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The Threat Pool, or "I hate tracking A-C-E, and try to develop an alternative."


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#1 Doc, the Weasel

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Posted 18 January 2013 - 12:18 PM

 

I'm sick of having to track different A-C-E die pools for different monsters, especially when defending. Furthermore, I'm sick of tracking active defenses for enemies. As a solution, I want to simplify things. I'm thinking of a static modifier to defense and attack/actions. I'm calling it the Threat Pool.

 

The threat pool is a measure of how well a particular fight is going. It gives a static set of dice to add to all actions either made by or targeting a monster/NPC. For each point in the Threat Pool, add a fortune/misfortune die to actions/defenses respectively. 

 

 

Here's my first idea on how to form it. (I'm kinda writing as I'm thinking, so I'll probably have to revise this)

 

Threat Pool starts at 1/3 (round up) the Aggression pool (Cunning if this is a Social encounter), plus the Expertise pool of the biggest enemy. 

 

For example: Say you have monster A with A/E of 3/0, monster B with 4/1, and monster C with 5/2. You would end up with a threat pool of 4 (5/2 is the biggest, 5/3 = rounds up to 6, plus two expertise dice. 

 

Now that seems like a lot, but it can be whittled down by spending 2 boons to reduce it by 1 or a comet to reduce it by one. 

 

 

Any thoughts?


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#2 Emirikol

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Posted 18 January 2013 - 12:59 PM

..so don't track ACE.  I don't.   I use a a couple dice here and a couple dice there depending on whatever effect I want.  You're the GM and this isn't Descent where you're under some kind of strict rule.

 

Use them as more of a guideline :)

 

No fuss.  No muss.

 

jh



#3 Doc, the Weasel

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Posted 18 January 2013 - 04:45 PM

Emirikol said:

..so don't track ACE.  I don't.   I use a a couple dice here and a couple dice there depending on whatever effect I want.  You're the GM and this isn't Descent where you're under some kind of strict rule.

 

Use them as more of a guideline :)

 

No fuss.  No muss.

 

jh

Well, I haven't been, obviously. At the same time, I'm feeling like I want a little more out of the antagonists. 


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#4 Yepesnopes

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Posted 18 January 2013 - 10:14 PM

I think I cannot follow your rules.

In your example, the resulting thread pool, 6. Will this be added to ALL attacks made by the monsters (as fortune dice) and against ALL attacks made by the PCs (as misfortune dice)?

 

As an alternative, I keep on recomending people playing with a tablet /laptop behind the GM. It works miracles for me. I have all the monsters in excel sheets, with their actions, active defences, A/C/E budget, weapons and armours etc. On my table I have Orc_1, I look in my pc for the excel sheet of Orc_1 and I do all the traking, it is not a bigger job than in others RPGs.

Cheers,

Yepes


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#5 stanmons

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Posted 19 January 2013 - 12:01 AM

I also think ACE is one the fiddlies rules, easy to discard. Some complexity per player is ok but not for monsters and NPCs - RPG is anyway about the players and is not meant to be a simulation of any kind.

Just drop ACE altogether - I tried to replace it with pool systems etc but never tracked those either. The action needs to be unstopped. If a monster seems to be too easy for the players, adding a thematic expertise die to a roll has never broken the immersion.

If by lack of ACE the game seems to become too easy just ramp up bigger and badder monsters and a add a few extra monsters - difficulty can be scaled more naturally by "quoality and quoantity" rather than game mechanics.



#6 Glorian Underhill

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Posted 20 January 2013 - 10:57 AM

I have simplified it by tracking ACE but ditched "Active Defence" tracking altogether. Action cards which hamper active defence of NPCs now destroy Pool Dice of said NPC.

My NPCs can use their "Cunning" for parying/dodging incomming attacks.



#7 gruntl

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Posted 21 January 2013 - 11:20 AM

Personally I don't understand the problem with tracking ACE. Recharge on enemy actions, yeah that is a massive P.I.T.A.

I normally use up all ACE dice within the first 2 rounds anyway.



#8 Gallows

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Posted 24 September 2013 - 04:29 AM

Take all A/C/E for the whole encounter and put it in one pool. Then use an abacus to easily add/remove A/C/E. Or three cups with tokens.

 

If you sum up ALL A/C/E for all NPCs, and just use common sense as to who uses what and how much, then it should be easier.



#9 thePREdiger

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Posted 24 September 2013 - 07:58 AM

I stopped using A/C/E - I just equip my NPCs with trained skills and specs in advance depending on their plot importance.



#10 Emirikol

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Posted 24 September 2013 - 08:28 AM

I think my players THINK I track A/C/E...that's all that matters.

 

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#11 k7e9

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Posted 24 September 2013 - 09:24 AM

I usually use about half my A-C-E-budget per round. Typical NPC bad guys do not last for much longer, so they're just better for the first 2 rounds, if combat drags on for another few rounds and my creatures survive for that long it's time to introduce something that calls for a rally step (and A-C-E refresh).

 

That way I tracking A-C-E isn't that much of a pain.



#12 madpoet

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Posted 23 October 2013 - 11:54 AM

I just rise damage or defence or I give yellow or white dice for specialization and training.



#13 Gallows

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Posted 23 October 2013 - 01:05 PM

http://community.fan...ce-replacement/

 

My idea for an A/C/E replacement.



#14 Doc, the Weasel

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Posted 23 October 2013 - 01:28 PM

http://community.fan...ce-replacement/

 

My idea for an A/C/E replacement.

 

THAT is a great idea.


Listen to my actual play podcasts at BeggingForXP.com.

 

Take a look at my Talent Trees (Edge of the Empire and Age of Rebellion), YT-2400 deck plans for the Lazy Bantha, as well as my other handouts.





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