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About r_b_bergstrom

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    Seattle, Washington, United States
  1. Have you checked the "Internet Wayback Machine" at http://archive.org/web/ I've had good luck using it to track down files and sites that I knew used to be out there, but which vanished over time. You need to have a good idea of what the original address for it was in order to use the wayback machine, but if you're staring at a bunch of broken links it's often enough to get started.
  2. Roll20 works great (I use it all the time) but you have to do a lot of the legwork yourself up front to set up the campaign and its' decks. If I'm understanding correctly, Fantasy Grounds has a full set you can download that already has all the cards ready to go. I've never used it myself though, and I know nothing about the legalities (or technical hurdles) involved in Fantasy Grounds. But if time is in short supply, you might want to look into it rather than do all the tons of scanning that Roll20 would require for a game with as many moving parts as WFRP3e. Cherry pick which cards to use. Make some of the decisions for your players, and only scan a small subset of cards you want them to interact with. The full game (with all expansions) includes dozens of melee attack options, but no single character starts with more than a couple and you never need more than half a dozen in the entire character's life. Not point in scanning things you don't plan to use. Ask your players what, in broad terms, they want their PCs to be good at. Then scan in 2 or 3 cards relevant to each of those things and make them pick from them. Don't waste time on cards that are too weak to see use, so good they unbalance the game, or that don't match up to the things the players have already discussed as being their character's focus areas. As for other decks, less is more. Don't worry about mutations or diseases for at least the first few sessions, if one comes up you can just hold it in front of the webcam for a moment and then scan it in between sessions. You don't even need to scan in the full wound deck. You could organize a subset of 20 or 30 cards that would work fine (set to an infinite deck in Roll20) as a critical deck at least at first. I did something similar for a homebrewed game I'm running on Roll20 that uses some mechanics from WFRP and EoTE. I made my own critical and condition cards that fit my setting, but I only had about a dozen of them for the first session and it all turned out okay.
  3. I think it was in Hero's Call. I don't have my cards readily available today to be sure, but that's the set I'd expect it to have been printed in. If you've got that and still aren't seeing it, flip the cards over. Sometimes the green and red sides have different names. (I don't think this one does, but again, I'm not near my cards at the moment.)
  4. Basically every order has one either high-damage single-target spell, or a multiple target AoE damage. The Area of Effect spells often let you sidestep Defense by announcing the weakest henchman as your primary target. Bright and Celestial Order have more attack spells than the others, but they're also 2 of the 3 Orders that had PODs published. Only having 1 or 2 really good attack spell choices does seem limited, but you have to remember this isn't D&D. There's no reason why your wizard can't swing a sword (or by a melee action), and the penalty for a little armour isn't too horrendous either as long as you choose your spells carefully. When you're looking at spells, the green and red side are often VERY different. So you might dismiss something at first glance without realizing that the other side of the card rocks. If you're not seeing awesomeness in the Celestial Order attack spells, you're probably only looking at the Green side. I'll list Max Damage by attack spell below. I'm listing only notable spells of either high damage or AoE, generally Rank 3+. First-rank spells are usually weaker than non-spell attack cards, but higher-rank spells are very competitive. Sure, they aren't quite Reckless Cleave, but what is? I'm treating all relevant Stats as if they were 5s, which they probably will be. (Admittedly, that may be over-selling the three spells that do Int + WP + Fel damage by a point or two, but I'd already done the math before realizing that, and I don't want to flip through my card binder again to figure out which ones they were) For comparison: Melee Strike with a Hand Weapon = 12 damage. Reckless Cleave with a Hand Weapon is 18 damage, plus 2 criticals. Most GMs agree that card is seriously over-powered. Most other melee attack Actions are roughly ~14 damage, though it varies from card to card. Amber Order Amber Talons: 16+ damage (depending on stance depth), +1 crit, then hit a second target for ~14 damage (the second target can be someone