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Is Disruption a bit too much?

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  • Is Disruption a bit too much?

    I accidentally posted it in the Feedback thread, so am just gonna repost it here (sorry about that Mods):

    I know that arcane backgrounds in general have gotten a bit of a buff, but Disruption still feels a bit too extreme as way to compensate. In the previous edition losing concentration on a spell could only happen if you actually needed to maintain it, if I remember correctly.
    Now it's any active effect which is pretty all-encompassing. And it only requires the character being Shaken, something that happen constantly in my experience.
    I know that there's a smarts roll to avoid it, but it will still lead to casters losing their spells quite often, especially Spirit based casters who won't have nearly as high a Smarts on average. It makes them more MAD, compared to their 'Smarter' brothers and sisters in magic.

    It's simply not fun to lose your spells. Would be quite a let-down for instance to lose a big buff just after having burned half your powerpoints on buffing the entire party or hitting a big group of enemies with something nasty.

    Smarts based arcane backgrounds simply come off as stronger, they already get the advantage of increased range on their spells. I'm starting to feel like I need to create a paranoia build with deflection or invisibility running at all times before I can actually use the buff/debuff oriented Shaman I'm currently running in Deadlands. It makes me less enthused when looking at all those duration spells.
    The Concentration edge feels like an edge-tax currently, and one you have to slog through the Novice levels first to even get to, not a good idea IMO, and again, not fun since it leads to cookie cutter builds for those that care about creating an effective arcane character.

    As I said, shaken happens constantly in the games I've played; I think Disruption should be softened somehow, such as requiring an actual wound or the stun effect before triggering a smarts roll to avoid Disruption, with the concentration edge perhaps giving +2 to the roll instead, making the edge less of a necessity, but still really good to have, and overall making Disruption feel less punishing.

    I've never understood the attraction to even having the option of having casters be disrupted at all. It has always seemed like a terrible mechanic, but maybe that's just me, I think the game would work perfectly fine without it at all.

    I do like a lot of the other changes in the new edition, it's just one change that's bugging me, and leaving me a bit frustrated since I always play caster based characters in some form, it's just what I prefer.

    It might be Furious, but it's not more Fun, and having that extra Smarts roll pop up often certainly isn't Faster either :-)

  • #2
    The older rules at least let you have 3 rounds of a spell. You couldn’t get disrupted unless you were maintaining a power pass it’s original duration. The newer rules wording means that all powers activated the previous round could be turned off without ever getting to your next turn. Effectivly meaning all you preavious actions and maybe bennies were wasted because of one lucky mook and a bad Smarts roll. That is a lot harsher. It really makes the buff spells seem usless. At least Barrer and Summon Ally can act as meat shields. I guess the change to disruption is the balance to increasing the duration and maintance duration. 5 rounds + 5 more with just 1 power point.

    Just have to play smart. Never poke your head out if you’re a buffer. Abuse those new cover values. Always crawl With Deflection on. That would be -6 to hit, -8 with a raise? Deflection stacks with cover I think.
    Last edited by wulfharth; 01-04-2019, 08:54 AM.

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    • #3
      Previously, Disruption almost never came up. I've been running Savage Worlds games for 9 years, probably some 600-700 sessions most with arcane backgrounds, and it came up three times in all those sessions. That's less than one in one hundred sessions.

      Now it will come up most combats, whenever the casters get hurt - or even just punked in a Test. Which makes the Concentration Edge really good.
      I think that's the right amount of issues, but I'll need to play test for certainty.
      I hope you find the above post useful. And not insulting, because I was trying to be helpful, not insulting; being a pedantic jerk, that isn't always clear.

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      • #4
        Part of keeping magic equal to not-magic is that a sword can work as well as dispell magic.

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        • #5
          I was against Disruption, until I got a invisible character destroying a very superior opponent. It's necessary to balance the game for non-casters. And very thematic, it can't be easy maintain magic words in your head with a fist going thru your nose

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          • Soulliard
            Soulliard commented
            Editing a comment
            This rule won't do much to hurt invisible casters, though. It's hard to shake someone you can't see.

          • Almagest
            Almagest commented
            Editing a comment
            Harder, but not impossible. Hey, some Tests would work fine for that. What happened in the combat that I ran was that even when hit, the caster maintained the invisibility. It was very OP. I learned my lesson about house ruling before trying the rules as written. A lot of details in SW are like that =)

        • #6
          Im all for the new Disruption rule. Now casters will need to be more tactical and I also thinks its very thematically right that you can loose your concentration when being attacked/hurt/tested.

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          • #7
            I forgot that maintaining a power in SWDE made you have a -1 per power maintainted. Disruption only happened when you maintained a power. Most people would just recast. Especially powers that cost 2 points to cast and 1 point per round to maintain, unless it was a raise. It was more cost efficient and you got the bonus of no disruptions. The only thing was having to cast 1 power per round which leads to needing to cast the first buff again after 3 rounds. Second buff 4th round. Third buff 5th round. Meaning you can’t cast a damage power, unless you maintained a buff before recasting it.

            The new casting rules all three buffs could be cast on the 1st round and if not disrupted last untill the 5th round. The maintenance cost is so stupidly low as well. 1 power point for 5 more rounds. No negative to your next casting roll. I think I’m starting to like the new magic rules a lot better. Good and bad. The only disruption issue that is still iffy to me is the disruption being tied to Smarts. It makes Spirt based casters, more buffer/healer casters, way weaker then Smarts based ones. Just change the disrution roll to the Ability tied to your Arcane Backgrounds casting skill would work. Faith( Spirt) and Weird Science (Smarts). Same with the ranges instead of just blunt Smarts. It makes the faith of a miracle worker less useful than the demon worshipper’s knowledge. Which could be cool in settings like Deadlands and such. Where the power of evil is stronger. But for a fantasy setting it kind of dosen’t thematically work.
            Last edited by wulfharth; 01-04-2019, 09:53 PM.

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            • #8
              Do you guys think I should suggest that on the feedback section? About the change to the disruption roll and power ranges. Or are they fine the way they are? I think it wouldn’t unbalance anything if range was tied to your arcane skill ability stat.

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              • Almagest
                Almagest commented
                Editing a comment
                I'm fine with the new rules as-is. But hey, you should post if you want to. =)
                Last edited by Almagest; 01-04-2019, 11:39 PM. Reason: spelling

              • Ibskib
                Ibskib commented
                Editing a comment
                Seems like a good suggestion. It would be a sensible change.

            • #9
              As I said in the OP, I think it makes Concentration edge too much of a necessity for most casters. Feels like an edge tax if you want a caster that doesn't just blast stuff.
              It's also hits unevenly, in practice making Smarts based casters outright better now.

              Damage dealers can ignore the mechanic completely while those more interested in spells that aid their allies or hinder their foes, not to mention any kind of utility, get the short end of the stick.

              Which is why I suggested the change with only wounds and stun causing the roll (which still will make it much more common an occurrence than in the previous edition), and have the edge give a +2 to that roll instead, which I imagine could actually make Fighter-Mage builds viable, they certainly aren't currently.

              I would honestly prefer casting being nerfed a bit rather than the current disruption mechanic, such as lowering duration back to 3 rounds, and perhaps only being disrupted when maintaining as it was in the previous edition.
              Last edited by Ibskib; 01-11-2019, 02:09 AM.

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