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Author Topic: Feedback on Rules?  (Read 698 times)

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Offline EgoisteTopic starter

Feedback on Rules?
« on: May 29, 2017, 12:51:48 AM »
   I'm not entirely certain if this is the right place to post this as I've gotten mixed feedback asking around. Here it is though: I'm hoping to try to system games here on E in the future. Namely Warhammer Fantasy Role-Play 2nd Edition (or 1st if people prefer it) however this is an old system and hasn't had much official support for a long time. As a result there are numerous house rules around, and player-made expansions or modifications including some 'unofficially official' supplements and source books that are too good to ignore. As a result I'm used to modifying it in various ways as a GM. Now I’m aware that when a lot of people hear the words house rules they groan, expecting something convoluted, the sort of thing that might appeal to a very familiar group of long-term players and this is precisely what I'm looking to avoid. Most of the additional material I make use of - some of which was created unofficially by the developers themselves - is about expanding options for players especially regarding their choice of careers, races, actions, and so on. You don't need to know of them to play as the core mechanics are largely preserved. In some cases where alternative rules are used they are generally presented as an optional extra. I take the approach that rules exist to level the playing field when you have more than one character all competing to stand out, and to cultivate a sense of both suspense and accomplishment. There are, I believe, rules that enslave role-players, and rules that set them free, and my goal is to create rules that free my players from restriction in order to create a story-driven, rather than rule-driven gaming experience.

   So to put it simply I'm curious if any system-lovers can assist in giving me feedback on these rules and modifications, or help me to suggest alterations, changes, etc that might make the game more enjoyable, or help to streamline the process for playing online. I'll post a list of the areas in which I have alterations or propositions.

   To provide some background on the system itself it is a fairly simple percentile system in which characters have attributes ranging anywhere from 12-100, and success in using various skills, achieving goals, performing actions and so on is based on successfully passing a text using percentile dice against the relevant attribute. Characters enter careers, and gain various skills (like read & write, or move silently, and so on) or talents (talents give bonuses and advantages to attributes or skills, or provide special abilities) and move on to a new career when they have learned the available skills, and taken the available statistic advances. Each career has set career exits so for example a soldier could become a veteran, or a thief could become a cat burgler, but the career system is not entirely linear and there is much room for development. So a soldier might also become a mercenary or vagabond, and a thief might become a charlatan or fence instead. There are over three hundred careers in all.

   My rules would endeavour to make changes to the following areas:

Character Creation:   I would allow for an optional system of character creation that is story-driven rather than rule-driven and optional rules can be added to limit (not remove) randomisation during character creation to facilitate this. New races and provincial features have been added, and races now reflect the background material better (no mutated Elves for example as they do not appear in the setting) while balancing issues have been addressed. The idea is to generate balance through both the rules, or systemic balance and through 'meta-balance,' which is more a product of common sense factors, and the realities of the setting. For example Elves seem powerful compared to humans, but they are less lucky and gain experience slower as an example of systemic balance. Ogres on the other hand may seem unbalanced in systemic terms (even factoring in the cost of custom-made equipment, lack of intelligence, and so on) but practical concerns like their sheer size (there are many places they cannot go, and others where they have difficulty operating) or the fact that most games are not combat-focused provides meta balance to redress this. In this area I would like to get any feedback I can on whether or not meta balance is an acceptable substitute for systemic balance, and if anyone is interested I can post more clear examples.

Careers: I'll add/allow new careers (mostly fan made or 'unofficially official' expansions) and optional guidelines for creating your own, new careers (with GM or fellow player approval,) while some pre-existing careers have been revised. An optional, story-driven career entry & exit system can be used so that instead of being limited in career choice by proscribed exits your next career is determined by the realities of your narrative. For example a soldier may not be able to become a bounty hunter, but if your character is a soldier and has spent the last six months tracking down an outlaw who killed his friend then such an exit makes far more practical sense than those that are actually available to you. Again of course in some cases career balance is not intuitive and meta-balance stands in for systemic balance at times, wizards for example may seem overpowered but they're also likely to be nailed to a tree and burnt if they're not very careful, but some careers have been tweaked which were either too good, or too awful.

