: why can't you play what you want? How can your colleagues force you to play some class?


Edit: why would the party need any one skill? Everything is replaceable. It means that often, one solution to a problem is more difficult, that doesn't mean you can't adventure with a party consisting of four rangers.

Doc Roc
2011-03-14, 02:29 PM
Spend a feat, get an ACF, get a bloodline, join a faction, get a background, multiclass, ask the DM if you can have it as a class skill or just buy it as cross-class? It's perfectly possible.



Sure, but none of these were in core, all of them involve resource expenditure, and getting both move silently and hide as skills is really hard. Trust me. Buying cross-class on a skill-weak character with no incentive to pick up Int?

If we're asking the GM for things, then we're no longer really talking about the original situation. I'm fine with it, and you can and should do it. But don't tell me that the game natively supports it well.


As for skills that weren't replaceable:
Most of the knowledge skills. Diplomacy. Depending on how clever your GM is, detect\disarm. Not every trap can safely have an elemental tossed into it.


Edit:

Can a party of four rangers kill a hezrou when they're appropriately leveled?

Eldan
2011-03-14, 02:34 PM
Don't go into something that's trapped if you don't have disarm? Bribe a guard to tell you were the traps are? Find out how the inhabitant gets past the traps and use the same way? Take another way? Wait for someone to come out of the trapped structure and ambush them there?
Don't fight a Hezrou if you can't take it? I mean, a Hezrou is an intelligent creature, it can be bribed. You can make a deal with it, or get an Eladrin on it's tail. You can call the nearest paladin order for help. You can sneak past it, if you are all rangers (who would have stealth).

As for "not in core"... probably true. I wouldn't really know, I've never run a core game. Factions were always in, I mean, I read fluff articles before I ever got my hands on the game rules.

Doc Roc
2011-03-14, 02:35 PM
Don't go into something that's trapped if you don't have disarm? Don't fight a Hezrou if you can't take it? I mean, a Hezrou is an intelligent creature, it can be bribed. You can make a deal with it, or get an Eladrin on it's tail.


As for "not in core"... probably true. I wouldn't really know, I've never run a core game. Factions were always in, I mean, I read fluff articles before I ever got my hands on the game rules.

:: nods :: But consider right now, that we've only got core. There will be expansions, and we're going to try and address a lot of these concerns. One problem is that... honestly? I agree with some of your concerns, and I worry about them constantly.

As for the alternative solutions, I would argue that Legend supports them better and more deeply than 3.x does.

Factions didn't originally give mechanical benefits, though, E.

As for the rangers, nope, they're probably screwed:
Hezrous are chaotic, and malevolent. A bad combination when it comes to bargaining.
Hezrous are one of the few monsters with solid capabilities regarding detection, and the ability to summon monsters with superior detection options.
Hezrous are more than capable of brutally murdering any roughly equivalent eladrin.

Eldan
2011-03-14, 02:39 PM
Mhm. Well, in that case, I'll keep an eye on this project and look if anything interesting (for me) comes from it.

It's just... currently, it seems incredibly combat focused. And for me, combat is neither a goal nor a preferred solution. It's what happens when the PCs have exhausted all their other ideas and failed.

Doc Roc
2011-03-14, 02:39 PM
Mhm. Well, in that case, I'll keep an eye on this project and look if anything interesting (for me) comes from it.

It's just... currently, it seems incredibly combat focused. And for me, combat is neither a goal nor a preferred solution. It's what happens when the PCs have exhausted all their other ideas and failed.

And yet the skill system is about twice as broad as 3.x. Classes are combat focused. Skills are broad, and powerful, with deep coverage for wide-ranging non-tactical solutions.

I can't make you like the system, but I can beg you to see it our way for a moment.

Eldan
2011-03-14, 02:42 PM
That may well be the case, but...

Characters seem, to me, bloated with combat options. I really, really tried to read everything in the beta, but about halfways through the class chapter, I stopped and continued only by reading ability names and then glancing over what they did. For me, it all blurred together into a mass of attack powers.

And of course Factions give mechanical benefits. They already did that in 2E. Additional nonweapon proficiencies. Weapon proficiencies. Additional powers. Spell-like abilities. And so on.

Yes, the skill system is probably better. Agreed. It's just, well... I don't want to build characters with 20 combat options. Those just feel superfluous.

Doc Roc
2011-03-14, 02:44 PM
That may well be the case, but...

Characters seem, to me, bloated with combat options. I really, really tried to read everything in the beta, but about halfways through the class chapter, I stopped and continued only by reading ability names and then glancing over what they did. For me, it all blurred together into a mass of attack powers.

And of course Factions give mechanical benefits. They already did that in 2E. Additional nonweapon proficiencies. Weapon proficiencies. Additional powers. Spell-like abilities. And so on.

You would think so, and I thought so, coming from 2e+Planescape. But they didn't in 3.x until much later in the development cycle. As for factions, Guilds cover them and more. We even have tiny bonuses on guilds! :: sad look ::

Poor guilds.


Classes are heavy with combat options. It is true. Because we'd like to make combat interesting and fun, so we need to bloat it up with lots of choices, because as it sits? Combat is boring, and largely decision-free.

Eldan
2011-03-14, 02:45 PM
I didn't actually see anything of the guilds in the beta documents, though the mechanic for joining them seemed interesting. What would they look like?

And, well, I just miss the option of being able to build a character who utterly sucks at combat.

Doc Roc
2011-03-14, 02:48 PM
You can do that, actually... Just multi-class yourself so that you're tank-tastic. Many mobs will ignore you, and the ones who don't will flail helplessly at your clever defenses. Or you could use our social skills to try and talk your way out.

Guilds come with:

Social agendas.
Small bonuses.
At least three associated tracks.
Solid fluff.

Rules for making more, in a systematic way, that means it's not hellish for a GM to roll out the factions for his game.


They should be in the economy section.


As for non-combat stuff. Generally, those are feats, magic items, skills, and guild relationships. Skald, coming in expansion one, focuses a bit more on skills and doesn't use a traditional track-based system, demonstrating that Legend has hella headroom.

Eldan
2011-03-14, 02:49 PM
Bingo.

You managed to get me interested again. :smallsmile:

Doc Roc
2011-03-14, 02:50 PM
Bingo.

You managed to get me interested again. :smallsmile:

Ask Chris about how I got back into the project...

:: grins :: I believe they're in the Economy section. We'll be releasing a Money Matters supplement relatively soon, but we wanted to lay out a fairly condensed set of ideas in the core game.

Eldan
2011-03-14, 02:51 PM
Heh.

And I've given this some thought... I think with some slight rewrites, your adventure would fit pretty well into my Etherworld setting. I might just do that.

Still, if I were to use your system as written, I'd have to massively re-write almost any campaign setting I'd use.

Doc Roc
2011-03-14, 02:52 PM
Heh.

And I've given this some thought... I think with some slight rewrites, your adventure would fit pretty well into my Etherworld setting. I might just do that.

Let me know, and I'll do everything I can to support this.

Draz74
2011-03-14, 02:55 PM
and getting both move silently and hide as skills is really hard.

I know this is a little off-topic, since this was just an example, and I agree with your broader point (cross-class skills were way too restrictive in 3e). But I'd just like to point out a simple trick that I've used on a few 3e characters to make them stealth-able regardless of class: a level of Human Paragon for permanent Move Silently access, and a Martial Study (something Shadow Hand) feat for permanent Hide access. Lovely.

I'm surprised you're actually telling Eldan you can make a character who's terrible at combat in Legend. As you said, it's simply not the right system for a low-combat game; and as one of its stated design goals is "no bad options, no way to make a weak character," I am surprised that you can, in fact, make a Legend character who sucks in combat.

For my own part I had a number of reasons Legend Beta isn't quite my cup of tea, but explanations or reviews will definitely have to wait until after Finals Week ...

Eldan
2011-03-14, 03:00 PM
Let me know, and I'll do everything I can to support this.

Well, I'd have to start by re-evaluating all racial relations in light of their new stats. Then looking at how their societies would be structured given the newly available abilities and lack of things they previously had. As an example, gnomes couldn't really form the faceless anymore, as they are written up now. I'd probably have to change several segments of the market economy to take into account that different magical goods are available. That would probably change several trade routes, and I'd have to see why several of the worlds I wrote would even still be in the trade network...

Really, changing systems means a lot of fluff changes. So, it would take a while.

And your example character... well, he's still a good fighter. What I meant by "bad in combat" was the frail sage, the snobbish courtier or the sneaky spy. None of these can fight well, but all are interesting character archetypes.

Doc Roc
2011-03-14, 03:07 PM
I'm surprised you're actually telling Eldan you can make a character who's terrible at combat in Legend. As you said, it's simply not the right system for a low-combat game; and as one of its stated design goals is "no bad options, no way to make a weak character," I am surprised that you can, in fact, make a Legend character who sucks in combat.


You'd need to set out to do it. And to be fair, he'd probably end up nigh indestructible. Just... wimpy when it comes to punching things.

We do have a Sage, and it does go squish if you manage to hit it.

If.




For my own part I had a number of reasons Legend Beta isn't quite my cup of tea, but explanations or reviews will definitely have to wait until after Finals Week ...

I am deeply interested in hearing, and finding out if we can at least ameliorate it enough that you'd play in a game of legend if one was going down near your house. While we're in what's very nearly a feature freeze, this is still a beta. We want to make this game as good as we can. We need your help.

Eldan
2011-03-14, 03:13 PM
True, you have the Sage, but... that class seems to have only one single class feature. Blasting people with energy. I wouldn't want to play it. It's like the warlock, but without invocations.

