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Tim Huckelbery

Some items for general discussion...

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Hi all! Below are a couple of style items we'd like input on.


 


You may have noted we’re purposefully doing fewer game terms in upper case lettering. After looking through first edition books, it seemed like too many terms were in upper case, to the point were that usage didn’t call the eye the way it should. Thus in the first beta (and this one) we’ve made many game terms in lower case. We think this is a Good Thing, but we’re certainly open to your input on the matter. 


 


We’re also doing less text in bold, and only using that to call out skill and other tests in actual adventure text (again, like we did in the first beta). So a skill test in the regular rules would be in regular text, and when called for in an adventure would be in bold so the GM can easily find them. As above, we’re looking for your feedback on this presentation style. 


 


Difficulty Levels: First edition uses these to indicate the difficulty in accomplishing a test, such as “Ordinary” for +10 bonus, or “Hard” for a –20 penalty. Armoury item availability was done in a similar manner, just indicating with a word how difficult is it to acquire the item. In the first version of the beta, we included a chart for the descriptives and their corresponding numerical modifiers, but otherwise simply indicated the numerical modifier for an actual test or availability level. In this beta, we’ve gone back to the first edition style, but we’d like player input on this as to which is preferable: using the descriptor and number to indicate the modifier, or just using the number modifier.


 


Let us know and thanks!


–Tim


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Not using capitals will, if nothing else, save you guys from embarrassing search and replace mistakes like "inTestinal fortitude" (The Black Sepulchre).

 

The difficulty descriptors do nothing for me. They translate to a number and the number is the only thing that's ever relevant so I think you guys should just print that instead and save us the trouble of having to look up what number the word correlates to. It would also prevent embarrassing mismatches like "Very Hard (+30) Strength Check" (also The Black Sepulchre)

 

What I'm trying to say is The Black Sepulchre could have been edited a little better.

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I definitely prefer the simple numerical modifiers for test difficulty. Players can infer that a -20 test is hard without extra clarifying text.

I like the use of capitals to call attention to specific conditions (such as Blood Loss), but if overused they don't stand out as much.

As a further formatting suggestion, I would like to see some clearer distinction between functional rules text and "fluffy" flavor text in the description of talents, equipment, and psychic powers. The beta seems to be an improvement over previous editions in this regard, but it's important to be consistent with these descriptions throughout the rules. Maybe the descriptive text is always in its own paragraph at the beginning of each entry or is always italicized to allow readers to easily identify the rules text at a glance.

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The less needless cross-referencing of tables I have to do, the better.

Agreed.

 

Even more specifically, I know at my table if a -20 test is hard or not. You (almost by definition) can't unless you're there.

Give me the -20 for the test, and use the page or so of saved space from not writing Very Hard all over the place for something useful.

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I'd be in favor of having one small table with word/modifier, perhaps the same page explaining how to make tests, because it will be a useful yardstick for old and new GMs/players, but the +/-# modifier would be fine on its own throughout the remainder of the core. We can certainly do away with "Awkward (-13.6) Test" cluttering sentences. Same goes for Availability mods.

 

Fluff separated from rules and in italics, with a printed notification of this convention rather than an assumption that new players will automatically understand it.

 

And please choose you background/font colors better than in Only War- tiny red characteristic bonus numbers on a dirty inconsistent sepia background required me buying reading glasses. It's bad enough the paper quality causes unreadable glare in anything other than direct sunlight or having the book tilted just-so. Page numbers should be larger, too, like in DH1 and not like in BC/OW. Border art is fine, but don't clutter page numbers into it, and use bold one-color numbers, not two-tone numbers.

 

Again, border artwork is fine, but it doesn't need to be so overt that it takes up three-quarters of an inch on every page. In every publication. In every line. One-half an =I=, a bulkhead, a statue, a tank tread...this is to where the page space is disappearing.

 

And please, please, please, give us better editing/proof reading. Please? Update 5 is littered with mistakes.

Edited by Brother Orpheo

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The less needless cross-referencing of tables I have to do, the better.

Agreed.

 

Even more specifically, I know at my table if a -20 test is hard or not. You (almost by definition) can't unless you're there.

Give me the -20 for the test, and use the page or so of saved space from not writing Very Hard all over the place for something useful.

 

 

In pointing out that Very Hard is actually -30 I feel I'm also making a post in support of doing away with the descriptor words.

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I'd say it's worth leaving in the table that establishes what each modifier means in terms of real world difficulty, but leave it at that; print modifiers as flat numbers throughout the rest of the book.

Edited by Tom Cruise

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