TMD- and buffing

Discussion on game mastering Earthdawn. May contain spoilers; caution is recommended!
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The Undying
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Re: TMD- and buffing

Post by The Undying » Fri Aug 04, 2017 12:34 am

Thanks, Mataxes. Personally, I like the idea of "guaranteed minimum success" for situations like this. I'm also fond of "simple success": if time is not an issue (so, can't be done in combat minimally), and/or your test Step is at least equal to the difficulty, then you can take a single success without performing the test (but still pay any required String, karma, etc).

For what it's worth, I'd like to take this opportunity to emphasis the value of 'sanctioned' optional/alternate rules. Some people/tables are very house-rule adverse but are willing to adopt 'sanctioned' optional/alternate rules, especially when printed. Having it in print, or a designer's seal of approval (even via brief forum post), makes it feel safer or reasonable, implying that it has been sufficiently weighed from a pro/con perspective or has been evaluated within the designer's intention for the universe/system.

Should that really matter? Not really - people should play how they feel best, even if it alters (or even breaks) the published material. However, some people feel rules are a bit more sacrosanct, so 'sanctioned' alternates/options allow them to tweak things to their liking while still feeling within the rules.

Anyways, glad there'll be a section in the Companion dedicated to optional/alternate rules. Super stoked that TMD adjustment to willing targets is one of them. Also, I'd love to see a locked sticky on one of the forums where Mataxes/Panda/etc -approved optional/alternate rules could be easily posted and found.

(Why the post? I actually floated both the "guaranteed success" and "simple success" to my ED GM to address some TMD-related problems, got shot down on both because it didn't feel in keeping with the intent of the system by eliminating the risk)

PiXeL01
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Re: TMD- and buffing

Post by PiXeL01 » Fri Aug 04, 2017 2:07 am

Please ignore this unintended post
Last edited by PiXeL01 on Fri Aug 04, 2017 2:17 am, edited 1 time in total.

PiXeL01
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Re: TMD- and buffing

Post by PiXeL01 » Fri Aug 04, 2017 2:16 am

Mataxes wrote:
Fri Aug 04, 2017 12:18 am
It just occurred to me that another - and pretty easy - way to handle it is to use a mechanic already in place for a few talents.

Against a willing target, buff spells go against the target MD, but always score at least one success. This allows the good rolls to still be good and provide bonuses, but doesn't penalize bad ones.
So a caster is always his own willing target, but does that open up for all magic that round?

Based on the quote an optional rule / house rule could be that group members are always considered willing targets as long as they are connected by a group pattern.
As far as I understand this would only affect beneficial spells as the weave "knows" when a member of a pattern is working in the group's interest. That would mean that turncoats cannot abuse it.

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The Undying
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Re: TMD- and buffing

Post by The Undying » Fri Aug 04, 2017 2:35 am

Sounds like Mataxes, et al, are still discussing how it could shake out, so we'll have to see what they come up with. IMHO, something is better than nothing, so anything that comes out of those discussions will be most welcome. :)

My opinion? Out of combat willingness is easy to address, willingness inside of combat is a hot mess. My preference for simplicity would just be to say that a target cannot be "willing" during combat, period, just because of the chaotic nature in combat and the multitude of things that must be managed. Allowance can easily be made for the magician targeting self, but it should be a modifier for the turn (e.g., something like lower MD by 3 and hope you don't take a Mystic-targeting ability to the face that turn) reflecting the fact that the magician can't simultaneously allow beneficial magic easily while also guarding against harmful magic in that mere 6 second window. Allowance for non-self targets to lower MD gets weird and relies on either meta-gaming or a weird hyper-aware perception on the character's part. I'd be okay with a magician shouting to a friendly that they're about to cast a spell and then allow that friendly to lower MD in the next round (for all effects, similar to what the magician self-targeting could do). However, they've just telegraphed what is about to happen and NPCs should take advantage of that if possible.

Again, though, that's just my opinion. My primary pain point is the negative affect high TMD has outside of combat when the magician is trying to do interesting things but can't get them to land. Anyways, I look forward to seeing what comes out of the designers on the topic when their optional rule takes shape.

