My overall thoughts on the Shattered rules

koeran

New Member
Shattered Core Backer
#1
So, rather than giving feedback on individual mechanics as I look over them (as I've started to do), I thought I might give a more holistic response on my overall impression of the playtest material provided so far.

I have two main thoughts.

Firstly; I'm actually finding it quite difficult to read. аOr more accurately; understand. аThe english used is fine but to me it reads like there's a lot of assumed knowledge. аIt could just be that a lot of the rules are written in a fairly contracted manner. аFor example:

Page 4: Character Creation, Step 7

Next, your Physical Resolve is the sum of Toughness + Resolve.аPhysical Resolve is used to resist physical stressors, poisons, andаdetermine how much Fatigue they can endure. Characters that areаpractitioners of the Psykic Arts have a slightly different formula forаtheir Fatigue and that is explained in the Kinesis section on page 92
To me that initially reads like Physical Resolve is only one of the components that goes into calculating the characters Fatigue and that the rest of the calculation just isn't mentioned, rather than it being the exact calculation (Granted I believe there are talents that can also add to it). аIf it was expanded so that both mechanics and their roles were mentioned in separate sentences, rather than condensed into one, it should be more straight forward.

And that is just one example of the kind of explanation I'm finding is commonаthroughout the rules. аAt the end of the day, it's more of an editing issue. аAnd while I believe it's important. аIt's a relatively easy fix.

Secondly, and this is my biggest concern; the rules are overly complicated.

а

The Core mechanic of the MDS is great. аStat Rank + Skill Rank = Total Rank. аThen Roll Die according to the total rank (found on the convenient lookup table on the character sheet). аIt's straight forward, simple and quite different to any other games I've played.

а

The main criticismаI have is that it starts with a single dice, then moves to two, and then finally to three (before of course getting to four and five). аOne dice gives a linear distribution, two a peak. аIt's only once you get three die that you get a Bell Curve. аIn the early game, the lack of a bell curve will lead to some very volatile dice results. It also creates a bottle neck for the Unopposed Check Difficulty table in the lower ranks. аThis is more of a personal thing, as I like Bell Curves. аBut it could lead to turning some people off the game early, if their results are too volatile. аBy volatile I mean higher chances of rolling extremely high and/or low results.

а

The rules also contain a lot of modifiers. аWhen they are static, and can easily be added to a character sheet during advancement, they're less of an issue. аBut if they're situational, as a lot of them are, it's a problem. аIn my experience situational modifies are hard to keep track of, and have a tendency to either be forgotten, or to bog down the game.

а

However my biggest concern regarding the complexity of the mechanics is how inconsistent they are. аToo many mechanics read like they were written in isolation. аThe game has, effectively, five different casters. аAll of them use different mechanics. аIn my opinion, only the Necromancers stitch mechanics need to be different. аThe rest of them could all be built around the same core mechanics. аEach caster has such a different feel/flavor that they don't need to be distinguished by different mechanics.

а

There are two different core crafting mechanics, one of which isаdivided into two again. аAnd I fear that when more is released, if there are vehicle design rules for example(and I hope there are), they'll be different again.

а

A lot of the talents don't seem to follow any structure or pattern. аWithin talents, or talent trees yes, but comparing different talents or talent trees, not so much.

а

I understand. аI myself have fallen into the same trap when doing house rules or designing my own mechanics. аI've since learned that the first question you need to ask when designing rules for a new part of the game is: 'What existing mechanic can I use to do this?'. аIf you can't find one, then the next question is: 'What existing mechanic can I modify so that it will work for this new part, as well as the original part it was intended for?' аIf you still can't find one that's when you start on a new mechanic.

а

My concern is that with the issues I've addressed above, you may end up loosing potential customers. аThe rules read to me like they fall into a similar category as D&D 3.0/3.5. аSure, they work. аBut it's a lot of work to use them. аAnd a lot of people have moved on. аGranted D&D has since released two additional versions. аBut at least in my circles, people have moved onto simpler more streamlined systems. аAnd I will stress that simpler and/or streamlined, doesn't have to mean 'less substance'.

