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Initial Playtest thoughts

trysn

New Member
Shattered Core Backer
#1
I've read thru the playtest but I have not gotten as in-depth on some of the parts as I would like. There are some really good ideas in here and I'm curious to the approach that you guys were taking when developing your mechanics and your lore. I picked up some strong undertones that remind me of Deadlands with a helping of Call of Cthulhu. Is this the feel you were looking for?
I really like the dice pool building mechanics. Concerning the Target Numbers for skill checks am I correct in believing that every skill test is actually opposed based on your dice pool +/- 5? I guess an analogy would be, commoner farmer is attempting to climb a fence into his field, Human player is also attempting the same feat. Commoner has a base 2 Strength and 2 Athletics. Human has a 3 Strength and a 3 Athletics. Is the farmer rolling an opposed check against a 1D10 and the Human player against a 1D10+1D6, +/- 5 depending on gm discretion?

There were also some fluff aspects of the Race descriptions that were not reflected in the mechanics and I was wondering if that was intended? The Alypse mentioned a Psyonic mask that they wear, assuming it is what gives them the metallic triangular face in the art, but there is nothing in the racial bonus that gives them an innate psy power. I'd suggest giving them a rank in Psy for free and a talent tied to the mask that allows them to maintain the human disguise at no additional cost. Shades also mentioned something about blurring near shadows but there is no mechanics to help support this, maybe a bonus to stealth? I have some ideas that might help streamline some of the racial bonuses while maintaining the awesome ideas that you have for each of these races. An example would be, I think the bite attack from the Alypse could benefit from a poison effect, it moves the regular bite away from a base unarmed strike and ties in with the poison excretion that a Alypse martial artist can achieve. I enjoy a system where all of the parts fit together and feed into each other, and feel that the fluff can really help support the mechanics.

I'm curious as to what the design philosophy is concerning Mutations? I see them as an essential part of this destroyed world and a nice feature for Wretched, which are an awesome race, I'm concerned about the ease of feeding power gamers. Purchasing Mutations seems odd to me, Have you considered giving each Mutation a positive and a negative effect and tying them to a resistance or toughness roll when exposed to the wastelands for extended periods of time without proper equipment? I could see the Wretched race getting a racial that allows them to ignore up to x level of negative mutation effects.

Has magic always been present in Feneryss, or is this a development from the Reckoning? Was there a cost associated with the attempted summoning or release of Ragnarok? Did they not pay a high enough price and the result was the death of millions? I'm curious because I've always loved the idea of magic having a cost for those that use it. I like the idea of a Necromancer giving of himself to power his stitch, I like the Mechanics of Psy that cause the caster Fatigue. I think it is a great balance for power.

Magic breaks the laws of nature and exacts a toll. I'd love to see the regular casting have a similar effect, it also streamlines the number of systems players need to memorize. I'm curious how this works into crafting, do the Arkanic Drives or the Wall of Pulse require continual maintenance and an infusion of some magical means or do they become perpetual energy machines that leach from the environment? If they become fire and forget they this new technology will quickly allow humanity to overcome the distopian feel of the setting. Maybe they work like a stitch and require an influx of resources, fatigue, elixirs distilled from innately magical and twisted beings? I guess is there a cost to magic that keeps every citizen from being willing to harness and wield this power?

I very much liked the Marshals and fully get behind a system that bestows limited power thru the devotion to a deity. I would like to recommend putting a high cost ability that allows resurrection. I'm a fan of the idea of a Valhalla afterlife but think that a world where there is a race built around refusing to move on, and Necromancers that can force life into inanimate flesh, the idea of a Marshal invoking a deity to re-bind a soul to it's flesh isn't outside the realm of possibilities.

