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Soshi Nimue

Is there any value in homebrew?

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So I've had some ups and downs with this system and almost feel like I should drop the system for my group and re-create our characters in a previous edition.  I don't disagree entirely with the concepts of the beta, but I feel some of the execution is WAY off...

I could either take my group back to 1st ed, or I could attempt to re-design the beta in a way that I think might work better.  But if I do this... am I still playing in the beta?  Why bother adding homebrew to a beta system?

Do any of you use any homebrew with the beta?  Do you think using some homebrew would be okay?  Do you think sharing homebrew would be helpful for the beta?

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The purpose of a beta is to test what the devs have come up with so far. Whole cloth houseruling runs counter to that purpose. If you come up with a small change for something that doesn’t work, that’s probably fine (though there’s no guarantee it will get used in the final product). Homebrewing a new skill system or something else on that scale on the other hand isn’t helpful at all.

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7 hours ago, Soshi Nimue said:

Do any of you use any homebrew with the beta?  Do you think using some homebrew would be okay?  Do you think sharing homebrew would be helpful for the beta?

 

YES, to all three questions. Homebrewing is like an extreme form of constructive criticism here, and I think people presenting the fix rather than trying to explain the problem would help a lot.

Know, what? I'm even rolling with this, here is what my gaming group is planning for some sweet homebrew Beta madness:

  • We like the basics (special dice, dice resolution, Approaches), so those stay. The only difference is that the Air/Martial Approach is renamed to Exploit.
  • Not really a change, but there is a "sixth Ring" called Corruption. It represents supernatural influence and other from-beyond things stuck with the character. Normally, it has a value of 0, cannot be improved via XP, and one usually does not want it to get any higher. Otherwise, it works like a normal Ring in all respects, and it even has its own unique kid-friendly Approaches: Defile, Ravage, Violate, Condemn, and Infest. Corruption is mostly possessed by supernatural creatures, represents supernatural diseases like the Shadowlands Taint, and is used to power Maho and other not-very-nice abilities. 
  • Ring and Skill values go between 1 and 10 rather than 1 and 5. A score of 6-10 is simply "heroic" and represents truly exceptional talents commonly possessed by the highest-tier characters. 
  • Assistance is divided into two sub-types: Partial Assistance (only gives rolled dice) and Full Assistance (gives both rolled and kept dice). Partial Assistance is the "common" form of Assistance while Full Assistance is a lot harder to get. A character can only benefit from up to three sources of Assistance, and only one of these can be Full Assistance. 
  • Checks to resist effects are rolled into Competitive checks.
  • Strife is remade into Strain. Strain represents physical, mental, and/or emotional extortion that builds up in the character as a result of their actions, efforts, and experiences. Spraining your ankle, getting a little topsy-turvy, or getting majorly pissed are all Strain. You can normally take 10 + Gaman (more about this later) Strain, and once you cap this out, you become Exhausted (cannot keep dice results with Strain symbol and cannot do things that would bestow Strain). The current Strife-removing options are all gone and do not translate into removing Strain: you remove Strain by resting (6 hours to remove all or 3 hours to remove half), recreation (3 hours to remove all), or spending Void Points (lose 3 Strain for 1 VP). No Unmasking, obviously.
  • Opportunity is renamed to Raise, but it is otherwise unchanged. Also, clarification that you can indeed include a Raise effect in your intention before rolling and get the effect if the roll has the Raise(s) for it - it just changes the way your character sets out for the task and might change the Approach being used. Some of the generic Raise effects are also revised (like the ones that removed Strife). 
  • Derived Attributes are completely remade. A character now has the following Derived Attributes:
    • Mushin: The character's ability to act fast and without hesitation or uncertainty. Mostly used for Initiative. 
    • Zanshin: The character's passive perception. Mostly used to set the TN for Exploit/Trick/Con/Charm attempts against the character. 
    • Shoshin: The character's ability to deal with unconventional situations and knowledge. Mostly used to fuel special abilities. 
    • Gaman: The character's ability to withstand damage and strain. Acts as a natural Reduction and determines maximum Strain. 
    • Giri: Represents the extension and importance of the character's duty. Mostly helps to do that duty (acquiring items and services, bossing people around) and sets the TN for people who want the character to stray from his/her duty. 
    • Ninjo: Represents the wholeness and comfort of the character's life. Mostly used to set the TN for heart-to-heart interactions and to handle people who want to ruin your wellbeing.
  • Each Derived Attribute is the average of a primary attribute (one of the character's Ring or his/her Status Rank (for Giri) or Insight Rank (for Shoshin)) and a secondary attribute. There is a list of secondary attributes for each Derived Attribute, and the player can pick any one of the listed secondary attributes to determine the final score. Not only that, but a character can meditate to reshuffle his/her secondary attributes to change the Derived Attributes! 
  • Void Points are back to what they were before. You can regain them with meditation, pious activity (visiting shrines, communing with you ancestors, etc), or doing your ninjo (go off-duty, spend time with loved ones, etc). Note that simple resting won't give back any Void Points. 
  • Infamy and Insight are both back, just like in the good old days. Glory is thus slightly reevaluated. 
  • The Skills and the Skill List are completely reworked. Now there are 7 Skills for each Skill Group (one for each Approach plus two general skills), and the Scholar and the Trade Skill Group are rethemed into the High and Common Skill Groups, respectively. Thus, the final list of Skills is like this:
    • Artisan Skill Group: Calligraphy (Refine), Medicine (Restore), Acting (Invent), Games (Adapt), Perform (Attune), Engineering, Forgery
    • Martial Skill Group: Unarmed Combat (Exploit), Defense (Withstand), Melee Weapons (Overwhelm), Athletics (Shift), Ranged Weapons (Sacrifice), Battle, Horsemanship
    • High Skill Group: Awareness (Analyze), Lore (Recall), Governorship (Theorize), Investigation (Survey), Meditation (Sense), Culture, Theology
    • Social Skill Group: Deception (Trick), Subtlety (Reason), Intimidation (Incite), Temptation (Charm), Instruction (Enlighten), Etiquette, Manipulation
    • Common Skill Group: Stealth (Con), Craft (Produce), Security (Innovate), Commerce (Exchange), Hunting (Subsist), Animal Handling, Sailing
  • These Skills are meant to represent everything a character is expected to do as a samurai. Things not on the list usually tie back to a Derived Attribute (resisting poison with Gaman, navigating around with Zanshin or Shoshin, etc). Skills are meant to be used with their listed Approach, and using a Skill with a different Approach may result in different outcomes. Using off-Group Approaches is limited for specific cases (prominent examples are using Craft with Artisan Approaches to create art and Battle with High Approaches to use military knowledge). Skills without a listed Approach thus get quite a leeway, but that's intended because they are either highly specialized (Forgery, Sailing) or "key" skills (Battle, Manipulation). 
  • Now, about character creation. It still goes by the 20 Questions. All characters start with all Rings at 2 and receive 5 Ring improvements (1 from Clan, 1 from Family, 2 from School, 1 free). Characters also receive 10+ Skill improvements (3-5 basic, 1 from Clan, 5 from School, 1-3 free). Other than a Ring improvement, Family also gives a small bonus to either Honor, Status, Glory, or Insight, as well as a special Family Ability - for example, a Hida can spend a Void Point to increase his Gaman while an Agasha can reshuffle her Derived Attributes easier with meditation. 
  • Schools come in three types: Samurai (bushi, courtier, artisan), Clergy (shugenja, monk), and Ninja. The School type determines the basic Skill improvements (Samurai get Culture, Lore, and the three attack Skills, while Clergy only gets Meditation, Theology, and Unarmed Combat). School Techniques are also back to the old ways: 5 Techniques in 5 Ranks, except for shugenja and Brotherhood monks who have only one. 
  • Combat is also heavily reworked. We like the Assessment Stage, so it stays. The Skill used for Assessment is universally Awareness for all four conflict types. Range Bands are gone and replaced with four levels of engagement (Heavily Engaged, Engaged, Disengaged, Reserves). Actions are all simplified to be set similarly to Skills: 5 actions tied to an Approach and 2 general actions. The actions thus are:
    • Support (Exploit): give Full Assistance to another character.
    • Defend (Withstand): attacking you is now a Competitive check against your Defense Skill.
    • Focus (Overwhelm): make a Meditation check and reserve a kept result for later use. 
    • Reposition (Shift): either change your level of engagement by one step or intercept another character and increase their level of engagement by one. You can make an Athletics check to squeeze out more than one step from this action. 
    • Guard (Sacrifice): increase the TN-to-hit for another character by 1. If the guarded character still takes a hit then you can make a Defense check to jump into the attack and tank the damage.
    • Attack: make two attacks. No, not just one attack. Two attacks. Drawing/readying your weapon is already included. 
    • Idle: do something that is not included in the other actions or do nothing. 
  • Each character can only perform one action per turn, period. Every conflict type uses the exact same actions. We gotta go simple and we gotta go fast here. Complexity should come from Raises and special actions provided by techniques. Also, the time window of the actions increases to roughly 30 seconds - actions are meant to represent a kind of approach to the conflict and not what the character exactly does: you can say that your character makes a few attacks as part of a Defense action, we will just assume that these attacks are ineffective because the character is focusing on defense. 
  • Getting hurt is a bit more serious business. You can take 10 Wounds, once you cap this out, you are Incapacitated. Critical Damage remains largely as-is, but the table goes from 0 to 10, and severity can't be reduced normally, only with special abilities or armor. The type of critical damage depends on the Ring the attacker uses, with each Ring doing thematic damage. There are three stages of injury on the table, 10+ is death, unless you attack with Void, because then a 7+ is enough. Yep. A katana with two-handed grip and a Void attack will instagib people by decapacitation unless they wear armor. 
  • Oh, speaking of techniques... We have four types of those, each type having a passive (constant bonus, only one can be in effect at the same time) and an active (special action or Raise option) sub-type. Types are arranged as per conflict type and can be used only in that conflict barring a few exceptions. It goes like this:
    • Battle Techniques (Mass Battle): Strategies (passive) and Tactics (active)
    • Social Techniques (Intrigue): Styles (passive) and Wordplays (active)
    • Combat Techniques (Duel and Skirmish): Stances (passive) and Maneuvers (active) - these now include the basic elemental stances and the classic maneuvers like Extra Damage and Knockback
    • Mystical Techniques: special cases because they are not tied to conflicts; Rituals, Invocations (active), Kiho (passive), Maho (active)
  • For equipment, Qualities are gone. Weapon damage goes from 4 (unarmed attacks, shuriken) to 10 (tetsubo). Deadliness goes from 1 (tonfa) to 6 (ono). Grips are still in. Keywords like Samurai and Monk are back (they effectively replace Qualities). Weapon ranges tie to the level of engagement: Close (most melee weapons) can only attack Heavily Engaged character, Short (polearms and throwing weapons) can attack Engaged too, Long (bows) can attack Engaged and Disengaged, while Extreme (siege engines) can attack Disengaged and characters in Reserve. Armor Reduction is between 1 (mesh) and 5 (battle). Armor Reduction decreases both normal and critical damage. Equipment has no cost, only Availability ranging from 1 (common) to 4 (unique) - if your Giri is higher than the Availability, then you can acquire the item, details on "how" is up to the GM. 
  • Advantages and Disadvantages are back to being "inherent" special abilities. The Passion/Distinction/Adversity/Anxiety setup is gone as far as Advantages and Disadvantages are concerned. 