Anyway, much of what we discussed seems to be coming down to differences in design philosophy. I think that combat should be optional, brutal and, if at all possible, over in not more than two rounds so you can go back to more interesting things.

Doc Roc
2011-03-14, 03:19 PM
True, you have the Sage, but... that class seems to have only one single class feature. Blasting people with energy. I wouldn't want to play it. It's like the warlock, but without invocations.

Anyway, much of what we discussed seems to be coming down to differences in design philosophy. I think that combat should be optional, brutal and, if at all possible, over in not more than two rounds so you can go back to more interesting things.

Sage gets spell casting, some rather interesting spells if I am not entirely mistaken.

I don't think the core philosophy is that different, really. We have lots of ways to avoid, abrogate, alter, or otherwise dodge combat, but we also have deep support for stabbing people in interesting ways.

imperialspectre
2011-03-14, 03:21 PM
I actually am a big fan of quick and brutal combat. I'm not sure if you've done the math, but Legend combats tend very much toward devastating offense that ends fights quickly - and playtesting suggests that we've had a lot of success so far in making combat rounds go a lot more quickly and smoothly in real time, as well.

Incidentally, I have another project that will likely be added to the beta about a month from now. We have a couple track concepts that focus primarily on "utility" and/or "social" powers, allowing a character to give up a significant number of combat abilities. We make it balanced by including a bodyguard as a track feature, since aristocrats and scientists are important enough to have someone to protect them.

Avoid combat focus? Sure.

Get to spend your time researching or crafting or arbitrating? Sure.

Still balanced when it comes to ninjas invadiing your mansion? Surprisingly, yes.


I'm surprised you're actually telling Eldan you can make a character who's terrible at combat in Legend. As you said, it's simply not the right system for a low-combat game; and as one of its stated design goals is "no bad options, no way to make a weak character," I am surprised that you can, in fact, make a Legend character who sucks in combat.

There's a huge difference between being terrible at combat and simply not packing potent combat powers as a main focus of your character. The default Legend classes have a strong focus on offensive options, because that's how people traditionally build characters in d20-based games. Jake was simply suggesting building a character with a strong focus on defensive options instead, reflecting an in-character aversion to solving problems violently.

In general, it's entirely acceptable to be tanky at the expense of full-on offense, just as it's acceptable to be a glass cannon.

Eldan
2011-03-14, 03:27 PM
Just read the sage again.

It gets black tidings and a lot of improvements on it. Apart from that, it gets only a handful of other things. Steppenwolf is a short-distance teleport. Most of the Arcane Secrets are pretty much combat only. I could see Gravity smash used to bring down an unstable structure, and Zettai Ryouiki probably has a few uses for investigation. No spellcasting in the classical sense.

You do have stuff in there that helps out of combat, true. It just seems a bit burried under all the combat option, which I doubt would ever come up in any of the games I'd run.

Tyndmyr
2011-03-14, 03:30 PM
Guilds come with:

Social agendas.
Small bonuses.
At least three associated tracks.
Solid fluff.

Rules for making more, in a systematic way, that means it's not hellish for a GM to roll out the factions for his game.


They should be in the economy section.

This sounds fantastic. If there's anything in 3.5 that needed help badly, it was the economy/guild stuff. Ima dig into this.

And if it can be broken, Ima break it.

imperialspectre
2011-03-14, 03:34 PM
You're right. There was a memory fail on Jake's end.

That said, you could get practically all of the warlock's utility with smart feat choices.

Eldan
2011-03-14, 03:38 PM
Could you? Hmm. You probably could.

As for brutal combat... I'm of the opinion that combat should be won with strategy, not tactics, most of the time. If one side determines the location, brings along superior numbers, the better equipment and a good plan, it should have a good chance of defeating the opponent in one round. Usually by capturing them or making them give up.

Still. Combat is generally the most boring part of any game for me, so I'm just happy when it's over. Which is why I was excited for hte adventure you were writing.

Doc Roc
2011-03-14, 03:38 PM
We've just got the three example guilds right now, but I'm hoping to flesh that out to 10 before the week is done, which should provide enough examples to make it obvious how they are created. The guild section needs love, and expansion, and it is going to get it.

But we can't do it alone.

http://www.majorspoilers.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/03/Uncle_Cthulhu.jpg

Eldan
2011-03-14, 03:42 PM
Well, if you show me a few samples, I can probably write up a Planescape faction or two and a few I made up myself, no problem. Just be warned that balance is not only an eldritch concept full of arcane formulae to me, it's also not very important.

Doc Roc
2011-03-14, 03:43 PM
Well, if you show me a few samples, I can probably write up a Planescape faction or two and a few I made up myself, no problem. Just be warned that balance is not only an eldritch concept full of arcane formulae to me, it's also not very important.

Fortunately, the rule for guilds is simple:

One small advantage.
The examples give a good idea of what we consider to be a small advantage.
A Social agenda, one that players will give a crap about.
Three tracks to associate with the guild.


I would start with... say... The Ring-givers.

Eldan
2011-03-14, 03:44 PM
Ring-givers should be fun :smallbiggrin:

But social "benefit"? Is there one other than "most people would rather beat you up than talk to you since you might offer them a gift"?

Fated and Dustmen are usually easy to do. Both have a lot of canon abilities.

Actually: how do you determine weapon proficiencies in your system? That would be important for Sinkers, but I don't think I^ve seen them mentioned anywhere.

On second thought: Dustmen might be difficult to do. After all, a first level ability saying "no undead will ever attack you" might not be what you want in a track.

Doc Roc
2011-03-14, 03:46 PM
Ring-givers should be fun :smallbiggrin:

But social "benefit"? Is there one other than "most people would rather beat you up than talk to you since you might offer them a gift"?

Sure! Ring-givers may be fairly loose as associations go, but they have a lot of people in interesting places. Crucially, they're one of the few guilds on good terms with almost every other guild. Between these two facts, it can be remarkably hard to keep a Ring Giver in jail.

I'm going to have to ask that this go in homebrew, since I can't technically include the Ring-Givers due to copyright reasons. Or they'd be in the core doc already.

Re:Dustmen
Associate the undead track with them. Give them a scaling sanctuary effect against undead. Bang, done.

For Sinkers...
This is a bit harder. We generally don't give a crap about weapon proficiencies, that's below the granularity of our simulation, and gets in the way of fun. Instead we have weapon feats that represent skill with a particular weapon.

Draz74
2011-03-14, 03:49 PM
I am deeply interested in hearing, and finding out if we can at least ameliorate it enough that you'd play in a game of legend if one was going down near your house. While we're in what's very nearly a feature freeze, this is still a beta. We want to make this game as good as we can. We need your help.

Sure, I'd be willing to give it a spin (if I had time for playing RPGs in general right now). As a DM, I would probably even prefer running Legend over running D&D, at least for an adventure or two. It's just that there are other RPGs that would be higher on my wishlist. (Like my own homebrew system ... might be some bias there. :smallwink:)

Eldan
2011-03-14, 03:51 PM
Re:Dustmen
Associate the undead track with them. Give them a scaling sanctuary effect against undead. Bang, done.


That would be the balanced option. But it doesn't make much sense. Ff you have a pact, you have a pact... why should you have to reach a certain level of awesomeness before stronger undead respect the pact? It's a benefit of your association with the dustmen, not a personal one.

Sinkers should certainly get a different version of object reading that only applies to the remains of destroyed objects.

Doc Roc
2011-03-14, 03:51 PM
Sure, I'd be willing to give it a spin (if I had time for playing RPGs in general right now). As a DM, I would probably even prefer running Legend over running D&D, at least for an adventure or two. It's just that there are other RPGs that would be higher on my wishlist. (Like my own homebrew system ... might be some bias there. :smallwink:)

:: laughing warmly :: Oh I understand. Have you heard the quote about Java, and the design goal?

Well, mindless undead have terrible will-saves, so they pretty much auto-tank against sanctuary. Against sentient undead, the dustmen pact was only ever but so reliable.

Eldan
2011-03-14, 03:55 PM
Oh, true.

Still. If you were a vampire, would you like to explain to Skall why you ate his initiates?

Doc Roc
2011-03-14, 04:02 PM
Oh, true.

Still. If you were a vampire, would you like to explain to Skall why you ate his initiates?

Depends on where those initiates wandered into. Vampires aren't reckless, but they take poorly to idiots wandering around in their house with pitchforks. I'm sure Skall would make allowances in such a case.

Eldan
2011-03-14, 04:03 PM
Of course. But factions similarly take poorly to people eating their belief-batteries. I'd hate to be forgotten out of existence by some Signer.

Doc Roc
2011-03-14, 04:06 PM
Of course. But factions similarly take poorly to people eating their belief-batteries. I'd hate to be forgotten out of existence by some Signer.

And hence why guilds have social agendas associated with them. This allows us to talk about how much the guild cares about its members, and lets us provide tools for GMs who want to involve those guilds in their settings.

:)

Eldan
2011-03-14, 04:08 PM
Right.

Another thing:

It's a bit problematic to represent factions as three tracks. It potentially leads to factota without the signature abilities of their factions. Dusties without emotional deadness, or without the protection of the dead pact. Guvners without the potential to find loopholes. Bleakers who don't go crazy.

imperialspectre
2011-03-14, 04:10 PM
In general, I would characterize the social benefits of guild membership as free tokens for the purposes of social encounters. For example, you get a whole bunch of free tokens if you're a Dustman and you're trying to tell a vampire not to eat you.