а

At the end of the day, I love the artwork. аI really like the setting, from what little I know of it so far, and I could see myself loving it when I learn more. аI really want to love the mechanics. аMost importantly, I really want you guys to be successful. аI'm just a guy who loves Tabletop RPGs. аYou guys are the one with the guts to stand up and actually have a go at publishing your own stuff. аAnd I have the utmost respect for you because of that.

а

Maybe I'm just not your target customer, but I hope that's not the case.

а

I do have some suggestions on how to address the above, if you'd like to hear them. аSome of them are a little drastic though.
 

NKdotzip

Administrator
Staff member
INDE Staff
#2
Thanks so much for the honesty, I know that I speak for the rest of the team when I say that it is very much appreciated. Any recommendations you have are always welcome. We want this game to feel like it belongs to everyone, so bring it on. I'll bring up your post tonight and at the very least have our numbers guys examine your points on the MDS progression.а

You've got a lot of info here so it may take some time to work through everything in addition to other edits that we have on our plate, but hang in there and we'll keep you in the loop. :)

Thanks again,

Zip
 

NKdotzip

Administrator
Staff member
INDE Staff
#3
So I've discussed it with the rest of the team, and we were wondering if you could further explain some of your concerns, which I have quoted below.

the rules are overly complicated.
We weren't entirely sure if you only meant this in reference to the number of casters that you referenced or if there are other parts you felt were overly complicated.

а

A lot of the talents don't seem to follow any structure or pattern. аWithin talents, or talent trees yes, but comparing different talents or talent trees, not so much.
This one in particular was one where we didn't know exactly what you meant.

а

Thanks,

zip
 

Tex

Lore Master
Staff member
INDE Staff
#4
IIRC, the MDS having single dice and then multiple dice was intentional. At the beginning and/or early use of a mechanic, you're not very good at it. Thus you have more ups and downs in how you perform the task. In later levels, you are able to perform the tasks adequately and have less surprises. You know what you're doing, thus you roll more consistently.

а

As for your other points, I'll withhold my comments until you write up your suggestions. I don't want to discourage you from writing up your own thoughts and ideas about Shattered.

а

--Tex
 

Pul

Administrator
Staff member
INDE Staff
#5
Tex said
IIRC, the MDS having single dice and then multiple dice was intentional. At the beginning and/or early use of a mechanic, you're not very good at it. Thus you have more ups and downs in how you perform the task. In later levels, you are able to perform the tasks adequately and have less surprises. You know what you're doing, thus you roll more consistently.
I AM SUMMONED!

Yes, this was the desired intent of the MDS. That when you're new, you're just that, new and unreliable. A Peasant picking up a sword, he may reliably be strong, but has no working knowledge of the art of swordsmanship. However, a decorated knight, would be expected to consistently produce very similar results, whenever the challenge arises.

At char-gen, characters are not expected to be a hearty party of adventurers. More along the lines of a group of Peasants who've made it through a few real scuffles in their lives, but no dedicated advancement has been made until the start of the game.

Regarding the condensing of the text.аThis is true, we started leaning towards that style of writing as we watched the page count (and resulting print cost) rise.а
HOWEVER, you are correct. Reading that while attempting to know nothing of the game, that exert quoted is rather confusing.а

With regards to the seperation of mechanics among the different archetypes, I'm curious of what your solution to it would be. Being a dev, I don't want to sit and text-wall you into never wanting to respond regarding why we went the route we did.а
I'd love to hear your suggestions regarding ways to make the game more accessible.
 

koeran

New Member
Shattered Core Backer
#6
NKdotzip said
So I've discussed it with the rest of the team, and we were wondering if you could further explain some of your concerns, which I have quoted below.

the rules are overly complicated.
We weren't entirely sure if you only meant this in reference to the number of casters that you referenced or if there are other parts you felt were overly complicated.

а

A lot of the talents don't seem to follow any structure or pattern. аWithin talents, or talent trees yes, but comparing different talents or talent trees, not so much.
This one in particular was one where we didn't know exactly what you meant.

а

Thanks,

zip
а

By overly complicated I was primarily talking about the lack of consistency with the casting and crafting mechanics. аThe situational bonuses and penalties, and talents were more of an instinctual thing, rather than something I have specific examples of. аThey kinda triggeredаflashbacks to my D&D 3.5 days with the plethora of situational bonuses and pages upon pages of feats (which were horribly unbalanced, especially after additional sourcebooks were released).