I guess that's all. It looks like a lot of changes, but most of them are simple "rollbacks" and clarifications, as well as some nostalgia changes because I feel like it :D

Edited by AtoMaki

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12 hours ago, Soshi Nimue said:

Do any of you use any homebrew with the beta?  Do you think using some homebrew would be okay?  Do you think sharing homebrew would be helpful for the beta?

My group makes sure to play the beta by the RAW to see how what is and isn't working. We then come up with and tested fixes to issues in the game and posted what we have done.

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7 hours ago, AtoMaki said:

YES, to all three questions. Homebrewing is like an extreme form of constructive criticism here, and I think people presenting the fix rather than trying to explain the problem would help a lot.

Know, what? I'm even rolling with this, here is what my gaming group is planning for some sweet homebrew Beta madness:

  • We like the basics (special dice, dice resolution, Approaches), so those stay. The only difference is that the Air/Martial Approach is renamed to Exploit.
  • Not really a change, but there is a "sixth Ring" called Corruption. It represents supernatural influence and other from-beyond things stuck with the character. Normally, it has a value of 0, cannot be improved via XP, and one usually does not want it to get any higher. Otherwise, it works like a normal Ring in all respects, and it even has its own unique kid-friendly Approaches: Defile, Ravage, Violate, Condemn, and Infest. Corruption is mostly possessed by supernatural creatures, represents supernatural diseases like the Shadowlands Taint, and is used to power Maho and other not-very-nice abilities. 
  • Ring and Skill values go between 1 and 10 rather than 1 and 5. A score of 6-10 is simply "heroic" and represents truly exceptional talents commonly possessed by the highest-tier characters. 
  • Assistance is divided into two sub-types: Partial Assistance (only gives rolled dice) and Full Assistance (gives both rolled and kept dice). Partial Assistance is the "common" form of Assistance while Full Assistance is a lot harder to get. A character can only benefit from up to three sources of Assistance, and only one of these can be Full Assistance. 
  • Checks to resist effects are rolled into Competitive checks.
  • Strife is remade into Strain. Strain represents physical, mental, and/or emotional extortion that builds up in the character as a result of their actions, efforts, and experiences. Spraining your ankle, getting a little topsy-turvy, or getting majorly pissed are all Strain. You can normally take 10 + Gaman (more about this later) Strain, and once you cap this out, you become Exhausted (cannot keep dice results with Strain symbol and cannot do things that would bestow Strain). The current Strife-removing options are all gone and do not translate into removing Strain: you remove Strain by resting (6 hours to remove all or 3 hours to remove half), recreation (3 hours to remove all), or spending Void Points (lose 3 Strain for 1 VP). No Unmasking, obviously.
  • Opportunity is renamed to Raise, but it is otherwise unchanged. Also, clarification that you can indeed include a Raise effect in your intention before rolling and get the effect if the roll has the Raise(s) for it - it just changes the way your character sets out for the task and might change the Approach being used. Some of the generic Raise effects are also revised (like the ones that removed Strife). 
  • Derived Attributes are completely remade. A character now has the following Derived Attributes:
    • Mushin: The character's ability to act fast and without hesitation or uncertainty. Mostly used for Initiative. 
    • Zanshin: The character's passive perception. Mostly used to set the TN for Exploit/Trick/Con/Charm attempts against the character. 
    • Shoshin: The character's ability to deal with unconventional situations and knowledge. Mostly used to fuel special abilities. 
    • Gaman: The character's ability to withstand damage and strain. Acts as a natural Reduction and determines maximum Strain. 
    • Giri: Represents the extension and importance of the character's duty. Mostly helps to do that duty (acquiring items and services, bossing people around) and sets the TN for people who want the character to stray from his/her duty. 
    • Ninjo: Represents the wholeness and comfort of the character's life. Mostly used to set the TN for heart-to-heart interactions and to handle people who want to ruin your wellbeing.
  • Each Derived Attribute is the average of a primary attribute (one of the character's Ring or his/her Status Rank (for Giri) or Insight Rank (for Shoshin)) and a secondary attribute. There is a list of secondary attributes for each Derived Attribute, and the player can pick any one of the listed secondary attributes to determine the final score. Not only that, but a character can meditate to reshuffle his/her secondary attributes to change the Derived Attributes! 
  • Void Points are back to what they were before. You can regain them with meditation, pious activity (visiting shrines, communing with you ancestors, etc), or doing your ninjo (go off-duty, spend time with loved ones, etc). Note that simple resting won't give back any Void Points. 
  • Infamy and Insight are both back, just like in the good old days. Glory is thus slightly reevaluated. 
  • The Skills and the Skill List are completely reworked. Now there are 7 Skills for each Skill Group (one for each Approach plus two general skills), and the Scholar and the Trade Skill Group are rethemed into the High and Common Skill Groups, respectively. Thus, the final list of Skills is like this:
    • Artisan Skill Group: Calligraphy (Refine), Medicine (Restore), Acting (Invent), Games (Adapt), Perform (Attune), Engineering, Forgery
    • Martial Skill Group: Unarmed Combat (Exploit), Defense (Withstand), Melee Weapons (Overwhelm), Athletics (Shift), Ranged Weapons (Sacrifice), Battle, Horsemanship
    • High Skill Group: Awareness (Analyze), Lore (Recall), Governorship (Theorize), Investigation (Survey), Meditation (Sense), Culture, Theology
    • Social Skill Group: Deception (Trick), Subtlety (Reason), Intimidation (Incite), Temptation (Charm), Instruction (Enlighten), Etiquette, Manipulation