Edited to add: We've already added drawbacks (both RP and mechanical) to powers granted in other tracks (see the Undead monster track as an example). If we were doing guild-based feats (for less-bought-in faction members), adding "Special" lines to feats is also extremely easy.

Doc Roc
2011-03-14, 04:11 PM
Right.

Another thing:

It's a bit problematic to represent factions as three tracks. It potentially leads to factota without the signature abilities of their factions. Dusties without emotional deadness, or without the protection of the dead pact. Guvners without the potential to find loopholes. Bleakers who don't go crazy.

You could in theory end up with all three tracks from your guild, weirdly enough. You can certainly end up with two, if you took initiation and opted to give up your items. We'll be associating the upcoming social tracks with guilds, primarily, too. So the rabbit hole only gets deeper.

We mostly use tracks from monsters, classes, and our stock of auxillary tracks.

For things that are uniform across guild members, we use the small advantage mechanism. If you want a slightly bigger advantage, it can come with a disadvantage.

Eldan
2011-03-14, 05:09 PM
Hmm.

So, something like Immunity to mind affecting effects, with the downside of being unable to feel emotions would be okay as a general ability?

(Why exactly am I only thinking of dustmen here? I don't even particularly like them, as ant-or protagonists. )

imperialspectre
2011-03-14, 05:15 PM
I would place that at probably 4th circle, as that's where we start to implement immunities. Might kick it up a circle, since it negates all of our supernatural social material (not skill uses, of course).

Eldan
2011-03-14, 05:21 PM
Really? I thought you could do a bit stronger abilities at earlier levels when they came with drawbacks. And this is a massive one.

I mean, there should be any number of perfectly advanced first level dustmen in the world with that ability.

Draz74
2011-03-14, 05:32 PM
:: laughing warmly :: Oh I understand. Have you heard the quote about Java, and the design goal?

I've heard quotes about everyone preferring their own programming style; I'd imagine it's something like that? I can't place the specific quote you have in mind.

imperialspectre
2011-03-14, 05:33 PM
Really? I thought you could do a bit stronger abilities at earlier levels when they came with drawbacks. And this is a massive one.

I mean, there should be any number of perfectly advanced first level dustmen in the world with that ability.

The sad thing is, "you feel no emotion" is likely not much of a drawback from a mechanical perspective. I suppose that if we explored the likely effects of such a situation, and assigned mechanical results to those (probably starting with severe penalties to Charisma-based social rolls), we might be getting somewhere in terms of drawbacks.

Eldan
2011-03-14, 05:37 PM
Huh? :smallconfused:"Can feel no emotions" is utterly crippling. Your character can never enjoy a piece of music. Can never fall in love. Can never contently gaze at the sunset while smoking a pipe. Never look at the stars and wonder what could be out there. Never run through a storm and laugh as he feels the wind in his hair and the cold rain on his face. There's no reason to add more to it, in the form of charisma penalties or otherwise.

Doc Roc
2011-03-14, 05:39 PM
Huh? :smallconfused:"Can feel no emotions" is utterly crippling. Your character can never enjoy a piece of music. Can never fall in love. Can never contently gaze at the sunset while smoking a pipe. Never look at the stars and wonder what could be out there. Never run through a storm and laugh as he feels the wind in his hair and the cold rain on his face. There's no reason to add more to it, in the form of charisma penalties or otherwise.

I on the other hand, think that such a character might be fascinating to role-play. The fact that I'd get bonuses for it? Unlimited glee.



Hmm.

So, something like Immunity to mind affecting effects, with the downside of being unable to feel emotions would be okay as a general ability?

(Why exactly am I only thinking of dustmen here? I don't even particularly like them, as ant-or protagonists. )

Because they're mechanically intricate to implement, and interesting as a challenge?

Eldan
2011-03-14, 05:39 PM
Of course that character is fascinating to play. I mean, why else would you take it? But he's already punished enough. No reason to add more to it.

Edit: true. Still, something like the Sensates, the Fated, the Free League should probably still come first. Something player-friendly.

Cieyrin
2011-03-14, 05:59 PM
I on the other hand, think that such a character might be fascinating to role-play. The fact that I'd get bonuses for it? Unlimited glee.

:smallbiggrin:http://i.imgur.com/Mr8RQ.jpg

Doc Roc
2011-03-14, 08:47 PM
Of course that character is fascinating to play. I mean, why else would you take it? But he's already punished enough. No reason to add more to it.

Edit: true. Still, something like the Sensates, the Fated, the Free League should probably still come first. Something player-friendly.

I think a cleaner approach is to allow them to progress through staged immunities, starting with fear. This simulates the gradual freedom from attachments, and the steadily increasing distance between them and the world. There's a LOT of ways to do this. I'm excited!

Claudius Maximus
2011-03-15, 12:14 AM
A few small sundry problems with the beta document:
There are some slashes missing on the BAB chart on page 8.

The feat selection example on page 10 seems impossible, since I'm not aware of characters gaining any feats at fourth level.

The chart and abilities for the Seven Circles of Rebirth don't match up.

You could list the Esoterica Radica abilities on the Rogue chart, since they are not variable.
I know this stuff will be cleaned up in later releases but I figure it's nice for you to have a list to refer to sometimes. I'm sure I'll find more later.

Doc Roc
2011-03-15, 02:48 AM
A few small sundry problems with the beta document:
There are some slashes missing on the BAB chart on page 8.

The feat selection example on page 10 seems impossible, since I'm not aware of characters gaining any feats at fourth level.

The chart and abilities for the Seven Circles of Rebirth don't match up.

You could list the Esoterica Radica abilities on the Rogue chart, since they are not variable.
I know this stuff will be cleaned up in later releases but I figure it's nice for you to have a list to refer to sometimes. I'm sure I'll find more later.

Ooh, nice catches! I really appreciate this.

On another note, A Very Long Trip now has a playable complement of plot cards! Just about another six pages or so to write, and some EL-Generic monster blocks to build.

Eldan
2011-03-15, 04:41 AM
Dammit, I'm getting drawn into your adventure again.

I've currently written (lemme check)... six pages of handwritten notes from a long train ride home, three pages of google docs, and two map sketches of the ship (Well, for a given value of "sketch". "Pencil scribbles" doesn't sound as good). Most of it regarding how this adventure can be built into an existing setting. The engine problems work really, really well with Etherworld.

Which is also interesting, since I haven't done anything for that setting in months.

Doc Roc
2011-03-15, 01:37 PM
Dammit, I'm getting drawn into your adventure again.

I've currently written (lemme check)... six pages of handwritten notes from a long train ride home, three pages of google docs, and two map sketches of the ship (Well, for a given value of "sketch". "Pencil scribbles" doesn't sound as good). Most of it regarding how this adventure can be built into an existing setting. The engine problems work really, really well with Etherworld.

Which is also interesting, since I haven't done anything for that setting in months.

Tell me about it. I was up until 3 AM working on this sucker!

Eldan
2011-03-15, 01:39 PM
Actually, it has about doubled since this morning.

When I realized I had at least three more political organizations that needed a part in the plot. And two races of powerful creatures mostly operating in the background.

Rouge Iz Tarp!
2011-03-15, 01:40 PM
Take away a Barbarian's ability to feel emotion and watch their early abilities fall off. Monotone Bard. Wizard eventually stops perusing more difficult spells.

I'm actually not attempting to defend the penalty, I just wanted to share these three(edit) funny hypothetical cases.

Which reminds, me . . I should clear my schedule and try to bring the Sensates back . . .

Eldan
2011-03-15, 01:41 PM
Hmm. I know Bleakniks, but I don't think I've ever heard of Dustman bards. That needs some consideration. :smallamused:

Amphetryon
2011-03-15, 05:04 PM
"Sentient Undead... come in four main kinds: Ghoul, Lich, Mummy, Vampire, and Skeleton Champion." I'm no math major, but isn't that 5, not 4?

imperialspectre
2011-03-15, 05:07 PM
Indeed. I wrote the Undead track, then added the Skelly Champ at Jake's request. It apparently also needs another ability.

Cieyrin
2011-03-15, 07:13 PM
Question: About Virtue Strand, when you have the chance to destroy a font, can you and what happens when you destroy the font that the paladin counts as?

imperialspectre
2011-03-15, 07:57 PM
You can destroy the font emanating from your person. It doesn't have any effects other than removing that font source.

I reworded the initial wording for the font coming from you to simplify things and clean up the language. It now reads "an additional font emanates from you passively, beginning on your first turn each encounter." Obviously you can destroy that without harming yourself.

Doc Roc
2011-03-15, 08:05 PM
You can destroy the font emanating from your person. It doesn't have any effects other than removing that font source.

I reworded the initial wording for the font coming from you to simplify things and clean up the language. It now reads "an additional font emanates from you passively, beginning on your first turn each encounter." Obviously you can destroy that without harming yourself.

Thank goodness. I worry about paladins being self-destructive enough already. ;)

Skele champ should be updated now, I think, and we'll have the 1st level ability for monk's dragon track shortly. That should render us complete on tracks!

Anzyr
2011-03-15, 08:36 PM
Just a real quick potential balance issue I wanted to address in the beta. I'm not into the Spells section yet but the Shaman's Imbue Spell Ability seems ripe for abuse.

Starting at 4th level, as a swift action, you can channel a spell through your Incantation ability (The Incantation takes a standard action to use, as normal). The spell's casting time changes to 1 swift action, and you expend the spell slot as normal, but the spell targets only the creature targeted by your incantation. The spell has no save, even if it normally would grant a save, but is wasted with no effect if you miss with the ranged attack for your Incantation. Unless otherwise noted, the spell otherwise works exactly as it would if cast normally.