Skills & Talents: skills have not been changed but one or two talents (like frenzy which provides no appreciable bonus in light of the penalties it causes) were simply pointless, and have been revised. I think the skills should remain the same, but am willing to accept any advice, feedback or suggestions. The main aim here is to ensure no skill or talent is entirely useless (there's really no reason to buy or ever use frenzy for example in the vanilla rules) however talents can easily be expanded so if anyone has any suggestions for new talents I'd love to listen.

The Armoury & Trappings: this area has been re-worked extensively, and is the most altered as I think it was written by someone who was drunk. A spear for example had the same encumbrance value as four sledgehammers, and many characters would be physically unable to move in even medium armour it was so heavy. Add to that the three or four layers of stacking armour was silly, and the weapons were incredibly samey with very little distinction. So almost all every stat for every weapon has been revised to some extent. Weapon qualities have been re-tuned and new weapon qualities have been added to improve the combat experience. The armour system has been completely re-designed. Prices have been adjusted to remove Storm of Chaos related taxation and bring values in-line with the listed wages. High quality items no longer denote items of an ostentatious or decorative nature, and prices for item qualities have been adjusted accordingly. The idea that you can only buy a functionally superb-quality object if it's gold plated or jewel-encrusted is just silly, and has been removed. Encumbrance values have been re-worked to reflect a modicum of realism; weapons and armour should seem like practical objects. I would love to get feedback on these changes, and would be be happy to field suggestions for altering things to have a more historical and realistic flavour. Verisimilitude is my goal here, and I do not personally feel weapons or armour need to be balanced either systemically, or in overall terms. Some are just better than others, though most have some use or role even so, and this should be reflected in their profiles. However I'm curious whether people would be happy with this approach.

Combat: combat has been overhauled but primarily through alterations to peripheral rules and I've included numerous options for making it more or less complicated depending on how important it is to the players. The core mechanics remain though, and the changes are primarily expressed through alterations to weapons, weapon qualities, fighting styles, and combat actions. I would especially appreciate any assistance anyone can provide in this area for streamlining this process further, or for adding optional rules to provide a more realistic process.

Magic: magic remains more or less the same save for the the optional addition of more spells (primarily re-tuned versions of the spells from first edition which were very well done) and an alteration to the use of dark magic and channelling. Channelling can now take place over multiple turns so in theory you can cast any spell you know if given enough time, but the longer you spend casting (and the more dice you roll to do so) the greater the chance something will go wrong. Dark magic works similarly, but is both faster and far more dangerous, and the risk scales directly in proportion to the amount of power being used. The system has also been revised to fit the lore from a career perspective so non-college wizards can now use more than one lore (as they should) in certain circumstances.

   Remember that is only a basic overview, and though I'd be happy to get any feedback on this I'm planning to post the individual alterations if people are interested, and would be especially appreciative of feedback on such details. So if anyone is interested in providing it and would like to read more or even give your opinion here by all means post, or feel free to PM me.
« Last Edit: June 07, 2017, 06:55:04 AM by Egoiste! »

Offline greenknight

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Re: Feedback on Rules?
« Reply #1 on: June 15, 2017, 11:49:47 AM »
Caveat: I am only familiar with 1st Ed.

I think your starting from a false premise. WFRP is old skool, in that good rolls on the front end by necessity means more spotlight time in play. The best rolled fighter is absolutely going to shine more than others just based on numbers he puts up. The random starting career exacerbates this.

My starting recommendation is two points pools for your players, one for percentile and one for numbers. There are 9 stats rolled on x+2d10 and 4 on (IIRC) x+1d3.
  • Percentiles: I would recommend a character starts with ~150 percentile points (half again the average of the rolls) to buy these attributes. But they also apply to other percentile rolls during character creation. After spending points to assign attributes, the remainder can be used to modify percentile rolls. You want a pit fighter but rolled 7 under the range? You got 7 percentile points saved to adjust the roll? Oh, you wanted that special skill and rolled over?You get the idea.
  • Numbers. 8 (or 10, for more heroic scale) points to spend adding to the bases.
  • Of course, no attribute can be outside the allowable range. between 2 and 20 or 1 and 3 points must be spent on each attribute, ass appropriate.
I think this can go a long way to rules balancing characters among each other.

Weapons. Consider the source here. WFB has hand weapons and significantly different weapons. This drives the sameness of them. Also, in WFB, the S/T relationship is the primary driver for damage rather than weapon.
  • Recommendation: If you want more hand weapon variety, consider the rules from Mordheim. For example, swords can parry (and completely remove the option for other weapon types), axes ignore a point of armor, and mass weapons have a chance of stunning the target.
Combat: One thing you might want to consider is tamping down W and adopting WFB's damage chart instead of WFRP's roll plus modifiers and attributes system.

