Character Creation - Actual Play Questions

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Banesfinger
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Character Creation - Actual Play Questions

Post by Banesfinger »

Last session we created characters. We had several questions at this point:

Player 1: created a Dwarf (13 points). He wanted to be a killer Fighter type (12 points to gain the d8 each in Axe & Shield specializations) plus he boosted both his endurance & Resistance to d8 (4 points).

Question #1: His total was 29 character points. Since Abilities cost a minimum of 2 points, and the 1 point advantages were unappealing to him, we were unsure of what to do with the remaining 1 cp?

Player 2: created an Elf (14 points) who was a Rogue (using 2 points to gain the restricted Thievery ability and 2 points for Knife specialization to enter that profession). He later increased his Arcanum, Stealth and Thievery skills to d6 (6 points). He also increased his Arcanum > Mystical specialization to d8 (6 points).

The player had several questions about the Reflexes > Combat Reflexes > Quick Shot or Quick draw ability:

Question #2: What does ‘Combat Reflexes’ apply to? Under the ‘Reflexes’ ability description on page 21 it says “These Specializations add to an ability check, but because all Die-Ranks of this ability contribute to the Evade pool, specializing specifically in “Evade ADP” is meaningless.” But the Evade formula on page 13 (Reflexes + Agility + Pugilism) does not seem to indicate that Reflex specializations counted towards this defence.
Question #3: Quick shot or Quick draw. On page 27 it talks about drawing weapons and the max split of weapons: “Certain Specializations in Reflexes may override this restriction, such as “quick draw” Specializations. However, no details are given.

The player also wanted to be able to cast the ‘Invisibility’ spell (page 71). With an Arcanum (d6) > Mystical (d8) he starts with 14 spell points.
We had several questions at this point:

Question #4: When casting/paying SP cost, page 38 states “An arcanist may choose to reduce the effectiveness of a spell by eliminating dice from his ability check, which in turn lowers the spell point cost. Of course, for spells requiring a difficulty check, this also lowers the chances for success.”
So if this player chose to only use his Mystical specialization die (d8) to cast, and since the target is one creature (usually himself), the cost is check result minus lowest die roll. Would that not mean that this spell will cost 0 sp (since his single d8 will always be the lowest die)? That would also mean maintaining the spell would cost 0sp as well? Would this mean that attacking creatures get a d8 penalty (invisibility) at no cost (free) as long as the spell is maintained?

Question #5: (related to the invisibility spell in #4, above). This player liked that the Invisibility spell gave attackers penalties, but he really wanted to remain unseen as he used his roguish abilities. He wanted to also reduce observer’s Scrutiny checks. We decided this would fall under the Multi-Effect spell rules (page 52). Right away we see that the sp cost is 1.5 for the secondary effect. However, using the 1-die logic (#4 above) can we say 1.5 x 0 cost = still cost 0sp?

More questions to follow, as my typing hand recovers.
mythfish
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Re: Character Creation - Actual Play Questions

Post by mythfish »

Banesfinger wrote: Question #1: His total was 29 character points. Since Abilities cost a minimum of 2 points, and the 1 point advantages were unappealing to him, we were unsure of what to do with the remaining 1 cp?
I ran into the same thing when I was creating characters. I thought of two solutions. One: invent more 1 point advantages. Two: Put it in the bank and spend it when he gets to level 2. There's nothing that says that character points have to be spent immediately. Especially considering that most characters when they get to level 2 will have the same problem; they'll spend 2 of their 3 cp raising a skill, and be left with 1 they can't really do anything with.

My personal preference would be to leave out VPs, RPs, and levels all together and just periodically award my players character points which they can save or spend as they desire.
Dieter Zimmerman
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Banesfinger
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Re: Character Creation - Actual Play Questions

Post by Banesfinger »

More Actual Play questions, as the group fought some goblins

Equipment

Question #1: apart from the Evade restrictions, does armour hamper skills? For example, could the rogue use his Stealth abilities just as effectively in heavy armour?

Combat

Question #2: for most attack spells, the players were surprised at the short ranges. From page 40: “maximum distance is x2 Power Source (MRV) in feet.” So our rogue who has Arcanum (d6) > Mystical (d8), can only attack with his ‘Eldritch Bolt’ spell out to a range of 16-feet. Is that correct?

Question #3: do you need none, one or both hands free to cast spells?

Question #4: can you still keep gaining the Armour damage reduction from a shield (med or large) even after your Deflect DP has been depleted?

Observations

The group easily took on 4x their number in Goblins (fodder). It was over in 5 rounds. The players liked that they got to act first in every round before the goblins.
Since the goblins had such low Threat potential each round, the players found they could pick & choose their Active Defences easily, without worrying too much about ‘spill-over’ hitting their Toughness defence. For example, they did not always have to use their largest defence, knowing the Goblins could only do 1d6 threat points they could easily switch between low defences as long as they had > 6 points remaining.

