Karma: 1st edition vs 4th

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Cosmic55
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Karma: 1st edition vs 4th

Post by Cosmic55 » Sun Sep 30, 2018 1:18 am

Old GM taking a glance at the QuickStart, with a question about how karma plays.

In first edition, trolls were more powerful than windlings in the average round. When something was very important, however, and they both spent karma to boost the effort then the windling was the one to put your money on. Even if you wanted to play a bruiser, your ork had a certain edge on your troll because if they needed to they could burn through karma and be quite impressive (but of course, some people always wanted to play the troll or obsidiman LoL).

In our groups, having a d8 or even d10 vs a d4 was a gleeful part of not playing the troll or obsidiman.

My initial thought reading that now everyone has a d6 but some races have a larger pool is that some races can be slightly more impressive more often than others. I haven't played the new game, though. In actual play, does this feel like it levels the field between the races? Or is there some other factor I'm not aware of pertaining to this?

Thanks in advance!

Slimcreeper
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Re: Karma: 1st edition vs 4th

Post by Slimcreeper » Sun Sep 30, 2018 12:25 pm

I think globally the races are more even, with the changes to Karma as well as the changes to how Attributes are calculated. Plus refilling for free cuts down on book keeping and encourages everyone to use it more freely.

I still think the bigs should have a bit more of a mechanical advantage in melee & unarmed combat than they do across all editions, because of reach & leverage, but that's neither here nor there.

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etherial
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Re: Karma: 1st edition vs 4th

Post by etherial » Sun Sep 30, 2018 5:30 pm

My Ork or Dwarf PC spends Karma at basically every opportunity. My Troll spends it quite sparingly. The Trolls and Obsidimen are a slow burn, chugging away at a slightly lower effective step for most of the fight, but they never run out of steam. There reaches a point in big boss battles where the Ork just can't afford to spend Karma anymore and the Troll is still carving chunks off of the bad guys with the best of them.

Bonhumm
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Re: Karma: 1st edition vs 4th

Post by Bonhumm » Sun Sep 30, 2018 5:38 pm

Karma purpose is to provide a way to 'push' the roll higher for very important things.

In the previous editions you had so many issues with the whole karma thing that I have seen whole groups just completely ignore the mechanics:

- having to keep track of how much you have left
- having to keep track of how many per day you could get back
- having to keep track of the LP expenditure
- having to keep track of which Talent could use Karma and which could not
- keeping track of which dice to use
- leveling up Karma Ritual as a Talent
- plus all the fun with the 'require karma'

was nightmarish.

Furthermore, for someone who would actually go through the hassle of doing all this, the karma pool was so big that the whole purpose of 'emergency bonus' was a joke, burning 20-30 karma in a single (boss) fight was common.

Thus, I think the new mechanics of:

- Karma ritual no longer being a Talent
- No LP costs
- Refill completely every time you do the ritual
- Works on ALL talents (except Versatility which I kinda agree with)
- Having a MUCH smaller pool of Karma

makes it, I think, more in line with what 'karma' should be and streamlined the mechanic immensely. I *think* I would have kept the 'different dice for every species' to reflect the fact that some race are more 'connected' to magic than others but hey, no biggie.

ChrisDDickey
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Re: Karma: 1st edition vs 4th

Post by ChrisDDickey » Sun Sep 30, 2018 8:41 pm

OP's first impression is right on the money.

Back in 1st edition I played a windling beastmaster who's melee body count was usually just a hair below our troll warriors, mainly due to big cheap karma, plus he had all those cool beastmaster powers. Now that windlings don't get bigger karma cheaper, I feel that a lot of the shine has gone off being a windling trying to compete in a STR discipline. Windlings, in my opinion, still have a slight advantage in spellcasting disciplines, but have fewer ways to make up their disadvantages in melee disciplines where stronger races will be much more dominate now.

But in general, yes, I feel that the races are more balanced now, with just about any race being able to put up effective examples of any discipline.

ragbasti
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Re: Karma: 1st edition vs 4th

Post by ragbasti » Mon Oct 01, 2018 8:02 am

ChrisDDickey wrote:
Sun Sep 30, 2018 8:41 pm
OP's first impression is right on the money.

Back in 1st edition I played a windling beastmaster who's melee body count was usually just a hair below our troll warriors, mainly due to big cheap karma, plus he had all those cool beastmaster powers. Now that windlings don't get bigger karma cheaper, I feel that a lot of the shine has gone off being a windling trying to compete in a STR discipline. Windlings, in my opinion, still have a slight advantage in spellcasting disciplines, but have fewer ways to make up their disadvantages in melee disciplines where stronger races will be much more dominate now.

But in general, yes, I feel that the races are more balanced now, with just about any race being able to put up effective examples of any discipline.
Yeah, windlings suffered in close combat, but I would say less so because of the new karma die. The main problem for windlings is that they cannot go for armor ignoring hits as easily anymore by having he highest dex.
At the same time, armour on a windling is more important than ever, if you want to get up close. So a warrior is probably the best discipline for a fighter type windling, having the most initiative boosting talents early on.

But high circle windlings have no problem of keeping up with other races in close combat. It's just that getting there is a bit harder.
Once you get you damage boosting talent, everything balances out again.

But this is also where ED4 shines. Players now have talent options, so a Troll Warrior will most likely look very different to a Dwarf or Windling Warrior. You get all these options for different play styles, defensive vs offensive, smarts vs brawn.

Overall, I feel that the karma changes have been very beneficial for the game experience. It makes it much more manageable for system newbies.
Karma is now something that people need to save up for important situations, at least early on in play. For me, this helps underline how special of a resource it is. Later on, people can be a bit more generous with their spending.
Windlings just get to use their Karma more than others, which also helps them stand out more often. Their Karma isn't better anymore, but they will still tell you that it is ;)

PS:
I just remembered that splitting movement is a thing. For taking 1 strain and becoming harried (-2 def & -2 actions tests ), Windlings are pretty much untouchable in close combat, unless someone beats them in initiative. They have a movement rate of 16 while flying, giving them easily enough height after every attack to be out of range for follow-ups. (A circle 9 warrior can also ignore getting Harried completely, thanks to their discipline ability)

Bonhumm
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Re: Karma: 1st edition vs 4th

Post by Bonhumm » Mon Oct 01, 2018 10:37 am

ragbasti wrote:
Mon Oct 01, 2018 8:02 am
I just remembered that splitting movement is a thing. For taking 1 strain and becoming harried (-2 def & -2 actions tests ), Windlings are pretty much untouchable in close combat, unless someone beats them in initiative. They have a movement rate of 16 while flying, giving them easily enough height after every attack to be out of range for follow-ups. (A circle 9 warrior can also ignore getting Harried completely, thanks to their discipline ability)
You pretty much re-invented the Windmaster Discipline. That's why I can't wait for those Disciplines to have a 4ED 'treatment'.

Aegharan
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Re: Karma: 1st edition vs 4th

Post by Aegharan » Sat Dec 22, 2018 9:50 pm

Bonhumm wrote:
Mon Oct 01, 2018 10:37 am
That's why I can't wait for those Disciplines to have a 4ED 'treatment'.
Not official, but working well: http://pandagaminggrove.blogspot.com/p/ ... n.html?m=1

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