Notably, it has no restrictions on what types of spells can be used and makes the Spell have no save (if any spells are intended to be balanced by permitting a save: dominates, SoD, SoS, etc. come to mind) and it gives the spell a swift casting time, which could lead to cheating long casting time spells.

Hope this helps!

imperialspectre
2011-03-15, 08:39 PM
The spell gets no save because you have to make a ranged attack at close range.

Other than that, yes, you're right that there are potential balance issues. I'm going to be adding some restrictions on what spells can be channeled through Incantations for the next review cycle.

Edit: Because I said "ranged touch attack" when touch attacks were deleted from Legend about a year ago.

Anzyr
2011-03-15, 09:20 PM
Ah, just a minor balance note on the Monk's Ghost Step versus the Rogue's Void Disciple:

Empty Body (Su): Starting at 11th level, you can fade into the clouds when it suits you. As a swift action, you can duplicate the effects of the etherealness [should this be ethereal jaunt?] spell. You may assume an ethereal state for a total of 2 rounds per monk level per day. You may go ethereal on a number of different occasions during any single day, but cannot spend a number of consecutive rounds in an ethereal state higher than your monk level.

Void Disciple: [flavortext] Starting at 20 level, as a swift action, you can become [ethereal]. You can remain ethereal for a number of rounds each day equal to your level, and returning from being ethereal costs a swift action.

While the two classes are different, the Monk gets twice as much etherealness (I'm assuming Ethereal Jaunt since permitting the Monk to take along willing creatures as per 3.5's Etherealness puts Ghost Step leaps and bounds beyond Void Disciple) at level 11 as the Rogue does at level 20, which strikes me as an unusual variance in power between a level 11 and level 20 ability even from different classes.

Notably, the Void Disciple lacks an ability tag and could I suppose be (Ex) which would explain this variance to an extent.

Hope this helps!

imperialspectre
2011-03-15, 09:27 PM
Anzyr: Fantastic feedback. Thanks a lot. :)

With respect to Void Disciple, I agree that it should probably have a duration roughly comparable to the other ability. It is, in fact, (Ex), which is the reason for the level disparity.

Gralamin
2011-03-15, 09:57 PM
Going through character creation for my RL game!

First, HP / Skills per level isn't exactly clear, but thats minor.

Rogue ability names are italicized when everything else appears to be bolded.

Rogue abilities do not state if (Ex) or not. Assumed so.

Swashbuckling is still a rickroll.

Shaman's Path still does not specify you cannot grab Esoterica Radica.

Shaman's Path specifies Chapter 8 for additional tracks. They seem to appear in chapter 10 though. (Multiclass also saids they are in chapter 9, but again, appear to be in 10)

Not very clear that Shaman's start with 1 spell + 1 / additional level. Doc Roc said something about them starting with Sanctuary.

Right now you can multiclass to get Shaman's Path. Which is silly.

It's not clear when you get the abilities associated with a multiclass. Assumed same time you would get the normal track abilities. (So if the track is 1, 4, 7, and 10, and you multiclassed elementalist, you'd get 1st circle at 1st, 2nd circle at 4. 3rd Circle at 7th, etc.)

Some text in Elementalist, etc. Cannot seem to be selected in the document.

Elementalist has 2a without 2b. Does this mean you choose between Elemental Arrow and Elemental resistance, or does it mean you get elemental Arrow and elemental resistance?

Elemental Resistance technically takes a standard action to activate and has undefined duration.

Elemental Bolt doesn't have damage listed. Assumed 1d6.

More to come!

imperialspectre
2011-03-15, 10:28 PM
Going through character creation for my RL game!

First, HP / Skills per level isn't exactly clear, but thats minor.

Explain?


Rogue ability names are italicized when everything else appears to be bolded.

Will be fixed.


Rogue abilities do not state if (Ex) or not. Assumed so.


Each rogue chooses a single track’s worth of offensive class features and a single track’s worth of defensive class features. The offensive track is chosen at 1st level and the defensive track at 2nd level; once made, these choices are permanent. Unless stated otherwise, abilities are extraordinary and can be used at will.


Swashbuckling is still a rickroll.

Feature, not bug. :smallwink:


Shaman's Path still does not specify you cannot grab Esoterica Radica.


Multiclassing costs the character one feat slot at 1st level. Some ability tracks (such as the Paladin’s Strand of Judgment and the Rogue’s Esoterica Radica) cannot be accessed by multiclassing. Such restrictions are always included in the text of an ability track.


Shaman's Path specifies Chapter 8 for additional tracks. They seem to appear in chapter 10 though. (Multiclass also saids they are in chapter 9, but again, appear to be in 10)

Sorry. Will be fixed.


Not very clear that Shaman's start with 1 spell + 1 / additional level. Doc Roc said something about them starting with Sanctuary.

Probably a misunderstanding. The shaman in the 1st-level oneshot had Sanctuary, because it's relatively good as a 1st-level choice.


Right now you can multiclass to get Shaman's Path. Which is silly.

Fixed.


It's not clear when you get the abilities associated with a multiclass. Assumed same time you would get the normal track abilities. (So if the track is 1, 4, 7, and 10, and you multiclassed elementalist, you'd get 1st circle at 1st, 2nd circle at 4. 3rd Circle at 7th, etc.)

Will fix.


Some text in Elementalist, etc. Cannot seem to be selected in the document.

I'm sorry. I don't know what's causing this, and will try to reproduce it.


Elementalist has 2a without 2b. Does this mean you choose between Elemental Arrow and Elemental resistance, or does it mean you get elemental Arrow and elemental resistance?

You choose between Arrow and Resistance.


Elemental Resistance technically takes a standard action to activate and has undefined duration.

It's supposed to be passive. Patched the wording; I'll probably end up reformatting the abilities to have activation conditions and cooldowns listed with each ability.


Elemental Bolt doesn't have damage listed. Assumed 1d6.

More to come!

I'm considering increasing the damage, since the AoE is much more situational and it doesn't have a pushback/"pseudo-Explosive Spell" effect attached. What do you think of 2d4/level?

Thanks for all the feedback. :)

Gralamin
2011-03-15, 11:41 PM
Explain?
Wasn't clear on what exactly 10 hp per level meant with fist glance, had to confirm it was + Con mod per level. However, the exact same syntax with skills does not add Int mod to them.


Sorry. Will be fixed.
Shaman's Path is technically not multiclassing. It functions in the same manner, but no where in the track does it even state it's multiclassing. This is why, presumably, the Sage, and Paladin's Circle of Judgement bit is there.


I'm considering increasing the damage, since the AoE is much more situational and it doesn't have a pushback/"pseudo-Explosive Spell" effect attached. What do you think of 2d4/level?
Would work for me.


Thanks for all the feedback. :)
No problem.

[hr]
Round 2: FIGHT
Arcana could use some DCs listed.

Nature has no fluff.

With the number of skills that reference perception, it doesn't seem to fit into the interaction skill system.

The using skill section does contain a way to resolve a tie for opposed rolls.

Some feats use the Benefit syntax, some don't. Consistency would be nice. (Floating Feat and Guild are two offenders)

Unclear whether you qualify as a class you multliclass / shaman's path into for the purposes of feats.

Does Big Damn Hero keep the duration going? IE: If I use it on an effect that lasts one round, do I suffer it next round after using Big Damn Hero?

Sniper has a requirement of 3 ranks of Perception, despite a first level character having it in The Raid. Is this on purpose?

How long does Tell Them, Still Angry last? Is it possible to repeatedly revive and kill a barbarian such that everyone in an area has -9000 HP at max? What happens to Characters at full health? Do they have their HP turned into Temp HP or lost?

A lot of Feats reference "Sweet weapons" Which have not been defined yet (Unless I missed it), which is confusing. (Very minor)

Terror still has a comment in it.

Skinjob saids "Prereq" instead of Prerequisite.

And this is all for the night.

imperialspectre
2011-03-16, 12:15 AM
Wasn't clear on what exactly 10 hp per level meant with fist glance, had to confirm it was + Con mod per level. However, the exact same syntax with skills does not add Int mod to them.

Correct. I will clarify this for the next review cycle.



Round 2: FIGHT
Arcana could use some DCs listed.

Nature has no fluff.

Right.


With the number of skills that reference perception, it doesn't seem to fit into the interaction skill system.

On the other hand, it has a crucial part in the interaction subsystem.

I'm not sure of a good way to solve this. We've made the observation that perception is really good, but splitting it into multiple skills doesn't seem to really do the job well (as well as creating skill bloat, which contradicts a couple fairly important goals for our skill system).


The using skill section does contain a way to resolve a tie for opposed rolls.

Will be fixed.


Some feats use the Benefit syntax, some don't. Consistency would be nice. (Floating Feat and Guild are two offenders)

Will be fixed.


Unclear whether you qualify as a class you multliclass / shaman's path into for the purposes of feats.

You do. Will clarify.


Does Big Damn Hero keep the duration going? IE: If I use it on an effect that lasts one round, do I suffer it next round after using Big Damn Hero?

The countdown keeps ticking. Will clarify.


Sniper has a requirement of 3 ranks of Perception, despite a first level character having it in The Raid. Is this on purpose?

Consistency fail. Will be fixed.


How long does Tell Them, Still Angry last? Is it possible to repeatedly revive and kill a barbarian such that everyone in an area has -9000 HP at max? What happens to Characters at full health? Do they have their HP turned into Temp HP or lost?

It lasts for the rest of the encounter. It probably isn't, unless you're using several thousand barbarians and an equal number of high-level sages. Characters at full health have their HP reduced.


