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WFRP2 problems that are made better... Or are they...


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#1 jackdays

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Posted 14 September 2009 - 01:44 AM

Do people remember issues we had with WFRP2 core rules? I mean rules were good, but there is always somethings. Now I dont remember all the issues we had, but there were few. And I mean really some core elements that just didnt work that well. Would be nice if some of these would have been fixed in the new edition... But you never know. I mean I just hope production-team are top of this stuff.

Here are few things I remember, please add more:

  • Encumbrance Issue: I'm not saying I dont like the system. It is good system, but there are some BIG problems that needed to be changed and rethinking (what were those? Well, say draft animals and how much can they carry). Do we have Enc system in new WFRP3 also? And is it solved differently?
  • Size Issue: Now, phyisical size really gave actually few issues that were later fixed with different Talents/Traits. Size was featured by Attacks and Wounds mostly (and Unstoppable Blows). Actual size-levels might be good new addition in WFRP3, giving certain bonuses or penalties. With these one could easily solve some skill problems also (like attack and defence issues, unarmed brawling, hide, sneak, maybe initiative bonuses...etc.) and feature better very small or very large creatures.
  • UPDATED - Strength Issue: Strength was one of the Characteristics that caused little arguing. This is related issue to Size. Some huge creatures just had WAY too small Strenght compared to say Tier 3 or 4 Human Character with full bonuses to their Strenght. I just hope new Str has bigger scale. This meaning - If human Str is now about 3 or 4, then Ogre is probably 8 and something like Dragon or Greater Daemon is 15...
  • Champion Issue: This career was just too über and too fast reachable for some career-lines. This is very minor issue and has minor impact in the Core Rules, but I just wanted to add this as for example of minor issue.
  • UPDATE - Skill System Issue: Altough good, there are few things. These are well discussed in this thread (below). Most likely these might actually work better in the new system, but we dont really know for sure yet.
  • UPDATE - Combat Damage & Critical Issue: One thing in the "old" damage system isn't working that good. You can be hit dozen times in one hit location, but then when your Wounds finally are gone and you are hit other location, it is THAT new location that is suddenly Critically hit. System should work that every hit has change for Critical. This way also Armour Damage is better handled. Nice to see how this works in the WFRP3.

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#2 Necrozius

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Posted 14 September 2009 - 01:58 AM

Strength issue:

Dark Heresy's solution for this was to include unnatural strength multipliers. That multiplier increased the damage of super strong dudes, and gave them extra degrees of success in opposed skill checks.

UNFORTUNATELY, you still ended up with a human guardsman with a strength of 50 something arm wrestling with an Ogryn with a strength of 40 something (but hey! unnatural strength X2! whoopie!). The problem is that the Ogryn needs to win at percentiles to benefit from his unnatural strength. Wait- whhhaaaaaat?

RETARDED.

I really hope that this new version handles this differently.



#3 jadrax

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Posted 14 September 2009 - 06:13 AM

These are all excellent questions and I would love to see a designer diary addressing them.



#4 N0-1_H3r3

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Posted 14 September 2009 - 07:41 AM

Necrozius said:

UNFORTUNATELY, you still ended up with a human guardsman with a strength of 50 something arm wrestling with an Ogryn with a strength of 40 something (but hey! unnatural strength X2! whoopie!). The problem is that the Ogryn needs to win at percentiles to benefit from his unnatural strength. Wait- whhhaaaaaat?

RETARDED.

Minor aside, but the situation has been woefully misrepresented, IMO.

Opposed tests in Dark Heresy are almost always one creature's action being resisted by that of another (awareness tests to spot people sneaking, strength tests to resist being injured in a grapple, resisting a psychic power being used on you, etc), rather than two creatures attempting to perform equal but opposite actions. Further, opposed tests where both creatures fail result in either re-rolls or ties, at GM's discretion (often both - a tie which forces a re-roll in the next round or similar), which changes things considerably (the one who fails least in a DH opposed test does not win). In that situation (where a basic, advanceless Ogryn is 'arm-wrestling' an extremely strong human being), the ogryn's chances of winning overall are still noticeably higher than those of the human (because if the Ogryn does pass his test, there's little the human can do to score enough Degrees of Success to win, and consequently nearly 40% of the human's successful rolls will be rendered moot by the Ogryn's strength). Of course, technically, it's impossible for an Ogryn to arm-wrestle a human - the difference in length of their arms makes the situation a ludicrous assertion - and all tests should have their relative difficulty determined by the GM based on the factors relevant (it being an opposed test does not negate that oft-ignored factor, unlike in roll-high systems like d20).