Casting

I have a bunch of suggestions to streamline and simplify casters. аThe intention is to keep them more internally consistent so casters are easier to manage and are more likely to be balanced compared with each other. аThese suggestions are intended to be used in conjunction with each other for the most part.

а

When reading the overcast mechanics, the first thought that came into my head was "why didn't they use fatigue?" (The overcast mechanics is another section that is very difficult to read also by the way). аLooking on the old reddit threads, I realize you were considering it yourselves.

Suggestion:

Separate fatigue into physical and mental. аMaxing out physical fatigue results in collapsing and either being helpless or paralyzed (or maybe create a new condition; exhausted). аMaxing out mental fatigue results in passing out or fallingаUnconscious (the conditions may need to be adjusted). аArkanists take physical fatigue on a failed roll and Psychics mental.

Or

Make them all based of one pool of fatigue, and modify it if necessary. аFor example adjust it to be based of Willpower, Toughness, Resolve, and perhaps either Athletics or Endurance (if you want to create an endurance skill under Toughness). аI'd lean towards this option, and definitely recommend making fatigue based on both toughness and willpower. аFatigue isn't just a measure of someone's physical capacity, but also of their mental capacity to push through it. аI'm also less keen on the Resovle skill being a factor in physical resolve, as it's a bit of a stretch to will yourself to resist a poison or disease.

Either way though, keep it the same for all casters.

Arkanistsаdon't have set spell lists, just a table of components they can add to a spell (which I love the concept of by the way). аPsychics largely have a set spell list that has some modifiers within each spell. аAnd Marshals have a set spell listаwithаlittle toаno capacity for modification.

I understand why the spell lists were created. аArkanists have very narrow focuses so the tables apply easily. аAs Psychics and Marshals have different design concepts it's harder to give themаfree form tables to draw from. аBut with some effort I think they could also have their own tables to work from. аOverall I'm cool with set spells as long as they're created using the same formulas that the table based spellsаuse. аThough I'd prefer if there were set spells, that as many of them as possible have modification options like a lot of the current Psychic ones do.

Suggestion:

I haven't spent as much time thinking about this, but there are certainly some options for table based effects for Psychics and Marshals, or at least specific spells with modifierаoptions. аA Marshals healing spells could easily be framed to work just like a Primaltheurges damage spells, just healing instead of causing damage. аFatigue removal would also work the same as fatigue infliction from Psychics. аI'm sure there's more that could be done with this, but I'll need to think about it. аIt's probably worth a thread all on it's own.

Necromancer Curses. аIn my experience those kinds of effects are tedious to keep track of, and looking over the curses was probably what triggered my issue with keeping track of bonuses and penalties. аPenalties to stats and skills often trigger questions about how far they go. аDoes reducing toughness also reduce HP, or Physical Resolve? Does reducing Agility also reduce Stride? аOften triggering caveats in the rules for those effects, which is more complication, and perhaps worse, a higher word count.

Suggestion:

Keep curses very generic. Penalty to attacks, reactions, movement, mental/physical resolve, actions.

I also think that Necromancers should have access to some conditions, but they may need to be listed separately, as they vary in power greatly. аBleeding, Dehydration, Starvation, Nausea, and Paralysis, for example, all seem appropriate to me. аIn my opinion those kinds of effects are more terrifying than the capacity to animate the dead.

Marshals have a Mana pool. аWhich is entirely different from the other casters. аAnd entirely unnecessary in my opinion. аIt's just another way of measuring a characters energy reserves.

Suggestion:

If you have two pools of fatigue, have Marshalsаfunction either like Arcanists, or Psychics, depending on their Element (Which I would rename to Aspects, or Spheres or something like that. аElements is too easily confused with Primaltheurges.). аIf their element is physical in nature, then they take physical fatigue. аIf their element is emotional/mental then they take mental.

Or Just make them entirely mental, given Devotion and faith are entirely mental aspects.

Of course if you go with the one fatigue pool, just use that.