A lot of Feats reference "Sweet weapons" Which have not been defined yet (Unless I missed it), which is confusing. (Very minor)

It's (not) a technical term. In point of fact, any sword (for example) you choose to wield can be considered a "sweet sword", and we really can't imagine someone intentionally depriving themselves of bonuses.


Terror still has a comment in it.

Oops.


Skinjob saids "Prereq" instead of Prerequisite.

And this is all for the night.

Fixed. Thank you! :)

Eldan
2011-03-16, 03:59 AM
Then you shouldn't say "Sweet Sword". My assumption was that it was a makeshift term for a kind of higher-grade weapon (i.e. masterwork in 3.5). It does sound a lot like it. Change it to something like "a weapon you own" or "a weapon you specify".

Amphetryon
2011-03-16, 07:48 AM
Then you shouldn't say "Sweet Sword". My assumption was that it was a makeshift term for a kind of higher-grade weapon (i.e. masterwork in 3.5). It does sound a lot like it. Change it to something like "a weapon you own" or "a weapon you specify".

"Sweet sword/whip/bow/chain/gun" is just a stylistic choice of language, nothing more, so far as I know. Feature, not bug.

Eldan
2011-03-16, 07:52 AM
I'd call it bug, actually, if half the people outside the project mistook it for a specific term. It's also not a very professional choice of word.

Amphetryon
2011-03-16, 08:31 AM
I'd call it bug, actually, if half the people outside the project mistook it for a specific term. It's also not a very professional choice of word.

Half the people responding to this thread are, hopefully, not half of the people outside the project who have read it. The language is consistently breezy throughout, so 'very professional choice of word' appears to be low on the priority list for Jake and Chris.

Cieyrin
2011-03-16, 10:48 AM
Then you shouldn't say "Sweet Sword". My assumption was that it was a makeshift term for a kind of higher-grade weapon (i.e. masterwork in 3.5). It does sound a lot like it. Change it to something like "a weapon you own" or "a weapon you specify".

Another thing about that is so that you don't stack weapon feats on your generic weapon. Doe it make sense to use both Kengo and When all you have is a Hammer... on the same weapon? No, not really, as swords and maces have significant differences, between things like the striking surface to weapon balance.

Doc Roc
2011-03-16, 11:21 AM
While I do favor a more conversational tone, sweet is sort of ambiguous. I did intend for it to refer to a special weapon, something that mattered to the character. Thing is, I don't want it restrictive. This isn't about masterwork, or a specific grade of weapon, this is just about conveying the idea that these feats are for Weapons Matter characters, characters who would have their weapon choice mentioned in their tv tropes article, say.

Eldan
2011-03-16, 01:37 PM
Why not call it "your weapon of choice", "your favourite weapon", "a weapon you choose", "a weapon with special significance to the character", anything like that?

And the conversational tone is actually a thing that puts me off quite a bit. I think that rules should be written like rules, as clear and unambiguous as possible. Terms like sweet should at least be defined somewhere.

Doc Roc
2011-03-16, 02:16 PM
Why not call it "your weapon of choice", "your favourite weapon", "a weapon you choose", "a weapon with special significance to the character", anything like that?

And the conversational tone is actually a thing that puts me off quite a bit. I think that rules should be written like rules, as clear and unambiguous as possible. Terms like sweet should at least be defined somewhere.

Our rules are extremely technical, if you've looked at them closely. Almost every term is defined in a very strict sense.
I think that a breezy style of discourse isn't an impediment to a deep and analytical discussion.

Draz74
2011-03-16, 02:32 PM
And the conversational tone is actually a thing that puts me off quite a bit. I think that rules should be written like rules, as clear and unambiguous as possible.

I have to agree with this; the writing style/tone is one of the things that turns me off of Legend. I'm not saying there's a logical reason this should be so; it may just be my own prejudices and habits that make me believe that a non-technical rules style will lead to trouble. But it is what it is.

imperialspectre
2011-03-16, 02:50 PM
There's a huge difference between writing rules text to ensure clarity and avoid ambiguity and writing with the dry, stilted style that characterizes, say, official D&D publications going all the way back to Gygax. We want to write rules that are enjoyable to read.

It may be that "Own a sword," without any extra adjectives, is a better way to convey the meaning.

As a rule, adjectives that mean something mechanically are [bracketed] and often capitalized. (in the final document, bracketed words will be hyperlinks to the rules text that defines them). I will probably write a subchapter on "How to Read This Document" for one of the next few review cycles, so that this kind of formatting is all explained in one place.

Draz74
2011-03-16, 03:07 PM
There's a huge difference between writing rules text to ensure clarity and avoid ambiguity and writing with the dry, stilted style that characterizes, say, official D&D publications going all the way back to Gygax. We want to write rules that are enjoyable to read.
Agreed and agreed. If you can make the rules pleasant and easy to read without sacrificing clarity and precision, more power to you. (Also, you should probably look into a job as a technical writer for some engineering company, because this is an extremely rare and valuable real-life skill.)

I didn't feel that way about Legend Beta, though. There were tons of places where I just thought, "Eh, basically it will be up to the DM to decide what that means."


As a rule, adjectives that mean something mechanically are [bracketed] and often capitalized. (in the final document, bracketed words will be hyperlinks to the rules text that defines them). I will probably write a subchapter on "How to Read This Document" for one of the next few review cycles, so that this kind of formatting is all explained in one place.

Awesome. Cross-hyperlinked rules are definitely the way to go, especially if you want rules to be precise without being extremely lengthy.

I wish Zim Desktop Wiki (http://zim-wiki.org/) was a more widespread piece of software, so I could more easily share my own cross-hyperlinked documents with others.

Doc Roc
2011-03-16, 03:09 PM
I have to agree with this; the writing style/tone is one of the things that turns me off of Legend. I'm not saying there's a logical reason this should be so; it may just be my own prejudices and habits that make me believe that a non-technical rules style will lead to trouble. But it is what it is.

Originally, we used a highly technical tone, but people absolutely hated it. It's starting to really get me down, this is just unwinnable.



Points that are unclear are bugs, Draz. Tell me where they are and we will fix them.

Claudius Maximus
2011-03-16, 03:28 PM
I for one like the writing style, in general. However, I feel the crunch rules could be a bit more precise in some instances. Feel free to write it to be funny or cool or what have you but once people begin to get confused you have a problem.

In this case I understood what you meant by "sweet," but I understand that others might not. I think you could do to have a short section explaining the different kinds of feats, and explain exactly what you mean in the section that describes weapon-specific feats.

Overall though I will repeat that I like a lot of the current style, and would prefer this to super-dry legalese.

Doc Roc
2011-03-16, 03:56 PM
I for one like the writing style, in general. However, I feel the crunch rules could be a bit more precise in some instances. Feel free to write it to be funny or cool or what have you but once people begin to get confused you have a problem.

In this case I understood what you meant by "sweet," but I understand that others might not. I think you could do to have a short section explaining the different kinds of feats, and explain exactly what you mean in the section that describes weapon-specific feats.

Overall though I will repeat that I like a lot of the current style, and would prefer this to super-dry legalese.

Honestly, the whole "sweet <weapon>" bit wasn't supposed to make it into the beta, but the push for the beta was so brutal that we just didn't fix it.

Tohron
2011-03-16, 04:36 PM
Not sure if this has been mentioned earlier, but the My Name is War iconic feat seems to have issues with how it's written:


My Name Is War
Special: [Iconic]
Benefit: In your wake, continents will shatter, and empires will fall. You are how tomorrow ends. Each round, you gain
one focus point. As an immediate action, you may spend five focus points to copy the effects of one ability as it is used by
you or an ally, but you cannot gain focus as a result. Focus points and their effects expire at the end of each encounter.

First, there's the issues with the players dragging out an encounter (think spamming lockdown abilities) so that you can use this ability once every five rounds, indefinitely.

More generally, the feat does not place any limitations on which of your allies' abilities you can use. If you decide to invite a demigod to your coop monster-stomp, you can spam their limited-use super-buffs on everybody, then curb-stomp some of the most powerful entities in the multiverse without ending the original encounter.

In short, this feat needs some serious restrictions.

Doc Roc
2011-03-16, 04:39 PM
Not sure if this has been mentioned earlier, but the My Name is War iconic feat seems to have issues with how it's written:



First, there's the issues with the players dragging out an encounter (think spamming lockdown abilities) so that you can use this ability once every five rounds, indefinitely.

More generally, the feat does not place any limitations on which of your allies' abilities you can use. If you decide to invite a demigod to your coop monster-stomp, you can spam their limited-use super-buffs on everybody, then curb-stomp some of the most powerful entities in the multiverse without ending the original encounter.

In short, this feat needs some serious restrictions.

If either of those two specific failure modes were possible, this wouldn't be Legend. That said, I think the feat could use some refactoring and restricting. It is potentially stupidly powerful, particularly in conjunction with Kensai, but I don't really want to lose too much of that. I also don't want to have to write a list of allowable abilities that never gets updated. My Name Is War is important to the feel of the system, in a lot of senses, but I'm just as worried as you are, albeit for different reasons.

Cieyrin
2011-03-16, 05:10 PM
I think I have better things to do than sit around and power up, like kicking ass and taking names. Yeah, I'll occasionally get to pull a Peter Petrelli pre-nerf but that's icing, not my main cake. I don't want to wait for the next episode of DBZ to confront the final baddie. :smallconfused:

Voldecanter
2011-03-16, 05:14 PM
I am interested in finding out how you came up with the city of Bron, and what types of fantasy have influenced you in the past.