with a higher defense than the original target and they can't do anything about it). Amethyst Order Caress of Laniph: 16 damage ignoring Armour (plus 1 crit), _or_ 18+ damage (+1 damage per boon) plus 1 crit (but having to deal with armor as normal), depending on which side. Bright Order Bolt of Aqshy: 26 damage, plus 3 criticals Flamestorm: Multiple targets suffer 11 dmg + a critical, then it happens again immediately, and then it happens again at the end of every round Piercing Bolts of Burning: 18+ dmg, ignore armour soak, plus 1 critical and bonus wounds equal to its severity Fireball Barrage: Multiple targets suffer 19+ damage (depending on stance depth), plus 2 criticals, plus every foe in medium range gets the scorched condition (which also inflicts damage over time) Celestial Order Lightning: 9 damage ignoring all Armour, plus a critical, and a second target takes ~7 ignoring Armour. Comet of Cassandora: Multiple targets suffer 17 damage ignoring armour Urannon's Thunderbolt: 15 ignoring Armour, plus a critical, plus knocks them back (either hit a wall for 4+ unsoakable wounds, or fall off a cliff if there is one) Meteor Swarm: Multiple targets suffer 21 damage Gold Order Arha's Quicksilver Spear: Two targets suffer 15 damage, Pierce 2, and a crit. Since this doesn't target Defense, there's nothing the victims can do to dodge etc. Grey Order Penumbral Pendulum: Multiple targets suffer 17 damage, and then next turn they suffer it again Jade Order Lance of Nature: 14 damage, 3 criticals Fury of the North Wind: Multiple targets suffer 12 damage each, and 1 stress and 1 fatigue each (basically 14 damage vs non-Nemesis NPCs) Light Order Daemonbane: 16 damage, but only to Daemons. Light Order kinda gets shafted unless they're facing their preferred enemy. And that's not mentioning the NPC spells at all. Some of them are pretty strong (but others are terribly weak).
  5. In regards to that specifically: I'd tread with caution there. Many of the spells have other advantages to counterbalance the low damage. Sure, with a Rank 1 spell you're doing less damage than most melee or ranged attack actions because you don't have a weapon bonus, but you're often also avoiding dodge and/or defense and/or armor soak. If you add + WP damage to the Rank 1 spells to make them more competitive with other non-spell attack cards, you'll have a problem when the wizard levels up and has access to higher-Rank spells that do more damage or hit multiple targets. Also, keep in mind that spells have certain other less-tangible (or at least less-obvious) benefits over weapon-based attack cards. If you're someplace where you can't reach your weapon (attacked in your sleep, captured and locked in a dungeon, or attending a nobleman's ball) non-wizards find their options and power-level greatly curtailed, but wizards still operate at full strength. Archers have to worry about ammunition, which can be expensive or heavy for the better ranged weapons but is free for wizards (though they have the extra hurdle of quick-casting to help balance that). Spell attacks may be stealthier or at least leave less damning evidence (in the eyes of the city watch, at least) than hacking someone apart with a sword. Etc. There's a lot of little ways that wizards come out ahead even with Rank 1 spells, if the player is thoughtful and creative. There's a lot of trade-offs involved in the choice to be a caster -- they start out a little weak in damage, but they've got a lot of flexibility and will eventually be more powerful than the other characters. They don't quite have the "Linear Fighters, Quadratic Wizards" trope as strongly as old school D&D, but their power level is hard to judge accurately at lower Ranks.
  6. Most melee or ranged attack actions are roughly on par with Rank _2_ spells. So wizards start off with slightly weaker combat actions at Rank 1, but if they survive long enough to get the big Rank 3+ spells, they become _much_ stronger. It's not really worth playing a wizard for a one-shot, but if you're playing for 20+ sessions they eventually outpace the other characters. The gap gets huge at the later ranks, as there are a few area-effect attacks that can wipe out multiple Nemesis-level targets in a single action. As others have said, careful spell selection is very important. It's really easy to min-max a wizard, since Intelligence is not only their attack stat but also the stat that's used with such a wide variety of skills. It's worth noting that there are several Talents that let you roll Intelligence instead of some other attribute for various other skill rolls. So even at Rank 1 when their attack spells are kind of sucky, wizards get a lot of spotlight time and are very effective overall. If you're good at Strength, all you can do is smash things. If you're good at Intelligence, you can find clues and interact with people (as well as smash things with magic).
