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Author Topic: ALPTRAUM  (Read 1868 times)
Spawn of Ungoliant
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« Reply #45 on: February 13, 2017, 06:10:13 PM »

Yeah, I figured the limited ammunition stuff would be the most unlike Fate, although there are references to insta-healing items, so at least in theory the SRD seems to indicate the possibility of expendable items. I could limit it per scene/session, but I think for something like ammo this would amount to the same thing as just keeping track of bullets, wouldn't it?

Obviously, item-hunting and resource-management are not a big part of Fate, but I do like the idea of there being some scarce resources (apart from Fate points) that characters have to consider using, and/or which characters can find during the game. I definitely don't want to turn the game into D&D or Call of Cthulhu, though, and I want 95% of gear to be just a part of characters, and most gear should still be effective in combat against most enemies. Conceivably I could ditch ammunition numbers entirely, though, and maybe remove/modify some items where it might be a bit powerful to have an infinite supply. What do you think?

You're correct on normal weapons and armour not having any kind of ratings.

sparkletwist

The idea of protecting spaces seems similar to Dresden Fate's idea of a block. Blocks were taken out of Fate Core (a decision I don't entirely agree with) but the basic idea is that you require an appropriate skill check to move into the zone or across the threshold, using whatever relevant value as the opposition. For example, a character with a Faith of 3 warding an area with a holy symbol means that any monster who wants to approach has to beat a 3 on whatever skill check they have to roll.

I like this a lot.

EDIT:

sparkletwist

It does make me wonder how resupply would work, what happens if someone who didn't 'select' the equipment tries to get one, or whatever, and I also wonder if it might be a little too much bookkeeping for the sort of game Fate seems like it is trying to be.

What if characters could re-choose Special Equipment between each Scenario? Plus they could keep any additional Special Equipment they found, which does seem consistent with the way Fate handles certain types of items - one of the sample Extras is a sword whose permission is "finding the sword during the game" and which has no other cost.

This way, if all the characters know in advance they're going on a werewolf-hunt, for example, they can kit themselves out accordingly.

I could also see using Wealth rolls to procure additional Special Equipment, though obviously it would have to be in the right circumstances, like a town with sufficient resources.
« Last Edit: February 13, 2017, 06:25:36 PM by Steerpike » Logged


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« Reply #46 on: February 13, 2017, 08:13:49 PM »

One-time consumable items are a little different from items with ammo or whatever that you have to keep track of, I think, but I wouldn't want to have a whole bunch of those, either. Carrying around a gigantic pile of scrolls and potions and other one-time consumables wouldn't really feel so much like "Fate" to me personally, and it could also introduce an annoying amount of bookkeeping.

Steerpike

Conceivably I could ditch ammunition numbers entirely, though, and maybe remove/modify some items where it might be a bit powerful to have an infinite supply. What do you think?
I think this might feel the most "Fate-like," at least in my opinion of what that means. For items that are too powerful to be used infinitely, basing things on the standard Fate timing of "once per round/scene/session/whatever" could work, too, based on how often you expected the item to see use. A common house rule that I use a lot is that if you want to use something beyond its use limit you can spend a fate point, which may or may not feel too ill-defined to you.

In general, I'd advise against making findable/purchasable equipment matter too much. Switching out equipment between adventures could work, although then it becomes more like more flexible stunt slots and it might make character building a little too complicated. It's really up to you how far you want to go with this stuff.

I'd also like to add that, despite there being a lot of criticism here, I don't mean to sound like I'm overly negative on the idea of equipment mattering at all; I do like the list of items that you made and some of them sound like really cool things for characters to have.
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Spawn of Ungoliant
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« Reply #47 on: February 13, 2017, 08:36:52 PM »

Okay cool, I've ditched ammo for almost everything except for Vampir Blood and the Flamethrower (though I upped the latter's uses), both of which I think are powerful enough to justify being scarce, but now someone who has selected Silver Bullets conceivably has enough of them for their own weapons. This does lead to potential awkwardness if someone else in the group could also use a silver bullet but doesn't have one, but it's pretty easy to handwave - they're bullets of a specific caliber, for instance.
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« Reply #48 on: February 13, 2017, 11:40:56 PM »

I agree that both the vampir blood and flamethrower are powerful enough that they need limits, but as long as anything has a hard limit it raises the question of what to do once it's gone and how resupply works, and could introduce weirdness, so I'd strongly encourage you to make everything work within the norms of the Fate system if possible. For example, what if the vampir blood only worked once per session and it also cost a fate point? That would make it work like the "Tough as Nails" Physique stunt. Don't forget that the presence of items could also add aspects, which can be invoked or compelled, so if it's really important to the story to have a certain item unavailable, that could be a compel. I'm reminded of a mechanic from Diaspora: in that game, ammo in firearms is not specifically tracked, but every gun has the ability to have an "Out of Ammo" aspect, so all that happens is that when it's narratively appropriate (i.e., the worst possible time!) for the gun to run out of ammo, the GM can compel that and then gun can no longer be fired until the characters can get some more ammo.

