Beastmaster 12th Circle Discipline Talent issue

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DunKalar
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Re: Beastmaster 12th Circle Discipline Talent issue

Post by DunKalar » Mon Jun 07, 2021 4:05 pm

I think the general design problem is to introduce Talents that do not "feel" to be beneficial to increase during your adventure. E.g. if it "feels" like to lean the way that you stop trying to gamble for like 4-5 hits with your Claw Frenzy at a cost of 8-9 points of strain at higher Circle adventures and you "have to settle down" for "just" 2 attacks, then why include Claw Frenzy at all? If you have Claw Frenzy and Momentum Attack in your Talent-Portfolio, which substitute for each other to a certain degree and consume significant amounts of your Legend Points, that can already be bought as Journeyman Talent by several Disciplines, it feels a bit like wasting your Legend Points.

The same is true e.g. for the Elementalist Talent Options. Using Navigation as a Journeyman Option is not as strong as Cold Purify or something. Navigation is identical for Talent or Skill use. You can just raise it way faster. Though you rarely need Navigation Ranks of 8+ if you read through the suggested difficulty numbers. So it is usually way more advantageous if you spend those weeks for learning a skill and chose a Talent that grants you abilities that normal skills cannot instead of skipping those few weeks of adventuring time. Burning your hard earned Legend Points for a Talent you just usually do not receive any "worthwhile" benefit for after a certain rank is just a flaw in design.

To me, this whole topic here reads like the dev's did lose faith in the efficiency of a Talent like Claw Frenzy. Why should I not use "just" four attacks? Or maybe four? The answers here read like everyone in playtesting automatically chose to call for twelve attacks :D. A Circle 12 Beast Master has 12*8/7 + regular Toughness = around 128/110 Hit Points. You can run quadruple attacks for a long while. If you look at enemies that are ranked as Circle Twelve Challenge or something between nine and eleven, they usually hit you with a base damage of around Step 30. I am pretty sure that most players are willing to gamble 5 points of strain or something like that for a few rounds to burst down these enemies instead of risking further rounds of several Step 30+ hits - which will usually result in more than "just" five points of damage :).

Another problem like this is the Seventh Circle Discipline Talent of Down Strike. Since your Beastmaster is rarely riding a beast all the time or is rarely a Troll or Obsidiman (at least based on the game world design), you always have to throw in a Great Leap or something Talent, effectively making it flat out a 2 Point of Strain cost Talent for you to use. So you either need an Elementalist to always grant you Metal Wings or stuff, or you have to live with being forced to eat "free" Strain like hell to just jump up and down like a maniac. I House Ruled to switch Down Strike with Iron Constitution for my Beastmasters.

The fact that the Companion does not include a single spell description for the Spellcasting Disciplines leaves the impression, that the book / design progress for Warden/Master Tier is unfinished and has been published prematurely. Thus it seems that playing as warden+ Adepts will demand a lot of House Rules to include stuff from older editions or you will not really be able to play Spellcasters. Therefore, I suggest to speak with your GM to see if Momentum Attack is a suitable Talent for your Beastmaster in the campaign he is telling, or if you take something more generic for it, e.g. from within the Warden Talent Options Pool.

I really hope that this Part of the Rules will be expanded and rounded up soon so we can explore the High End content of our beloved Game :D.

Lots of stuff to do in Barsaive ;-)

Belenus
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Re: Beastmaster 12th Circle Discipline Talent issue

Post by Belenus » Mon Jun 07, 2021 7:19 pm

I can only continue to agree with the arguments regarding Momentum Attack and Claw Frenzy.

And yes, I wouldn't chose Navigation as a Journeyman Talent either, but perhaps somebody will. And I find it actually quite relieving that I don't have to chose between 10 Talent Options which all are great and I can "only" learn 4 of them.

The problem with Down Strike + Great Leap I can't understand. Just 2 strain for a lot of damage more is nothing I would complain about. Actually I find Great Leap as a Talent extremely strong and it is a must learn when I play a Character with Versatility. If I then can combine it with Down Strike, even better.
What bothers me more here is that you can add Down Strike only to the first attack (it's not written this way in the description, but it just doesn't make any sense for me to add it to each attack in one round, just how long do you want to fall down to the enemy and benefit from the momentum.. btw being a Troll or Obsidiman is not enough to use Down Strike, but there is a discussion about this topic already - and you forgot about Windlings :D), which does not really feel right with Claw Fanzy. Sure, if you fail to hit with the second or later attack, you still can do a lot of damage with the first one, but Claw Frenzy is already the most powerfull Talent there is, increasing the average damage of the Beastmaster already far higher than each other discipline, so there should be some more drawbacks than just a few strain.

Regarding the spells for Casters: They definitely are missing and a lot of people are waiting for them, but this too has been discussed in a lot of threads already. With the new spellsystem, the additional threads and successes, it is not as easy to design new spells / change the existing ones to 4E. But Panda is working on it untiringly and we hopefully will have them soon with the upcoming Magic: Deeper Secrets at the end of this year.

