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[SWADE v4] Various small issues

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  • DoctorBoson
    started a topic [SWADE v4] Various small issues

    [SWADE v4] Various small issues

    I think SWADE is pretty much great for a release version—most of the small, minor issues are things that can be addressed with house rules and generally won't break the game if they're left in. There's a few things I do want to bring up here for consideration, though.

    Burrowing (Page 18): As a minor point, Burrowing seems like it should be a 2-point ability, rather than 1. It's almost like a really limited invisibility for closing the gap with an enemy, and while burrowed he cannot be attacked at all.

    Two-Fisted (Page 25): I know a lot of folks disagree with the split; I can see where some of its issues come into play, especially in pirate settings like 50 Fathoms. Since the split is here to stay, though, mymajor issue with it is that Two-Fisted doesn't cover thrown weapons—that's under Two-Gun Kid. I'll just quote my explanation of this point from another thread:
    Consider the classic dual-wielding rogue. Stabbing an enemy with one knife before chucking the other is a huge part of that trope, but with this change he would have to also be able to proficiently dual-wield flintlock pistols in order to perform that maneuver. It also means that any pirates that are good with flintlock pistols will also be trained in firing a pistol in one hand, then flinging a dagger (or maybe another pistol that was already fired) at a foe—so drawing a knife and pistol on your first round (shoot then throw), then the following round throwing the pistol, drawing two more pistols, and firing one of them with no MAP becomes a viable and efficient strategy. It's a weird kind of play that's encouraged by the Edge setup as-is.
    Rerolls (Page 89): The change to the reroll mechanic in keeping the best result regardless is a good Fast, Furious, Fun change. However, I think the other component of this change might be too much—all of the Edges that allow for a Reroll allow it to be used with every roll, not just when the character fails (as before). Rerolls being allowed under any circumstance and taking the best is insanely good—a d6 in Persuasion with Charismatic (94% success vs a TN of 4, 45% raise) mathematically becomes similar to a d12+1 (94% success, 58% raise); there’s little reason to increase Persuasion beyond a d6 without taking Charismatic first.

    Changing Charismatic, Killer Instinct, Soldier, Humiliate, and Reliable to only trigger when the character fails the initial roll (rather than a free benny on every roll) gives those effects a unique identity and weighs “failing very infrequently” (a reroll on failure) against “increasing average success/raise chances” (a Skill increase). (I think letting Acrobat keep the reroll even with successes makes sense, given how focused the application is, as opposed to the others with much more broad coverage.)

    Admittedly, this is more of a theory-crafting issue than the others where the problems are far more clear, but it's at least something to keep an eye on.

    Grappling (Page 101): Yup, still talking about grappling. The “dragon vs half-folk” grappling example is pretty silly; there’s no reason a dragon wouldn’t opt to Brute Strength his grappling roll—even at –6, a net d12+2 will consistently beat just about any Strength or Athletics the half-folk might have. My suggestion is to only allow an attacker to grapple with Brute Strength if his target is defending in kind (this was suggested before but appears not to have made it into the final cut)—that way the dragon is forced to use Athletics to begin the grapple, but can use Brute Strength to keep the half-folk pinned once he manages to snatch the poor sod up.

    As an aside, I think that having a Shaken character end their grapple immediately—or at least force the grappler to make an immediate Spirit roll to maintain the grapple—is a well-used trope in movies. If you're stuck in the grapple and aren't able to use technique or brute force to get yourself out of the pickle, then dealing damage to the grappler (biting, knives, headbutts, etc) or scoring a raise on a Test is a great and effective way to break yourself free and should be in core.

    Growth/Shrink (Page 162): It's not clear if a character gains additional Wound Levels when they reach larger Scales, or how those function when shrinking back to normal Size if so (see this thread).

    Shape Change (Page 166): Not a design issue but a question on clarification; Shape Change has a Range of Smarts. Should this be Range Self, or can this be cast on other characters (a la polymorph)? If it can be cast on an enemy, can they resist with a Spirit roll? I think that would be a great thing to include (SW has been missing a polymorph-style power) but the current wording is unclear.