A more appropriate example as far as the actual use of opposed tests is concerned is a large, strong creature attempting to shove through a door being held closed by one or more defenders - as with the grappling rules, in this situation, the defender has nothing to gain and everything to lose, while the reverse is true for the attacker, and the situation is more a matter of how long it will take the attacker to succeed against this opposition, rather than determining absolute success or failure. In those situations, the system works. It's only when people agonise about it and throw up examples such as the common "arm-wrestling" situation (previously used in WFRP2, after it was demonstrated that, actually, a small child would not survive an actual grapple with a bear, but those complaining of percieved flaws in the opposed test/lack of strength scaling didn't want to give up on the matter) that the system fails in any noteworthy manner.


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#5 Necrozius

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Posted 14 September 2009 - 08:15 AM

My friend's character with a strength of 43 grappled and subdued an Ogryn because he passed his strength rolls and the Ogryn failed (not even by much). That kind of thing just shouldn't happen, but it did, rules as written.

He had a good hearty laugh in my face at the supposed big tough mini boss that I threw at him.

No sense in arguing about it, I suppose, but there it is.

Anyhoo. Moving on...



#6 Cynical Cat

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Posted 14 September 2009 - 08:50 AM


N0-1_H3r3 makes good points (as usual).  DH's system works fairly well.  The +10 and 2x degrees of success for Unnatural Attributes (x2) works out fairly well, within the limitations of a percentile system.  It could be better, but it isn't too horrible.  As far as systematic problems, the issue of a character with a Intelligence of 50 and +20 in a Lore skill having a 30% chance of coming up with nothing at all on a knowledge test is much more serious.



#7 N0-1_H3r3

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Posted 14 September 2009 - 09:07 AM

Cynical Cat said:

As far as systematic problems, the issue of a character with a Intelligence of 50 and +20 in a Lore skill having a 30% chance of coming up with nothing at all on a knowledge test is much more serious.

Again, a matter of GM's intervention - for some, a flaw in the system, for others (myself among them), a strength (I like to be an active participant when I GM, not just a referee and a font of description). That Int 50, Lore +20 character has a 30% chance of failure on a Challenging test.  The test is, by definition, meant to be difficult, to come with some noteworthy chance of failure. If it wasn't, then the test would either be easier, or even simply not bothered with.

But this is all getting us sidetracked...


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#8 Cynical Cat

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Posted 14 September 2009 - 11:36 AM

N0-1_H3r3 said:

 

Cynical Cat said:

 

As far as systematic problems, the issue of a character with a Intelligence of 50 and +20 in a Lore skill having a 30% chance of coming up with nothing at all on a knowledge test is much more serious.

 

 

Again, a matter of GM's intervention - for some, a flaw in the system, for others (myself among them), a strength (I like to be an active participant when I GM, not just a referee and a font of description). That Int 50, Lore +20 character has a 30% chance of failure on a Challenging test.  The test is, by definition, meant to be difficult, to come with some noteworthy chance of failure. If it wasn't, then the test would either be easier, or even simply not bothered with.

But this is all getting us sidetracked...

 

 

Since the overall topic is flaws in the game mechanics, its not a sidetrack at all.

When the GM has to intervene because the game mechanics aren't working right, that's flawed game mechanics, which we are discussing.

A stat of 50 is incredible and +20 is the highest level of skill.   Such a character should be overwhelmingly likely to succeed a test that is merely challenging.  Challenging is a simple difficulty level.  I may be easily bested by a hard or challenging level of opponent at chess, but a grandmaster is likely to win easily.

This is, of course, a problem with using percentile dice to resolve skill checks instead of a multiple dice or dice pool system.



#9 jadrax

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Posted 14 September 2009 - 11:47 AM

Cynical Cat said:

When the GM has to intervene because the game mechanics aren't working right, that's flawed game mechanics, which we are discussing.