    • Common Skill Group: Stealth (Con), Craft (Produce), Security (Innovate), Commerce (Exchange), Hunting (Subsist), Animal Handling, Sailing
  • These Skills are meant to represent everything a character is expected to do as a samurai. Things not on the list usually tie back to a Derived Attribute (resisting poison with Gaman, navigating around with Zanshin or Shoshin, etc). Skills are meant to be used with their listed Approach, and using a Skill with a different Approach may result in different outcomes. Using off-Group Approaches is limited for specific cases (prominent examples are using Craft with Artisan Approaches to create art and Battle with High Approaches to use military knowledge). Skills without a listed Approach thus get quite a leeway, but that's intended because they are either highly specialized (Forgery, Sailing) or "key" skills (Battle, Manipulation). 
  • Now, about character creation. It still goes by the 20 Questions. All characters start with all Rings at 2 and receive 5 Ring improvements (1 from Clan, 1 from Family, 2 from School, 1 free). Characters also receive 10+ Skill improvements (3-5 basic, 1 from Clan, 5 from School, 1-3 free). Other than a Ring improvement, Family also gives a small bonus to either Honor, Status, Glory, or Insight, as well as a special Family Ability - for example, a Hida can spend a Void Point to increase his Gaman while an Agasha can reshuffle her Derived Attributes easier with meditation. 
  • Schools come in three types: Samurai (bushi, courtier, artisan), Clergy (shugenja, monk), and Ninja. The School type determines the basic Skill improvements (Samurai get Culture, Lore, and the three attack Skills, while Clergy only gets Meditation, Theology, and Unarmed Combat). School Techniques are also back to the old ways: 5 Techniques in 5 Ranks, except for shugenja and Brotherhood monks who have only one. 
  • Combat is also heavily reworked. We like the Assessment Stage, so it stays. The Skill used for Assessment is universally Awareness for all four conflict types. Range Bands are gone and replaced with four levels of engagement (Heavily Engaged, Engaged, Disengaged, Reserves). Actions are all simplified to be set similarly to Skills: 5 actions tied to an Approach and 2 general actions. The actions thus are:
    • Support (Exploit): give Full Assistance to another character.
    • Defend (Withstand): attacking you is now a Competitive check against your Defense Skill.
    • Focus (Overwhelm): make a Meditation check and reserve a kept result for later use. 
    • Reposition (Shift): either change your level of engagement by one step or intercept another character and increase their level of engagement by one. You can make an Athletics check to squeeze out more than one step from this action. 
    • Guard (Sacrifice): increase the TN-to-hit for another character by 1. If the guarded character still takes a hit then you can make a Defense check to jump into the attack and tank the damage.
    • Attack: make two attacks. No, not just one attack. Two attacks. Drawing/readying your weapon is already included. 
    • Idle: do something that is not included in the other actions or do nothing. 
  • Each character can only perform one action per turn, period. Every conflict type uses the exact same actions. We gotta go simple and we gotta go fast here. Complexity should come from Raises and special actions provided by techniques. Also, the time window of the actions increases to roughly 30 seconds - actions are meant to represent a kind of approach to the conflict and not what the character exactly does: you can say that your character makes a few attacks as part of a Defense action, we will just assume that these attacks are ineffective because the character is focusing on defense. 
  • Getting hurt is a bit more serious business. You can take 10 Wounds, once you cap this out, you are Incapacitated. Critical Damage remains largely as-is, but the table goes from 0 to 10, and severity can't be reduced normally, only with special abilities or armor. The type of critical damage depends on the Ring the attacker uses, with each Ring doing thematic damage. There are three stages of injury on the table, 10+ is death, unless you attack with Void, because then a 7+ is enough. Yep. A katana with two-handed grip and a Void attack will instagib people by decapacitation unless they wear armor. 
  • Oh, speaking of techniques... We have four types of those, each type having a passive (constant bonus, only one can be in effect at the same time) and an active (special action or Raise option) sub-type. Types are arranged as per conflict type and can be used only in that conflict barring a few exceptions. It goes like this:
    • Battle Techniques (Mass Battle): Strategies (passive) and Tactics (active)
    • Social Techniques (Intrigue): Styles (passive) and Wordplays (active)
    • Combat Techniques (Duel and Skirmish): Stances (passive) and Maneuvers (active) - these now include the basic elemental stances and the classic maneuvers like Extra Damage and Knockback
    • Mystical Techniques: special cases because they are not tied to conflicts; Rituals, Invocations (active), Kiho (passive), Maho (active)
  • For equipment, Qualities are gone. Weapon damage goes from 4 (unarmed attacks, shuriken) to 10 (tetsubo). Deadliness goes from 1 (tonfa) to 6 (ono). Grips are still in. Keywords like Samurai and Monk are back (they effectively replace Qualities). Weapon ranges tie to the level of engagement: Close (most melee weapons) can only attack Heavily Engaged character, Short (polearms and throwing weapons) can attack Engaged too, Long (bows) can attack Engaged and Disengaged, while Extreme (siege engines) can attack Disengaged and characters in Reserve. Armor Reduction is between 1 (mesh) and 5 (battle). Armor Reduction decreases both normal and critical damage. Equipment has no cost, only Availability ranging from 1 (common) to 4 (unique) - if your Giri is higher than the Availability, then you can acquire the item, details on "how" is up to the GM. 
  • Advantages and Disadvantages are back to being "inherent" special abilities. The Passion/Distinction/Adversity/Anxiety setup is gone as far as Advantages and Disadvantages are concerned. 

