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#1 DE4DF1SH

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Posted 12 April 2014 - 07:48 AM

I don't like the idea of starting new characters out with a whole bunch of abilities, traits and skills, like the rulebook would have us do. It makes the game seem overwhelming for new players.

 

In my campaign, I restricted the players to their normal skill allotment, but then I only let them pick one ability card (and of course they can use all the basic abilities too). This way, when they level up, they're already comfortable with the abilities they have, and so getting new ones is easier to grasp.

 

Sort of like how a 1st level D&D player gets 1 spell, or 1 feat. I wouldn't start my D&D players out at level 5 - they wouldn't know what to do! Similarly, if you let new players have the basic abilities AND like 6 other ability cards, they won't know what to do when their turn comes around; it'll bog down combat as I have to explain every card to them over and over.

 

If anything, I wouldn't mind getting rid of the cards altogether. I want this game to be simple. The dice system is already confusing, as you have to spend 5 mins interpreting the dice after you roll them. It eliminates the "Yay I rolled a 20!" and "Darn I rolled a 1" and replaces those feelings with "Ugh, what do all these skulls and hammers and chaos stars mean? Did I hit?"

 

Anybody have house rules that simplify things for new characters?



#2 k7e9

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Posted 12 April 2014 - 08:37 AM

An easy houserule to start with is to ignore all active defences (block, parry, dodge) and not let the player choose any extra actions or talents from get go. That way they will start out very basic, with only melee strike and ranged shot as offensive actions.

 

Also wizards and priests are a bit trickier to manage, so maybe you should run an introduction adventure without any wizards or priests. (a day late a shilling short is an easy introductory adventure.

 

Then when all are a bit more comfortable with the game you could create new characters or upgrade the old characters.

 

The dice system takes some time getting used to, but when you've learned it interpreting the dice goes quite quickly and gives a lot more than just hit/miss. You could hit and still get som drawbacks, or miss and get something positive out of it and so on. The dice system is actually one of the best parts of the game.

 

The "Success & Failure Symbols"-box in the core rulebook can be helpful to get a better grasp of the dice. I copied it for my players when we started playing, and it helped a lot.



#3 Emirikol

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Posted 12 April 2014 - 08:38 AM

One of the issues of getting rid of the Special Actions is that you adopt the problem that the Star Wars game has:  GMs get sick of having all of these modifiers that mean little to nothing more than just a white die..black die..or make some crap up again to the point that everything looks the same no matter what talents you have.

 

There is only one broken Special Action:  Reckless cleave.  Take that away and use the errata for Double Strike and Rapid Fire and the game is amazingly well balanced.

 

As for interpreting the dice, you and your players will get really good at it really fast (especially if you lead on this matter with your players).  

 

If you need to, I recommend you practice a few rolls with your players:  Athletics check to lift something.  Charm check to influence someone.  Intuition check to see you think somone is lying.

 

The issue with not knowing if you hit comes down to this:

PLAYERS NEED TO WRITE DOWN ALL OF THEIR BONUSES ON THIER CHARACTER SHEET AND BE READY FOR THEIR TURN. [emphasis added in caps]  This aint' D&D.  You can't sleep through the round and then think anyone will appreciate you while you sit there and add up all of your dice AFTER your turn has started. That's simple gaming etiquette. 

 

This can be helped by simply having them do the following:

1.  Write down a number after their  weapon:  TOTAL DAMAGE: str + DR  (E.g. Sword: 9). That reduces a step of adding.

2. Do the same thing for TOTAL SOAK: Toughness + armor soak.  Have them CIRCLE their defense number on their armor so they can tell the GM right away.

 

As your proficiency improves in this game, your speed will improve dramatically.

 

Here's a good one:

http://rpggeek.com/t...-to-teach-wfrp3


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#4 Emirikol

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Posted 12 April 2014 - 08:58 AM

You will also improve your players' proficiency by having them make more simple checks when they ask to do something:

"I ask for directions to the wizard's tower in Altdorf"

GM: "Ok, make (1d) easy Folklore or Charm check

"Ok, what dice do I roll?"

