NEWS

Slip Streams is out

  • 67 Replies
  • 3074 Views

Finstersang

  • *
  • Omae
  • ***
  • Posts: 665
« Reply #15 on: <08-26-20/1000:28> »
I would suggest using caution when making the assumption that the mana flows and ebbs are the same as background count.  They are aspected mana zones and have a lot in common but are still slightly different from a general background count that should and would interfere with all traditions.

While it may end up being very similar there is a difference in fluff at least between the two so we may still see a different system for "general" background counts.

There are two section explaining Mana Ebbs/Flows (because of course there are ...), and while the general effects are the same in both instances, the first box on p. 34 states that they can be aspected to certain tradition and adds a final statement that Mana Ebbs/Flows can also be unspecific, affecting every Magic user in the same way. Which essentially makes this the new version of background count and, of course, contradicts the second description, where they are explicitly tradition-specific. You know the drill by now: From here on, about every month some confused GM will stumble into the forum ask for an "official statement" on which description is correct and/or if the effects stack, which will be met by deafening silence  ::)

(Granted, maybe itīs because the second description is following the description for the Ritual Magic that can be used to create such shifts for yourself. Naturally, these would be aspected.)

Anyways: Itīs a usable version of background count if you go with the first box. Woohoo. Couldnīt have made that up myself, for it needeth the blessing of scripture :P
"Firing Line adds a ton of Perks that modify Attack and Defense ratings"

"Cool, does this mean that the whole AR/DR comparison has a bigger impact now?"

"Haha No :D"

Stainless Steel Devil Rat

  • *
  • Errata Team
  • Prime Runner
  • ***
  • Posts: 4030
« Reply #16 on: <08-26-20/1007:03> »
Having had 12+ hours to grieve over the loss of a MagicRun gonad-punch, I've come to a few realizations:

1) Just because I think MagicRun needs a punch in the gonads... it doesn't change that +/- dice is more of a 5e paradigm.  +/- edge IS what it's all about now... and frankly it's more a case of Matrix Noise should be more like this than Magic Noise should be more like 5e's version.

2) Astral Rabies.

ASTRAL RABIES!

Guys... if you want to punch MagicRun in the gonads... we have something EVEN BETTER than 5e's Background Counts!  Why take away some of their dicepool when you can take away their Willpower!  It's the same thing as -dice, but even better!
RPG mechanics exist to give structure and consistency to the game world, true, but at the end of the day, you’re fighting dragons with algebra and random number generators.

0B

  • *
  • Chummer
  • **
  • Posts: 169
  • Be seeing you
« Reply #17 on: <08-26-20/1011:24> »
Kudzu is a pain in the ass to get rid of, IRL. Does this mean it's going to be cropping up around lots of office buildings?

Finstersang

  • *
  • Omae
  • ***
  • Posts: 665
« Reply #18 on: <08-26-20/1013:53> »
The returned soldiers are cool, though.

Itīs one of these crazy ideas that no one asked for, but it actually adds an interesting new flavour to the setting. A World War II sniper reawakening in the 6th world after being literally stuck in hell for over a hundred years? Call me a madman, but Iīd actually use that.

Little side note: Hey devs! It would be super duper stupid if you also add confused reanimated people that have been cryogenically frozen for centuries to the setting, like in Transmetropolitan. You might see this idea now and think: "Hey that would add interesting storytelling opportunities". But it wouldnīt. Super Stupid! Nobody would want that ever. Like, in a Biotech/Augmentation Supplement, so that it could be even used as a PC background? Donīt do that! It would be super stupid and everyone would be soooooooo mad!  >:(
« Last Edit: <08-26-20/1016:41> by Finstersang »
"Firing Line adds a ton of Perks that modify Attack and Defense ratings"

"Cool, does this mean that the whole AR/DR comparison has a bigger impact now?"

"Haha No :D"

penllawen

  • *
  • Omae
  • ***
  • Posts: 803
  • Let's go. In and out. Twenty minute milk run.
« Reply #19 on: <08-26-20/1027:37> »
Under that, the worse penalty only affects a single tradition, and results in one of: -1 die, edge actions cost 1 more edge, or can't spend edge at all.
Hmmm.