  7. Actually, the trade-off for the 1 DR is the special ability it gives for a crit. Draw 2 crits and apply 1, if I remember correctly, which goes a long ways towards making crits actually worth it (you get to ignore most of the lame "add a misfortune die to all Fellowship rolls" criticals). That power, plus the white die, put it roughly on-balance with a _Superior_ greatsword, not just a normal greatsword. And the rules for a superior weapon are that it costs x10 (so 10 gold, not 1 gold). Now, I don't for a moment think it's actually worth +9 gold to get that bonus white die, but that's basically what it's balanced against. Any other character wanting to start with even just a normal greatsword has to invest multiple character points into starting money, and will then have very little left for armor. A swordmaster gets a free weapon that's slightly better than what cost anyone else 50% to 100% of their starting cash _and_ a few creation points that could otherwise be spent on skills, talents, or attributes. Leaving the swordmaster free to either have better stats or better armor than any other starting melee fighter. It also combos really well with Actions that have easy crit lines. The points you save by not needing money to buy the greatsword can be spent on things that have really good synergy with a weapon that generates above average crits and damage. Overall, I don't think the Swordmaster is nearly as broken as the Ironbreaker, but it's definitely above the average power curve for a starting PC.
  8. Just a heads-up if you're using the Skaven group tracker cards from the Vault. In my experience, a lot of those cards have trackers that are too long to really work. The fights are usually over (by total elimination of one side or the other) well before you reach the fun parts of most of those trackers. A lot of those trackers only advance 1 space per turn, and it's a pretty rare battle that lasts much more than 3 turns in this game. Most (but not all) of them would be better (a lot more likely to be worth the effort of tracking, and still pretty well balanced) if they moved twice as often, or moved twice as many spaces when they do trigger. If I recall correctly, the Clan Eshin tracker is one of the cards with that problem. I used it as-is for a big three-stage encounter, and I think it only ever modified a single die roll before the episode was over.
  9. I used the very similar section from the last chapter of Edge of Night, which includes rules for searching the sewers, traps/ambushes if you're unlucky, and a multi-wave 3-room battle at the end. I increased the number of bad-guys by adding the mooks from Edge of Night, as my party included 3 heavy-hitting PCs. Made for a good challenge, so they really felt they'd earned that bell clapper. I also made a Location Card for the Tannery, which is buried in the middle of this blog post.
  10. I really like using the card quantities as a limit. It not only encourages the PCs to develop in different directions and carve out specialty niches, it also brings greater diversity to scenes. The party will have multiple valid approaches to any given problem, instead of just one "we all spam this borderline-broken card till we win" button. I feel like you get a richer game for it. Otherwise the players quickly enter group-think about which cards are the best and double-up on them. If your entire party all have Reckless Cleave, combat gets pretty monotonous. If everyone has Inspiring Words, it strains believability during social scenes. If they all have the same Talent, it undermines the point of the Party Card having slots. If they can all double up on cards, you have to be a wizard or priest to feel unique. Etc. The trade-off is that you can accidentally create some weird moments where the players step on each other's toes and niches by spending XP on something that another player was eyeballing for next session. So if I was GMing for a group of total strangers who were just meeting each other at the table in real-life, I'd be less inclined to apply the card limits than if I'm running for a group of friends who already have a rapport going.
