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TOPIC: Wreck Age 2nd edition basic rules beta

Wreck Age 2nd edition basic rules beta 7 months 2 weeks ago #2795

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We're about to launch 2nd edition, and here are the basic rules, which we need comments on ASAP! We're looking to send this to print on February 18th, so any comments, concerns, or feedback should come before then. We've made some really cool changes, streamlined some rules, and taken everybody's feedback up to now into consideration. The main rulebook will have more weapons, traits, archetypes, campaign rules, and of course, story and fluff.

We're taking comments on these rules from now through February 11th. Please post comments here, on facebook, or on Twitter.

www.dropbox.com/s/sbbkwp57git82jy/WreckA...dbasic_beta.pdf?dl=0
Last Edit: 7 months 1 week ago by Anton. Reason: Extended comments deadline 1 extra week.
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Wreck Age 2nd edition basic rules beta 7 months 2 weeks ago #2799

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Are there major changes? nothing big is jumping out at me right away.

I still don't quite understanding the logic of when to give a bonus to target number vs. number of dice rolled. Why have both? It seems like doing one vs. the other only rarely changes the mathematical benefit given. On the other hand, only having one of them change would make the game much easier for me to understand.
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Wreck Age 2nd edition basic rules beta 7 months 2 weeks ago #2800

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Major changes are character creation, encounters, recovery and, several new sorts of terrain and cover, skills have been completely removed from tabletop play, new traits, weapons are modified and costed, as are traits. Lots of things have been streamlined and rules have been re-written extensively for clarity.

The modifier to a target number is based on circumstance, extra dice rolled for an attribute are based on the skill of the character. From a game design perspective, you need both because not each situation is as easy for every character, and not every character has the same level of skill. I think removing modifiers would reduce the flavor of the game considerably, and make it much more "flat". That said, feel free to play without modifiers and see how that works for you. So far, we've played upwards of 500 games, and 2nd ed is the culmination of those efforts.

Let me know how the play through go for you, and let's discuss it. We're looking to send this to print on the 11th of Feb. Plenty of time to get some games in.
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Wreck Age 2nd edition basic rules beta 7 months 2 weeks ago #2801

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I'm not arguing against having modifiers, just that having one type of modifier is easier to understand than having two different types of modifier that do basically the same thing.

I don't get the situation vs. skill explanation either, like in the fighting modifiers table, the speed (charging) of the attacker is a modifier to dice rolled, but the speed of the defender (prone, slow moving, fast moving) are modifiers to target number. In the shooting modifiers table, both the attacker's and defender's movement are modifiers to target number. So, moving and punching is a skill, but moving and shooting is a circumstance?

I don't have the rule book in front of me and have not made characters in a while, but the difference in character creation is the point buy system, right? That looks like a good introduction. Is the sample veteran stat line off by one development point, or am I adding it up wrong?
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Wreck Age 2nd edition basic rules beta 7 months 2 weeks ago #2802

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So is this in specific to the way that charging works (+1 F, +1 P of the attack), or are there other instances where the mixing of modifiers is an issue for you?

The intent behind the mechanic for charging is to allow lower trained characters a chance to damage higher trained characters. Without both bonuses, a green character will have a very hard time damaging a character with a Power of 4 or higher, even with a medium or large melee weapon.

Shooting after moving is skill versus circumstance. You have added a challenging thing to the test (shooting after movement) and the TN modifier seems to fit. I think what you're asking for is consistence across differing circumstances.Charging at an opponent is the culmination of multiple beneficial things for the attacker: building momentum, letting out some sort of battle cry, and crashing into the opponent with great force. Charging SHOULD make the attack more easy and should have added benefit, IMHO.

What would you recommend in this circumstance? I'm definitely open to hearing alternative thoughts on it, but I definitely want the game to play with "realism" rather than just having modifiers all be the same just for the sake of simplicity.

As for the veteran character, that's a great catch. He was one point short (in power). I fixed that.
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Wreck Age 2nd edition basic rules beta 7 months 1 week ago #2803

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It is not a concern specific to charging or how it is modeled. My concern is that having modifiers that change the target number and others that change the number of dice rolled is needlessly complicated and has no real benefit to the game. Charging is just an easy example where both types of modifier get mixed.