I see the ancient days of Feneryss as a place where there were two existing empires and technology drove the day to day achievements of the world. Humans and Alypse existed as separate empires that may have experienced some trade and frequent wars. I see Marshals as roving peacekeepers, chosen by the deities of Feneryss and bestowed supernatural powers thru their devotion. Different deities bestowing different powers tied to their realm of control. Ragnarok maybe being the primary deity and being of worship for the Alypse, I see a very Aztec culture. He is discontent with his Realm of influence and whispers to his followers of a ritual that will allow him to manifest and lead them to conquer all of Feneryss. This plan ultimately fails, the reasons why are lost to the wastes of time. Maybe a group of Marshals opposed his Death Marshals and broke the summoning. Maybe the sacrifices were not enough to pay the cost of such magic. The result was the same, Ragnarok stood upon the brink of existence in this plane and attempted to draw the necessary power from the world itself. Ocean boiled, vegetation wilted, millions died but it was not enough, He was denied but in his wrath he broke the natural order of Feneryss. Deities no longer controlled access to the Arkana. Those willing to give of them self could harness this power without the consent of the gods. A new world was born in ash. The remnants of humanity and alypsia eked out a meager existence in the broken world. Humanity changed with the landscape and time, new races were born. Technology rediscovered, access to the Arkana was discovered and life continued on but this history has been lost, or locked away into the deepest vaults of Lanis. For Feneryss stands on the brink of new developments, Arkana and technology have been melded to better the life of all, what would happen should these secrets be known.

These are just a few ideas that have been rattling around in my head. I really enjoy some of the visuals that your world evokes and want to see your dream succeed. I apologize if I've overstepped my bounds, but if you are interested in seeing where some of these ideas can go and if they can help you achieve your dream of Shattered I'm happy to help.

Congrats on achieving your funding this weekend!

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- What genre of game do the developers see Shattered as? A gritty survival horror game, a swashbuckling adventure.

- I'm interested to know what mechanics are locked in and which have some room to move and adjust. Every gaming table is different and prefers a different style of game but in my experience I've found that lots of opposed rolls bog down game play and detract from the story that can be told.

- The race concepts are amazing, especially when tied with the artwork, the stated racials I think could be tightened up a bit. I have some ideas they depend on where the core mechanics sit. I'd like to see the lore and fluff reflected a bit more on the mechanical side of things.

- The lvl progression can tighten up and you always have to be weary of feeding the power trolls. I love the mutations and feel that they are essential to this shattered world but there should be a drawback to having them. Give bonuses to the Wretched in dealing with the drawback and make them a concern for players that don't prepare to head into these inhospitable climates.

- Magic, This is the most open magic system I've ever encountered and I love it! I think having three different systems detracts from the openness you've created. I'd consider folding Psy into the Arkana and having both run the risk of causing fatigue. The Marshals are a nice "safe" limited form of magic and think it adds a nice roleplay element to game play. The Necromancer has a nice feel and got me thinking about why not every NPC is running around using magic. For the average person the costs are too high to wield Arkana.

- Cost of Tech, Magic and Technology have been melded but at what price? What is the resource cost to maintain these marvels? I have an idea or two that could be fun for the economy and players. I've been inspired by the idea of stitches and magical elixirs.

-Resurrection should be a viable option. I think it fits in the setting as a high end option for Marshal.

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NKdotzip

Administrator
Staff member
INDE Staff
#2
Hey thanks! We're working to get to everyone's notes, so keep an eye out when we make it to yours.


-zip
 

fnar777

Grunt
Shattered Core Backer
#3
Ah, you said exactly what I was about to on mutations. Buying them seems odd to me (not trying to be a jerk, I swear ;3;). I imagine mutations being something caused by background radiation, with more negatives than positives. Maybe the Wretched can buy them at the start, and have a different table to roll on when they get mutated by radiation. Like here's an example:

Human walks through a field of radioactive shtuff, incurring a Rad level of (i dunno... 5 maybe like fear) and it makes him weak but he could roll on a table to get a mutation that would probably be bad. They roll a d8

1 = Cancer,

2 = Aesthetic Change

3 = Unspeakable Horror,

4 = Dark eyes (but they also get light sensitivity), etc.)

5 = Lesser Appendage

6 =аLimb-rot [-1 to Str/Dex based things that require both hands],

7 = Bio-luminescenceа[minus some on stealth, but you don't need a torch]

8 = Gills

A Wretched walks through the same field, incurring the penalty as well, but when he rolls he has a shot at a beneficial mutation

1 = Cancer

2 = Aesthetic Change

3 = Extra Lung

4 = Third Eye

5 = Gills

6 = Dark Eyes

7 = etc

8 = etc

Maybe the Wretched can buy natural rolls or maybe the Cancer thing could not exist for them, removing the real threat of death by radiation in early stages. I'll type more later but I gotta drive somewhere :p

To be continued...