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Viewing Topic: Star Striders - 2pageRPG version - Page 1
#0: 05-29-2014 @ 12:24:36 pm
Link to this Post: http://www.machvergil.com/gamenight/messages.php?go=8032#8032

MachVergilMachVergil

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  • Real Name:Adam
  • Joined:2010-01-22

Wanted to give Kudos to St00f for helping me trim down the latest revision of the rules back down to 2 pages. 

I also wanted to take a moment to describe the final balance changes I've added before submission. 

  • Damage has been severely reworked. The changes work as such:
    • Damage multiplication and division, in all of its forms, have been removed from the game.  Glancing hits are not half damage.  Critical hits do not multiply damage.
    • Glancing Hits now only deal the indicated die of damage.  No Accuracy or Brutality bonus.  This should significantly reduce the damage dealt by glancing hits since they no longer benefit from the guaranteed minimum of your attack attributes.
    • Solid Hits grant both the indicated die and your Accuracy or Brutality.
    • Critical hits maximize the die damage and Accuracy or Brutality damage.  They then add an additional 1d12.  This ensures a critical hit is always at least as painful as maximizing the die, while not resulting in level 1 characters dealing between 30 and 60 damage with a single shot (for example, now claymore crit would be between 15 to 24, longshot 17 to 28).
    • "Precise" has been removed from the game entirely.  Precise weapons did too much damage, especially on glancing hits and critical hits.
    • "Rapid" weapons NEVER benefit from Accuracy or Brutality.  This way they are still more likely to hit/crit than normal weapons, but deal less burst damage than more focused weapons.
    • "Blast" now only does its damage to additional targets on Solid/Critical hits.
    • The Knock down rule on "Push" removed because there is not room to explain being prone and its benefits/penalties and getting up from prone.  Push just pushes targets back.
    • "Ruthless" now increases your chance to critically hit instead of critical damage.  You can now score a critical on Evasion+19 instead of Evasion+20.  This means that an Accuracy 4 Star Strider using a Long Shot can crit an Evasion 4 target on 19 or 20. By the same token, when out leveled, they can still only crit on a natural 20.
  • Death rules have been added to the game.  Being reduced to 0 resilience or lower defeats your character and you can no longer take actions.  You will then lose 1 resilience a minute.  At negative resilience equal to 10+3xPH, you die. If you are ever healed, you are restored to 0 resilience and then regain resilience from there. GMs are encouraged to just kill fodder outright when they hit 0 resilience or lower.
  • I now indicate that characters provide cover to their allies.  I am coy about how much so GMs can feel at liberty to decide (e.g. a character is firing from couched position should give less cover than one standing.  A character using a riot shield may give more cover).
  • I also express that you must know the position of your target to attack it.  This should make it clear that you have to pass the SE check to see a hidden character before you can even attempt to attack it.
  • Added the word "sneaking" to AG to make it clear that's used in stealth checks.
  • Added the word "detection" to SE to make it clear that's used for detection checks.
  • Added the suggested indication that Star Striders can accomplish anything through attribute checks.
  • Nemesis and Leader starting Resilience improved.
  • Autocannon damage reduced to 1d10.  It was then given the Blast rule. Range increased to 500 because it really should be able to shoot at least as far as the assault rifle. This should make the weapon feel more worth taking despite the Heavy restriction since it is the only way to get a blast effect at higher than 1d6 damage at this range.

I recognize that the Templar Armor is still not worth taking. I'm also getting mixed signals on the arm shield.  I want to figure out how to make them work, but I am hesitant to overbuff either given I just gave the overall damage output of the game a pretty big swing with the nerf bat.

 

This post was edited by machvergil on May 29, 2014, 5:42 pm


We set Wednesdays on Fire!
#1: 05-29-2014 @ 01:46:58 pm
Link to this Post: http://www.machvergil.com/gamenight/messages.php?go=8033#8033

Misharum KittumMisharum Kittum

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  • Real Name:Tim
  • Joined:2010-01-22

I like the changes. I know you're a day away from submitting the thing, but if before or after that if you'd like to do more play testing I'd be down for it.


Justice and Truth
#2: 05-30-2014 @ 11:23:00 am
Link to this Post: http://www.machvergil.com/gamenight/messages.php?go=8040#8040

MachVergilMachVergil

MachVergil Photo.
  • Real Name:Adam
  • Joined:2010-01-22

Thanks again to everyone for your help editing.  We're back under two pages and rules should now be more succinct and easier to read than before.

There are two balance changes I'm thinking about making before submission.  One I can make the other I can make if I can find a way to liberate one more line on the 2nd page.

The first is regarding the Templar Armor.  I want this armor to be the defacto tanking armor, but with how swingy incoming damage is in the game, I'd have to boost their resilience to possibly uncomfortable levels for that to work.  So what I'm thinking of doing is basically giving the armor a form of "armor save."  When the Templar Armor takes damage, its overshield (a very thin shield generator that layers over the armor) reduces 1d6 of the damage from glancing/solid hits.  Critical hits would be unaffected.   How this would look written is:

Templar Systems Armor: +20 RES, -4 to sneak, -1 speed. Overshield: ignore 1d6 damage from glance/solid hits.