My recommendation would be to just use modifiers that shift the target number. It would have little to no change to the overall result of tests. If your only reason to have a multidimensional system of modifiers is to give benefits in oddball cases, I don't think you are accomplishing that goal.

Lets look at that example you bring up of a a low power character charging a high power character. A power 2 character charging a power 5 character has about a 75% chance of causing no damage. If you change the added dice to target number bonuses, it changes to a 80% chance of no damage. I don't think the added complication to the whole game is warranted by a desire to give a minor bonus to an action you should expect to fail anyway.
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Wreck Age 2nd edition basic rules beta 7 months 1 week ago #2804

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Received a little feedback from a friend-

He thought reloading should be more than 1 AP, opposed tests were a bit hard to understand because it's references at Initiative but not explained until later and he thought Nerves tests are a bit "wonky" and I am seeing if I can get that answer fleshed out a bit.

Answer:

Last Edit: 7 months 1 week ago by msears.
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Wreck Age 2nd edition basic rules beta 7 months 1 week ago #2805

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I think that the suppression rolls are unnecessary for every shot. I understand the goal is realism, but in reality, they just slow down gameplay.

I propose that suppression rolls occur only when a shot hits but causes no wounds.

I feel that this will still give a "real" feel, but will speed things up a bit.
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Wreck Age 2nd edition basic rules beta 7 months 1 week ago #2806

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Your friend has a good point, Matt. The suppression test is something that really only matters to green characters. Even for beasts and trained characters with nerves 3, it would be an oddity to fail.
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Wreck Age 2nd edition basic rules beta 7 months 1 week ago #2807

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all the more reason to simplify and do away with them!
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Wreck Age 2nd edition basic rules beta 7 months 1 week ago #2808

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timlillig wrote:
It is not a concern specific to charging or how it is modeled. My concern is that having modifiers that change the target number and others that change the number of dice rolled is needlessly complicated and has no real benefit to the game. Charging is just an easy example where both types of modifier get mixed.

My recommendation would be to just use modifiers that shift the target number. It would have little to no change to the overall result of tests. If your only reason to have a multidimensional system of modifiers is to give benefits in oddball cases, I don't think you are accomplishing that goal.

Lets look at that example you bring up of a a low power character charging a high power character. A power 2 character charging a power 5 character has about a 75% chance of causing no damage. If you change the added dice to target number bonuses, it changes to a 80% chance of no damage. I don't think the added complication to the whole game is warranted by a desire to give a minor bonus to an action you should expect to fail anyway.

So your suggestion would be Charging is a -1TN and +1 Power?
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Wreck Age 2nd edition basic rules beta 7 months 1 week ago #2809

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msears wrote:
Received a little feedback from a friend-

He thought reloading should be more than 1 AP, opposed tests were a bit hard to understand because it's references at Initiative but not explained until later and he thought Nerves tests are a bit "wonky" and I am seeing if I can get that answer fleshed out a bit.

Answer:

timlillig wrote:
Your friend has a good point, Matt. The suppression test is something that really only matters to green characters. Even for beasts and trained characters with nerves 3, it would be an oddity to fail.
jlopatin wrote:
all the more reason to simplify and do away with them!


There's a huge reason not to do away with the current system, and that's the very-soon-to-occur rollout of squad mechanics.


See "Torrent of Fire"




Squad mechanics

Squads operate together, all taking their actions within one activation. Only certain characters may be a part of a squad, with the exception of an engagement that involves more than 6 total characters, in these instances, any characters with 3 or more per side will all operate as a squad for the length of any engagement for as long as they meet these requirements. If a side drops to 2 or less characters, they no longer operate as a squad in an engagement (unless they normally would otherwise).

In an engagement, add the sum of all of the squad member’s fighting attributes together and roll those dice to hit. Any opposing models touching any character in the attacking squad may be hit by an attack, distributed however the attacking player chooses. This allocation is done after the roll to hit.