On the one hand, I really don't like BGC as it works in 5e. Slapping dice straight outta the player's hand on the grounds the GM said so, in a way that they cannot mitigate through cleverness or preparedness: nope. That's about the least interesting approach I can think of to balancing MagicRun. Plus it screws over physads, and physads have already got enough on their plate.

On the other hand, this sounds worse. I don't care for how the escalating tiers change the type of penalty, I think that's fiddly. Also even if (as per subsequent posts) these penalties stack, even in aggregate it's not much of a penalty really. Changing dice pools feels like a tacit admission that 6e's Edge mechanic isn't flexible enough to achieve its explicit design goal of replacing modifiers. And finally, if this mechanic is in addition to a different BGC mechanic that is still to come... that's a bit redundant and cluttered.

Banshee

  • *
  • Catalyst Demo Team
  • Omae
  • ***
  • Posts: 966
« Reply #20 on: <08-26-20/1031:27> »
I would suggest using caution when making the assumption that the mana flows and ebbs are the same as background count.  They are aspected mana zones and have a lot in common but are still slightly different from a general background count that should and would interfere with all traditions.

While it may end up being very similar there is a difference in fluff at least between the two so we may still see a different system for "general" background counts.

There are two section explaining Mana Ebbs/Flows (because of course there are ...), and while the general effects are the same in both instances, the first box on p. 34 states that they can be aspected to certain tradition and adds a final statement that Mana Ebbs/Flows can also be unspecific, affecting every Magic user in the same way. Which essentially makes this the new version of background count and, of course, contradicts the second description, where they are explicitly tradition-specific. You know the drill by now: From here on, about every month some confused GM will stumble into the forum ask for an "official statement" on which description is correct and/or if the effects stack, which will be met by deafening silence  ::)

(Granted, maybe itīs because the second description is following the description for the Ritual Magic that can be used to create such shifts for yourself. Naturally, these would be aspected.)

Anyways: Itīs a usable version of background count if you go with the first box. Woohoo. Couldnīt have made that up myself, for it needeth the blessing of scripture :P

Yeaaahhhh ...  just came across that first section, all I had to go on during review was the second section... sooooo .... maybe this is what background count is meant to be. IDK!? ugh
Robert "Banshee" Volbrecht
Freelancer & FAQ Committee member
Former RPG Lead Agent
Catalyst Demo Team

Finstersang

  • *
  • Omae
  • ***
  • Posts: 665
« Reply #21 on: <08-26-20/1032:59> »
Guys... if you want to punch MagicRun in the gonads... we have something EVEN BETTER than 5e's Background Counts!  Why take away some of their dicepool when you can take away their Willpower!  It's the same thing as -dice, but even better!

Crunch-wise, the Magicrun problem is mostly an internal balacing problem of the magic subsystem. There are a few no-brainer options that just continued to stay overpowered, most notably

  • Spirits
  • Increase Attribute (+ Focused Concentration)
  • Some Adept powers (which are notoriusly tricky to balance in regards to augmentations and burnout-builds)

From there on, things get pretty tame pretty quick. And at the bottom of the list, we now have Combat spells that are more likely to knock out the caster than the target (unless they use Increase Attribute + Focused Concentration...) and whatever the fuck Alchemy is supposed to be  :P

Situational stuff like Background count, kudzu or astral rabies are fine and dandy, but they donīt solve this problem.
« Last Edit: <08-26-20/1035:15> by Finstersang »
"Firing Line adds a ton of Perks that modify Attack and Defense ratings"

"Cool, does this mean that the whole AR/DR comparison has a bigger impact now?"

"Haha No :D"

penllawen

  • *
  • Omae
  • ***
  • Posts: 803
  • Let's go. In and out. Twenty minute milk run.
« Reply #22 on: <08-26-20/1035:04> »
^^ Finstersang speaks wisdom.

Stainless Steel Devil Rat

  • *
  • Errata Team
  • Prime Runner
  • ***
  • Posts: 4030
« Reply #23 on: <08-26-20/1041:03> »
Yes, I do miss "your spells go away, and your foci turn off", and even Astral Rabies doesn't do that.

Mana Barriers still do, though.