Eldan
2011-03-16, 05:22 PM
What actually interests me about the adventure is this:

Is there a campaign setting around the adventure? You drop a lot of names of organisations, places, structures and so on, that never really matter for the adventure beyond giving structure. I'd like to hear more, if there is.

Doc Roc
2011-03-16, 05:24 PM
I am interested in finding out how you came up with the city of Bron, and what types of fantasy have influenced you in the past.

Oh man, that's an interesting one. You may have noticed that the names sound.... familiar. Bron is the product of an old writing project of mine, in the spirit of morning pages. What I would do, is I would write down the funniest typos, and then write places for them, or people. I allowed myself to add only spaces and guttural stops, and I just wrote. It was really cathartic, and got me through what can only be called a Bad Time. Sometimes I would give the little place I made to the person who first made the typo, but many I kept, and tucked away.

On the other hand, a lot of the inspiration for Bron was the pretty-dark events going down around me, and a desire to try and figure out what it would be like if you lived in a world that was natively insane. Here is this land that is literally just floating islands. What is it like if this is your normal? What does it mean, what happens? I didn't want any character to be surprised by their world, or somehow astounded. To them, the sky is as natural a medium as the sea. It has always been this way. Likewise, these strange ruins have always been here. They're not really that mysterious anymore, and they're treated much the way we treat ruins in the real world.

What I wanted to make was a world that was a fantasy world, but didn't know it. My primary touchstones in designing it were Discworld, Zdzislaw Beksinski, China Mieville's superb Perdido Street Station, and the music of Amon Tobin. An odd melange, I know, but I wanted to make something where the epic things were.... just there. Not always remarked on. Where people lived, and worked, and breathed.


What actually interests me about the adventure is this:

Is there a campaign setting around the adventure? You drop a lot of names of organisations, places, structures and so on, that never really matter for the adventure beyond giving structure. I'd like to hear more, if there is.

As for where Bron sits, it lives in a much larger cosmology called Hallow, which varies wildly and is our spiritual successor to the Planescape setting. It's a pretty ambitious undertaking, but we're confident. Or perhaps crazy.

Tohron
2011-03-16, 05:46 PM
If either of those two specific failure modes were possible, this wouldn't be Legend. That said, I think the feat could use some refactoring and restricting. It is potentially stupidly powerful, particularly in conjunction with Kensai, but I don't really want to lose too much of that. I also don't want to have to write a list of allowable abilities that never gets updated. My Name Is War is important to the feel of the system, in a lot of senses, but I'm just as worried as you are, albeit for different reasons.

I think the most effective limitation would be requiring some sort of ability check in order to utilize whatever power you're trying to employ - maybe your HD + 1d10 vs a DC of their HD? Thus, you can automatically use the abilities of allies with <= 1 HD more than you, but anything greater is chance-based, and any abilities belonging to a being with 11+ more HD are off-limits? This should at least prevent low-level PCs from copying allied gods (once gods are added to Legend, that is).

Regarding dragging out an encounter - what exactly is there in Legend that prevents this from occurring? Does it cease to be an encounter as soon as the monster(s) can't attack them within the turn? What if the PCs are hanging back and plinking away at the monster with long-ranged weapons (thus leading to a drawn-out encounter)? I'm curious.

Cieyrin
2011-03-17, 09:58 AM
I think the most effective limitation would be requiring some sort of ability check in order to utilize whatever power you're trying to employ - maybe your HD + 1d10 vs a DC of their HD? Thus, you can automatically use the abilities of allies with <= 1 HD more than you, but anything greater is chance-based, and any abilities belonging to a being with 11+ more HD are off-limits? This should at least prevent low-level PCs from copying allied gods (once gods are added to Legend, that is).

Regarding dragging out an encounter - what exactly is there in Legend that prevents this from occurring? Does it cease to be an encounter as soon as the monster(s) can't attack them within the turn? What if the PCs are hanging back and plinking away at the monster with long-ranged weapons (thus leading to a drawn-out encounter)? I'm curious.

I think sticking with a d20 mechanic is probably better than throwing random dice in, since Legend's a d20 game and all.

Second, I think we have other problems if the DM is dropping overpowered DMPCs into the game for you to power sponge off of. Even with 'super buffs' being available, I don't see spamming happening with the feat by itself, since it takes half a minute to charge up; meanwhile, ****'s going down all around you and baddies with any sense aren't going to let you do your power up dance unmolested.

Thirdly, it's a tandem ability, so you have to have your buddy commit to doing something, so if she doesn't have it or if she's not up for you to piggy-back on, it's kinda a wasted effort.

I think the feat has enough restrictions on how to get it off that I'm not terribly worried about Wonder Twin Powers activating throwing balance out the window.

mint
2011-03-17, 11:52 AM
Today I read what you have so far. I enjoyed what you did here.

Thoughts:

Your treatment of a pacing mechanism is promising. Want to see more plot cards. Stages and time and recovery still seem vague to me after my once over however. You have the pacing with the win/loss which is good.
But the internal pacing in the card where you describe what is happening as you get closer to the event, how do you see a DM working that into the session?
I have trouble with it.

Social Token mechanism is a good idea. Please make more text about it next pass. I would try it as is now but I imagine there could be more than one interpretation.

Want to see examples of how you envision the process of creating an enemy combatant. I get the impression that you plan to make creating something for the players to wrastle to be pretty quick. The snake in the brief is described has having three Tracks and an ECL.
Could not find the Dragon Track, which I assume gives the snake HD, BAB etc.
Where the track present I could actually see this being enough information, which is rad.


When you have some more text for the DM Brief I will certainly try this as a one shot.

Edit: You have clearly defined status effects and use brackets. I would kiss you. It is a barbarity that clarity is a rarity.

imperialspectre
2011-03-17, 01:02 PM
I think the most effective limitation would be requiring some sort of ability check in order to utilize whatever power you're trying to employ - maybe your HD + 1d10 vs a DC of their HD? Thus, you can automatically use the abilities of allies with <= 1 HD more than you, but anything greater is chance-based, and any abilities belonging to a being with 11+ more HD are off-limits? This should at least prevent low-level PCs from copying allied gods (once gods are added to Legend, that is).

Regarding dragging out an encounter - what exactly is there in Legend that prevents this from occurring? Does it cease to be an encounter as soon as the monster(s) can't attack them within the turn? What if the PCs are hanging back and plinking away at the monster with long-ranged weapons (thus leading to a drawn-out encounter)? I'm curious.

"You must be able to access the circle of any power you attempt to copy. For example, if you access 5th-circle powers from at least one of your own ability tracks, you can copy a 5th-circle ability or any lower-circle ability."

Boom, no more blue-mage-ing divine powers. That's basically our intent anyway - "allies" were generally envisioned as "party members," and leveling different party members at different rates is extremely prohibited in Legend. Thanks for catching that there could be higher-level "allies" causing problems.


Today I read what you have so far. I enjoyed what you did here.

Thoughts:

Your treatment of a pacing mechanism is promising. Want to see more plot cards. Stages and time and recovery still seem vague to me after my once over however. You have the pacing with the win/loss which is good.
But the internal pacing in the card where you describe what is happening as you get closer to the event, how do you see a DM working that into the session?
I have trouble with it.

In the time-based lead-up events, I would use it to create background as the PCs went about investigating what was going on. I would make sure the PCs had a fairly good idea of how much time their chosen activities would take, and then "update" the situation in that context.

In the distance-based lead-up descriptions (such as the one for A Murder; I'm not sure if there are any others), I would just keep up a running commentary as the PCs got closer, with the players interjecting whenever they wanted to look at something.

Bear in mind that my statements aren't entirely authoritative when I'm talking about A Very Long Trip, because I am minimally involved in writing it. It's Jake's baby.


Social Token mechanism is a good idea. Please make more text about it next pass. I would try it as is now but I imagine there could be more than one interpretation.

This subsystem is one of my favorite things about Legend. Could you point out areas you find ambiguous, please? I thought most of it was fairly clear, but the system existed fully-formed in my head for about 3 months before I got around to writing it.


Want to see examples of how you envision the process of creating an enemy combatant. I get the impression that you plan to make creating something for the players to wrastle to be pretty quick. The snake in the brief is described has having three Tracks and an ECL.
Could not find the Dragon Track, which I assume gives the snake HD, BAB etc.
Where the track present I could actually see this being enough information, which is rad.

The Dragon Track indeed gives the snake HD, BAB, etc. It is one of our [Racial] tracks, which provide statistics and progression for a creature type or subtype. We will release the Dragon Track with the full version of A Very Long Trip.

There are a couple ways to create an NPC/monster. For NPCs that you want to build to your own specifications, pick a Humanoid race and a class or a Racial track and two tracks from a class. Go through the character creation process, including the character advancement track. You can, of course, multiclass (spending a 1st-level feat as usual), and some monsters will likely require it.

For generic NPCs, we will release stat blocks and fluff for various monsters in an upcoming supplement, to be released shortly after the Legend core rules. We're tentatively calling it the "Monstrous Encyclopedia," but that's definitely subject to change.

If there's interest, I may write a series of weekly releases of humanoid stat blocks with fluff attached. This will not happen until we have our own website, so we're looking a few weeks ahead right now.

Of course, any stat blocks we release with adventures are also a resource for generic NPCs.


When you have some more text for the DM Brief I will certainly try this as a one shot.

I...would not recommend it, to be honest. Jake is more of the expert on this, but I would expect lead-in, 7 plot cards, and a potential end game to last at least a couple sessions. Combat seems to be relatively quick in Legend, but there's also a lot of RP and "investigation" involved in a lot of these plot cards.


Edit: You have clearly defined status effects and use brackets. I would kiss you. It is a barbarity that clarity is a rarity.