When a squad is shot at, hits are assigned from the closest model, to furthest. Models taking an aimed shot at a squad may ignore this rule, and may instead target any model they choose in the front 2 ranks (in other words, a character may not be targeted if more than 2 models are between the character firing, and the target). Since squad coherency doesn’t usually follow rows, if any part of a model’s base is in between the character attacking and the target, it is counted as being 1 rank.

Coherency:
Characters in a squad must end all activations within 4” of another model of the squad. This is called Coherency. This may be modified by various factors (specific leaders, equipment, etc). If they are not within Coherency of another model in the squad, they MUST spend their next action moving to get back into coherency, though they should not be forced to take dangerous terrain tests if it can be avoided by moving around the dangerous terrain.

Automatic weapons shooting at squads must shoot at the closest model to the target first, and may choose targets from there. For example, if you have an automatic 3 weapon, and you target a model a squad, all hits must come from the closest model to the attacker, and then any additional hits may hit any models within 3” of that initially targeted model.

Suppression:
For suppression checks, a squad may activate as normal as long as they don't have more suppression markers than they have characters in the squad. Any suppression markers over that number in the squad (or 2 if the entire squad has Nerves of Steel) reduces the amount of models that may shoot by 1. For every Suppression Marker (or every 2 if the entire squad has the Nerves of Steel trait) beyond the initial squad size, one character is prevented from using their Shooting or Fighting attribute, although all the models in the squad may still move and act otherwise as normal. The player controlling the squad may choose which models are prevented from Shooting or Fighting. If a squad ever obtains 2x their number in suppression markers, they are unnerved, and must act accordingly.

Suppression tests are taken against the highest Nerves attribute, but against the target of the lowest training level. For example, a rabble led by a character with 6 nerves, but containing even 1 green character, must roll a 6+ to prevent from taking a suppression marker.

Any time a squad is reduced to 2 or fewer members, they cease to operate as a squad, and revert to standard characters, operating independently of one another.

Torrent of Fire
Any time a squad shoots at an enemy, they unleash a volley of fire that is focused much more intensely than from an individual character. A squad firing at a character (or another squad) gives a +1 TN for suppression test for every 2 characters in the squad doing the firing. TN may only be reduced to 6+ via this method (so an elite character being shot at by 20 characters in a squad would still take their suppression test at a 6+).
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Wreck Age 2nd edition basic rules beta 7 months 1 week ago #2810

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jlopatin wrote:
I think that the suppression rolls are unnecessary for every shot. I understand the goal is realism, but in reality, they just slow down gameplay.

I propose that suppression rolls occur only when a shot hits but causes no wounds.

I feel that this will still give a "real" feel, but will speed things up a bit.

How about wounded characters get an automatic suppression marker, and we remove that test?

I think that could work.
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Wreck Age 2nd edition basic rules beta 7 months 1 week ago #2811

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I dunno. automatic suppression when wounded seems pretty harsh.
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Wreck Age 2nd edition basic rules beta 7 months 1 week ago #2812

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jlopatin wrote:
I dunno. automatic suppression when wounded seems pretty harsh.

Sometimes life is harsh...
;)

I think it would be unfair/unbalanced to just allow someone to ignore suppression if they're being wounded. Wouldn't getting hit by a bullet cause you to hit the deck and take cover? That's what suppression is intended to simulate.
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Wreck Age 2nd edition basic rules beta 7 months 1 week ago #2813

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Anton wrote:

So your suggestion would be Charging is a -1TN and +1 Power?

Absolutely not.

Drop all of the +1 fighting, +1 Power, and other modifiers that add or subtract from the numbers of dice rolled.

Again, my suggestion has nothing to do with the specifics of charging. So, drop those modifiers everywhere they appear- cover, outnumbering, charging, traits (berzerker, accurate, pistol, etc...), armor, and so on. Only use adjustments to TN. So, charging would be -1TN to the fight roll and -1TN to the damage roll. The only place it might make sense to keep the +1 to an attribute would be melee weapons.
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Wreck Age 2nd edition basic rules beta 7 months 1 week ago #2814

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Anton wrote:
jlopatin wrote:
I dunno. automatic suppression when wounded seems pretty harsh.