  11. Fun cards. Nothing stands out as being obviously broken (but I haven't played an Amber Wizard and don't have my cards handy to compare to these spells, so I could be missing some subtle power issues). A few observations and suggestions: Your strength-buffing cards are better than the average buff card. I tend to think that’s a good thing, because most of the buff effects in the game seem too weak in my opinion. There’s so many cards that are basically spend your action to add 1 fortune die to a roll, which is almost never worth the caster forgoing their own aggressive action. In this case though, your spell is adding 1 to 4 blue dice, plus the side benefits of bonus damage and carrying capacity that come from a strength boost. Again, I don’t actually think this is broken or problematic, necessarily, since the cards it’s outperforming are generally underpowered… but it is, on paper, far enough above the curve that it’s worth keeping an eye on. Clearly, somebody at FFG thinks +1 white die is powerful enough to warrant spending (1 XP and) your action for the turn, so it’s not impossible that these sorts of cards are more potent than I realize. (But I doubt it.) As written, the Bear cards can be used to actually lower the Strength of certain really large and powerful monsters… that’s not necessarily a problem, but it is an interesting application. When using the red side against a really high-Strength monster like a Dragon you would actually want to roll a Chaos Star, and that's a little odd. Doubt it's enough of a problem to justify any change, but it's something to keep an eye on. (A few typo and editing remarks on this card: “Strenght” should be “Strength”. “Yoourself” should be “yourself”. If there’s a way to reword the boon line of brown bear so that it doesn’t look like two different boon lines at first glance, that might be aid comprehension in play.) Primal Fury mentions nothing about duration. You might want to add “while this spell is recharging” to the “effect”-line and/or the triple-success line. It’s implied by the boon-lines on the card, but could be clearer. Reflexes of the Fly could also use either a duration statement on the comet-line, or just the inclusion of the words “an additional” before the +1 defence. As written, I could just see a power-gamer at the table trying to argue that it means a permanent bonus from the comet. I guess I’d encourage you to just generally double-check your effects lines and include durations where appropriate on all the cards, such as any time you’re applying a modifier or a condition card. Along those lines, I would recommend adding the “Ongoing” Trait to all the buff spells that are meant to last as long as they’re recharging — the official products aren’t consistent about it, but having that Trait can help prevent a few loopholes and minimize confusion. My gut instinct is that Swarm of Insects is a little under-powered for Rank 3, especially on the green side. I don’t think I’d want to spend 7 power and risk a 23% chance of a miscast for the goal of just adding 1 black die to a single target. As a Rank 3 spell it should probably be superior to Guarded Position, and I don't feel the green side currently is. I have one minor concern about Voice of the Master. The double-bane line is actually beneficial if you use it against a predator, guard dog, or other foe. On a success I make the wolf leave without attacking, and even if I really bomb out the roll the sluggishness result will help me in the fight I failed to avoid. So I’d recommend changing that line to “Target gains either the Sluggish or Energized Condition (GM’s choice).” Something along those lines, any way, so that the double-bane result is always a penalty and never a benefit to the caster. (This is kind of like the thing I observed about Brown Bear's Strength working to debuff dragons, except here it's not situationally restricted to use against high-STR monsters and hoping for a chaos star, so it's something a player might be able to more readily abuse.)
  12. While restricting the group to just one Social roll per Party (instead of per Character) per round definitely solves the "dog-pile" problem, it does so at the cost of leaving most of the players doing nothing. That's fine if the GM is planning just a single Fellowship check to resolve the scene. If instead you're using a Progress Tracker or a full-on Shame battle, and thus the PCs need to make a number of successful rolls equal to some NPCs Willpower (or more), it's just not feasible to make everyone twiddle their thumbs while one player and one NPC exchange die rolls back and forth for 5 rounds. If you want your players to invest in Social actions, you need the scenes to last longer than one round. The same would be true (in the opposite direction) if Combats only ever lasted one turn and/or only allowed one PC to attack each turn: the fighters would all just buy Reckless Cleave and be done, while the non-fighters wouldn't want to waste their limited Action advances on an attack that could probably just be Basic Melee Strike anyway. I wrapped up a 50-session campaign late last year, and the party's faceman never felt the need to get anything more than Inspiring Words (which is probably the Rapid Shot / Double Strike of Social Actions) and a skill rank or two (in social skills). In the entire course of The Enemy Within, there was never really a situation that required more than 2 social checks in the same scene, so she could usually just spend some Fortune to recharge the one action, or rely on Perform a Stunt / basic Charm checks if there was need to follow up after the Inspiring Words. There was one other character that occassionally rolled Guile, but she didn't invest in Social Actions either. Trying to address this, I created some more Social Actions last year for my campaign, including ones that did things you specifically couldn't get with a basic Skill check. http://transitivegaming.blogspot.com/2015/02/social-actions-warhammer-cards-i-forgot.html But alas, I balanced them against cards like "Flirt", not against "Inspiring Words", so they went unused. That's why I proposed in this thread the idea of changing "Influence the target" to a more granular system with "Influence Points" and "Social Soak". Then you could let the PCs gang up all they want, and the NPCs would just take "Minimum (Social) Damage" from those with no Social actions and a low Fellowship. Players would be motivated to spend XP on Social actions, and then everyone would have reason to pay attention and contribute during a social encounter. It would, however, take a lot of work creating new cards and redrafting the rules, so it's probably a pipe dream. (I tried a derivative system in another game that doesn't have anything as crunchy as Action Cards but does have a Soak equivalent, and it worked relatively well.)