Marshals also get Auras, Omens, Scry and Graces. аI don't think the mechanics for those effects are bad (to be honest I think the concept is great), it's just I don't see why they're restricted to Marshals only. аFor example I can easily see a Primaltheurge who specializes in Earth spells to have those Earthаeffects. аOr a Necromancer who has Death effects. аSome are even appropriate for Psychics, Light/Darkness for Illusionists for example.

Suggestion:

Remove those effects from the Marshal, and put them intoаnew Talents. а'X Affinity'. аThe base requirement would probably be a certain level of caster skill, and 1 Rank in the appropriate spell casting talent. аThe Graces could either be unlocked at the appropriate Talent Rank, or that would be the requirement before taking the next rank in the 'X Affinity' Talent.

Psychics also get to add their Talent rank to their fatigue threshold. аNo other caster gets this. аI assume because for some reason it was felt that they needed an additional buffer,аwith Arkanists using Overcasting and Marshals Mana, their was no reason for the other casters to use it.

Suggestion:

Go all or nothing. Either all casters get to add their Talent rank to their fatigue level, or none of them do. аGiven that there is a generic talent to add to fatigue levels, I'd go nothing, and just use the generic one instead.

Psychics also get to ignore fatigue equal to their rank in the kenesis talent. аAs far as I know, no other caster, or character, gets to benefit from a similar mechanic. аMelee fighters will tire themselves and not get to ignore it. аArkanists or Marshals will tire and not get to ignore it. аI don't see why Psychics were singled out for this benefit.

Suggestion:

I'd drop the mechanic all together. аIf you're tired, your tired. аIf you really want/need something for it I'd use something like:

Focused

Pick a skill. аYou ignore fatigue penalties equal to your rank in this talent for that skill. аThis can be taken multiple times for a different skill each time.

That way, any character can take it. аMelee fighters can get the benefit for their melee skill. аThat said, when you get to the point of something that everyone is going to take, you may as well just give it to them. аAt least that's my opinion on must have's for characters in RPGs. аMaybe all characters start with one rank in the Focused talent for free at character creation?

That said, it's also something that can potentially be abused. аHaving Focus in melee combat and Dodge and Block would practically negate the point of having fatigue rules at all.

Regarding spell durations there is some inconsistency there also. аArkanists, Psychics and to a lesser degree, Marshals, have to use spell power to increase their duration on a round by round basis. аNecromancers have all their curses automatically last half their Int in rounds. аIllusion spells also have durations listed in rounds or minuets. аSome Marshal spells last hours.

Suggestion:

Set spell effects into tiers. аLower powered effects can last hours, medium effects minuets, and high powered effects rounds. аThen do either:

Have all casters have to increase the Spell Power/Strain to increase the duration on a per roundаbasis (or minuets/hours as appropriate for the tier), with the maximum number of rounds a spell can last being equal to half the governing stat rounded down in rounds.

Or

Have all appropriate spells have an instantaneous or persistent duration option. аInstant spells are just that, instant, with no ongoing effects. аPersistent spells last as long as half the governing stat rounded down in rounds/minutes/hours.

I still haven't quite got my head around how the existing overcast mechanics work, or what difficulty enemies have to roll against to resist a spell (is it the Spell Power, or the casters roll?), to give solid suggestions on how to modify them but my basic thoughts are: to base the overcast capacity for individual castings on the same rules as crafters maximum crafting capacity for items. аAnd casters should have to take fatigue points to overcast.

I have other suggestions for new spellcasting mechanics, or expanding out some of the existing stuff, but as that's not the intent for this post I'll leave them for later. аOverall, if you apply whats above appropriately, or something similar, you could condense a lot of the rules into one "Supernatural Powers" section, and then have smaller sub sections for each type of caster. аNot only will simplifying and applying the same casting rules across all casters make the game easier to play, it mayаalso reduce your word count.

As I've spent and embarrassingly long time massaging this post, I'll leave it at this for now, and get back to you on the other questions/thoughts later.
 

koeran

New Member
Shattered Core Backer
#7
While I haven't expressly said it, I try to work from the principal of "K.I.S.S." as much as possible when it comes to RPG rules. а"Keep it simple, stupid". аWhich is probably why I have such an aversion to complexity, and/or why I notice it.