Sharkforce
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Re: Beastmaster 12th Circle Discipline Talent issue

Post by Sharkforce » Mon Jun 07, 2021 7:33 pm

it is also worth noting that with the new spell system, lower circle spells stay valid for a lot longer.

I won't say I never use my higher circle spells, but I will say that I still use my novice tier spells more often than journeyman.

DunKalar
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Re: Beastmaster 12th Circle Discipline Talent issue

Post by DunKalar » Thu Jun 10, 2021 3:54 pm

Of course it is a very splendid improvement from old editions that you can apply your lower circle spells far longer since the new system. And of course, Great Leap is a strong talent. But compared to e.g. Crushing Blow, Down Strike is ALWAYS worse. You are either riding your companion and can "Down Strike" your enemy, getting you the same effect as Crushing Blow. Or you are limited by your environment (because you cannot jump around enough), having to take additional strain or whatever. I do not say that Down Strike is bad in itself. But just arguing, that you can take it earlier than a Discipline that can take Crushing Blow two Circles later just makes it "feel" worthless. I mean your talent is ALWAYS inferior to Crushing Blow, since you always have more limitations or a higher toll to pay for getting the same effect. My Players from several rounds got regularly frustrated by this. So I think it should all be fused to Crushing Blow as single option, or you should kick in some extras like +2 Steps in Damage, a Bonus on Knock-Down-Chances if you cause a Wound or whatever. Just something to make this Talent "unique" and not just "the inferior brother to Crushing Blow".

The way I read the rules is that you can actually apply Claw Shape to both Momentum Attacks. You just have to pay the strain again for the second attack and have a separate Damage Roll. The rules clearly state, that you can use Crushing Blow on each attack separately. And your attack is done with your Hands - which are still attached to your same arm :D. Otherwise imagine the Beast Master to give their opponent a good old left - right combo as a Momentum Attack with a Claw on each hand but the Weapon being actually yourself :-). if you stumble about the idea that your Claw might shape back into your hand after the damage is done and your "weapon is gone", take Claw Tool as a Knack, which will let you keep your Claw activated for minutes of joyful splatter :D.

Sharkforce
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Re: Beastmaster 12th Circle Discipline Talent issue

Post by Sharkforce » Thu Jun 10, 2021 6:28 pm

I think crushing blow being better than down strike is deliberate. it's kinda the point; the warrior does fighting well, and everything else is pretty much secondary to that. they get the best damage replacement talent because fighting is their focus, and while they can add a little bit other than fighting to their toolbox they're never really going to be great at it.

down strike is supposed to require setup, it encourages playing to the discipline's concept; a pouncing beastmaster or a sky raider dropping down on their enemies from above. same with surprise strike; air sailors get surprise strike not because it is supposed to be equivalent to crushing blow, but because it emphasizes the way they cooperate. thieves get surprise strike for the theme of fighting when they have an unfair advantage. add in the fact that an air sailor is exceptionally strong in social scenarios, thieves and beastmasters get exceptional mobility and stealth, and sky raiders get some leadership/buff/debuff elements in their toolbox, and frankly I'm perfectly fine with warriors having the damage replacement talent that requires no setup.

also, no idea where you got the idea that anyone was saying you can't claw shape multiple attacks. someone was suggesting that down strike on a beastmaster multiple times per round feels a bit strange (personally, I would think of it like a cat pouncing on top of something and tearing into it from above), but as far as I can tell not a single person remotely suggested claw shape was limited in that way.

the problem people have with momentum attack is not claw shape, it is claw *frenzy*, which explicitly does not combine with any other talent that gives extra attacks.

Belenus
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Re: Beastmaster 12th Circle Discipline Talent issue

Post by Belenus » Thu Jun 10, 2021 7:20 pm

DunKalar wrote:
Thu Jun 10, 2021 3:54 pm
..., or you should kick in some extras like +2 Steps in Damage, a Bonus on Knock-Down-Chances if you cause a Wound or whatever. Just something to make this Talent "unique" and not just "the inferior brother to Crushing Blow".
This is why some of them get Thunderstruck ;)
Step: Rank + STR + Weapon Size Action: Free
Strain: 1 Skill Use: No
The adept empowers their blows with the force of the storm. A wave of
thunder emanates from the attack, tossing opponents aside as leaves in the
wind. Once per turn, if an Attack test benefitting from Charge or Down Strike
is successful, opponents adjacent to the adept and their target must make a
Knockdown test against a difficulty equal to the Thunderstruck Step.