Calamrin
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Re: TMD- and buffing

Post by Calamrin » Fri Aug 04, 2017 1:37 pm

Yep Undying, im sure i will encounter it, but its our wizard who tries a lot of interesting stuff out of combat feels the TMD issue.

Anyhow our GM is going to go with Mataxes idea.

Thats for out of combat, or buff prepping before if have chance.

In combat...well buffs are few and far between...better things to do in the thick of it...but with that rule the self only ones stick....and to be honest on most non casters you can cast and not need to worry about it not landing too much.

So is a happy simple solution, that will get reviewed when the companion comes out)

Dougansf
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Re: TMD- and buffing

Post by Dougansf » Fri Aug 04, 2017 2:17 pm

The Undying wrote:
Fri Aug 04, 2017 2:35 am
My preference for simplicity would just be to say that a target cannot be "willing" during combat, period, just because of the chaotic nature in combat and the multitude of things that must be managed.
As a LARPer, my perspective on this is highly skewed to the opposite.

It is entirely possible to keep track of fighting opponents in your face, at the same time that allies are touching you and calling out incants for beneficial spells which you need to Accept through your spell protection, lest the spell be wasted, and the fighter left vulnerable to spell-fire.

Whatever the ruling is, I see no reason to change it depending on in or out of combat. K.I.S.

Calamrin
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Re: TMD- and buffing

Post by Calamrin » Fri Aug 04, 2017 3:00 pm

it all depends on if a round is 6 seconds, is that broken down to increments.

I would have thought using a free action to yell appropriate word at casting enough to let it work.

But then is that unfair to drop for a split second...or should it drop for round

Its at this point it gets a bit messy in interpretation

I imagine we will go for simpler version, and not apply in combat... not that its my call!!

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The Undying
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Re: TMD- and buffing

Post by The Undying » Sat Aug 05, 2017 1:17 am

@Calamrin

If you look at Combat Options, there's a general principle that a choice which affects tests and defenses for your action are declared at the top of the round. Otherwise, many of the options would essentially bestow their benefit but not their penalty for those acting late in the initiative order.

My concept is based around a combat option. Since declaration is required at the top of the round, there's no way for a magician to tell others that they're going to cast a spell in the same round as those others should use the combat option to lower their MD (without meta-gaming, that is). So, yes, speaking is a free action, but it doesn't avoid the other timing issue.

@Dougansf

The perspective you're providing is based on visual acuity and touch. Both of those really go out the window in TRPG combat for a "roleplaying" perspective.

Ever been in a brawl (not a one-on-one fight)? Sans brawl, ever been in a mosh pit? Sans either of those, ever been in a crowded train or bus? Any of those are closer to an ED combat analogy than LARP'ing, IMHO (speaking only to the LARPing I've experienced - can't speak for your experience, obviously :) ). It's really hard to keep track of what everyone is doing, despite the meta-perspective that we as players get compared to our characters. Plus, all of that is only on the physical realm. Arguably, a well trained fighter can react to jostles and blows with a glance to determine if its friend or foe and thus react accordingly, but even that goes wrong often enough. In comparison, some ethereal energy pressing into this thing that is your pattern likely is much harder to determine if friend or foe before it actually takes hold (but who knows, we don't have a good analog).

I'm not trying to play elitism (a la, I've been/done X and therefore am better able to speak on the matter), just offering a different perspective. I try to trim down on meta-gaming, especially for combat. Others don't. Neither is right or wrong, but it plays entirely differently. In the latter case, though, combat is closer to playing a boardgame with control of your piece, so yes, you have significantly more information about friend and foe locations and actions that otherwise, in which case yes, I'd agree, it'd pretty easy to distinguish friendly spells from enemy spells. In the former, though, it's really hard.

We already have a few ED components that differentiate between in combat and out of combat. Especially if out of combat is condensed down to one or two sentences, which is likely all it needs, I don't think having different rules for in and out of combat would be overly burdensome.

Dougansf
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Re: TMD- and buffing

Post by Dougansf » Mon Aug 07, 2017 5:08 pm

The Undying wrote:
Sat Aug 05, 2017 1:17 am
The perspective you're providing is based on visual acuity and touch. Both of those really go out the window in TRPG combat for a "roleplaying" perspective.
I keep forgetting that LARP is a very broad term, and not everyone thinks of it the way I do. Most of this post will be explaining in more detail. Apologies for the tangent from the OP.