My wife would object, but I'm glad you like our formatting. :)

Doc Roc
2011-03-17, 01:12 PM
Interestingly, your critique is well timed. I'll be writing the How Ta Makez This Intar A Gaemz section today, it looks like, so I'll try to cover a lot of these concerns.


AVLT can be run as a one-shot, by my estimation, by moving it from best-of-seven to best-of-five. I expect it to be readied by the 20th, since that is when Gralamin is running it.


I can't tell you enough how much I appreciate this, Mint.

Edit: I will also be writing a random mob generator, though it's likely to be super-primitive, since my python is a bit rusty.

Rouge Iz Tarp!
2011-03-17, 03:05 PM
I want to bring this up sooner, but once I realized it was an issue, the sub-forum was placed under temporary lock down:

As you may have noticed, we have used some pretty ridiculous terms and verbs in the creation of these documents. I see we've already had some confusion, and I apologize for that. Still, you may have noticed a trend each time one of these issues comes up:
"It's a feature, not a bug." If we said something silly, we meant it.

That's probably going to keep coming up, so I'm warning you in advance. I, too, was curious how essential it is that our Rogue tracks be modeled after Rick Ashtley and Kenny Rodgers. But then again, these are "Rogues" we are talking about, if they open their mouths and aren't trolling something or someone, they probably aren't doing a good enough job.

Maybe this is just a pitfall of having no separation between design and development, be we made a decision long ago to put aside any disillusion of this being a high-brow, low adventure system (quite the opposite, I hope). I would have brought this up sooner, but I assumed when the first "terminology" issue came and went that the worst was over.

It was, however, unprofessional of us to leave the weapon-specific feats as vague as they are. That WAS a placeholder for a the fruit of more detailed thought.

Would it be more agreeable if we changed it to "Must wield your favorite |Weapon|?"

Edit: Doc, put your rusty python away, nobody want's to see that.

Gralamin
2011-03-17, 04:47 PM
AVLT can be run as a one-shot, by my estimation, by moving it from best-of-seven to best-of-five. I expect it to be readied by the 20th, since that is when Gralamin is running it.

Gralamin's have the ability to make other people prepare content.

Gralamin
2011-03-17, 05:20 PM
Sorry for the double post, but want to make sure I get Chris' attention:

It appears the Beta document does not have armor. This should be rectified.

mint
2011-03-17, 06:21 PM
On social tokens:

Well, for instance, do you intend for groups to be pooling their tokens?
If so, can different characters use the same skill to add their own tokens to the pool?
It seems like you would have come up with little more to say about such a compelling system when you were tooling with it.
A few examples is a good way to make a new mechanism more familiar. Presently, I think I would try it, see how my group uses it and then add personal do's and don'ts after seeing how it really plays.
And even then, I imagine we won't think of all the things we'd like so having someone else do it also and you know, etc.

Tone:

I liked the tone of the text. Naming conventions and fluff is something you have done well. It comes of as understated, kind of angry and also fun. I would keep it.

One-Shottery:

Right, I was thinking I would use maybe four or five cards just to play around with it. Get the players smacked around while they are learning the system and then a seven card thing if we have fun, over two, maybe three sessions.

Doc Roc
2011-03-17, 06:25 PM
On social tokens:

Well, for instance, do you intend for groups to be pooling their tokens?
If so, can different characters use the same skill to add their own tokens to the pool?
It seems like you would have come up with little more to say about such a compelling system when you were tooling with it.
A few examples is a good way to make a new mechanism more familiar. Presently, I think I would try it, see how my group uses it and then add personal do's and don'ts after seeing how it really plays.
And even then, I imagine we won't thing of all the things we'd like so having someone else do it also and you know, etc.

Tone:

I liked the tone of the text. Naming conventions and fluff is something you have done well. It comes of as understated, kind of angry and also fun. I would keep it.

One-Shottery:

Right, I was thinking I would use maybe four or five cards just to play around with it. Get the players smacked around while they are learning the system and then a seven card thing if we have fun, over two, maybe three sessions.

That's one of the reasons it is written with cards. I want GMs to be able to tell as grand or as small a story as they want. :)
Let me know how things go, I really appreciate what you've done for us, total strangers, already.

imperialspectre
2011-03-17, 06:43 PM
Sorry for the double post, but want to make sure I get Chris' attention:

It appears the Beta document does not have armor. This should be rectified.

Indeed it should! I apologize for that.

Armor is actually very simple. In keeping with basing characters' statistics primarily on the character and not on external sources, armor provides a +1 or +2 bonus to Armor Class (and the same, additionally, for a shield). In general, you can count on a +1 bonus to armor as a 1st-level character, upgrading to +2 once you pick up a Lesser item or mundane plate armor or something heavy like that.

+3 bonuses to AC do exist, but are only at the Relic and Artifact tiers.



On social tokens:

Well, for instance, do you intend for groups to be pooling their tokens?
If so, can different characters use the same skill to add their own tokens to the pool?
It seems like you would have come up with little more to say about such a compelling system when you were tooling with it.
A few examples is a good way to make a new mechanism more familiar. Presently, I think I would try it, see how my group uses it and then add personal do's and don'ts after seeing how it really plays.
And even then, I imagine we won't think of all the things we'd like so having someone else do it also and you know, etc.

You don't pool tokens. They're tracked individually. There are some really important reasons for this.

I will definitely clarify that, and will add a couple examples. Thanks for explaining. :)

Doc Roc
2011-03-17, 10:48 PM
Scene Duration
How do you guys feel about it? I'm think that some of the stuff in Feats should probably be switched to scene duration, as well as quest duration. I'd like to avoid any daily powers, of which we have some currently, but there are a couple abilities that shouldn't be encounter powers.

Are you comfortable enough with the Scene duration?

Gralamin
2011-03-17, 11:40 PM
Scene Duration
How do you guys feel about it? I'm think that some of the stuff in Feats should probably be switched to scene duration, as well as quest duration. I'd like to avoid any daily powers, of which we have some currently, but there are a couple abilities that shouldn't be encounter powers.

Are you comfortable enough with the Scene duration?

Scenes work. Quests also work. "Adventures" and "Sessions" don't work. Basically, before applying a quasi-defined duration, determine if it would even make sense in a PbP game.

That said, I'm hardly the only interest, so make sure you listen to others as well.

(Also, sadly my Legend playtest has been delayed to the 27th, due to players worrying about "Exams".)

Doc Roc
2011-03-18, 12:54 PM
Scenes work. Quests also work. "Adventures" and "Sessions" don't work. Basically, before applying a quasi-defined duration, determine if it would even make sense in a PbP game.

That said, I'm hardly the only interest, so make sure you listen to others as well.

(Also, sadly my Legend playtest has been delayed to the 27th, due to players worrying about "Exams".)

Hum! Solid point. We actually have an explicit definition for both scene and quest. I'm going to rewrite some of the feats to be x/scene instead of x/day.

I forgot I put those in, this gives us a way to write about quest level buffs again. I can't believe I left those out of feats!

Anzyr
2011-03-18, 02:54 PM
First of all, I just want to praise the token system for social encounters. It's simple, intuitive and is easily my new favorite social interaction system. What I would like to see added to the social encounters section is a chart of some sort detailing a few different EL social interactions to help out GMs in appropriately gauging the difficultly of a social interaction.

Next, the condition appears to have no way of being removed outside of spells. This by itself is no problem as the Rogue's tracks that cause battered include a duration, but the Paladin Smiting Track ability Escalation (and War Engine but it comes so late requiring magic to cure a condition is fair) cause the Battered condition with no duration. A debuff that prevents healing effects (including natural healing? unsure here from description) until removed by magic seems harsh.

Escalation (Ex): When your Struggle ability activates, any attacks you make against that opponent for the remainder of the round inflict a Fortitude save (DC 10 + 1/2 your level + your Charisma modifier) [B]and add the [Battered] condition. A failed save leaves the opponent [dazed] until the beginning of your next turn.

I would recommend having the Battered Condition include a time that it wears off naturally in the condition summary, either after the end of an encounter/scene or after 8 hours of rest.

Finally, a critical power issue with Undead racial track. Lord of the Damned makes the 3.5 Thrallherd feel impotent: (the google document won't let me copy the text, summation below)

Lord of the Damned (Su): ...With a ritual lasting 30 minutes you can transform a dead or willing living creature into an undead creature of the same kind you are. This creature can be of any level up to one less than your own and must have Intelligence, Wisdom and Charisma scores of 1 or greater. When you transform this creature, it loses one of its ability tracks and exchanges it for the Undead track. (Not clear here whether player or DM decides what track is exchanged) the creature serves you as long as you remain...

Basically, anything you kill becomes a minion under your control that can then also make minions. Although I personally suggest straight up scrapping it, some limiting qualifications such as: minions that gain this ability can not create minions until freed from masters control; A creature may only have 1 minion at any given time; and No you can not use this ability on the party member you got into PvP with, might serve to make it somewhat more sane.

Hope this helps.

imperialspectre
2011-03-18, 03:45 PM
Lord of the Damned (Su): ...With a ritual lasting 30 minutes you can transform a dead or willing living creature into an undead creature of the same kind you are. This creature can be of any level up to one less than your own and must have Intelligence, Wisdom and Charisma scores of 1 or greater. When you transform this creature, it loses one of its ability tracks and exchanges it for the Undead track. (Not clear here whether player or DM decides what track is exchanged) the creature serves you as long as you remain...

Hope this helps.

Wow. That's me, and I'm officially an idiot.

The intent was to cap it at one, and making a new servant gave the previous one free will. Somehow, I did not include that at all.