  13. I think the real problem with the Social actions is the truncation of the damage scale. That is to say, because a melee attack does Str+DR damage against their Tou+Soak, very small changes to the damage are feasilble and meaningful. A character might start out with an average damage of 8 to 12, depending on stats and equipment. Because the numbers are fairly large, there's a lot of open design space, and FFG came up with many different ways to build roughly the same "I hit harder" concept. You'll buy an action that typically gets a couple extra points of damage through, and be happy with the XP cost. Also, the effectiveness of Soak on NPCs means that it's worth some characters investing in hitting for more damage per blow, instead of just hoping the whole party nibbles the monster to death in aggregate. If the monster has Toughness 10, and one PC consistently rolls 18 pre-soak damage while the others roll 9 to 11, that specialist will personally deal far more post-soak damage than the rest of the party combined. That's a huge benefit for 1 XP. And if no one in the party has taken a heavy-hitting attack card, the party just won't do enough damage to kill that Demon Lord before they're all dead. You need the specialist, or you're hosed. But for social actions, your damage is just 1. Do you successfully Influence them, or not? While there are a couple cards (literally two cards, IIRC) that include the line "influence the target a second time" (which is essentially double damage for social), the majority of Social cards still just deal one "social damage" to one target. There's not much design space reserved for making exceptional rolls do something truly special. There's no such thing as Social Soak. Unlike combat you can't buy an action that increases your personal social damage output to be more than the rest of the party. The numbers involved are too small. That, combined with the nebulous nature of "Influence the Target" makes the social cards look less impressive. And they are. Using the rules as written, you'll never have a situation where it makes mechanical sense for someone to really focus in social actions, because their "damage output" will be no more than what the other three members of the party can do "add up to" via untrained Fellowship checks. What the game could really use is higher amounts of social damage and some sort of social soak. You could break out some long Progress Trackers and replace "Influence the Target" with "inflict Fel+5 Influence Points"... and then apply Int+WP as "Influence Soak", and that'd be a good starting point... but you'd still have to build all new Action cards around it that made use of the new numbers and had lines like "2 Boons: +2 Influence Damage" etc... then maybe it'd be worth spending XP on a Social Action or two. Of course, even with that change, social scenes still have some core dynamics that keep them from requiring XP min-maxing like combat. If I attack the King, all 6 of his bodyguards will immediately join the fight. If I try to Charm or Guile the King, his bodyguards will probably keep silent through the whole encounter. Unless the King is a tyrannical despot, there's unlikely to be any "return fire" for my first several Charm actions. I have everything to gain by Charming him, but he doesn't want anything from some random adventurer and thus has no motivation to start rolling Flirt, Steely Gaze or Inspiring Words against the PCs in round one of the scene.
  14. I've found the disease rules to be plenty nasty, especially for characters that aren't high-Toughness front-line fighter types. A character with average toughness and no resilience is likely to get worse rather than better. 2 Purple > 3 Blue, and rolls chaos stars often enough for the disease to progress. (If you let people roll stance dice on the recovery checks, the danger is much reduced.) The specifics of the disease itself are less important than the symptoms attached to it. If you get two Lethals or a Lethal and a Virulent, you can quickly end up dead, and every extra symptom makes your next recovery check that much harder. Diseases that start off looking like just a minor inconvenience can become life threatening with one or two bad rolls and corresponding unlucky symptom draws. For that reason, the two medicines that give you bonus white dice on your disease check after 4 or more days of treatment are mostly laughable. If you lack the Toughness/Resilience to shake off the disease on your own before your fourth test, a white die or two isn't going to save you. In the course of running The Enemy Within (which doesn't have many Disease moments written into it) we had two different times where a character made a recovery check that had >10% chance of killing them. At the end of the campaign one PC was suffering under a Disease + Nurgle's Rot, so if the campaign had gone on another session or two she may have died.
  15. I used Strange Eons version 2. I think there were 3 different 3rd Ed plug-ins released at various times for version 2. The plug-in is called "Warhammer 3-rd Edition Add-Ons", and the component template is called "Monsters on Cards (FFG like)".
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