With the above post I was primarily trying to suggest ways of modifying the existing casters presented to use a universal casting system. аLikewise, I'll do what I can here to present suggestions to create a universal crafting system.

Crafting

Probably the first thing that worried me when reading the crafting rules is that it's open ended. аOnce a character has 10 ranks in the crafting skill, there's no limit to the difficulty of the item. аThe part that worries me more is when a weapon reaches grade 5, there's no limit to the amount of damage dice that can be added. аIn both cases they get limited by the maximum possible results of the die rolls (though that's essentially the same for everything else), it just set off alarm bells. аIt screams like it's waiting to be abused. аBut maybe that's just because I have optimized min/maxed characters in the past.

Suggestion:

While I said I'd wait to suggest new spell casting mechanics, I have an idea that would apply to both crafting and casting. аYou could limit the number spell attributesаbased on the casters associated stat. аFor example, with Int 3, a primaltheurge could choose; damage, range and burst, but no others on one individual casting. аBut on another spell they might use; Status effect, additional target and duration. аOf course they wouldn't be required to always use three attributes, that would just be the limit due to theirаint. аThere would also not be a restriction on how much each individual attribute could be pushed, ie adding damage 3 times for 3d6, along with the range and burst attributes. аExcept for their maximum spell power limit/overcast options. аWhich would still be the combined spell power of each attribute.

Likewise, for crafting, a crafter could be limited to the number of modules based on their Int. аFor example, with Int 3, a handle, ranged weapon module, and a scope. аThe difference being that each module would be crafted separately (individual crafting rolls for each module), with a modifier to the difficulty based on the number of modules being used in the final weapon (ie 3 components, mean the complexity of each individual component is raised by 3, as it's harder to integrate them with the others). аI'd also, like spell casting, use a talent in conjunction with the stat/skill. аThe talent rank would determine the maximum complexity of each individual module, with a potential for overcrafting using the same rules as casters for overcasting, but instead of using fatigue, increasing the cost of the raw materials proportionally with how far over their crafting cap they go.

Talents would be similar to how the current spell casting talents are. One for weapons and ammo, and one for armor and shields, tied to the Armaments skill. аOne for Prosthetics, and one for vehicles, tied to the Mechaniks, skill. аAnd one for poisons, and one for other potions, based on the alchemy skill. аEssentially mirroring how casting skills/talents (with the exception of Marshals) all have two different casting types linked to the one skill.

Weapons and prosthetics use 'grades' and shields and armor use 'layers'. аProsthetics also have 'hardpoints'. аWhile the terminology largely makes sense, it could easily be streamlined and simplified.

Suggestion:

Using the above idea, they would be simplified as modules (or whatever other name you think appropriate). аThe maximum number of different modulesаwould be limited by Int. аThe maximum complexity of each individual module, based on the talent rank . аWith Prosthetics, the Prosthetic itself would be one module, any integratedаmodifications like compartments or weapons would be additionalаmodules, counting toward the maximum stat limit.

The Hit Point buffer for prosthetics would just be increasingаthe complexity of that module to add more HP.

With all items, armor and weapons, the number of modules would determine str requirements, stride penalties and the like.

That's essentially my suggestions on the crafting rules thus far. аI can see indicationsаyou're also looking at using size rules as well. аAnd I'd recommend tying in a damage limitation based on size (smaller weapons do less damage, larger ones can do more). аI'd also recommend giving a list of the damages that can be expected for particular weapons, so crafters have a reference to work from. аGranted that could easily be drawn from the equipment list.

I also really hope you're considering doing vehicle design rules also. аI've played in so many games where everyone was stoaked to get an Airship, and then whenever we looked at the ones prebuilt in the rules they were always disappointing. аI can definitely see a relevance for vehicle design rules. аNomad bikers, the obvious airship that everyone is gonna want to do at some point, even a mobile home/tank ala the film, Fury.

I hope you can now see what I'm getting at when I say the rules are complicated. аThere is room to streamline them without compromising the concepts they're intended to represent. аAnd individual mechanics can be spread across seemingly different concepts, allowing for further simplification and streamlining. аI heartily encourage you to rethink the idea that as potions are significantly different from broadswords you'll have to create different rules for crafting them. аWith a bit of effort and creativity, I'm sure there's a way to create universal rules for them. аHell, if they're consumables, they could follow similar rules to crafting ammo.