I'm sure this will clear up after a few sessions, but we had to check several times what the difference was between the Evade defence and the Dodge defence (since the names are not as intuitive as the other defences).

When the players with the weaker defences got surrounded (attacked by multiple goblins), their Active Defence pools quickly diminished. They began to ask if there was some ‘tactical’ way to hide behind other players to Revitalize. As the GM, I had to play that one by ear…
Banesfinger
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Re: Character Creation - Actual Play Questions

Post by Banesfinger »

And finally, the group ran into some non-combat challenges.

They had to swim through a river (easy: 1d4). While no one had the Agility > Swim specialization, most PCs had no problem beating the difficulty with their base Agility scores.

Next they had to navigate up a steep canyon (moderate: 2d4). Once again, most PCs defaulted to the 1d4 Climbing ability. However, the jump from 1d4 (easy) to 2d4 (moderate) made a huge difference. Some players wondered why the increment was not more subtle (1d4 to 1d6 or even 1d8?).

As a GM, I found assigning difficulties on the fly was great! It was much easier than looking up specific rules for each skill and determining target numbers (like other systems do).

We are looking forward to playing the next session of ERP!
elrics
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Re: Character Creation - Actual Play Questions

Post by elrics »

Banesfinger wrote:Once again, most PCs defaulted to the 1d4 Climbing ability. However, the jump from 1d4 (easy) to 2d4 (moderate) made a huge difference. Some players wondered why the increment was not more subtle (1d4 to 1d6 or even 1d8?).
That, to me, is the game engine sending players a clear signal: "If the Difficulty is > Easy, do not attempt without training (e.g. a Specialization) or other mitigating factors."
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dancross
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Re: Character Creation - Actual Play Questions

Post by dancross »

Hello! Just writing in to say I WILL answer these questions (or Randall), but I have no internet access at home for a few reasons, so it's taking me longer (hot spots, writing replies outside of my work building using wi-fi, etc)...

Just letting you know I'm not vanishing here...
dancross
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Re: Character Creation - Actual Play Questions

Post by dancross »

Hi there!
Banesfinger wrote:Last session we created characters. We had several questions at this we were unsure of what to do with the remaining 1 cp?
Save it for later, like that last delicious Oreo Cookie. ;-)
Player 2: The player had several questions about the Reflexes > Combat Reflexes > Quick Shot or Quick draw ability:

Question #2: What does ‘Combat Reflexes’ apply to? Under the ‘Reflexes’ ability description on page 21 it says “These Specializations add to an ability check, but because all Die-Ranks of this ability contribute to the Evade pool, specializing specifically in “Evade ADP” is meaningless.” But the Evade formula on page 13 (Reflexes + Agility + Pugilism) does not seem to indicate that Reflex specializations counted towards this defence.
The entire ability tree contributes to the Active Defenses, except in the case of Pugilism, which is a specialization of Unarmed. "Combat reflexes" is a colorful description of a specialization that can add to combat based opposed rolls (which is another discussion), or as GM I'd allow it to work in the same way as specializing in initiative.
Question #3: Quick shot or Quick draw. On page 27 it talks about drawing weapons and the max split of weapons: “Certain Specializations in Reflexes may override this restriction, such as “quick draw” Specializations. However, no details are given.
Actually, "quick draw" would probably work better as an advantage. If you were to add a specialization rank of Quick Draw to Melee, there's several different ways it could be applied. I'll get back to this. For now make Quick Draw a 1 pt. advantage that allows for max-split in the first action of the round with weapons that were not readied.
Question #4: When casting/paying SP cost, page 38 states “An arcanist may choose to reduce the effectiveness of a spell by eliminating dice from his ability check, which in turn lowers the spell point cost. Of course, for spells requiring a difficulty check, this also lowers the chances for success.”
So if this player chose to only use his Mystical specialization die (d8) to cast, and since the target is one creature (usually himself), the cost is check result minus lowest die roll. Would that not mean that this spell will cost 0 sp (since his single d8 will always be the lowest die)? That would also mean maintaining the spell would cost 0sp as well? Would this mean that attacking creatures get a d8 penalty (invisibility) at no cost (free) as long as the spell is maintained?
The caster would always be rolling Arcanum + the relevant Power Source specialization. Therefore he can eliminate a mastery die if wished, or reduce by die-rank (D6 to D4), but cannot drop below two dice rolled. I'd add to errata: "by eliminating die-ranks from his ability check"
Question #5: (related to the invisibility spell in #4, above). This player liked that the Invisibility spell gave attackers penalties, but he really wanted to remain unseen as he used his roguish abilities. He wanted to also reduce observer’s Scrutiny checks. We decided this would fall under the Multi-Effect spell rules (page 52). Right away we see that the sp cost is 1.5 for the secondary effect. However, using the 1-die logic (#4 above) can we say 1.5 x 0 cost = still cost 0sp?