Sometimes life is harsh...
;)

I think it would be unfair/unbalanced to just allow someone to ignore suppression if they're being wounded. Wouldn't getting hit by a bullet cause you to hit the deck and take cover? That's what suppression is intended to simulate.

getting shot at and wounded is a penalty already.
Getting shot at and hit but not wounded is a chance for a penalty.

getting shot at and wounded and suppressed is 2 penalties, which seems harsh and not fun.

It sacrifices realism for fun, and isn't that why we play games?


Alternatively, make suppression an "optional advanced" rule.
Last Edit: 7 months 1 week ago by Anton.
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Wreck Age 2nd edition basic rules beta 7 months 1 week ago #2815

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timlillig wrote:
Anton wrote:

So your suggestion would be Charging is a -1TN and +1 Power?

Absolutely not.

Drop all of the +1 fighting, +1 Power, and other modifiers that add or subtract from the numbers of dice rolled.

Again, my suggestion has nothing to do with the specifics of charging. So, drop those modifiers everywhere they appear- cover, outnumbering, charging, traits (berzerker, accurate, pistol, etc...), armor, and so on. Only use adjustments to TN. So, charging would be -1TN to the fight roll and -1TN to the damage roll. The only place it might make sense to keep the +1 to an attribute would be melee weapons.

What's your playtesting been like when you tried this out?

When we were working up with rules, we tried doing straight modifiers as you suggest here, but it had some serious issues from my perspective. First off, it skewed things in favor of elite characters way too much, and reduced the effectiveness of green characters in close combat, especially when there were a bunch of them piled into a elite character. That led to a lot of tar-pitting and long, long, long melee combats.

Next, it made green characters (with a P:2) in cover die ridiculously quick. An elite character with a Shooting of 4 or 5 will almost always hit regardless of TN modifiers. The mixed modifier gives the green character a fighting chance, although there may be some balancing to do to keep Power 3 shooting viable against cover (which has been something I've heard from other people).

Now, can you abuse green characters and spam the crap out of them? Absolutely, so that's why there have been a lot of checks and balances put in place to help avoid that from happening. I've tried to keep min/maxing out of the system as much as possible. I think that removing everything but TN modifiers will also encourage Min/maxing. If you know that your elite can have 10 greens bounce off with no issue, that favors small, elite forces over mob and less-trained crews.

The way the mixed-modifiers came about was due to how the training levels work with each other and play against each other. Green characters needed to have a balance against Elite, other than simple cost. With only TN modifiers in play, 10 Green characters can go into melee combat against an elite, and never have a chance to do anything. That to me, is game-breaking.

I'd definitely be interested in hearing how it played for you though, and what your experiences with it have been. Maybe there's something here that I'm not seeing.
Last Edit: 7 months 1 week ago by Anton.
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Wreck Age 2nd edition basic rules beta 7 months 1 week ago #2816

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jlopatin wrote:
Anton wrote:
jlopatin wrote:
I dunno. automatic suppression when wounded seems pretty harsh.

Sometimes life is harsh...
;)

I think it would be unfair/unbalanced to just allow someone to ignore suppression if they're being wounded. Wouldn't getting hit by a bullet cause you to hit the deck and take cover? That's what suppression is intended to simulate.

getting shot at and wounded is a penalty already.
Getting shot at and hit but not wounded is a chance for a penalty.

getting shot at and wounded and suppressed is 2 penalties, which seems harsh and not fun.

It sacrifices realism for fun, and isn't that why we play games?


Alternatively, make suppression an "optional advanced" rule.

Crap, accidentally edited your post instead of quoting it...

Trying again:

Thinking on it, I actually don't actually mind making suppression an optional rule. Let me ponder it and ask a few other people what they feel on that, but my initial thought is that it's a really good idea.