The mechnics work fine, they are just built around the assumption that the GM will supply most modifers rather than the book. - If that is bad design then chalk me up as never wanting good design.



#10 Thorvid

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Posted 14 September 2009 - 11:52 AM

To me the unarmed combat rules always seemed a bit kludgy in 1st and 2nd Ed.  Perhaps in 3rd Edition they will move unarmed combat damage into the realm of doing fatigue and/or stress damage with the occasional wound on big damage rolls.

 

-Thorvid



#11 Cynical Cat

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Posted 14 September 2009 - 12:26 PM

jadrax said:


The mechnics work fine, they are just built around the assumption that the GM will supply most modifers rather than the book. - If that is bad design then chalk me up as never wanting good design.

 

First let me reiterate that WFRP mechanics are generally fairly good.  That being said, its skill system has room for improvement, most notably in the use of noncombat skills.   This isn't a black and white situation where the choices are "bad" and "good".  We are talking about what can be improvedfrom "fairly good" or "generally good" to "really good."  The base level of difficulty is in WFRP is "average" at +0 (DH moving +0 up to "Challenging" was a step in the right direction) means that even extremely proficient characters will be failing tasks and checks to often.  The skill system isn't bad, it just isn't really great (unless your standard is comparing it to D&D, in which case you need to get higher standards).

I have no idea what you mean by "the GM will supply most modifiers rather than the book."  The game mechanic is fairly simple:  the rpg lists what level of difficulty equals what modifier and the GM determines the difficulty of the task and thus what modifier to use.  That's the GM doing his job and that's pretty much standard for RPGs.  Can you please clarify what you mean by that statement?

 

 



#12 N0-1_H3r3

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Posted 14 September 2009 - 12:41 PM

Cynical Cat said:

A stat of 50 is incredible and +20 is the highest level of skill.   Such a character should be overwhelmingly likely to succeed a test that is merely challenging.  Challenging is a simple difficulty level.  I may be easily bested by a hard or challenging level of opponent at chess, but a grandmaster is likely to win easily.

 

But is the difficulty level subjective or objective? Is a Challenging task always Challenging for every person in any situation? Or is one person's Challenging another person's Hard? Or somewhere in between the two?

Challenging, surely by definition is not a 'simple difficulty level'. It's a challenging one - one that tests and challenges one's abilities. That it assumes a chance of failure is intentional. A character with a 70% chance of success at a Challenging test is overwhelmingly likely to succeed - his chance of success is more than twice his chance of failure. That doesn't, however, mean that such a test should be easy... if it were, it'd be an Easy test, not a Challenging one.

I don't see that requirement for GM involvement as a sign of a flawed system in this case. It is, IMO, a system that supports and encourages GM improvisation, which in turn helps avoid railroading (by comparison, whatever its other strengths and flaws, D&D4 is a system not conducive to fluid, improvisational GMing, and that in turn is the single biggest reason I dislike running it). That I can determine which modifiers apply in any given situation, tailor the game's flow to the unspoken requirements of the players, the ongoing story and to bypass any misjudgements I may have made during that week's preparations is, for me, a blessing, especially in an investigative game.


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#13 jadrax

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Posted 14 September 2009 - 12:51 PM

Basically what he said. ;o)

 



#14 jackdays

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Posted 15 September 2009 - 08:01 AM

Added new issues to the list (UPDATES).


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#15 kristof65

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Posted 15 September 2009 - 09:02 AM

N0-1_H3r3 said:

I don't see that requirement for GM involvement as a sign of a flawed system in this case. It is, IMO, a system that supports and encourages GM improvisation, which in turn helps avoid railroading (by comparison, whatever its other strengths and flaws, D&D4 is a system not conducive to fluid, improvisational GMing, and that in turn is the single biggest reason I dislike running it). That I can determine which modifiers apply in any given situation, tailor the game's flow to the unspoken requirements of the players, the ongoing story and to bypass any misjudgements I may have made during that week's preparations is, for me, a blessing, especially in an investigative game.