What do you guys think of that mechanic? I know its RNG, but I think it will make for a more exciting form of defense boost for Templar Armor wearers than just giving them a flat damage resist of 1 or 2.

The alternative I was thinking about was something more like this:

Templar Systems Armor: +20 RES, -4 to sneak, -1 speed. (action) Overshield: Ignore 1d6 damage from hits for 2 turns | CLD 5

This solution makes the Overshield an active thing that one has to choose to use.  I would let it work against crits because at this point the player has to give up an action to turn it on. This would hopefully make Templar Armor users feel more comfortable being out of cover for a few turns to gain better positioning, or ideal armor for autocannon users since they can have a defense boost while unloading their firepower.

I'm still uncomfortable with doing this.  I'm afraid once I start down the road of offering damage resistance as a game mechanic it runs the risk of becoming frustratingly prevalent, but if it is just on this one armor suit, and even then only the one designed for being a defender, maybe it won't be too bad.

The other thing I'd really like to do is add another armor to the game so that CH is less of a dump stat, in much the way Tech Armor helps IN and Medical Armor helps SE.  To that end I had originally thought that CH armor should be a disguise armor - something that used holograms to allow the wearer to appear as someone else, and thus gain benefits while negotiating and manipulating others. This would also allow for parties to have another infiltrator OTHER than the guy in cloaking ghost armor. So it would look something like this.

Vanity Corp Hologram Armor: +10 RES. +4 to charm/bluff. (action)Holo-Disguise: Look like another person. SE to oppose.

However a couple of people have suggested that's what is missing from the game is a "leadership" character - someone who buffs allies not just heals them.  It's been suggested that this can be affixed to the Templar armor, but I don't like the idea of mixing that with the armor suit I'd intended to be for defense.  Templar wearers should want AG or PH for either more RES or EV, not feel like they need CH too.  To that end though I also thought up something like this.

Command Armor: +10 RES. +4 to inspire/intimidate. (action) Bolster:  RNG: 25 | Ally gains your CH to next check | CLD 1

Alternatively I could make Psychic Armor powered by CH (the force of your personality) instead of IN (the force of your mind).

So what do you guys think about these ideas?

This post was edited by machvergil on May 30, 2014, 2:32 pm


We set Wednesdays on Fire!
#3: 05-30-2014 @ 12:13:14 pm
Link to this Post: http://www.machvergil.com/gamenight/messages.php?go=8041#8041

Misharum KittumMisharum Kittum

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  • Real Name:Tim
  • Joined:2010-01-22

The first of the two Templar armors would make me want to take it and give that build a try. The second would still make me pass on it. Having to anticipate incoming attacks with that much of a cooldown turns me off to the armor. If you find 1d6 more damage reduction than you want when combined the MediStar armor's healing then I'd still be interested in it even if it was 1d4 in reduction, or if it was 1d6 but only against a couple attacks per turn.

As for the two other additional armors, I really like the Hologram armor. That armor opens up so many more options for parties in overcoming obstacles, especially in sneaky-type missions. It would have changed the session from Wednesday entirely for our group as we could have had someone step out from the box blind and still been able to be reasonably sneaky. A silenced pistol would go great with this armor, though I suppose I don't know about the amount of noise the current guns make. They might all be silenced for all I know!

The Commander armor sounds cool, but I think you'd have to put a duration on that buff or else the whole party would go into every challenge with that buff up for the first dice roll. Overall I'm less excited about this than I am about the Hologram armor.


Justice and Truth
#4: 05-30-2014 @ 12:30:47 pm
Link to this Post: http://www.machvergil.com/gamenight/messages.php?go=8042#8042

MachVergilMachVergil

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  • Real Name:Adam
  • Joined:2010-01-22

The second would still make me pass on it. Having to anticipate incoming attacks with that much of a cooldown turns me off to the armor.

Note that the duration is 2 turns (aka 3-4 actions), while the CLD is 5 actions.  If you are using this every time it is up, you are looking at it being down for at most 2 of your actions.  Considering that do you feel like it requires too much anticipation?

The Commander armor sounds cool, but I think you'd have to put a duration on that buff or else the whole party would go into every challenge with that buff up for the first dice roll. Overall I'm less excited about this than I am about the Hologram armor.

That is a fair point!  Ah limited space you are a cruel mistress.  I struggled to get the rule in as it is.

This post was edited by machvergil on May 30, 2014, 3:33 pm


We set Wednesdays on Fire!
#5: 05-30-2014 @ 04:45:21 pm
Link to this Post: http://www.machvergil.com/gamenight/messages.php?go=8043#8043

Misharum KittumMisharum Kittum

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  • Real Name:Tim
  • Joined:2010-01-22

Note that the duration is 2 turns (aka 3-4 actions), while the CLD is 5 actions.  If you are using this every time it is up, you are looking at it being down for at most 2 of your actions.  Considering that do you feel like it requires too much anticipation?