DunKalar
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Re: Beastmaster 12th Circle Discipline Talent issue

Post by DunKalar » Fri Jun 11, 2021 3:59 pm

Sharkforce wrote:
Thu Jun 10, 2021 6:28 pm
I think crushing blow being better than down strike is deliberate. it's kinda the point; the warrior does fighting well, and everything else is pretty much secondary to that. they get the best damage replacement talent because fighting is their focus, and while they can add a little bit other than fighting to their toolbox they're never really going to be great at it.
To me, the Warrior is best because he hast the strongest overall portfolio of melee oriented skills. He will most likely win initiative, buff himself with anticipate blow / maneuver continue with a first strong attack that will knock you down due to waterfall slam, which is followed with a swift kick / second air dance attack / whatever. That's the Warrior is so superior compared to a Weapon Smith or Beast Master. It should - imho - not be decided by making one talent superior to another that the other Disciplines get.

Furthermore, a flaw in Down Strike is the point that e.g. you do not need to jump down on your opponent if you are a Troll hitting on Dwarves or if you are a Windling who can fly, while making it far more difficult for Dwarves. IF you just want to use Down Strike as it was mentioned for a Sky Raider when jumping down on his opponent or a Beastmaster Pouncing his Opponent - that could as well be exchanged with Cobra Strike then. I think it is unrealistic to always jump up and down during combat - most Martial Artist Trainers will teach you that, because jumping around makes you ignore your stable footing and thus making it much more easier to knock you down.

And @ Belenus: Yeah, that Knack is really nice. But again I think a Talent should not only get interesting by getting Talent Knacks :D.

I remain with my opinion. If you do include Down Strike, give it some reasonable buffs or switch it with Crushing Blow or another generic Talent from the Journeyman Talent Pool :-).

Sharkforce
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Re: Beastmaster 12th Circle Discipline Talent issue

Post by Sharkforce » Fri Jun 11, 2021 4:18 pm

I don't think down strike is supposed to work automatically for trolls vs dwarves. it is also unclear whether it is supposed to work for windlings flying above their target (is a flying windling in a sufficiently stable position? that's never really stated explicitly, the GM will have to decide).

in any event, everyone that gets down strike is also given something to allow them to activate it. I'm not seeing the problem.

and why shouldn't it be decided by one discipline getting a superior talent to what other disciplines get? a discipline getting a superior version of an ability isn't that uncommon. wizards get to use astral sight without a strain cost and in a 360 degree arc. shamans get to use lifesight the same way. claw shape is almost entirely a superior body control, impressive display is basically a superior winning smile (and were it not for the duration, empathic sense would basically be a superior version of both of them... and arguably, still is for the most part as it does a lot more). inspire others is a vastly superior buff to tactics or battle bellow. once you get into the warden ranks, you start getting talents that stack with lower tier talents making them essentially a superior version of that talent as compared to anyone that doesn't get the same stacking talent.

it isn't unusual.

DunKalar
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Re: Beastmaster 12th Circle Discipline Talent issue

Post by DunKalar » Thu Jun 17, 2021 3:41 pm

I think that there is a difference in your examples and your theory :-)

If a Wizard uses Astral Sense to increase his Astral Sight, he will get a superior Astral Sight, yes. But you can prevent him from casting it or make it more difficult for him. He even has to spend an action to buff himself. That is different to just a superior Talent.

Winning Smile can be done without being as "flashy" as Impressive Display. Maybe you do not want to show your cards on being an adept early. So depending on the circumstances, either talent has an advantage in my opinion.

Claw shape is also visible and my give away to many information or even scare some simpler NPC depending on how your GM plays "your world" in comparison to Body Control. The latter is more subtle, which can have benefits in regards to deception.

So it is not the same as the comparison of Crushing Blow and Down Strike create exactly the same but have a vast difference in application requirements.

Sharkforce
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Re: Beastmaster 12th Circle Discipline Talent issue

Post by Sharkforce » Thu Jun 17, 2021 5:33 pm

most of that sounds like pretty extremely situational and trivial uses to me.

whether astral sense is a spell or not, it still gives the wizard vastly superior access to the astral sight talent than others.

your adept is probably walking around in forged armour, carrying a forged weapon, probably has several thread items, might have several common magic items, and is quite possibly literally so famous that people recognize them on sight. I think most people are going to figure out *something* is out of the ordinary with you pretty quick. furthermore, impressive display is actually a skill, and you can be impressive with just about any talent... you can pull a sherlock holmes and use evidence analysis to make a bunch of observations about a person. you can run circles around them in conversation. you can sleight of hand a coin from behind their ear. nothing about impressive display says it must be overtly magical.

if you're at the point where you're using claw shape to kill people, I suspect the time for subtlety has largely passed. furthermore, body control isn't exactly subtle either, as I recall.

there may be some extremely hypothetical scenarios where it is technically possible that those abilities are not strictly superior, but generally speaking they are the same thing but better.

crushing blow makes the specialist warrior better at being a warrior, and down strike makes the people who get it follow a theme that fits their discipline. I'm really not seeing a problem here.

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