I think these have a benefit in that they're adapting rules from further developed versions of the system rather than wholecloth additions.
« Last Edit: June 15, 2017, 11:51:01 AM by greenknight »

Offline EgoisteTopic starter

Re: Feedback on Rules?
« Reply #2 on: June 15, 2017, 01:25:12 PM »
Thanks a lot for the feedback.

Quote
Caveat: I am only familiar with 1st Ed.

I haven't played 1st Ed in a long time, but I am familiar with it.

Quote
I think your starting from a false premise. WFRP is old skool, in that good rolls on the front end by necessity means more spotlight time in play. The best rolled fighter is absolutely going to shine more than others just based on numbers he puts up. The random starting career exacerbates this.

My starting recommendation is two points pools for your players, one for percentile and one for numbers. There are 9 stats rolled on x+2d10 and 4 on (IIRC) x+1d3.
Percentiles: I would recommend a character starts with ~150 percentile points (half again the average of the rolls) to buy these attributes. But they also apply to other percentile rolls during character creation. After spending points to assign attributes, the remainder can be used to modify percentile rolls. You want a pit fighter but rolled 7 under the range? You got 7 percentile points saved to adjust the roll? Oh, you wanted that special skill and rolled over?You get the idea.
Numbers. 8 (or 10, for more heroic scale) points to spend adding to the bases.
Of course, no attribute can be outside the allowable range. between 2 and 20 or 1 and 3 points must be spent on each attribute, ass appropriate.
I think this can go a long way to rules balancing characters among each other.

I'm not clear what you mean by starting with a false premise. I'm proposing rules to limit the factors you're talking about, namely randomisation. I do like your ideas though. They're similar to some of the 40k RP systems I've played, which are an improvement in many ways. It's definitely an option for people who want the rolls to create a randomised narrative. The thing is some people want the opposite.

I've always been comfortable allowing people to choose their own starting careers (and sometimes talents) as long as it fits a narrative and isn't just about power gaming. The problem is some starting careers are so awful (and some so good) that they're always or never chosen. This mostly comes down to bad exits as opposed to anything else.

Quote
Weapons. Consider the source here. WFB has hand weapons and significantly different weapons. This drives the sameness of them. Also, in WFB, the S/T relationship is the primary driver for damage rather than weapon.
Recommendation: If you want more hand weapon variety, consider the rules from Mordheim. For example, swords can parry (and completely remove the option for other weapon types), axes ignore a point of armor, and mass weapons have a chance of stunning the target.

The kind of sameness you get in a game dealing with large scale battles is to be expected. There's no reason why it needs to be carried over into a rule-set with an entirely different purpose. That said the Mordheim system is essentially just a trimmed down version of the weapon qualities that already exist in WFRP. These make it fairly easy to differentiate between weapons especially as new qualities can be created easily enough.

The main issue comes down to a question of whether or not you want to preserve a sense of 'fairness' in which all weapons in the same 'class' (hand weapons, ordinary weapons, etc) are more or less equal. Personally I don't see why that should be the case. I can show you my weapon stats/qualities if you'd like to see.

Quote
Combat: One thing you might want to consider is tamping down W and adopting WFB's damage chart instead of WFRP's roll plus modifiers and attributes system.

WFRP 2nd Ed and WFB both use a non-percentile wounds attribute for calculating damage. The only difference is in WFB when you reach zero wounds you die (that's an optional rule in WFRP) while in FRP you start to take critical hits.

Quote
I think these have a benefit in that they're adapting rules from further developed versions of the system rather than wholecloth additions.

Well I'm familiar with most of GWs systems, and am happy to look to them for inspiration particularly when it comes to things WFRP doesn't cover but I'm not sure about lifting rules from them lock stock. WFB and Mordheim's rules are almost entirely concerned with skirmishes or full-scale battles in which opposing players manage large groups of characters at once.

Offline Jezabelle

Re: Feedback on Rules?
« Reply #3 on: September 17, 2017, 04:25:16 PM »
You additions don't seem bad, maybe consider this WFRP2e hack I wrote here if you're interested in further stepping away from the setting but keeping WFRP 2e's rules.