Apologies for writing megafail.

Regarding [Battered], the intent was that it only prevented healing from spell, Su, and SLA effects, and therefore could be countered by spells and Paladin fonts. That has not fully been implemented, but it will.

Doc Roc
2011-03-18, 03:57 PM
Regarding [Battered], the intent was that it only prevented healing from spell, Su, and SLA effects, and therefore could be countered by spells and Paladin fonts. That has not fully been implemented, but it will.

It should still definitely expire at end of encounter, though, automatically.

I'm still very iffy on Lord of Undeath myself.

imperialspectre
2011-03-18, 04:15 PM
I should mention that we have a whole section of leadership/summoning feats that haven't been merged into the main document, but function under the basic concept of "you get someone one level lower than you, and they work for/with you." The internal debate over how to implement such things is still fairly active.

Doc Roc
2011-03-18, 04:22 PM
I should mention that we have a whole section of leadership/summoning feats that haven't been merged into the main document, but function under the basic concept of "you get someone one level lower than you, and they work for/with you." The internal debate over how to implement such things is still fairly active.

And consists largely of me yelling no no no until Chris wanders off. I'm not always reasonable.

imperialspectre
2011-03-19, 12:37 AM
Okay. All of the bugs reported so far in this thread have been fixed in the document that will become next week's review PDF. Thank you all for your participation and feedback.

Please do post any additional bugs or concerns.

Doc Roc
2011-03-20, 05:38 PM
Okay. All of the bugs reported so far in this thread have been fixed in the document that will become next week's review PDF. Thank you all for your participation and feedback.

Please do post any additional bugs or concerns.

When is the next beta going up? Should we roll a new thread for it, since this thread is mostly incorporated into the doc?

Radar
2011-03-21, 09:45 AM
Just noticed something: there is no listed way of healing Ability Drain (unless I missed something).

imperialspectre
2011-03-21, 10:27 AM
It's probably going to be removed in its entirety in the next review cycle. It doesn't serve any useful design purpose, in my opinion; it's basically an artifact of a time when certain monsters "needed" artificial PC-screwing-over abilities that were arbitrarily better than similar abilities.

I will be posting a revised PDF later today. There is some Really Big News coming out with this review cycle - big enough to get its own thread, even. Discussion of A Very Long Trip should probably continue in this thread until Jake is ready to release it. Yes, that's an invitation for all of you to keep after him to finish it. :smallbiggrin:

Eldan
2011-03-21, 10:29 AM
How will you handle poison and disease, then, without ability damage? To me, ability damage provides nice tactial variety.

Radar
2011-03-21, 11:25 AM
How will you handle poison and disease, then, without ability damage? To me, ability damage provides nice tactial variety.
Ability Drain is to be removed. Ability Damage stays, if I understand correctly.

imperialspectre
2011-03-21, 12:26 PM
There are tons of effects that use ability damage. It's thoroughly modeled, can be naturally healed, and serves a useful purpose in game design.

Ability drain is literally the exact same thing except that only magical abilities can fix it. I feel strongly that a better model for magical diseases and such is to require a magical ability or a save to stop the magical effect stopping healing (so that non-casters can resist the horrible disease), then allow the damage to heal naturally once the effect is gone.

Doc Roc
2011-03-21, 12:27 PM
Ability Drain is to be removed. Ability Damage stays, if I understand correctly.

That's correct. Ability drain seems to serve no serious purpose from where I sit. It's a terrible penalty, and an awful mechanic.

jiriku
2011-03-21, 06:26 PM
Doc, out of curiousity I clicked the link in your sig last night, and have spent the last few hours absorbing the system and the module.

My group is currently wrapping up a Tomb of Horrors intermission (the bastards haven't even had the respect to get themselves killed) and preparing to return to their regularly scheduled gaming world. The game world includes Lovecraftian themes, high fantasy, their home base is a city of massive floating islands, and when we left off, the players were very far from home. I cannot ignore such serendipity. I'd like to have a go at running A Very Long Trip, if you can be enticed to make me a couple items.


I'd need a lead-in appropriate for players who don't have previous knowledge of the Lithos.
A map of the ship. Yes, indeed, a map.
An end-game or two.
What happens if the players WIN their four-out-of-seven game of cards?



If I could, I also have some suggestions on the overall structure of the adventure:


The current paucity of random and bridge cards is an opportunity to create NPCs who make up the passengers or crew and then feature them in a brief scene that introduces the players to the character in question. This would be a great opportunity to introduce iconic members of the newly created Legend classes to introduce players to the tone and style of the game system.
In particular, this module conspicuously lacks unique or interesting NPCs, with the prominent exception of Ler. Everyone else is just given a brief title, such as The Captain, The Sage, the Cruel Pair, etc. It needs interesting NPCs to keep the PCs and busy and distracted so that the horror catches them by surprise.
Work needs to be done to improve the exposition. There are too many places where a skill check grants a PC access to information that he just couldn't plausibly extrapolate from the evidence in front of him, such as "The sigil is the true name of the victim. This was a hit.", or "This creature is one of the letters of the cosmic alphabet", or "killing the person in the cocoon would be utterly horrible".
While you leave it to the GM to construct a narrative stringing the cards together, it would be a good idea to throw in a few ideas for an overarching narrative of your own devising, in cast the prospective GM can't think of anything good. As written, stringing the collected elements into a coherent narrative will be extremely challenging for all but the most creative and experienced storytellers.

Doc Roc
2011-03-21, 10:19 PM
Doc, out of curiousity I clicked the link in your sig last night, and have spent the last few hours absorbing the system and the module.

My group is currently wrapping up a Tomb of Horrors intermission (the bastards haven't even had the respect to get themselves killed) and preparing to return to their regularly scheduled gaming world. The game world includes Lovecraftian themes, high fantasy, their home base is a city of massive floating islands, and when we left off, the players were very far from home. I cannot ignore such serendipity. I'd like to have a go at running A Very Long Trip, if you can be enticed to make me a couple items.


I'd need a lead-in appropriate for players who don't have previous knowledge of the Lithos.
A map of the ship. Yes, indeed, a map.
An end-game or two.
What happens if the players WIN their four-out-of-seven game of cards?



If I could, I also have some suggestions on the overall structure of the adventure:


The current paucity of random and bridge cards is an opportunity to create NPCs who make up the passengers or crew and then feature them in a brief scene that introduces the players to the character in question. This would be a great opportunity to introduce iconic members of the newly created Legend classes to introduce players to the tone and style of the game system.
In particular, this module conspicuously lacks unique or interesting NPCs, with the prominent exception of Ler. Everyone else is just given a brief title, such as The Captain, The Sage, the Cruel Pair, etc. It needs interesting NPCs to keep the PCs and busy and distracted so that the horror catches them by surprise.
Work needs to be done to improve the exposition. There are too many places where a skill check grants a PC access to information that he just couldn't plausibly extrapolate from the evidence in front of him, such as "The sigil is the true name of the victim. This was a hit.", or "This creature is one of the letters of the cosmic alphabet", or "killing the person in the cocoon would be utterly horrible".
While you leave it to the GM to construct a narrative stringing the cards together, it would be a good idea to throw in a few ideas for an overarching narrative of your own devising, in cast the prospective GM can't think of anything good. As written, stringing the collected elements into a coherent narrative will be extremely challenging for all but the most creative and experienced storytellers.


These are all really valid concerns, can we chat about them in real-time?

Amphetryon
2011-03-24, 01:55 PM
I cannot speak to others' experience in this regard, but I would find it easier to create characters in Legend if the writeup included: 1) a character sheet, since it's divergent enough from 3.x that much of the sheets for that system do not apply 2) a sample character build process. "Akbar wants to make an underhanded, social-variety thief, so he..."

9mm
2011-03-24, 02:12 PM
I cannot speak to others' experience in this regard, but I would find it easier to create characters in Legend if the writeup included: 1) a character sheet, since it's divergent enough from 3.x that much of the sheets for that system do not apply 2) a sample character build process. "Akbar wants to make an underhanded, social-variety thief, so he..."

I still have a copy of the ancient Alpha sheet, complete with misspelled "perception" skill. I'll try to get a new, freshly made one up within the week.

IthilanorStPete
2011-04-03, 10:25 PM
I'm doing my first read-through, and it looks pretty cool. It's nice to see something of a culmination of the previous PD work. A few notes and questions (some of which may be answered as I continue to read):
-On page 69, there's no description for the Withdraw action.
-what's up with the 5-foot step? You seemed to have removed it, which is a fine idea, but it's still mentioned as a way of avoiding AoO's. (page 68)
-Is there truly no way to grapple someone, or are you guys just trying to work out a decent grapple system?
-Would it be possible to simply swift actions like Saga Edition does and just have it be Standard>Move>Swift, with a character getting one of each per turn?
-Could you split Mettle into two abilities - one for Fort and one for Will - to make it match up better with Evasion, and still be worthwhile?
-The skill system somewhat confuses me - chapter 2 seems to suggest that your trained skills are fixed at character creation, while chapter 4's wording on buying skills suggests that you pick where you want to put your ranks each time you level up. Which one is it?
-Into the Breach seems weird without prerequisites...giving 1st lvl characters the ability to teleport their allies around seems very odd.
-Can you only multiclass once, or can you give up both your 1st lvl feats to multiclass twice?
-You should specify whether you get the general feat or only a racial feat when you multiclass.

Doc Roc
2011-04-06, 11:27 PM
Most of those things should be clarified in the upcoming release, slated for sometime tomorrow, and the Mclassing stuff is still under debate. Thank you for cross-posting it!