Sorry, this post was a bit more rushed. аBut I think the core of my ideas are in there.
 

koeran

New Member
Shattered Core Backer
#8
As I was failing to get to sleep last night I realized just how similar casting spells and crafting items can be. аConceptually they're practically identical. аThey're both essentially picking options from tables. аThe difference being that a caster is weaving their spell on the spot in a short period of time, and a crafter can take more time to get each part of their item done right.

But anyway, onto:

Modifiers

As I said previously, my concerns were mostly sparked when looking at the Curses for Necromancers. аAs those kinds of modifiers tend to cause a cascade of additional questions. аLikewise, Diseases, with their attribute penalties are likely to spark the same sorts of questions. аI don't have any particular suggestions for diseases, other than considering something more generic, a penalty to all rolls, reduction in action points, and maybe a permanent (until cured), cumulative fatigue.

There's also a bunch of racial modifiers, and I see that there are going to be modifiers for off hand weapons/duel wielding. аOutnumbering bonuses and I assume also that there'll be size modifiers also.

I'm not saying they don't make sense. аI'm just saying they're exactly the kind of thing that can bog the game down.

I get the impression that you've probably got some serious math analysis on the modifiers you have already. аSo I'm not concerned about game balance, just more about the flow of gameplay. аI'd just suggest focusing less on what makes sense and more on what's fun and/or cool. аPersonally I don't like letting "rule of cool" run rampant. аBut I don't ignore it either.

The other thing I'd consider is standardizing modifiers to be either modifiersаto dice rolls, or modifiersаdirectly to Total Rank. аRank penalties will have a stronger impact though, so if you go that route, use a lighter touch. аBut I do think sticking to one or the other across the board for the rules will help avoid confusion during play.

I will point out that the advantage of using Rank only modifiers is that it's easier for the GM to predict the difficulties of encounters and checks using the table you've provided on page 24. аI haven't analyzed the table. аBut if you do go with rank only modifiers, I'd suggest making the Low and High options 1 Standard Deviation away from the Mean. аI'd also add in columns for minimum and maximum results. аArmed with a table like that GMs can compare the PCs stats to the table and adjust the challenges to their taste, with less risk of making things too easy, or impossible, for the PCs.
 

NKdotzip

Administrator
Staff member
INDE Staff
#9
Thanks for all the critique! We'll be discussing much of this in greater detail tonight, so if we arrive at any major changes, we'll be sure to let you and everyone else know.

That said, I can't help but get a very D&D 4.0 feel from some of what you're suggesting.
 

koeran

New Member
Shattered Core Backer
#10
NKdotzip said
Thanks for all the critique! We'll be discussing much of this in greater detail tonight, so if we arrive at any major changes, we'll be sure to let you and everyone else know.

That said, I can't help but get a very D&D 4.0 feel from some of what you're suggesting.
Yeah, I can see how you'd get that feeling.

I enjoyed D&D 4th ed as a tactical combat game. аBut because the rules were so heavily focused on combat, roleplaying ended up being more of a secondary thought. аMy biggest concern with 4th ed otherwise was that martial characters used the same mechanics as spell casters. аThat never sat well with me. аI didn't make sense that they were limited in the same fashion.

Since you also specifically asked for me to expand my thoughts on talents, I'll do that now. аI'm not fussed about the core of the MDS now that you've elaborated that it was intentional. аLike I said, I like bell curves, but that's just a personal preference, not so much a mechanical necessity. аThe only thing that still kinda bugs me about the MDS is the uptick when you get a new dice, the max roll increases by 4 instead of 2. аBut since d2s are too much trouble to play with, I can deal with it. аThe only way I can see to deal with that would be to make the progression d4>d8>d12>d12+d4>d12+d8, etc.