The LARPs I play are more audible acuity than visual. We often play all night, till dawn, in the woods, in whatever kind of weather New England throws at us. I've fought in near-zero visibility multiple times. What becomes more important is hearing the damage/effects being called and feeling the contact of the strike.
The Undying wrote:
Sat Aug 05, 2017 1:17 am
Ever been in a brawl (not a one-on-one fight)? Sans brawl, ever been in a mosh pit? Sans either of those, ever been in a crowded train or bus? Any of those are closer to an ED combat analogy than LARP'ing, IMHO (speaking only to the LARPing I've experienced - can't speak for your experience, obviously :) ).
Yes to all.
The T is especially close to ED combat right after a Bruins game. :)

In the LARPs I play, OOG physicality and perception are a major factor in how well you perform in the game. Team cooperation is also vital. Fights are rarely 1:1, small group adventures are most often 6-10 PC's. Field battles are often the entire game fighting at once (80-300 PC's).
The Undying wrote:
Sat Aug 05, 2017 1:17 am
It's really hard to keep track of what everyone is doing, despite the meta-perspective that we as players get compared to our characters. Plus, all of that is only on the physical realm. Arguably, a well trained fighter can react to jostles and blows with a glance to determine if its friend or foe and thus react accordingly, but even that goes wrong often enough. In comparison, some ethereal energy pressing into this thing that is your pattern likely is much harder to determine if friend or foe before it actually takes hold (but who knows, we don't have a good analog).
Depending on your role, you can keep track of quite a bit. Fighters tend to narrow focus to the people directly in front and beside them. Offensive casters often keep a broad view, watching the enemies for key players (enemy healers or bosses), and then narrow focus down upon them. Healers (being more reactionary) can broaden a bit, keeping good track of 3-5 allies in front of them, and the enemies they're fighting, and keep an eye on the battle at large. Throw in some good communication, and they work very well together.

I know of one team who developed a system that told the fighter what spell he was being given, depending on where the healer touched him on the back.

As for the clarity of which spells are good/bad: we have verbals that inform the target what the effect is. The verbal must happen before the effect is launched. This gives you a chance to dodge out of the way (considered your passive defense), or use some spell protection skill (active defense).
The Undying wrote:
Sat Aug 05, 2017 1:17 am
We already have a few ED components that differentiate between in combat and out of combat. Especially if out of combat is condensed down to one or two sentences, which is likely all it needs, I don't think having different rules for in and out of combat would be overly burdensome.
What components are you thinking of? The only ones that springs to mind is Fireblood must be used in combat, and other Recovery rolls happen after strenuous activity (combat) is over.

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Re: TMD- and buffing

Post by The Undying » Tue Aug 08, 2017 1:02 am

Man, that sounds fun. =) Sounds like you're describing something closer to Knights of Badassdom (fun movie), whereas most of my LARP experience has been World of Darkness.

I'd honestly have to look through the source books to craft a list of in/out combat stuff, and I'm not sure it's really worth the effort. The one "I act differently in/out of combat" that I definitely recall is the Healing Grove spell. The spell is about a 1-2 paragraph of effect description, along with the standard Extra Threads block. However, in the effect description, there's a simple sentence that says, effectively, "When used out of combat, this spell heals 1 [IIRC] damage per round and does not benefit from extra threads."

That, IMHO, would be a good template for the optional rule to lower MD. ~1 paragraph describing how it works in combat (because, for me, that's the Hard part about this), accompanied by a single sentence that effectively says "Outside of combat, a creature can opt to lower their MD [by whatever] for any test in which they are targeted."

As a side note, that "for any test in which they are targeted" is significant. Spells are ONE problem area for high MD characters, but it isn't the ONLY problem area. I'd prefer to see an optional rule that is general purpose lowering of MD for an effect/test, not one specific to spells. That might require a different solution (e.g., designers might prefer a "you can take a simple success, no extra successes) since it occurs more broadly and risks generating more successes in more places, but I feel it's necessary (e.g., it really sucks as a Summoner rocking 15+ MD trying to get a spirit that can even get you A SINGLE success on an Enhance/Aid test).

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