More questions to follow, as my typing hand recovers.
The 1-die wouldn't work since the arcanist must roll Arcanum + Specialization at the very least. Thank you for pointing out that issue.
dancross
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Re: Character Creation - Actual Play Questions

Post by dancross »

elrics wrote:
Banesfinger wrote:Once again, most PCs defaulted to the 1d4 Climbing ability. However, the jump from 1d4 (easy) to 2d4 (moderate) made a huge difference. Some players wondered why the increment was not more subtle (1d4 to 1d6 or even 1d8?).
That, to me, is the game engine sending players a clear signal: "If the Difficulty is > Easy, do not attempt without training (e.g. a Specialization) or other mitigating factors."
I agree, the engine does encourage specialization. Funny thing is some complain it's too easy to get over challenges. Heh. Well, I would not hesitate to introduce levels beyond "easy" that lead up to moderate...like vs. D6, D8, D10, D12, then 2D4, 2D6, etc. The chart as it stands just makes it quick to use and easy to memorize in time.
dancross
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Re: Character Creation - Actual Play Questions

Post by dancross »

Banesfinger wrote:More Actual Play questions, as the group fought some goblins

Equipment

Question #1: apart from the Evade restrictions, does armour hamper skills? For example, could the rogue use his Stealth abilities just as effectively in heavy armour?
I leave that up to the GM. According to the rules, no, but I can see how such restrictions would be justified. ;-)
Combat

Question #2: for most attack spells, the players were surprised at the short ranges. From page 40: “maximum distance is x2 Power Source (MRV) in feet.” So our rogue who has Arcanum (d6) > Mystical (d8), can only attack with his ‘Eldritch Bolt’ spell out to a range of 16-feet. Is that correct?
I'd allow adding the MRV of Mastery for single creature Harm spells, just as I do with Area-Effect. So if the character had Arcanum D10, Mystic D8, Wizard D6, any single creature spell would be at a max range of 28' if mastered, or 14' if only specialized in the power source. You could allow arcanists to switch between feet and yards (indoor, outdoor), or just increase the multiplier to x5.
Question #3: do you need none, one or both hands free to cast spells?

Question #4: can you still keep gaining the Armour damage reduction from a shield (med or large) even after your Deflect DP has been depleted?
I'd say one hand free to cast spells, but it could depend on the spell itself and how it was created. Damage reduction from shields is also passive for some types, so yes (but not bucklers, and other small shields).
Observations

I'm sure this will clear up after a few sessions, but we had to check several times what the difference was between the Evade defence and the Dodge defence (since the names are not as intuitive as the other defences).
Evade = Jackie Chan (close in fight), and Dodge = Bruce Willis in Die Hard (leaping and running). LOL
When the players with the weaker defences got surrounded (attacked by multiple goblins), their Active Defence pools quickly diminished. They began to ask if there was some ‘tactical’ way to hide behind other players to Revitalize. As the GM, I had to play that one by ear…
There is no written rule for that, but is something to think about ;-)
Banesfinger
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Re: Character Creation - Actual Play Questions

Post by Banesfinger »

Thanks for the quick responces Dancross.

If you think it is worth while, let me know if you would like some help creating a FAQ (sticky) thread.
dancross
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Re: Character Creation - Actual Play Questions

Post by dancross »

Banesfinger wrote:Thanks for the quick responces Dancross.

If you think it is worth while, let me know if you would like some help creating a FAQ (sticky) thread.
That would be fantastic, yes. I'll set up a FAQ sticky thread.
McLembas
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Re: Character Creation - Actual Play Questions

Post by McLembas »

I started to create a character to get a feel for things, and was thwarted immediately when I tried to create an Elf.

On page 7, it says the minimum ranks for Elf are 14.

Yet:

(Unrestricted)
D6 Reflex = 2
D6 Speed = 2
D6 Willpower = 2
D6 Melee = 2

(Restricted)
D4 Arcanum = 2

Low-Light Vision = 2

Total = 12

Did I miss something, or is the elf description incorrect?
dancross
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Re: Character Creation - Actual Play Questions

Post by dancross »

McLembas wrote:I started to create a character to get a feel for things, and was thwarted immediately when I tried to create an Elf.

On page 7, it says the minimum ranks for Elf are 14.

Yet:

(Unrestricted)
D6 Reflex = 2
D6 Speed = 2
D6 Willpower = 2
D6 Melee = 2

(Restricted)
D4 Arcanum = 2

Low-Light Vision = 2

Total = 12

Did I miss something, or is the elf description incorrect?
The elf costs 12 points. I believe they were required to specialize in Primoridal power source in an earlier draft, but we nixed that. Alas, the 14 point cost was not lowered to reflect the change

So congrats! You got an extra 2 points!
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