Talents

So I'd said that I couldn't really see any pattern or format to their creation. аThere may be one, I just didn't see it. аTalents read more like a brainstorming list of idea of things that could/should be talents. аWhich is certainly a good place to start. аBut it does head in the direction of writing rules in isolation, which is where complexity and balance issues arise. аHaving talents be standardized wouldn't negate the issue, it would just help to minimize it. аGiven the vast number of talents, and that they're the primary way characters will be differentiated from each other, it may not be possible to have a universal talent system. аSo all I can really do is wave the caution flag, rather than give specific suggestions.

I recall reading somewhere, but I can't point out where, that the XP cost for Talents was based on the XP cost of theirаrequirements. аPersonally I don't like that, as it sounds like you're making someone pay for something twice. аRequirements are good, I have no problem with them. аBut the XP cost should be based more around the actual advantage that talent provides. аGranted, with the MDS it's harder to determine exactly what that would be, as it can be so relative depending on the characters total rank at the time. аWhat I would suggest is make the benefit's XP cost based on how beneficial it is at the time the requirements are met. аFor example:

Ambidexterity

Requirements: Agility 3, Cost 11 XP. аReduce penalties for secondary attacks by 2.



At the time it's taken, to get a bonus of 2 on attacks (on average) would require getting 2 levels of a combat skill. аAs their is no skill listed in the requirements, that would be rank 1 and 2. аWhich would be 7 XP total.

[II] Dual Weapon Adept

Requirements: Ambidexterity, Agility 5, Melee/Ballistic skill 5. аCost 90 XP. аIgnore penalties for secondary attacks.
Presuming that it's an additional 2 points to ignore the penalties all together, that would be the same as purchasing skill levels 6 and 7, costing; 280 XP.

While I'm talking about it, I want to mention that I really like that the cost of combat skills and non-combat skills is separated. аI've always hated how so many games force characters to ignore the non-combat stuff that makes them more well rounded/interesting for fear of gimping their combat capacity. аThe reduced cost of non-combat skills goes somewhat towards mitigating that.

That said, I can't see a clear pattern for the XP progression of any of the three tracks. аI'm sure there's a formula behind it, but it's not immediately obvious. аIf you haven't already considered it, I'd suggest doing something based off the Fibonacii sequence; 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34, 55, 89, etc. аMostly just because it's closely related to the golden ratio and is a fun bit of maths. аAs an aside, I never cared for Maths until I started playing RPGs.

Otherwise, regarding talents the only thing that really pops out is some talents, such as; Human Shield, in my opinion should be options that characters have all the time. аIf you're going to make a talent for it, make it one that boosts the characters capacity at doing them, rather than opening up their capacity to do them at all. аBut that's probably more of a personal take, rather than anything definitive.

I'd also recommend adding in spaces on the character sheet for Stride and Initiative, since they're modified by talents, and it's easier to refer to them like that on the character sheet than to have to keep looking at the talents chosen.

So I guess that's the extent of my elaboration on my first post. аSorry to spam you with so much. аIf you want me to elaborate more, I'm happy to do so.
 

koeran

New Member
Shattered Core Backer
#12
Thanks Bear.

I have to admit, I've felt a bit like a pretentious jerk for the majority of the thread.

But it's encouraging that the devs are genuinely interested in feedback, and I'm glad others are getting something out of it too.
 

Konrad

Administrator
Staff member
INDE Staff
#13
You know, that's alright koeran. I know I personally got a little defensive when I first started reading it, and had to come back a second time. There is definitely some merit to each of your points. That said, there a few things we are certain about: We like the diversity among our various casters, and there's likely to be little change in them mechanically. Crafting, while open-ended, does have its limits, which will become more apparent once it'sаpublished in full. Finally, we're quite happy with the MDS, and will not be seeing change.

On the other hand, clarificiation for Curses is something I'll look into as well as the modifiers. I can see your point about many of them being situational and making for lots tedious tracking.а

So again, let me say we really appreciate this sort of in-depth analysis. It takes us back to the roots and forces us to rationalize to ourselves the decisions we made-- or else change it.
 

koeran

New Member
Shattered Core Backer
#15
Thanks guys. аThinking about it I could've put more effort into softening my language. аI hope I didn't come across too aggressive or anything.

It's commendable that you didn't let yourselves have knee jerk reaction and text wall/shout me into submission.

The discussion has also sparked some additional ideas for my own systems/house rules, so thanks for that also.
 
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