PRACTICE

 

I would also encourage them to check out their OWN probabilities for their various dice rolls (click calculate probabilities at the bottom).  They will then (usually), play around with some dice rolls and get better at it on their own. 

https://googledrive....ollers/wfrp3e/#

 

Another tip:

Each player should have:

* a copy of the Player's Guide PDF (if you can get them one)

* A copy of how to cancel dice rolls

* A copy of the basic actions sheet (recall PERFORM STUNT is used for all normal skill checks that aren't weaponized)

 

There are a lot of great print-outs and graphics here:

http://www.fantasyfl...1&ecan=62&epn=0

 

 

Finally, the LINGO: As a GM, you need to standardize your language for combat:

"OK, Mr Player, the orc's total defense dice, including the base purple are:  two black and one purple"

 

 

DiceDesign01.png


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#5 Ralzar

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Posted 12 April 2014 - 09:27 AM

I know where you are coming form with the idea of no cards. Last session, I ran a one-off adventure with my players where I just made them characters and handed them to the players to be used just for that one adventure. Halfway through, I was regretting giving them any action cards, because most of the game was just fine without them and when they and had to use the cards it just halted the flow of the game while they tried to assess what cards to use.

It works fine in the standard campaign, since everyone has been playing the same characters for almost two years and know what all their cards do.

I would reccomend you try this set of house rules I made for cardless quick combat:

 

http://community.fan...r-quick-combat/

 

Combat in WFRP tend to grind the game to a halt unless the characters are very combat proficient (they kill things fast, making combat short) or very proficient in the use of their characters (they always know ahead of time what cards to use and what rolls that will entail).

 

Edit: As for character creation, I would say you could just limit them to buying 1 Action Card and 1 Talent card. Don't give them the Basic Action cards. Instead, give them a printout of the basic actions (there are several online) and just cross out the ones unusable for their character. This way there is a clear split for them between "basic stuff everyone can do" and "special stuff my character can do".

 

Edit2: ALso, if you have access to a decent colour printer, consider switching to these character sheets:

 

http://www.gitzmansg...-resources.html

 

The ones included in the box are just terrible.


Edited by Ralzar, 12 April 2014 - 09:36 AM.


#6 Emirikol

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Posted 12 April 2014 - 11:36 AM

 

Edit2: ALso, if you have access to a decent colour printer, consider switching to these character sheets:

 

http://www.gitzmansg...-resources.html

 

The ones included in the box are just terrible.

 

 

Agreed on the character sheets.  FFG was so hung up on having all kinds of junk on the table (namely the career sheet), that they thought a "miniature" character sheet would be useful.  Although a few people tried a couple character sheet redesigns, I am not completely satisfied in the general fan effort.  Gitzman's is nice b/c it has the basic actions right on the front of it.

 

jh



#7 arscott

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Posted 12 April 2014 - 03:44 PM

I don't think this is something you need to create hard rules for.

 

When I'm running I simply tell my players "Even though you can spend lots of points on actions and talents, you should really focus on your character's attribute scores.  You can always buy more actions or talents with advancement, but if your attributes are low, then you're not going to be very good with the ones you've bought.  And this game can get pretty complex, so starting with a limited number of fiddly bits and working your way up can makes for an easier learning curve."

 

Once I started doing that, I haven't had any problems (at least not for players creating starting characters.  I still need a solution for players who jump in when the party's already got 15 advances)



#8 Ralzar

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Posted 12 April 2014 - 04:06 PM

Yeah, I had one hunter/scout/archer type character who has like 6 "shoot stuff" action cards because he seemed to almost desperately buy action cards to get a good one and kept being disappointed when he tried using them. He only uses 2 or 3 of them now. So that's 3 or 4 advancement points wasted. He's new to table-top RP'ing but an old-school computer RPG player, so it was surprising how bad he was at meta-gaming.

Another one in the same group went for dual-wielding axes and getting to ST6 and Weapon Skill. He goes through melee combat like a hot knife through butter and he only has 2 Action Cards.