    Infravision (Page 177 and everywhere else): At the moment, Infravision seems worse than Low Light Vision in most circumstances—LLV reduces illumination penalties from –2 or –4 to zero, while Infravision reduces –2/–4/–6 to –1/–2/–3. On top of that, Infravision can be negated entirely by a target who is masking his heat signature, compared to LLV which can only be negated by magic or complete and total darkness. It might be worth changing infravision to allow it to also pierce through obscurement in general—powers (including invisibility), fogs, and just about any visual obstruction short of a solid object—if the target emanates a heat source. That makes Infravision an interesting alternative to Low Light Vision with more powerful potential that can be actively negated, while LLV isn't as broadly useful but is more consistent and very difficult to overcome.
    Last edited by DoctorBoson; 01-17-2019, 06:08 PM.

  • DoctorBoson
    commented on 's reply
    Oh, if that's the case that's very different. It should be explicit; that makes a lot more sense.

  • mattprice516
    commented on 's reply
    That's definitely closer, yeah. The new rules do mean that IF something big manages to grab something smaller, it is nigh-impossible for the small fella to break out since he's rolling his normal-range Str or Athletics vs d12+8 or whatever, so he's pretty much dead.

    Not sure if that's a "bug" or a "feature" since it honestly does seem fairly realistic (and with "swat" Dragons are super lethal without grappling anyway), but figured I'd mention it.

  • Wibbs
    replied
    Originally posted by PEGShane View Post
    Rerolls: Leaving that one too. If you succeed and want to try for a raise, you get one free "dedicated Benny", essentially.
    Ah, so where an ability states 'one free reroll' that's a per-session thing? I think that's where I was getting confused, as if that is the case then it makes a lot more sense.

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  • Nostromo
    replied
    Burrowing: I have always thought that this thing was WAY overpowered for the requirements (Novice) and PP cost. Its a total sneak attack / cheap invis + invulnerability power. I do like in this version a little bit better since they nerfed how far you can move---last version you could like insta-teleport 20 inches or something, go invis/Invulnerable then sneak attack. Crazy, wicked powerful.

    IMO, Still ultra powerful but better than deluxe. I will probably nerf it to 2 PP.

    Leave a comment:


  • Locnar
    replied
    I think this is a workable solution. Maybe The Supers companion might need some extra rule, but it usually does for a bunch of things anyway.

    Leave a comment:


  • Oneiros
    commented on 's reply
    You both pretty much re-iterated my points in my last post. Even leaving super strength aside, I don't think a d6 Str human would be able to Bind a d12 Str human. My suggestion is to disallow "Bound" as a result if the defender's Str is more than 2 steps above the attacker's Str, same as a Grapple can't be initiated by a creature 2 sizes smaller than the target.

  • PEGShane
    replied
    Okay. While this may not be perfect (the Hulk will shrug off Widow, I agree), it does bug me that you actively grapple with Strength...I think it should be Athletics...you're trying to pin, hold someone, and keep them from moving...which requires more than just brute strength. Breaking free stays as-is, and is an action. The Hulk will get a raise and be rid of Distracted and Vulnerable right away, but will be out an action. That feels like a real edge case though and maybe in Supers we can address that kind of disparity as a free action.

    For now though, I want to go with removing the Brute Strength paragraph from Grappling for 4.1. Let's play with that a while and we'll see how it's going in a week or two. That lets us keep focused on producing everything else and gets us a little bit closer to what we're all looking for.

    Thanks!