I guess that's all. It looks like a lot of changes, but most of them are simple "rollbacks" and clarifications, as well as some nostalgia changes because I feel like it :D

Wow if this was the beta Provided by FFG I would be on board in a minute.

There are some small things I don't agree with but overall this is what a L5R rpg beta should look like.

And look at that you did it without getting rid of the dice or Strife/strain.

Now if only FFG could take a hint.

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What determines the derived stats? What's the base target number for attacks?  How does combat work?  Increasing the Traits and Skills drastically affects target numbers and Expected Successes.  "Reworking" combat is more than just swapping around names and effects of stances and weapon stats.   Most of the Beta's problems in combat come from the Target Number Problem. Most of the problems with the rest of the mechanics come from the Strife result's uneven impairment of characters, so how does Strain fix those imbalances? Is it even workable without the Ledger System the current rules has? A lot of those changes sound interesting, but without being able to see the probabilities behind them, it's just a lot of enthusiastic sentences.

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On 11/25/2017 at 11:59 PM, Soshi Nimue said:

 

Do any of you use any homebrew with the beta?  Do you think using some homebrew would be okay?  Do you think sharing homebrew would be helpful for the beta?

Yes, With Caveats, and Not particularly.

It's important to keep in mind that anything touched by homebrew mechanics be noted in every report about those mechanics affected.

If you're not using the duel rules in the current update, don't report anything about your duels other than, "We stopped using the duel rules because they're {pick one}broken/stupid/confusing/boring."

And, based upon prior experience, if the devs want your houserules, they WILL ask.