Edited by Ralzar, 12 April 2014 - 04:07 PM.


#9 valvorik

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Posted 15 April 2014 - 07:24 PM

My players generally have focused on upping stats from early on, that is often what open advances are spent on - often to the point of having "card holes" (as in no decent ranged attack card, no decent social action etc).



#10 Yepesnopes

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Posted 16 April 2014 - 12:42 AM

One of the issues of getting rid of the Special Actions is that you adopt the problem that the Star Wars game has:  GMs get sick of having all of these modifiers that mean little to nothing more than just a white die..black die..or make some crap up again to the point that everything looks the same no matter what talents you have.

 

As a player and GM who has started playing with old games like Rune Quest or Call of Cthulhu, I just do not agree on that comment. Diversity does not come by having 300 cards (90% of the plain useless), diversity is on the imagination of GM and Players.

 

I was too tempted on commenting on this, sorry :P


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#11 GMmL

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Posted 16 April 2014 - 11:12 AM

That same imagination that has you reading your actions out of a book instead of off a card? :D Very diverse.

 

Good to see ya again, Yepperz.



#12 GMmL

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Posted 16 April 2014 - 11:19 AM

@Emirikol  I love running the Star Wars system, but I can agree about the modifiers. I find myself adding these little "3 setback dice" challenges all the time just so the players can use the talents they buy. Not very story driven there, but often times if my table falls into a heavy narrative mode a lot of those things just don't come up. Environment effects, advantage/disadvantage, sure... but  "remove 2 setback dice from salvaging attempts."....ok.... and I scurry off to write the most complex droid looting scene of all time :)



#13 Yepesnopes

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Posted 16 April 2014 - 05:26 PM

That same imagination that has you reading your actions out of a book instead of off a card? :D Very diverse.

 

Good to see ya again, Yepperz.

Right now I am not following sorry :(

 

Games like Rune Quest, Call of Chtulhu, Ars magica... are far from having action cards or endless lists of talents like Warhammer, Star Wars, Pathfinder or D&D Xed. Your characters are way simpler entities regarding rules (besides wizards may be), they are just a collection of stats and skills. The rest, the description of how you resolve or fail your skill checks, comes from imagination.

 

Although I like SW EotE way more than Warhammer 3 regarding the system, it still annoys me the amount of stress the game has on character development through a myriad of talents and sub-special abilities.

 

Again, I am not sure that this comment has sense, I did not really get what you meant GMmL


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#14 Emirikol

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Posted 16 April 2014 - 07:21 PM

I'm not talking about not using my imagination and forcing my brain onto a card. I'm talking about getting tired in SW of having to make up petty modifier effects for the extra dice effects in SW every single time.  The point of Action cards in WFRP is that they are "just above" a skill check.  Now, whether they accomplish that is in the eye of the beholder.  Yep's has done a pretty extensive eval of all of those and could comment on them further if they are actually different from a plain old skill check.

 

IMO, the talents are what I wouldn't have ported into SW.  I would have brought the cation cards..but that's just personal taste.  I find the talents kind of annoying and mechanistic.  They seem like just another bonus, rather than a "specialization"  I suppose it could be argued both ways. 


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#15 GMmL

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Posted 16 April 2014 - 07:52 PM

 

That same imagination that has you reading your actions out of a book instead of off a card? :D Very diverse.

 

Good to see ya again, Yepperz.

Right now I am not following sorry :(

 

Games like Rune Quest, Call of Chtulhu, Ars magica... are far from having action cards or endless lists of talents like Warhammer, Star Wars, Pathfinder or D&D Xed. Your characters are way simpler entities regarding rules (besides wizards may be), they are just a collection of stats and skills. The rest, the description of how you resolve or fail your skill checks, comes from imagination.

 

Although I like SW EotE way more than Warhammer 3 regarding the system, it still annoys me the amount of stress the game has on character development through a myriad of talents and sub-special abilities.