The fate point economy could also tie into silver bullets and other such things that may have some problems with sharing, too. If character A has silver bullets and character B doesn't, then the act of character A giving character B some silver bullets would essentially be a declaration that "B can also use silver bullets this scene," which would cost a fate point. It's a little weird to think of it that way, I admit, because handing someone an object is normally something a character can just do, but it's dealing with an aspect of the mechanics that is already abstracted (in reality, A would have a limited quantity of bullets, which is also being abstracted away) so I feel like that's a pretty elegant way to handle it.

If you'd rather just keep tracking uses, that's fine with me, but I thought I'd at least put out there some more "Fate-like" ways of handling it, if only to get you thinking along those lines.
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Spawn of Ungoliant
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« Reply #49 on: February 13, 2017, 11:46:36 PM »

Ah! Alright, I changed it again. Those are good ideas. I've modified things accordingly, adding the Scarce Resources aspect to all consumable items which can be compelled at inopportune times. This does help to mitigate the bullet-sharing problem, and actually probably balances ranged versus melee weapons a little more.

I'm not complaining - I really want to do this game as "by the book" as possible, pretty much anyway, and discrete numbers of bullets are very non-Fate - but this is a really good example of how the rules-as-written of Fate don't quite click with the way my brain is wired. The way the gears in my head click, this seems to be potentially horribly dis-empowering, since it would seem to interfere with planning and decision-making (it's not clear precisely when special ammo or whatever is going to run out, and you can't really check exactly how many silver bullets or vials of holy water or syringes of healing vampire-blood you have left because that information doesn't exist)... but I guess there are enough ways to circumvent it in Fate that it's probably not dis-empowering in practice.
« Last Edit: February 14, 2017, 01:46:58 AM by Steerpike » Logged


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« Reply #50 on: February 14, 2017, 04:22:45 PM »

Steerpike

The way the gears in my head click, this seems to be potentially horribly dis-empowering, since it would seem to interfere with planning and decision-making (it's not clear precisely when special ammo or whatever is going to run out, and you can't really check exactly how many silver bullets or vials of holy water or syringes of healing vampire-blood you have left because that information doesn't exist)... but I guess there are enough ways to circumvent it in Fate that it's probably not dis-empowering in practice.
I see what you're saying, but I think you are probably still thinking of things too "procedurally," for lack of a better word. Fate, at least, all of the Fate games I've played, isn't really based around the idea of the players making a plan in the sense that you might see in more tactical, less narrative games like D&D. The characters have a plan, certainly, because they're competent and they know what they're doing, but that's just it; there's no need for a player to know exactly how many bullets or syringes or whatnot you have, because the answer is initially always going to be "I'm an eminently competent badass who made a solid plan, so I brought along enough." The exact details are glossed over in favor of narrative. And when the narrative calls for everything to start going south? (It always will, or it's not going to be very exciting...) Well, that's when the compels start flying, complications start piling on top of complications, the characters' resources start running out, and the characters (and the players!) have to start thinking on their feet. In other words, that's when the game starts getting really fun.

Along those lines, after giving it some more thought, I'm starting to become a little unsure how the monster-specific special equipment is actually going to work in practice. If characters always have a chance to get the equipment they need for a specific mission, then it's essentially an expectation, and in a way makes the whole thing kind of irrelevant-- why take along anything but silver if you know you're going to go fight werewolves? And if that's not how it plays out, it feels a little like the GM is just messing with the players. I'm also a bit concerned about the effect of the warding items on the game, because Armor:2 is extremely powerful if the default assumption is that weapon ratings aren't going to be a thing, while meanwhile if Weapon:2 becomes the "norm" then, as the SRD puts it, zero-sum is boring. On the other hand, if characters will just choose once and then are expected to be using the same equipment for a wide variety of missions, it kind of becomes a matter of lucky guessing as to what to bring along. Sometimes characters will have an advantage and sometimes they won't, and the game has to be built around the idea that characters probably won't have the right sort of weapon to hit the right resistance... and that might kind of spoil the image of being a badass Jäger if they're always sort of ill-prepared relative to what they could have. I like the fluff of special materials being used for monster-hunting quite a bit, but I'm wondering if the crunch will be satisfying in practice. There's also a certain overlap between stunts and equipment slots, like, certain powers like Lis's cartomancy require both having a certain power and having a certain item, so I'm not really sure how that works in the system either.
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Spawn of Ungoliant
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« Reply #51 on: February 14, 2017, 05:14:25 PM »