It is one of the more complex facets of the game mechanics, and making the game more accessible is definitely a goal here.
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Wreck Age 2nd edition basic rules beta 7 months 1 week ago #2817

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Anton, that is great to hear. My mindset when gaming is for the core rules to be strong and simple. I really like the idea of the more complex/realistic rules being an optional advanced add on.

I think it makes the game an easier sell to the beginner, and allows for groups to make the game as crunchy as they want.

My suggestion is to move some other rules to an "advanced/optional" rules section. I need to go back through the book before I can make more suggestions on what to add.

I think we talked about this a few months ago!
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Wreck Age 2nd edition basic rules beta 7 months 1 week ago #2818

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jlopatin wrote:
Anton, that is great to hear. My mindset when gaming is for the core rules to be strong and simple. I really like the idea of the more complex/realistic rules being an optional advanced add on.

I think it makes the game an easier sell to the beginner, and allows for groups to make the game as crunchy as they want.

My suggestion is to move some other rules to an "advanced/optional" rules section. I need to go back through the book before I can make more suggestions on what to add.

Shoot over your suggestions and let's talk about it. My only concern is making sure everything is balanced. In the main rules for 2nd ed, green characters are limited by total crew Renown, and it won't be until some of the faction books are released (Drifters, and Church of Fun books in specific) that we'll see factions gaining access to greater quantities of green characters, so I'm fine having green characters be slightly more powerful for now.
jlopatin wrote:
I think we talked about this a few months ago!

I don't have any emails from you since October about rules stuff. Maybe you're mixing me up with Matt? If you're getting confused, I'm the handsome one.
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Wreck Age 2nd edition basic rules beta 7 months 1 week ago #2819

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Anton wrote:

I don't have any emails from you since October about rules stuff. Maybe you're mixing me up with Matt? If you're getting confused, I'm the handsome one.

We discussed it in person at one of Matt's game days. Trust me... i will NEVER confuse you and matt!

Tim and i will get you a list soon.
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Wreck Age 2nd edition basic rules beta 7 months 5 days ago #2820

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jlopatin wrote:
Anton wrote:

I don't have any emails from you since October about rules stuff. Maybe you're mixing me up with Matt? If you're getting confused, I'm the handsome one.


Tim and i will get you a list soon.

Sounds good. Time is really tight on this, so let me know how things play for you with the changes you have in mind.
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Wreck Age 2nd edition basic rules beta 7 months 5 days ago #2821

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timlillig wrote:
Anton wrote:

So your suggestion would be Charging is a -1TN and +1 Power?

Absolutely not.

Drop all of the +1 fighting, +1 Power, and other modifiers that add or subtract from the numbers of dice rolled.

Again, my suggestion has nothing to do with the specifics of charging. So, drop those modifiers everywhere they appear- cover, outnumbering, charging, traits (berzerker, accurate, pistol, etc...), armor, and so on. Only use adjustments to TN. So, charging would be -1TN to the fight roll and -1TN to the damage roll. The only place it might make sense to keep the +1 to an attribute would be melee weapons.

I am going to respectfully disagree here.

Using a D6 system limits the number of modifiers that can be applied to a given roll. 40k is a great example of a game that suffers from relying purely on the modifiers for a single D6 roll.

Since TNs of 7+ are supposed to be exceedingly difficult, we are left with a range of 2-6 for most rolls. There are so many potential variables that need to be accounted for in most gaming situations that simply relying on +/- for TN seems limiting.

Adding dice to attributes is another way to add bonuses (or penalties) to an action without inflating the TN to a ridiculous level, or reducing it to the point where making the roll is presumably a waste of time (2+ TN are almost a guaranteed success unless you recently pissed off the dice gods).

If we were using D10's or D20's then pure modifiers would make sense, but I think the range of potential outcomes with a D6 make only a modifier system limited. Adding to the dice pool allows the odds to be changed without making the difficulty of the roll change. That is a useful mechanic for many RPG/Tabletop situations.
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Wreck Age 2nd edition basic rules beta 7 months 5 days ago #2823

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I am not agreeing or disagreeing with anything, but when in a 40k game does anyone roll a single die?
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Wreck Age 2nd edition basic rules beta 7 months 5 days ago #2824

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jlopatin wrote:
I am not agreeing or disagreeing with anything, but when in a 40k game does anyone roll a single die?