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15 minutes ago, TheVeteranSergeant said:

What determines the derived stats? 

 

Each Derived Attribute has a primary attribute (Air Ring for Mushin, Water Ring for Zanshin, Insight Rank for Shoshin, Earth Ring for Gaman, Status Rank for Giri, Void Ring for Ninjo) and each also has a list of secondary attributes from which the player chooses one. The list of secondary attributes is effectively the other non-associated Rings minus the opposite Ring plus Honor Rank. An attribute can be only chosen once to be a secondary attribute. For example, Mushin's primary attribute is the Air Ring, and its secondary attribute can be either Fire Ring, Water Ring, Void Ring or the Honor Rank - if you choose the Water Ring, then you can't choose the Water Ring again for, say, Gaman or Ninjo. Choosing a secondary attribute is also choosing an Approach for the Derived Attribute that should come with minor thematic and narrative effects (Water Ringing your Zanshin makes your actions fluid and "wavy", while Fire Ringing your Zanshin makes your actions impulsive and flashy). The final value of the Derived Attribute is (primary attribute + secondary attribute) / 2. 

Secondary attributes can be "reshuffled" by making a Meditation Skill check against TN 4. Success allows you to change the secondary attributes as you wish, recalculate your Derived Attributes, and use the new values until you change them again. This allows some flexibility if the player needs a different set of numbers and offers nice roleplaying opportunity because it is literally the character reconsidering his/her life choices. 

37 minutes ago, TheVeteranSergeant said:

What's the base target number for attacks?

 

TN 2 for the first one and TN 3 for the second. Dual-wielding gets you a third attack at TN 3. 

1 hour ago, TheVeteranSergeant said:

How does combat work?

 

Everyone gets an Assessment Stage, exactly as in the Beta. Your base Initiative is your Mushin + your Zanshin. If you skip Assessment, then you double up your Mushin. If you get your butt ambushed, then no Assessment for you. 

Actions are announced in reserve initiative order (lowest to highest) then performed in initiative order (highest to lowest). Everyone can perform only one of the seven actions. For example, you only get to Attack or Reposition, not both. If nobody gets defeated, then this Action Stage repeats until someone does. 

 

45 minutes ago, TheVeteranSergeant said:

Increasing the Traits and Skills drastically affects target numbers and Expected Successes. 

 

With the increases Rings and Skills, emphasis is on the number of expected Raises as well as on giving some breathing room from Strain results. The TNs are kept low to encourage players to keep Raises and do awesome stuff rather than simply succeed. It also allows players to discard results with Strain and still play to win. We assume that a starting character will roll 6k3 (3 Ring dice + 3 Skill dice) most of the time, averaging for 1 Explosive Success, 3 Successes, 2 Raises, and 2 Strain (our math is not spot-on here, please don't hurt me :D) - that should be a nice and diverse selection of stuff against the average TN of 2. Experienced characters should roll around 8k4, and thus get even more leeway with what they want to do with their results. Heroic-level characters are a league above all this, rolling dice should be more about resource management there rather than trying to beat a TN. 

1 hour ago, TheVeteranSergeant said:

Most of the problems with the rest of the mechanics come from the Strife result's uneven impairment of characters, so how does Strain fix those imbalances? Is it even workable without the Ledger System the current rules has?

1

Strain is a lot more like a kind of "non-lethal Wound", rather than the obscurely defined emotional whatever like Strife. So it affects everyone the same way, goes away naturally and pretty darn quickly, and capping it out is a bad idea but not the end of the world. At the very worst, you will have to spend a Void Point or two to kill some of it if the situation is tight. 

1 hour ago, TheVeteranSergeant said:

A lot of those changes sound interesting, but without being able to see the probabilities behind them, it's just a lot of enthusiastic sentences.

 

We plan to test them this week in a real game, see how they work and all that. I'm not claiming that they are good until then ;) !

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On ‎11‎/‎26‎/‎2017 at 2:59 AM, Soshi Nimue said:

Do you think using some homebrew would be okay?  Do you think sharing homebrew would be helpful for the beta?

It depends on what you want out of the beta.  Are you looking to GM a long-running campaign, or are you simply running sessions to test the mechanics?  FFG is after feedback on the second, since the whole point of the beta is to test the mechanics that they've written as much as possible, and while running campaigns is nice, they're more keen on seeing if their shiny new mechanics do the job they want said mechanics to do.  But if you're looking to run a campaign of any length (more than a handful of sessions), then there's no harm in using homebrew mechanics for your campaign.

As for the second one, from FFG's perspective sharing homebrew material, especially stuff that total revamps the rules as outlined in the beta, is utterly useless.  They're not looking for alternate ways to do things, and it's dicey from a legal perspective for them as there's nothing stopping folks from trying to sue FFG for theft of material (such things have happened in the industry and thus why RPG publishers cannot and will not accept unsolicited material from fans).

