Minis Question

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Seann
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Minis Question

#1 Postby Seann » Thu Sep 13, 2012 4:34 pm

If there's a prior discussion about this somewhere, please feel free to ignore this post and direct me to it.

My group loves Savage Worlds and has used it more than any other system since it first came out. We had two very slight reservations.

One was "shaken-lock," which I've asked about here before and discovered wasn't as much of a problem as it first seemed. We adopted two suggestions from here: let characters act on a shaken recovery, even without a raise, and to "roleplay harder" for more bennies (I thought that answer was kind of snarky at first, but it turned out to be the best one).

The other issue we have is the emphasis on the use of miniatures. We play at a very rectangular table, making it difficult for everyone to reach or even see the battle mat. Also, as GM, I find it bothersome to reach over the screen (even the landscape SW one) and can't always see the play area. If I were standing that would solve the problem, but, while I do get excited about gaming, I prefer to be in a relaxed posture, and for me, that means sitting.

This isn't a make-or-break for us; we usually play without minis, but some edges seem to lose some oomph without that visualization. I just scavenged an old-school organizational chalkboard (freakin' huge) that has a black one-inch grid on it, and I intend to make a gaming table out of it. I'd like to use minis more regularly, but again, I find it difficult to create an environment where everyone can easily see/reach them, especially me in the Chair.

It's a slow afternoon, so I thought I'd ask folks here how they deal with using minis, in terms of practical issues such as ease of reach/line of sight over screen, etc. Do you see this as a non-problem (i.e., laziness on my part) or has anyone else ever struggled with not being able to easily see/reach them, etc?

In the meantime, I'll keep tilting my screen or standing. Thanks!

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Re: Minis Question

#2 Postby Jordan Peacock » Thu Sep 13, 2012 4:47 pm

Seann wrote:let characters act on a shaken recovery, even without a raise


Just beware that this cripples a number of abilities whose primary use is to cause a Shaken result to an enemy.

Seann wrote:Do you see this as a non-problem (i.e., laziness on my part) or has anyone else ever struggled with not being able to easily see/reach them, etc?


That's got to be a pretty big table, I guess. For my home games, my ideal arrangement is three folding tables -- one for the GM and miniatures, and two aligned in an "L" formation for the players and all their junk, plus player-shared items such as books, Bennies, community dice bags and pencils, and Adventure Cards. At conventions and game stores, however, I am at the mercy of whatever's available, which usually boils down to just a single folding table with seating for up to 4 (with some awkwardness since I'm taking up one side of the table).

Generally speaking, when I have minis on the table, they're within my reach. The players, on the other hand, tend to put books, plates of food, random sundry unrelated items and such onto the table, whereas it is inconvenient for THEM to move the miniatures -- so that generally falls under my domain as GM. I'm also usually standing up, too, and I don't use a GM screen.

I used to use a GM screen, but I had a few players who seemed to take it as an article of faith that I was secretly fudging rolls behind the screen. Since that point, I did away with the GM screen and roll in the open, for better or for worse. There are so many OTHER things I can tweak in the universe that if players think poorly of a GM who "fudges" the dice, I figure I would rather just do without the screen.

Plus, it's just something else on the table to get knocked over, anyway.
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#3 Postby Other Mike » Thu Sep 13, 2012 4:52 pm

Yes, it can be a problem. First, I don't know why, but as a GM, I usually stand. I do sit from time to time, but I find that it's easier to move around, see everything, when standing ... at least I _think_ that's why I stand.

My screen ... if I'm even using one, and many Savage Words GM's do not ... is off to the side, and out of the way. Mine has tables on it for quick reference, but is mainly used to hide the miniatures yet to come into play, as well as the stat cards for the adversaries.

When it comes to miniatures on the table, I love them. At the same time, I only bring them out/use them, when it seems appropriate. For a simple encounter, everyone can usually visualize what is going on in mostly the same way. It's only the bigger or more important encounters, or ones that are "tricky" that I set things up.

Don't know if that helps or not.
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Re: Minis Question

#4 Postby Clint » Thu Sep 13, 2012 4:53 pm

Jordan Peacock wrote:
Seann wrote:let characters act on a shaken recovery, even without a raise


Just beware that this cripples a number of abilities whose primary use is to cause a Shaken result to an enemy.


But it does "cripple" it for both sides, so somewhat of a net null result.
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Seann
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#5 Postby Seann » Thu Sep 13, 2012 4:57 pm

Just beware that this cripples a number of abilities whose primary use is to cause a Shaken result to an enemy.


Let me clarify. Our house rule is that when you are rolling to get unshaken, if you are successful, you may go ahead and act, even without a raise. We have no house rule that prevents any ability that would normally cause a Shaken result from doing so. Therefore, I'm not sure how it "cripples" anything. I could be totally missing your point, however.

As for a screen, I mainly use it to hide notes. I've considered sort of tilting it, like a lectern.

Thank you for your reply!

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#6 Postby Clint » Thu Sep 13, 2012 4:57 pm

Oh, and as far as minis go, two things. One, we typically just have the person closest to the mini move it. It's usually as simple as "Would you move him there?"

And two, have you tried the Gaming Without Miniatures rules in SW Deluxe?
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Seann
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#7 Postby Seann » Thu Sep 13, 2012 5:00 pm

...and fwiw, we've encountered very few problems skipping minis all together, so I was happy to see that bit included in SWD. But some players would like to use them more. I've already sort of figured out how to play without 'em, but I want to please the players. Also, when you run a SW game at a store or something, people assume you'll be using them.

Maybe I will try standing more...

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#8 Postby Clint » Thu Sep 13, 2012 5:09 pm

Seann wrote:
Just beware that this cripples a number of abilities whose primary use is to cause a Shaken result to an enemy.


Let me clarify. Our house rule is that when you are rolling to get unshaken, if you are successful, you may go ahead and act, even without a raise. We have no house rule that prevents any ability that would normally cause a Shaken result from doing so. Therefore, I'm not sure how it "cripples" anything. I could be totally missing your point, however.


What I presume Jordan means (and he can correct me if I'm wrong) is that there are some tactics where the effect of a raise is to make the target Shaken (Tricks, Tests of Will, etc.).

If all it takes is a success to recover fully from Shaken instead of a raise, then requiring a raise to cause a Shaken "cripples" those abilities.

To use an extreme example, it would be akin to saying a success on damage caused a wound and then a raise caused a Shaken. A lesser effect from a higher roll.
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#9 Postby Seann » Fri Sep 14, 2012 10:42 am

Oh, I get it. Thanks!


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