sparkletwist

The characters have a plan, certainly, because they're competent and they know what they're doing, but that's just it; there's no need for a player to know exactly how many bullets or syringes or whatnot you have, because the answer is initially always going to be "I'm an eminently competent badass who made a solid plan, so I brought along enough."

Yeah I think it's this mindset that feels a strange to me, but I don't want to derail the thread into a "Steerpike puzzles over Fate" thing. Further thoughts enclosed in spoiler below (Mad Max:Fury Road spoilers for anyone who hasn't seen it). I've straight-up decided I'm not going to do specific bullet numbers for any ammo-type, so this isn't me debating or trying to convince you, just me musing a bit about narrative, scarcity, and planning.

sparkletwist

Along those lines, after giving it some more thought, I'm starting to become a little unsure how the monster-specific special equipment is actually going to work in practice. If characters always have a chance to get the equipment they need for a specific mission, then it's essentially an expectation, and in a way makes the whole thing kind of irrelevant-- why take along anything but silver if you know you're going to go fight werewolves?

Hmm, maybe the "swap equipment" between sessions doesn't actually work then... for resupply, maybe this is what really makes Wealth or Influence rolls shine in a game that otherwise is mostly about monster-hunting.

Quote

'm also a bit concerned about the effect of the warding items on the game, because Armor:2 is extremely powerful if the default assumption is that weapon ratings aren't going to be a thing, while meanwhile if Weapon:2 becomes the "norm" then, as the SRD puts it, zero-sum is boring. On the other hand, if characters will just choose once and then are expected to be using the same equipment for a wide variety of missions, it kind of becomes a matter of lucky guessing as to what to bring along.

How about just downgrading to Armour:1 and Weapon:1? This way it's a slight advantage, but not a huge one.

Also, I should maybe just say up-front that there will almost certainly be more than 1 enemy type in any given scenario, so some versatility of equipment among characters will pay dividends.

sparkletwist

There's also a certain overlap between stunts and equipment slots, like, certain powers like Lis's cartomancy require both having a certain power and having a certain item, so I'm not really sure how that works in the system either.

I feel like any gear someone needs to have for a stunt to work, they just have it. What distinguishes stunts from special equipment is that only Lis or someone else with cartomancy can do cartomancy with cards, but anyone can use a silver bullet or holy water.
« Last Edit: February 14, 2017, 05:30:40 PM by Steerpike » Logged


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« Reply #52 on: February 14, 2017, 06:22:11 PM »

Steerpike

for resupply, maybe this is what really makes Wealth or Influence rolls shine in a game that otherwise is mostly about monster-hunting.
That's a good thought.

If you want to get extra fancy, Wealth could work like Physique and Sanity do for stress boxes, and instead of a flat 3, you'd get 2 special equipment slots by default, plus half Wealth, rounded up. So a Wealth of +1 or +2 would give you 3 slots, and a Wealth of +3 or +4 would give you 4.

Steerpike

How about just downgrading to Armour:1 and Weapon:1? This way it's a slight advantage, but not a huge one.
I like that. I also like that it means a special equipment slot is definitely designed to be less powerful than a stunt, which I think it should be. This means that some items like the flamethrower and the vampir blood probably need something of a nerf (especially vampir blood, right now it's more powerful than the similar stunt because no fate point expenditure is needed) but I really like the feeling of that overall.

I'd also recommend, for the sake of fluff and the Jäger coming across as prepared and competent, that this equipment is extra special. That is to say, just about every Jäger carries around a few cold iron bullets and a knife inscribed with some holy runes. However, a certain Jäger might have a knife that was passed down to him by his father that was forged at midnight on a moonless night by a half-demon or something like that... something with a story behind it, and that is why it gets a bonus. Then the gear becomes signature equipment rather than just hot-swappable parts. I like that feeling much more, for what it's worth.