    Leave a comment:


  • DoctorBoson
    commented on 's reply
    I'd disagree with the first part of this. I think Black Widow can absolutely Test the Hulk with her Athletics—keeping him off-balance (Vulnerable), confusing him (Distracted), "twisting him up" (Shaken), and so forth—but there is no situation in which Widow could Entangle or Bind the green goliath. Hulk breaking free of such a "grapple" would absolutely not require enough effort to be considered an action; if she tried to use joint locks or pin him, she would need a miracle (or at least a very lucky roll) to overcome his raw 100+ tons of muscle strength to force him to spend an action to move again.

    The second half is totally fine, though—Hulk shouldn't be able to "grapple" with Brute Strength, that's an Athletics vs Athletics roll for him to actually land a grab.

  • ValhallaGH
    replied
    Originally posted by Locnar View Post
    Well that was probably a bad example, I more meant something with a high athletics but much lower strength.
    Think about Black Widow trying to wrestle with The Hulk.
    She'll use her skill and agility to wrap him up, keep him off balance, and generally grapple successfully. Then the Hulk will regain his mental balance, flex his absurd muscles, and take control of the grapple.
    Reverse that to The Hulk trying to wrestle Black Widow - until he gets a grip on her, his ridiculous strength is irrelevant. It's a question of how well she can dodge his attempts to grab her.

    This is why I think Brute Strength shouldn't be allowed before the initial grapple roll. Especially with the "two Size" rule already preventing half-folk from grappling ogres.

    Leave a comment:


  • PEGShane
    replied
    First Strike: Fixed.

    Leave a comment:


  • Jounichi
    replied
    First Strike needs a revisitation. The full wording on page 42 says whenever an enemy moves within reach, but the summary on page 60 uses the word "adjacent".

    Leave a comment:


  • Oneiros
    replied
    I think the root problem is that the Grapple action combines a couple of different things into a single roll. There's the initial grabbing onto the target, then there's trying to apply the hold to Entangle or Bind them. The first is relatively easy for a skilled attacker regardless of the target's Strength, and only using opposed Athletics makes sense. The latter is where making it a single roll becomes problematic, and I think is what Locnar was trying to address with his suggestion.

    A 6-year old can "grapple" me in the common language usage of the word. But they aren't going to be able to "Bind" me. "Entangle" isn't even likely, as I could still move with a small child grabbing my leg or arm. I'd be Distracted at best.

    Perhaps the rule should just be that it's not possible to get a "Bound" result on a target that's more than, say, two steps above the attacker in Strength?

    This echoes the existing rule of an attacker not being able to grapple a target more than 2 Sizes larger than itself. And it handles Super Strength characters fighting each other. Some exceptions may apply, at the GM's discretion, as usual (A Giant Worm might be able to Bind a Dragon by the nature of it's body shape. Snake-like, multi-limb, tentacled creatures, etc. could have a Special Ability that allows Binding creatures 4 steps above them in Strength.)

    And if it wasn't clear, I still think just using opposed Athletics for the initial action, then Athletics or Strength -2 for maintaining/breaking free is the way to go.
    Last edited by Oneiros; 01-18-2019, 08:13 PM.

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  • Philipp
    commented on 's reply
    Here just a new idea to think about: Make breaking free a free action. It could end up be something like this:

    Make the initial Grappling Roll Athletics vs. Athletics only.

    Breaking free now is a free action. The victim can choose Strength or Athletics. The grappler has to roll the same. On a success, the victim is Entangled and looses all actions for this turn. On a raise, he is free and can act normally.

    The result is that you can grapple something really strong or really big (i.e. hold on to it and distract it in a way) but come its turn it will break free and not loose an action. If it is clear that the victim will break free, you can think of it as a special form of Test where the normal results is always Distracted (from the Entangled and only until the beginning of the next turn), on a raise it is Distracted and Vulnerable (from Bound) instead of Shaken.

    I would also say that Shaken should at least have a chance to break a grapple.

  • DoctorBoson
    commented on 's reply
    That's the main hurdle I've had trouble overcoming as well, but I can't think of a clean way to cover the problematic cases otherwise, at least not without changing Opposed Rolls to start with the defender instead of the attacker (which is too much in my mind).
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