That's a good point. 1 turn of downtime isn't that bad when I think about it. Guess the math of it got by me!


Justice and Truth
#6: 05-30-2014 @ 07:32:48 pm
Link to this Post: http://www.machvergil.com/gamenight/messages.php?go=8044#8044

MachVergilMachVergil

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  • Real Name:Adam
  • Joined:2010-01-22

Okay!  This is the version I am submitting. Thanks again everyone for your help support and time!

I'm probably going to avoid talking about this for a day or so, but I might be back later to come back for the much harder question: does this game have a future, and if it does, how do I get it there?

EDIT UPDATE: Submission can be now seen on their Gallery.

This post was edited by machvergil on May 31, 2014, 7:34 pm


We set Wednesdays on Fire!
#7: 06-30-2014 @ 06:39:28 am
Link to this Post: http://www.machvergil.com/gamenight/messages.php?go=8257#8257

MachVergilMachVergil

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  • Real Name:Adam
  • Joined:2010-01-22

Got feedback from the contest.  Most of it I could have seen coming.  One of the judges is on a crusade about two-column layouts so I knew I wasn't going to win that one over. Many of the issues about theme and some of the rules being unfinished made sense due to the sacrifices I had to make due to space.  Overall I get a pretty good feeling I won't be winning this contest, but I also wasn't expecting to.  I just wish I felt like like I'm being passed over because they didn't adequately explain what they were looking for so I could have maybe tried to write that instead.

Since most of you helped me get the entry to submission I thought I'd share the feedback with you and see what you think.

Hello,

You recently participated in the First Ever Two Page Tabletop Contest run
by TopSecret Games. This email contains feedback from all the judges on
your  Star Striders entry.

[Name Deleted from e-mail]

Judge #1:

That's a lot of attributes. The death and dying rules make combat very
deadly and yet I can only find one way to heal using the medistar armor.

All in all, this has very powerful system mechanics and, true to form like
most D20 systems, it features an in-depth tactical driven set of
mechanics. In the end, this game features enough mechanics to be
intimidating to new players and to pose a significant barrier to entry.
The setting feels almost totally disconnected from the mechanics and while
the layout font is readable the single column format has the effect of
creating a wall of text that is difficult to read.

Judge #2:

*Playability:
You have managed to fit a fairly deep game onto two pages. This is the
sort of thing that is actually hit or miss with folks. Some groups love
tactics most and will play anything with crunchy bits. There are also
groups that don't like to get too bogged down with mechanics. Sadly the
latter is the group that is most partial to micro games. I am not holding
that against your score I just think it is important to understand your
market.

Since this is the playability category I am assessing how easy it is to
just sit down and play. This game has a lot of options and players will
need to really understand them to get the full experience of the game it
will take longer to start. I'd say that leaves you with middle of the road
performance. It will take around a half hour for everyone to full read and
understand this game. That is not bad, but could be better.

*Mechanics:
Overall you have solid mechanics. there are some areas that get clunky for
no reason. For instance, you have lots of limits on what people can roll.
Why not just use a point buy to insure everyone is even?

This game is deep, but it feels like the fragment of a much larger game
rather than a complete product that can be expanded.

*Theme:
The theme is actually kind of generic. Also the mechanics do little to
support the theme. If you look at a game like Dread, you have a simple
mechanic that can easily fit on less than a page, but what makes the game
brilliant is that Jenga allows you to physically build tension. It fully
supports the theme of a horror game. There is nothing about your rules
that make this specifically SciFi or distinguish your universe from any
existing scifi RPG.

*Clarity:
There are a few clarity issues holding this game back. For instance, you
create sub stats that are not at all different from their base stat. This
is confusing to readers and distracts from the overall quality of your
game.

*Presentation:
  Presentation was not your strong suit. The font on this game is crazy
small and the formatting looks unprofessional. As is is now if all the
games were laid out on a table yours would not be the first one people
picked up.

OVERALL
If you want to stick with this I strongly recommend expanding it beyond
two pages so you can have readable font. Then take  a look at your theme
and try to make it more pronounced and find a way to better tie it to the
mechanic.

Judge #3:

A decently solid system that can handle this type of game. I would have
liked to see more about the setting. Systems like this are pretty
standard, so the setting is something that needs to drag a person into
wanting to play the game. A fairly standard system may allow a player to
easily get into the game aspect, but they need a reason to be there.  Cut
down on much of the text and use only what is necessary to describe the
system, then use the extra space to bulk up the setting and make a player
want to play this game.

 

This post was edited by machvergil on June 30, 2014, 9:39 am


We set Wednesdays on Fire!
#8: 06-30-2014 @ 02:51:46 pm
Link to this Post: http://www.machvergil.com/gamenight/messages.php?go=8258#8258

RenairenRenairen

  • Real Name:Dave
  • Joined:2010-09-01
This is why I'm not a fan of these contests. Every time I read feedback on one of them, this is what I get out of it: Well, it's not what I would have written.

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