Steerpike

I feel like any gear someone needs to have for a stunt to work, they just have it. What distinguishes stunts from special equipment is that only Lis or someone else with cartomancy can do cartomancy with cards, but anyone can use a silver bullet or holy water.
That makes sense too, although there may be a difference between Lis doing cartomancy with her tarock cards compared to any random deck, which might make it worthwhile to put her cards in an equipment slot and gain some small bonus from them. Dresden Fate has "focus items" that work similarly. If I think of something, I'll run it by you.
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Spawn of Ungoliant
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« Reply #53 on: February 14, 2017, 07:23:53 PM »

Did some tweaks, gave vampiric blood a significant drawback, nerfed a bunch of stuff.

I'll ponder the Wealth bonus, I think that's a good idea.
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« Reply #54 on: February 14, 2017, 07:28:57 PM »

sparkletwist

Steerpike

for resupply, maybe this is what really makes Wealth or Influence rolls shine in a game that otherwise is mostly about monster-hunting.
That's a good thought.

If you want to get extra fancy, Wealth could work like Physique and Sanity do for stress boxes, and instead of a flat 3, you'd get 2 special equipment slots by default, plus half Wealth, rounded up. So a Wealth of +1 or +2 would give you 3 slots, and a Wealth of +3 or +4 would give you 4.

I kind of really like this? I have mixed feelings about it because I think Fate works best from a minimalist standpoint when it comes to details like equipment, but color me intrigued.
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Spawn of Ungoliant
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« Reply #55 on: February 15, 2017, 11:43:53 PM »

Yeah I went ahead and added the Wealth thing, that was a very good idea - thanks sparkletwist.

I'll probably eventually add more Stunts but I think Character Creation is now finished, or close-to-finished.

I'll be posting up some adventure hooks soon for the first session fairly soon - sparkletwist, you can pick whichever appeals to you.
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« Reply #56 on: February 16, 2017, 02:55:07 PM »

Posted these to the first page as well:

Scenarios

The Schädelbrück Horror (+1 starting Fate point for Nikolet) – One of Nikolet Lanztäl’s former colleagues at Schädelbrück’s university has written to the scholar-turned-Jägeryn. The letter speaks in vague terms of some exciting experiment gone wrong, hinting at potentially dire consequences should things not “be put right.” Should it be convenient, the colleague – a certain Doktor Baltasar Dressler, a metaphysician and alchemist of some renown – requests Niokolet’s assistance.

Ruinenlust – The Grey Church is looking to hire a group of Jäger to cleanse the ruin of Rosenmünster, an Abbey that long ago fell into disrepair after its wards failed and its inhabitants were slain or sired by the Blood Countess. The Church hopes to sanctify the ruins and restore holiness to them, but fear they may have become infested by the forces of darkness.

What Dwells Beneath – The folk of Knochendorf are desperate. Despite their wards and walls and fervent prayers, villagers are disappearing one by one. The town is dying, and the reclusive Hundhammer family remain shut in their manor, deaf to the pleas of those in the settlement below. If nothing is done, Knochendorf will soon be a ghost town.

Sisters of the Crimson Cowl (+1 starting Fate point for Lis) – The Crimson Cowl Jägerbund have contacted Lis. It seems that a group of their Jägeryn have gone missing in the depths of the Wulfswald on a Hunt. Wary of committing more of their numbers to seek the lost sisters, the Order has offered Lis and her band a handsome payment for their aid.

Let me know which sounds good sparkletwist.
« Last Edit: February 16, 2017, 04:42:13 PM by Steerpike » Logged


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« Reply #57 on: February 17, 2017, 06:47:19 PM »

They all sound pretty fun to me! However, given the option, I'll probably go with "What Dwells Beneath." Rescuing a town from a wicked influence was the first outing of the first incarnation of this group, so I feel it only fitting.
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« Reply #58 on: February 22, 2017, 01:00:36 AM »

I was playing around with character creation in Soul Calibur V so I made some character pictures  laugh



Lis, Alidze, Katja, and Nikolet, respectively.
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Spawn of Ungoliant
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« Reply #59 on: May 09, 2017, 03:07:32 PM »

Working again on this. I should have the adventure ready to go in the not-too-distant future. sparkletwist, I'll let you know when it's ready to go.

I've been running some very Alptraum-esque 5th edition D&D sessions as well, getting into the nightmare-world mindset. I incorporated some narrativist-type mechanics and set pieces to help ease into Fate  grin.
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