And on top of that: disenchanting is easy to the point of almost automatic.  Got a problem walking around with Increase Drain attribute A, Increase Drain Attribute B, and Increase Reflexes?  Well, a projecting sec mage can rip each one down, immune to retaliation unless/until the problem begins astrally perceiving.  At which point the sec mage's accompanying astral pack of spirits can start slapping him around for "opening the channel".
RPG mechanics exist to give structure and consistency to the game world, true, but at the end of the day, you’re fighting dragons with algebra and random number generators.

penllawen

  • *
  • Omae
  • ***
  • Posts: 803
  • Let's go. In and out. Twenty minute milk run.
« Reply #24 on: <08-26-20/1053:37> »
Increase Attribute (+ Focused Concentration)
Just to expand on this one a little, something that bothers me deeply: there's a pretty flat power curve for increase attribute. Once you have the spell and the ability to quicken or otherwise sustain it, you're almost guaranteed +3 or +4 to the stat as easily as you can get +1 or +2. Compare to (say) cybernetic or adept powers used to boost stats, which are typically at least linear (ie +2 costs twice as much as +1.).

It means you can't put mages on a progress curve, where they can get a small boost early on, then improve it as they grow in experience. Instead they just jump all the way to +4 comparatively early (and easily and cheaply, compared to other archetypes; eg consider the cost of Muscle Toner for a samurai).

« Last Edit: <08-26-20/1100:36> by penllawen »

Stainless Steel Devil Rat

  • *
  • Errata Team
  • Prime Runner
  • ***
  • Posts: 4030
« Reply #25 on: <08-26-20/1102:45> »
It all depends on how often the GM uses the tools available to take sustained/quickened spells away.  BGCs used to be yet another tool to make the ostensibly 'temporary' buffs go away, but honestly that tool isn't needed when there are others.

As noted upthread: the real problem with MagicRun is spirits anyway... which yes is another ball of yarn than the discussion we're having here.
RPG mechanics exist to give structure and consistency to the game world, true, but at the end of the day, you’re fighting dragons with algebra and random number generators.

Lormyr

  • *
  • Catalyst Demo Team
  • Omae
  • ***
  • Posts: 794
« Reply #26 on: <08-26-20/1114:19> »
Guys... if you want to punch MagicRun in the gonads... we have something EVEN BETTER than 5e's Background Counts!  Why take away some of their dicepool when you can take away their Willpower!  It's the same thing as -dice, but even better!

Well, though you and I both agree MagicRun is a problem, the various solutions to that we don't necessarily look at equally. I personally liked the concept of background but disliked its implementation, but not as much as I disliked Blight, which I know you are a fan of.

The astral rabies isn't too awful. . .but I would still rather just see a damn system in place that is mostly internally balanced and doesn't need external elements to balance.

I feel similar about noise. There is little shittier than making a character with a mechanical concept (magic / matrix) who takes a dice penalty to their roles just because the setting says so. We can do better man.

On the one hand, I really don't like BGC as it works in 5e. Slapping dice straight outta the player's hand on the grounds the GM said so, in a way that they cannot mitigate through cleverness or preparedness: nope. That's about the least interesting approach I can think of to balancing MagicRun. Plus it screws over physads, and physads have already got enough on their plate.

On the other hand, this sounds worse. I don't care for how the escalating tiers change the type of penalty, I think that's fiddly. Also even if (as per subsequent posts) these penalties stack, even in aggregate it's not much of a penalty really. Changing dice pools feels like a tacit admission that 6e's Edge mechanic isn't flexible enough to achieve its explicit design goal of replacing modifiers. And finally, if this mechanic is in addition to a different BGC mechanic that is still to come... that's a bit redundant and cluttered.

I completely agree. We can keep the concept (which I do like) but implement it in another way that does produce felt impact to the archetypes without just robbing them of the ability to perform.

Yeaaahhhh ...  just came across that first section, all I had to go on during review was the second section... sooooo .... maybe this is what background count is meant to be. IDK!? ugh

Who knows man. It could well be expanded on in the magic book too. Either way, this is what we have to examine at present.

Just to expand on this one a little, something that bothers me deeply: there's a pretty flat power curve for increase attribute. Once you have the spell and the ability to quicken or otherwise sustain it, you're almost guaranteed +3 or +4 to the stat as easily as you can get +1 or +2. Compare to (say) cybernetic or adept powers used to boost stats, which are typically at least linear (ie +2 costs twice as much as +1.).

It means you can't put mages on a progress curve, where they can get a small boost early on, then improve it as they grow in experience. Instead they just jump all the way to +4 comparatively early (and easily and cheaply, compared to other archetypes; eg consider the cost of Muscle Toner for a samurai).