 

Again, I am not sure that this comment has sense, I did not really get what you meant GMmL

 

I suppose your example of CoC had me in stitches, no offense. When I think of simple, imaginative, narrative play I think of Fate Core. CoC isn't so far removed from your standard fare that I separate it from any of the other titles you mentioned. It's all in how the data is presented. Regardless of if the info is in a book or on cards it is still a thing that has the purpose of dictating or encouraging a certain character response. CoC skills are like WFRP specializations, basically. 

 

JH is getting at a great point with the SW talents though. WFRP action cards zero in on a task at hand and encourage the player to narrate a resolution. Star Wars talents are either MMO-esque stat boosts or very specific niche pool modifiers that you hope you can use within the context of the narrative. Very different approaches. Again, I like both games, but I'm far more impressed with WFRP from a character point of view.

 

/salute 



#16 Emirikol

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Posted 16 April 2014 - 11:21 PM

I think the talents of WFRP and SW seem trivial min-maxing devices is because they are too-often, passive invisible bonuses of just another die in the pile, whereas, as GMmL says, Actions "zero in" on what you're doing during the action of the game.

 

Talents could be better if they were required to roleplayed to be annouced (without wasting tons of game time though).

 

There's a rather large discussion about skills, special abilities, andmain abilities going on at RPG.net right now as well:  http://forum.rpg.net...on-t-use-skills


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#17 Keeop

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Posted 17 April 2014 - 06:17 AM

@GMmL  I see what you mean, and would expand a bit. Star Wars talent trees, comparing to WFRP, are actually actions, advances, and passive talents all in one delivery system. Is that streamlined? I suppose so. Does it offer character flexibility? Not really. In WFRP if I want "scathing tirade" I spend an advance and grab it. It EotE I might have to spend 3 sessions of xp to burrow down through the tree to grab it, possibly picking up things I don't want along the way. I enjoy both systems as well, but WFRP offers a clear path to character customization as opposed to Edge's tree method.

 

On CoC and Ars Magicka I have no idea what y'all are talking about. There's tables ten miles long depending on which version you're running. Simple? Come play a round of CoC with me and I'll have you crawling back to your career cards :D That whole part of the conversation is bullocks and anti-card rhetoric. But it is Yepes, who I have a deal of respect for, so I'll forget I saw it. He probably couldn't help himself.

 

As far as the original topic, I don't feel that the rank 1 intro characters have too much on their plate and wouldn't mess with the soup recipe myself. I'm much more concerned about a character dying at rank 3. In some cases GM's will award extra advances so a character can "catch up" to the party. At that point you're handing a player a ton of stuff that would overwhelm them. Almost like a high level respec in an MMO...you hand yourself 20+ talents and start scratching your head. Rank 1 seems pretty elementary. Of course if you have new players that can't hang do what you want. That's the beauty of modular systems with optional tools.

 

Out!


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#18 GMmL

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Posted 17 April 2014 - 06:20 AM

That brings up an interesting point that I haven't resolved for my games yet. Can a rank 1 and rank 3 player peacefully percolate in the same group?  I'm also not really into the idea of handing a player 2 ranks worth of advances on death just so they can "catch" up but is there mechanical mayhem that would mess up the fun of a group with varying ranks? I simply haven't encountered it yet, but see it coming up.



#19 Emirikol

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Posted 17 April 2014 - 12:43 PM

I've run multi-level/rank games before.  As long as everyone has their specialty, it seems that nobody is too left out.  When I ran "The Pig, the witch, and her lover" at a convention for WFRP3, the scribe character was subserivent to the Noble lady.  It seemed to work out ok.

 

I suppose a military game where you had a Soldier (corporal Hicks!), Sargeant, Veteran and Pistolier might be interesting,


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#20 k7e9

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Posted 17 April 2014 - 02:27 PM

@GMmL: We allow the player who died to earn two advancements per session to catch up. That way you do not just hand out a bunch of experience, but the gap between character rank will be bridged in time.

 

Another way might be to allow players to create their character at rank 2 and then advance at the usual rate. Gives the player a few more options right off the bat.

 

But varying ranks works as well.


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