If your homebrew ideas are simply tweaks to the existing beta rather than wholesale revisions, it might be useful to FFG.  But if you're going to such a length as to completely re-write large swaths of the entire system, then you may well be better off simply using a prior edition that you're more comfortable with.

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8 minutes ago, Donovan Morningfire said:

it's dicey from a legal perspective for them as there's nothing stopping folks from trying to sue FFG for theft of material

 

While I know that people tend to have the flexibility of a brick in this case, I must say that officially implementing homebrew rules can be done intelligently. I1m fairly sure that exchanging a few PMs/e-mails and squeezing in another name in the Special Thanks section is not that hard as some might imagine. 

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Just now, AtoMaki said:

While I know that people tend to have the flexibility of a brick in this case, I must say that officially implementing homebrew rules can be done intelligently. I1m fairly sure that exchanging a few PMs/e-mails and squeezing in another name in the Special Thanks section is not that hard as some might imagine. 

All depends on company policy.  And even then, it's possible that someone could still file a lawsuit claiming they were not properly compensated for their work, or that the RPG company didn't negotiate in "good faith" regarding use of the material, or that the person who did get credit swiped the material and submitted as theirs.  Even if the case is ultimately ruled in favor of the defendant, that's still time lost and money spent on legal fees, and generally one gigantic headache for a miniscule gain.

Thus, most companies prefer to avoid the chance of such legal hassles entirely and not accept such things unless they've put out a specific call for it; case in point is Keith Baker and the Eberron setting, which as the result of WotC actively soliciting campaign setting ideas from their customer base.  And even then there was a lot of legal legwork, not only for Mr. Baker but also for other entrants (such as Rich Burlew of the Order of the Stick webcomic) to ensure they understood that WotC owned those submissions lock, stock, and barrel, and that an entrant whose submission got rejected couldn't then take it to another company or attempt to self-publish it after the fact, else there would be dire legal consequences.

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12 minutes ago, Donovan Morningfire said:

All depends on company policy.  And even then, it's possible that someone could still file a lawsuit claiming they were not properly compensated for their work, or that the RPG company didn't negotiate in "good faith" regarding use of the material, or that the person who did get credit swiped the material and submitted as theirs.  Even if the case is ultimately ruled in favor of the defendant, that's still time lost and money spent on legal fees, and generally one gigantic headache for a miniscule gain.

2

I bet this mindset is the reason we can't have nice things.

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9 hours ago, Donovan Morningfire said:

It depends on what you want out of the beta.  Are you looking to GM a long-running campaign, or are you simply running sessions to test the mechanics?  FFG is after feedback on the second, since the whole point of the beta is to test the mechanics that they've written as much as possible, and while running campaigns is nice, they're more keen on seeing if their shiny new mechanics do the job they want said mechanics to do.  But if you're looking to run a campaign of any length (more than a handful of sessions), then there's no harm in using homebrew mechanics for your campaign.

As for the second one, from FFG's perspective sharing homebrew material, especially stuff that total revamps the rules as outlined in the beta, is utterly useless.  They're not looking for alternate ways to do things, and it's dicey from a legal perspective for them as there's nothing stopping folks from trying to sue FFG for theft of material (such things have happened in the industry and thus why RPG publishers cannot and will not accept unsolicited material from fans).

If your homebrew ideas are simply tweaks to the existing beta rather than wholesale revisions, it might be useful to FFG.  But if you're going to such a length as to completely re-write large swaths of the entire system, then you may well be better off simply using a prior edition that you're more comfortable with.

Firstly - I think I agree with you completely.  If I were to be honest, I want BOTH though...  I want to run a longer lasting campaign, but also do want to test these mechanics.  Its a tough spot to be in, and last session I discussed with my players possibly rolling our characters in 1st or 4th ed and picking up from there with more familiar ground...

...However after considering the comments in this topic and the "are you enjoying the beta" thread I think I want to seriously try 1 more time with the beta...  I want to take the blame on myself for possibly implementing the new system wrong, and building the story in the wrong frame for the system.  I am going to try 1 more session with the beta.  I may make  a few tweaks to the system but my goal is to change as little as possible, and what I do change is going to be to make the system run smoother.

I did a lot of reading through the approaches and skill descriptions, and basically re-read all of the beta releases over the weekend and I hope this next session this Saturday may bring things together.  I don't hate the beta, I'm just frustrated with it.

--------------

As for the comments on legal issues - that is very true.  Some companies don't allow their developers into their own forums for risk of any new concept being traced back to a user opening the company up to a possible law suit.  In this beta I think FFG has put in some disclosure that any posts here are their property...  I don't specifically recall that, but they should have that posted somewhere...  otherwise its almost impossible for them to actually read the forums and consider using any suggestions.  They would have to utilize the survey only at that point.

