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Author Topic: ALPTRAUM  (Read 6097 times)
Giant Space Hamster
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« Reply #15 on: February 03, 2017, 06:23:44 PM »

No doubt his sneezes produce Picasso-esque masterpieces. smile

More seriously, Steerpike, how do you want submitted PCs to handle the Phase Trio as such is a inter-player collaborative process?
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Spawn of Ungoliant
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« Reply #16 on: February 03, 2017, 06:28:42 PM »

Hoers

Do you ever do anything that isn't AWESOME?

I've had a few misfires and failed experiments, but I do my best!

Rose-of-Vellum

More seriously, Steerpike, how do you want submitted PCs to handle the Phase Trio as such is a inter-player collaborative process?

I'll think more about this but I figure that's more a thing we can do once I figure out numbers and who'll be playing in future sessions... but if people want to post backgrounds with high concept and trouble aspects, plus skills and stunts, that's cool.
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« Reply #17 on: February 03, 2017, 06:41:53 PM »

Personally, I've played a lot of Fate and I don't think I've ever done the "phases." I just made characters. Having character backgrounds that mesh is fun but that's the kind of thing that can be done a bit more informally, too.
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Giant Space Hamster
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« Reply #18 on: February 03, 2017, 06:46:40 PM »

So how does 20 point buy work? Do you have to keep a pyramid or certain ratio of Good to Fair, Fair to Average, etc.?
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« Reply #19 on: February 03, 2017, 06:50:58 PM »

Steerpike can correct me if I'm wrong for what he wants to do, but the way it works in Dresden at least is that you have to maintain a "stack" of abilities. That is, for some number N, if you have N abilities at +3, you must also have at least N abilities at +2, and, recursively, since you have that number of abilities at +2, you must also have at least that many abilities at +1. You can have a pyramid, but you don't necessarily have to, which allows more flexibility.
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« Reply #20 on: February 03, 2017, 07:20:07 PM »

Thanks, sparkletwist!
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Spawn of Ungoliant
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« Reply #21 on: February 04, 2017, 01:40:26 AM »

I've updated the second post with some character-building info.

I think I'm actually going to tweak the skills list somewhat. There might be some more weapon specializations (though not a whole ton) and a few other modified things.
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« Reply #22 on: February 04, 2017, 02:32:15 PM »

I think that the various types of aspects that you've laid out in your character creation rules (a primal fear, a reason for becoming an adventurer, and a relationship) are very good guidelines for the kinds of aspects a character in this setting might have, but I'd recommend making them only that rather than actual rules that need to be followed. They're great to provide hooks for players who just can't think of good aspects, but, in my opinion and experience, Fate works best when a character's aspects really "click," and it's hard to really systematize that into a template that works for everyone and every character. For example, for some characters, their fear may be best expressed by their trouble, or their reason for becoming an adventurer is right in their high concept, and there's instead some other aspect-- a notable quirk, a piece of signature gear, a catchphrase, or whatever, that works better, so the character just plain works better if they're allowed to have more flexibility in what their aspects actually are.
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Spawn of Ungoliant
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« Reply #23 on: February 04, 2017, 03:16:40 PM »

That's a good call sparkletwist.
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Spawn of Ungoliant
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« Reply #24 on: February 04, 2017, 06:31:14 PM »

How does this sound as a preliminary skill list?

Acrobatics


Athletics

Brawl

Burglary

Contacts

Crafts

Deceive

Empathy

Faith

Investigate

Lucidity

Medicine

Notice

Occultism

Physique

Provoke

Rapport

Ride

Shoot

Stealth

Survival

Tracking

Wealth

Weapons

Will

New skills are bolded. It's very much an Asura-inspired list, especially by adding Acrobatics and splitting Fight into Weapons and Brawl (I was debating splitting it further into swords/axes/polearms but decided this was too much specialization). I'm thinking of Faith as a means of powering charms, wards, and holy symbols and also a religious knowledge skill, Lucidity as an aid to reshaping surroundings by manipulating the Alptraum, and Occultism as a more explicitly magical version of Lore. I thought about including Sanity as well but it feels like between Will and Faith there wouldn't be much point. I could also conflate Survival and Tracking, but I kind of like the idea that Tracking is a huge deal in and of itself in this setting since it's about nightmare-hunters stomping through the woods.
« Last Edit: February 04, 2017, 06:34:49 PM by Steerpike » Logged


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« Reply #25 on: February 04, 2017, 08:05:01 PM »

If you want some further inspiration, here's the skill list I used for The Frontier. Both games have a sort of gritty-dark-fantasy tone, so it might be more helpful for your purposes than something gonzo like Asura.

I would like to advise you against following Asura's lead too closely for mechanical reasons as well as fluff ones. The Asura system looks a lot like Fate but it's not actually Fate, and so it uses a similar but also quantifiably different skill paradigm. Asura's skills are linked to base stats (similar to how skills work in D&D 3e) which means they may have perfectly acceptable bonuses even when untrained. In addition, Asura's skill list is generally built around the idea that you will take Advantages (i.e., what Fate would call Stunts) to make some skills redundant in areas your character is supposed to excel. Many tasks in Asura are also doable with more than one skill, depending on the situation. This means that importing too much of Asura's measurably larger skill list may not work as well in a game that doesn't follow these conventions, and may instead just lead to characters not feeling as competent because the skills will tend to feel extra-specialized and "diluted."

For example, personally, I don't think Survival and Tracking should be separate skills. Tracking may be one of the main applications of the Survival skill in this setting, but the Survival skill is often kind of second-tier and sometimes not used all that much anyway. In this setting, a skill for skulking around in the great outdoors is probably quite handy, but I think just the one might be all that is needed. Athletics is a tough one because, at least in my Fate experience, it's kind of a skill and a half. That is, it's just so useful in most adventuring situations that it's often more useful than most other skills, but it's not quite overpowered enough that two really good skills can be made out of it in Fate.