It's been a few years since I've played, but off the top of my head: vehicle damage, roll to wound, armor saves, etc.
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Wreck Age 2nd edition basic rules beta 7 months 5 days ago #2825

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DarkTraveler777 wrote:
timlillig wrote:
Anton wrote:

So your suggestion would be Charging is a -1TN and +1 Power?

Absolutely not.

Drop all of the +1 fighting, +1 Power, and other modifiers that add or subtract from the numbers of dice rolled.

Again, my suggestion has nothing to do with the specifics of charging. So, drop those modifiers everywhere they appear- cover, outnumbering, charging, traits (berzerker, accurate, pistol, etc...), armor, and so on. Only use adjustments to TN. So, charging would be -1TN to the fight roll and -1TN to the damage roll. The only place it might make sense to keep the +1 to an attribute would be melee weapons.

I am going to respectfully disagree here.

Using a D6 system limits the number of modifiers that can be applied to a given roll. 40k is a great example of a game that suffers from relying purely on the modifiers for a single D6 roll.

Since TNs of 7+ are supposed to be exceedingly difficult, we are left with a range of 2-6 for most rolls. There are so many potential variables that need to be accounted for in most gaming situations that simply relying on +/- for TN seems limiting.

Adding dice to attributes is another way to add bonuses (or penalties) to an action without inflating the TN to a ridiculous level, or reducing it to the point where making the roll is presumably a waste of time (2+ TN are almost a guaranteed success unless you recently pissed off the dice gods).

If we were using D10's or D20's then pure modifiers would make sense, but I think the range of potential outcomes with a D6 make only a modifier system limited. Adding to the dice pool allows the odds to be changed without making the difficulty of the roll change. That is a useful mechanic for many RPG/Tabletop situations.

I think this touches on an argument we had early on... what dice system do we go with. I know some people vehemently disagree, but I think d6 with mixed modifiers has a lot of variability to it, without the "flat" feeling of d20 or worse, percentile dice... You CAN create a system that has minimal modifiers with other dice, but I feel that those "weird" dice still create an extra barrier to entry for people. Now you can counter that complex rules might also create a barrier to entry, and we could flatten it all out and make it easier to learn. It's a balancing act in my opinion, and ultimately, after playing just about every system out there, I still think that d6 with mixed modifiers offers the most variability on the tabletop without it feeling like you're playing a game of "pick a card, any card". There is a reason why the Star Frontiers ruleset isn't a widely lauded system, 30 years later.
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Wreck Age 2nd edition basic rules beta 7 months 5 days ago #2826

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jlopatin wrote:
I am not agreeing or disagreeing with anything, but when in a 40k game does anyone roll a single die?

Every. Single. Time.

Yes, you roll a handful of dice when a unit is shooting, but what do those individual dice represent? The individual models' actions within the unit. Each dice is a bolter shot, or a lasgun shot.

In 40k each die represents an attack in melee, or an attack with a weapon. 40k uses a single D6 system just like Wreck-Age. And 40k has problems with modifiers. That is why you have things with 2+ invulnerable saves that are a scourge of the game currently. If you can only give bonuses or penalties ranging from 2-6 you are severely limited in how to represent a wide range of variables both in terms of difficulty and power level.
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Wreck Age 2nd edition basic rules beta 7 months 4 days ago #2827

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DarkTraveler777 wrote:
jlopatin wrote:
I am not agreeing or disagreeing with anything, but when in a 40k game does anyone roll a single die?

Every. Single. Time.

Yes, you roll a handful of dice when a unit is shooting, but what do those individual dice represent? The individual models' actions within the unit. Each dice is a bolter shot, or a lasgun shot.

In 40k each die represents an attack in melee, or an attack with a weapon. 40k uses a single D6 system just like Wreck-Age. And 40k has problems with modifiers. That is why you have things with 2+ invulnerable saves that are a scourge of the game currently. If you can only give bonuses or penalties ranging from 2-6 you are severely limited in how to represent a wide range of variables both in terms of difficulty and power level.

