Rank Bonuses vs +2 per Success Bonuses

Discussion on the Earthdawn game line, errata, and feedback not related to playing or GMing.
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Lys
Posts: 177
Joined: Sun Dec 11, 2016 4:00 am

Rank Bonuses vs +2 per Success Bonuses

Post by Lys » Thu Jan 05, 2017 1:08 pm

There are a lot of talents - such as Avoid Blow and Winning Smile - that originally would give a bonus equal to their Rank, but in ED4 just give you a bonus of +2 per success. It seems to me that the former bonus is much more powerful than the latter, and i am concerned that this may make many Disciplines feel a lot weaker. To put some numbers to this, consider an Adept with Charisma Step 6 and Winning Smile Rank 6, for a total of Step 12 (2d10) going up against a Social Defence of 10. Now under the original rules this would mean the Adept would get a +6 bonus to her Interaction Tests 64% of the time, and no bonus the other 36% of the time. Under the new rules the Adept chances are 36% of no bonus, 36% of +2, 16% of +4, 7% of +6, and a 5% of +8. So in ED4 your performance is the same 43% of the time, worse 52% of the time, and better 5% of the time.

Now one other difference in ED4 compared to prior editions is that Karma is much more widely available and easy to use, so our Adept likely to spend Karma on her Winning Smile tests than she was in prior editions. If she uses Karma the Adept's chances are 13% of no bonus, 32% of +2, 28% of +4, 15% of +6, and 12% of +8 or more. This makes ED4 the same 28% of the time, worse 37% of the time, and better 35% of the time. So even spending Karma, this does not seem like a good trade-off to me. Does anyone have any thoughts on the subject? In particular i'm interested in the opinions of people who have actually played ED4 and how the bonuses feel in play compared to earlier editions.

saryakan
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Joined: Fri Dec 02, 2016 6:03 pm

Re: Rank Bonuses vs +2 per Success Bonuses

Post by saryakan » Tue Jan 10, 2017 3:27 pm

After GMing an ED4 Group for over a year now I can confidently say that especially past the first few circles the powerniveau seems a bit lower, but more consistent.
One of our biggest complains about older editions always was that they felt EXTREMELY swingy and you either did nothing or did ridiculously over the top well.
ED4 - while maybe sacrificing a bit of the overall powerlevel - achieves a much more consistent playing experience while still allowing for the rare exceptionaly extreme successes that pair well with the theme of legendary heroes.

Also at least for combat one has to account for the fact that A LOT of Talents, that took a full round back then now only take a free Action. (E.g. Maneuver)

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Loba
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Re: Rank Bonuses vs +2 per Success Bonuses

Post by Loba » Fri Jan 13, 2017 7:22 am

Lys wrote: In particular i'm interested in the opinions of people who have actually played ED4 and how the bonuses feel in play compared to earlier editions.
ED4 feels better.

The +2 bonus really helps without being overwhelming.

The karma is abundant and readily available yet can get sucked dry quickly.

I'm not certain if you've looked at how fast a Warrior or Archer can unleash Karma... but is is FAST.

Assuming a character of 5th Circle - 20 Karma, and an Archer who uses Avoid Blow on an attack (+1K) and fires off a Missile Weapon shot (+1K) using Mystic Aim (+1K) and True Shot (up to +5K) on a highly armored target so also uses Spot Armor Flow (+1K) and then augments the damage (+1K). The archer has potentially used 10 karma in one round. Two rounds and they are bone dry of juju. Those two rounds were probably spectacular, heroic and inspiring. A fight not always over in two rounds and now what? :)

It really works quite well. And the ability to get even more +2 bonuses by getting a higher roll inspires players to pour on the Karma when appropriate.

I've GMed it quite a bit and played it (my friend actually owns the ED4 books) and find it superior, relatively balanced while allowing for the spikes of awe inspiring heroics here and there.

I do sometimes miss the ED1 D4 and levels of truly impossible Horrors. But ED4 has fairly impossible Horrors and that is just my nostalgia speaking. You know, these youngsters now-a-days. ;)

~ Loba

Lys
Posts: 177
Joined: Sun Dec 11, 2016 4:00 am

Re: Rank Bonuses vs +2 per Success Bonuses

Post by Lys » Sun Jan 22, 2017 10:17 pm

Thank you both for your input. It's nice to hear that while the mechanics feel more natural even if they're less powerful than before. Part of my concern was that at higher circles the bonuses would just no longer be large enough to be worth having, but your comments suggest that is not the case, and that's good. Personally i think i generally prefer the higher power level you got from straight Rank bonuses, particularly because it was very satisfying to get huge rolls from stacking large bonuses ( Winning Smile + Lasting Impression was hilarious at high ranks). However, so long as the new approach toward bonuses works and you still feel lke you're still improving by going up the the ranks, it's not a huge deal.

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