Edited by Soshi Nimue

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53 minutes ago, Soshi Nimue said:

As for the comments on legal issues - that is very true.  Some companies don't allow their developers into their own forums for risk of any new concept being traced back to a user opening the company up to a possible law suit.  In this beta I think FFG has put in some disclosure that any posts here are their property...  I don't specifically recall that, but they should have that posted somewhere...  otherwise its almost impossible for them to actually read the forums and consider using any suggestions.  They would have to utilize the survey only at that point.

These are lawsuits FFG should always win though. Copyright and trademark law is not on the side of those making off the cuff remarks. Sure, an actual court case would be costly and time consuming but that goes for the suing party as well and without real hope of winning only fools will even attempt it. Let’s not overstate the risks here.

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41 minutes ago, nameless ronin said:

These are lawsuits FFG should always win though. Copyright and trademark law is not on the side of those making off the cuff remarks. Sure, an actual court case would be costly and time consuming but that goes for the suing party as well and without real hope of winning only fools will even attempt it. Let’s not overstate the risks here.

I'm not a lawyer, but I do know that some companies have specifically isolated their development team from their forums to prevent any claim by a forum participant that any concept developed in game was derived from their comments.

IF a major company would take the issue that seriously I can only assume there are some grounds for it.  That is an assumption so it could be wrong - but I am not a law professor to say it isn't wrong, and unless you are a law professor, I don't think you can say it is either...

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On 26.11.2017 at 8:59 AM, Soshi Nimue said:

So I've had some ups and downs with this system and almost feel like I should drop the system for my group and re-create our characters in a previous edition.  I don't disagree entirely with the concepts of the beta, but I feel some of the execution is WAY off...

I could either take my group back to 1st ed, or I could attempt to re-design the beta in a way that I think might work better.  But if I do this... am I still playing in the beta?  Why bother adding homebrew to a beta system?

Do any of you use any homebrew with the beta?  Do you think using some homebrew would be okay?  Do you think sharing homebrew would be helpful for the beta?

Well we did do 3 homebrew conversions for 3 diffrent systems:

http://d6ideas.com/?p=7836&lang=en

http://d6ideas.com/?p=7827&lang=en

http://d6ideas.com/?p=7801&lang=en

One of them started out before the FFG Beta but Ninjo and Giri found their way into the system.

Edited by Yandia

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1 hour ago, Soshi Nimue said:

I'm not a lawyer, but I do know that some companies have specifically isolated their development team from their forums to prevent any claim by a forum participant that any concept developed in game was derived from their comments.

IF a major company would take the issue that seriously I can only assume there are some grounds for it.  That is an assumption so it could be wrong - but I am not a law professor to say it isn't wrong, and unless you are a law professor, I don't think you can say it is either...

First, it doesn’t cost companies anything to do so; since there’s no cost, might as well go ahead with it. Second, if a copyright case were to follow then any such claim of isolation is pointless, since it can’t be proven (who sas these developers didn’t check the forums anyway?): the only thing that will matter is how similar both expressions are. And third and most important, copyright is indeed about expressions - not ideas. To protect an idea you need to patent it. Copyright applies to the expression of an idea or concept, such as making an image (photography, sculpture, etc), a diagram or schematics, a piece of music, or in this case writing it down. Simply put, if I take your idea but formulate it in my own words and those are sufficiently different, there is no copyright infringement. This is why WotC, the owners of Magic: the Gathering, have a patent on “tapping” for instance: merely writing down what tapping is doesn’t protect the idea, only the expression of it. Name it something else and explain it in your own words and you’re good to go - unless the idea has been patented. Same thing here: unless FFG were to take over your post verbatim or close to it, you have no case.

No, I’m not a lawyer. I still know enough to be sure of this.

edit - if you’re wondering why anyone would even take this isolation measure then, that’s simple: liability. If someone were so monumentally stupid as to commit actual copyright infringement, the company will have a solid case to deflect all liability to that employee rather than themselves (and to recuperate any costs and losses incurred due to the infringement on the employee as well). But again, that’s only possible for actual copyright infringement, which would be colossally idiotic to do. People can be idiots though.

Edited by nameless ronin

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3 hours ago, Soshi Nimue said:

I'm not a lawyer, but I do know that some companies have specifically isolated their development team from their forums to prevent any claim by a forum participant that any concept developed in game was derived from their comments.

IF a major company would take the issue that seriously I can only assume there are some grounds for it.  That is an assumption so it could be wrong - but I am not a law professor to say it isn't wrong, and unless you are a law professor, I don't think you can say it is either...

Likewise, a fan recently  (last four years) prevailed against WhizKids - I don't know if by judge or jury - on a "Can't use fan contributions without compensation" basis. Including, when incorporating the work into later works, including the contributor credit. He posted about his suit a lot over on the Kenzer & Co boards.

IP law cases are always crapshoots. And often, it's "What can you prove" not "what is true."  Hence the legalese in the FFG alpha-tester contracts. 

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