Unless a character has an attribute of 1, we still use a dice pool system against variable target numbers and modifiers on top of that. I think what Tim is arguing for, is the removal of variable numbers in the dice pools, and shifting only to target number modifiers.

We did some extensive playtesting with that, and there were issues that I found with it, that I laid out above... but I'd really like to hear what other people's experiences are with doing things differently. It's totally possible that I'm missing the forest for the trees on something here.
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Wreck Age 2nd edition basic rules beta 7 months 4 days ago #2828

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Anton wrote:
DarkTraveler777 wrote:
timlillig wrote:
Anton wrote:

So your suggestion would be Charging is a -1TN and +1 Power?

Absolutely not.

Drop all of the +1 fighting, +1 Power, and other modifiers that add or subtract from the numbers of dice rolled.

Again, my suggestion has nothing to do with the specifics of charging. So, drop those modifiers everywhere they appear- cover, outnumbering, charging, traits (berzerker, accurate, pistol, etc...), armor, and so on. Only use adjustments to TN. So, charging would be -1TN to the fight roll and -1TN to the damage roll. The only place it might make sense to keep the +1 to an attribute would be melee weapons.

I am going to respectfully disagree here.

Using a D6 system limits the number of modifiers that can be applied to a given roll. 40k is a great example of a game that suffers from relying purely on the modifiers for a single D6 roll.

Since TNs of 7+ are supposed to be exceedingly difficult, we are left with a range of 2-6 for most rolls. There are so many potential variables that need to be accounted for in most gaming situations that simply relying on +/- for TN seems limiting.

Adding dice to attributes is another way to add bonuses (or penalties) to an action without inflating the TN to a ridiculous level, or reducing it to the point where making the roll is presumably a waste of time (2+ TN are almost a guaranteed success unless you recently pissed off the dice gods).

If we were using D10's or D20's then pure modifiers would make sense, but I think the range of potential outcomes with a D6 make only a modifier system limited. Adding to the dice pool allows the odds to be changed without making the difficulty of the roll change. That is a useful mechanic for many RPG/Tabletop situations.

I think this touches on an argument we had early on... what dice system do we go with. I know some people vehemently disagree, but I think d6 with mixed modifiers has a lot of variability to it, without the "flat" feeling of d20 or worse, percentile dice... You CAN create a system that has minimal modifiers with other dice, but I feel that those "weird" dice still create an extra barrier to entry for people. Now you can counter that complex rules might also create a barrier to entry, and we could flatten it all out and make it easier to learn. It's a balancing act in my opinion, and ultimately, after playing just about every system out there, I still think that d6 with mixed modifiers offers the most variability on the tabletop without it feeling like you're playing a game of "pick a card, any card". There is a reason why the Star Frontiers ruleset isn't a widely lauded system, 30 years later.

I wasn't meaning to go that far back in the conversation, I am just wary of a system that limits the dice modifiers to what can be rolled on a D6 (even with exploding 6's available it is too limiting).

I am a fan of modifiers either effecting the TN or the number of dice rolled (or both!). I think the current system for Wreck Age is a good middle ground for an otherwise limiting dice mechanic.

Battletech's 2D6 system can use just TN modifiers because the range of 2-12 allows for more variables to be introduced.

Similarly, Warmachine/Hordes 2D6 + Stat + 1D6 boost system works because it can allow for diverse TN modifiers, and it can add or substitute dice from the base 2D6 roll.

In my opinion Warhammer 40k's system doesn't work because it is limited to what can be rolled on a D6. Take for example the chart for how melee attacks work where you take the attacker's strength stat and compare it to the defender's toughness stat to achieve a TN.




At a certain point the system breaks down, especially at the extreme ends of the spectrum. Toughness es or Strengths at a certain level lose meaning because they are providing TNs that are identical to other levels of those stats. That is a bad system in my opinion due to the limitations of a D6's variable range.
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