My honest suggestion is to just use the Fate Core skill list more or less as written, perhaps with some flavorful renaming of skills, and shuffling around skills' use cases rather than outright adding new ones. In all honesty, at times I feel like Fate Core's biggest problem with its skill list is that it has too many skills, not too few.

EDIT: An example of flavorful renaming and shuffling around use cases from the Frontier was renaming Will to Grit, and allowing it to be used for avoiding ranged attacks. This was a nod to genre as well: it seems like the guy who stands there like a badass never actually gets shot. This was also handy because it made Athletics a bit less of an uber-skill, as there was now another way to avoid ranged attacks. This may not be genre-appropriate for you, but hopefully it at least serves as inspiration of the kind of thing I'm advocating.
« Last Edit: February 04, 2017, 08:08:16 PM by sparkletwist » Logged


Giant Space Hamster
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« Reply #26 on: February 04, 2017, 08:44:09 PM »

I'll second the dilution concern. I had already done stats for 2 PCs, and upon trying to rework them with the skills above, I definitely felt that the 20 points no longer seemed to capture the original concept. As sparkletwist mentioned, I'd suggest renaming and re-tailoring as many as you wish rather than adding several new ones. Alternatively, you could increase the point buy, but I don't know the system well enough to know if that would/could create other even worse problems.
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« Reply #27 on: February 04, 2017, 09:11:45 PM »

Good to know. I'll winnow down. I still might split one or two things but I'll favour reflavouring over adding too many skills. I'll probably add in Ride and Survival, but otherwise keep that to a minimum.

EDIT: Provisional revised list:

Athletics

Awareness

Brawl

Burglary

Crafts

Deceive

Faith

Influence

Occultism

Physique

Provoke

Rapport

Ride

Sanity

Shoot

Stealth

Survival

Wealth

Weapons

This still splits Fight into Weapons and Brawl and Lore into Faith and Occultism, but collapses Empathy, Notice, and Investigate into Awareness, though some of Investigate's functions might be taken up by Survival, and, frankly, I sort of hate Investigate/Search checks in any game: generally I prefer to just tell people they find hidden stuff if they search in at least vaguely the right places. In this sense I'm very much won over by the Gumshoe system's philosophy -"In a fictional procedural, whether it’s a mystery novel or an episode of a cop show, the emphasis isn’t on finding the clues in the first place ... Investigative scenarios are not about finding clues, they’re about interpreting the clues you do find."

Drive is removed, replaced with Ride, and a few skills are reflavoured. In total number this is only 1 extra skill compared to the default list.
« Last Edit: February 04, 2017, 09:25:12 PM by Steerpike » Logged


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« Reply #28 on: February 04, 2017, 10:11:32 PM »

Collapsing Empathy and Investigate is something that both Asura and Frontier do (I use "Insight" as a name) and I think it's a good call. However, I would recommend not folding Notice in there as well. Notice is your general situational awareness skill, and tends to get rolled a lot, like Perception in D&D. It also (unlike D&D) determines your initiative in combat. So, it's already pretty useful. On the other hand, Empathy is your default skill for avoiding mental or social attacks, which means that it also tends to get used often enough; by merging these together, you've created a pretty broad skill. Perhaps you could use Sanity for mental defense instead, although then the mental skills don't parallel the physical skills-- Athletics and Physique are separate, while Sanity would be used for everything on the mental side-- whether or not this is important depends on how often you want to use mental stress, I think.

As for splitting Fight into Weapons and Brawl, what did you see the difference between the two being, and do you feel this division is thematically appropriate for your game? Dresden Fate had Fists and Weapons and used them to distinguish unarmed and armed combat, which worked ok, but it did make the skill investment kind of high for someone who was just generally "good at fighting." I'm also not sure how meaningful unarmed combat is really going to be in a game like this. The Asura versions are a little more muddied-- you can bash someone with a club with Brawling, for example-- but Asura is also a game where it's perfectly reasonable to have a character who can punch a hole in a tank, which is probably not what you want, thematically.
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Spawn of Ungoliant
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« Reply #29 on: February 04, 2017, 11:02:38 PM »

Interesting point on Notice. I hadn't thought about the initiative implications. That's a good call.

I was thinking of possibly using Faith and Sanity for mental defenses.

For Brawl/Weapons I was definitely thinking Unarmed/Armed.

Why give a skill for unarmed combat? A couple of reasons.

- In a game that features monster-hunting and fighting as a big part of its gameplay, I think having a bit of combat specialization is not so bad. The Fate SRD seems to suggest as much - "It’s a pretty common choice to further separate unarmed and armed melee—into Fists and Weapons, for example."

- I could see subduing certain sorts of foes as being important - for example, there might be foes where conventional weapons are of extremely limited utility, but if you force a vial of holy water down their throat, or chain them up and wait for sunrise, you could defeat them.

- I could also see grappling with certain types of foes, as being important: werewolves and zombie/revenant hordes both come to mind, for example.

- I'm imagining being captured as a distinct possibility as the result of being Taken Out, as opposed to being killed, meaning that characters might very well have to fight bare-handed if their weapons are confiscated. While I don't want to radically weaken characters, it seems to me that splitting fighting skills could contribute to mitigating Fate's "Paradox of Horror" a little bit - without weapons, characters not trained in Brawl are going to feel much more vulnerable, and thus more likely to try and use stealth and evasion until they get their weapons back.

That said, if you think it's a really bad idea, I can ditch it.
« Last Edit: February 04, 2017, 11:09:35 PM by Steerpike » Logged


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