I don't have a problem with increase attribute existing, but I think folding them all into one spell was a big mistake. You want your 8 increases? Ok man, you can do it, but bare minimum investment is 48 post chargen karma.

I also think it would be more balanced if mages only got access to mental attribute increases, while adepts got the physical half. Even then I am not necessarily sold on the idea. I am pretty fine with everyone having access to increases. The opportunity cost could just due to be a little better. For example, maybe quickening should cost 1 karma per hit, up to your roll's allowance. That would also be quite helpful.

Yes, I do miss "your spells go away, and your foci turn off", and even Astral Rabies doesn't do that.

And that could be a version of superior BCG implementation. Maybe have 3 levels of so.

Low reduces the hits of all active spells by 1, force of all active spirits by 1, DV of damaging spells by 1, and gives targets of spells 1 extra defense die.

Medium does that at -2.

High at minus -4.

That would be pretty stiff without completely boning the mages, like say an SR5 BCG of -8 would (which came up in at least 2 missions that I recall off the top of my head).
"TL:DR 6e's reduction of meaningful choices is akin to forcing everyone to wear training wheels. Now it's just becomes a bunch of toddlers riding around on tricycles they can't fall off of." - Adzling

penllawen

  • *
  • Omae
  • ***
  • Posts: 803
  • Let's go. In and out. Twenty minute milk run.
« Reply #27 on: <08-26-20/1133:39> »
I completely agree. We can keep the concept (which I do like) but implement it in another way that does produce felt impact to the archetypes without just robbing them of the ability to perform.
During some brief, idle contemplation, I've considered something like:

1) BGC comes in three types: too much mana, aspected mana, and too little mana
2) all types have an effect that scales with the force of the spell/spirit being used (so mages can choose to keep spells low-force and avoid averse effects)
3) Too little mana reduces the effective Force of the spell without changing drain, as the mage struggles to get enough juice together
4) Too much mana risks increasing the effective Force of the spell and the drain taken, as the mage struggles to control the torrent of mana.
5) Aspected mana works like (3) or (4) depending on if it matches the mage or not. For extra fun, it might corrupt summoned spirits eg. turn them toxic or bug.

I'd like to see methods the mage could pursue to mitigate these, also. A metamagic or focus type, perhaps.

penllawen

  • *
  • Omae
  • ***
  • Posts: 803
  • Let's go. In and out. Twenty minute milk run.
« Reply #28 on: <08-26-20/1137:03> »
I don't have a problem with increase attribute existing, but I think folding them all into one spell was a big mistake. You want your 8 increases? Ok man, you can do it, but bare minimum investment is 48 post chargen karma.
It should definitely ramp, somehow. I'm not sure how. But I agree that mages should have a (rebalanced) path to stat boosts.

Quote
I also think it would be more balanced if mages only got access to mental attribute increases, while adepts got the physical half. Even then I am not necessarily sold on the idea. I am pretty fine with everyone having access to increases. The opportunity cost could just due to be a little better. For example, maybe quickening should cost 1 karma per hit, up to your roll's allowance. That would also be quite helpful.
I'm actually not much of a fan of quickening costing karma at all. Karma is hard-won, so destroying something the player spent karma on feels like a really big move for me as GM. I'd prefer quickening either cost something else, or would be only temporarily disrupted (by astral barriers, counterspelling, etc) but come back without spending more karma on it. Then, as a GM, I can use that stuff more liberally without feeling I am taking the player's toys away.


Finstersang

  • *
  • Omae
  • ***
  • Posts: 665
« Reply #29 on: <08-26-20/1154:35> »
I don't have a problem with increase attribute existing, but I think folding them all into one spell was a big mistake. You want your 8 increases? Ok man, you can do it, but bare minimum investment is 48 post chargen karma.

Or you could use the same solution as my current houserule and restrict Increase Attribute to one spell per target.  ;)

That way, Mages can only boost one Drain Attribute and it also adds more incentives to user other buffs and/or buff other people than yourself. Itīs a fitting counterbalance to the increased versatility of the spell. 
"Firing Line adds a ton of Perks that modify Attack and Defense ratings"

"Cool, does this mean that the whole AR/DR comparison has a bigger impact now?"

"Haha No :D"