Agreed.  WFRP 1e and 2e allowed that improvisation very well. The base system is simple enough that as a GM I can make rulings and decisions on the fly without looking the exact rule up, and very, very rarely be too far off in my guess or interpretation from what the rules actually say, plus any rules I do make up on the fly are typically very close to similar rules.  They let me get on with the game without worrying about the rules - or rather, without worrying if my improvisation is going to cause worse problems.

I am very much an improvisational GM - even on the rare occasion when I do have something prepped for a session, I'm not afraid to toss it aside if the players veer off in another tangent.  I blame/thank that improvisational style on my two best friends in high school, who went out of their way to ruin and/or avoid anything that even hinted at being a prepared adventure - after awhile, you just give up trying and learn to wing it - and that style spills over to dealing with game mechanics, too.



#16 Cynical Cat

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Posted 15 September 2009 - 12:23 PM

N0-1_H3r3 said:

Cynical Cat said:

A stat of 50 is incredible and +20 is the highest level of skill.   Such a character should be overwhelmingly likely to succeed a test that is merely challenging.  Challenging is a simple difficulty level.  I may be easily bested by a hard or challenging level of opponent at chess, but a grandmaster is likely to win easily.

 

But is the difficulty level subjective or objective? Is a Challenging task always Challenging for every person in any situation? Or is one person's Challenging another person's Hard? Or somewhere in between the two?

Challenging, surely by definition is not a 'simple difficulty level'. It's a challenging one - one that tests and challenges one's abilities. That it assumes a chance of failure is intentional. A character with a 70% chance of success at a Challenging test is overwhelmingly likely to succeed - his chance of success is more than twice his chance of failure. That doesn't, however, mean that such a test should be easy... if it were, it'd be an Easy test, not a Challenging one.

I don't see that requirement for GM involvement as a sign of a flawed system in this case. It is, IMO, a system that supports and encourages GM improvisation, which in turn helps avoid railroading (by comparison, whatever its other strengths and flaws, D&D4 is a system not conducive to fluid, improvisational GMing, and that in turn is the single biggest reason I dislike running it). That I can determine which modifiers apply in any given situation, tailor the game's flow to the unspoken requirements of the players, the ongoing story and to bypass any misjudgements I may have made during that week's preparations is, for me, a blessing, especially in an investigative game.

 

GM involvement is not the sign of a flawed system.  I totally agree with you on that.  It is, however, a basic feature of most decent systems and nothing special.  And I agree, the system works fairly well.  I wouldn't like the game as much as I do if I didn't.

It does, however, do noncombat skill use poorly.  A guy with a stat of 40 and a +10 trade skill will still fail a routine test almost a third of the time.  That's not awful, but its still a much too high chance of failure.  The skill and attribute system works very well for combat, but only moderately well for noncombat skill use.  There is room for improvement, particularly with any system that produces any kind of bell curve results.



#17 Nova Nagilum

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Posted 15 September 2009 - 04:54 PM

At first I totally agreed with Cynical Cat, but now I think I understand both sides of the discussion.

Yes, the system is good, but anytime you have humans wrestling ogres into submission, you have to step back and take a look at the statistics. GM improvisation and control are always good, and necessary at times, but I think that many cases may call for too much of a stretch. Maybe there should be a change in the difficulty factor, or it could just be ruled as impossible or automatic (in either case, no roll). (The party in the ogre situation would still have a good laugh, but for different reasons.)

Not that the whole rule system needs to be revamped, but maybe there should be some clearer, different modifier somewhere, specifically for some of these issues.

Overall, I like what I've seen so far of the 3rd edition rules. I'm not sure how it will play, but I'm optimistic.



#18 Loswaith

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Posted 15 September 2009 - 09:27 PM

The bigest problem I can see with the new system is there will in generally always be a soft cap (or sweet point) on all results happens to be, below or above that point will give diminished returns.

Add to that the luck/unluck factor of the challenge dice and It may very well cause stranger outcomes than the results you get in 2nd ed.  Take the orge wrestling, it is quite feasable for the challenge dice to not result in any increase in difficulity because no faces come up countering the success/es (while the ogre produces no successes of their own), so a 10 pound weakling could concieviably win the wrestling match.

So this would be one problem (and those of a similare nature) I can't honestly see being actually 'fixed'.

And whith multiple dice it will be much harder to determine for the GM the relative difficulity (though im sure practice with the system will compensate this to some level).






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