The Saddening

Discussion on the Earthdawn game line, errata, and feedback not related to playing or GMing.
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Re: The Saddening

Post by Mataxes » Sun Jun 04, 2017 11:11 pm

I appreciate the thoughts.

I will say that, while we don't have final details hammered out, there are some knacks coming in the Companion that address some of the issues that have been raised with regard to summoning. Knacks aren't the ideal way to "fix" earlier stuff, but I think it's not too much of a problem to establish that certain knacks are part of the default process.

(And, possibly, depending on how those end up, an alternate/revised summoning process might be developed for the magic book we have planned post-Questors.)

Off the top of my head, a couple of other options you might consider:

Reduce the ritual time to 10 minutes instead of 30. Tweaking the time involved means you still have to prepare in advance, but there's less sense of wasted time on a failure.

Have backlash only happen if the summon test fails by 5/10 or more, instead of a simple failure (this hearkens back to ED1 summoning, when backlash only happened on a Poor or worse result). Or, since damage from backlash is based on the damage from raw magic, have backlash trigger a warping test that determines whether damage is suffered or not. Both of these make failure less punitive.
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The Undying
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Re: The Saddening

Post by The Undying » Mon Jun 05, 2017 1:07 am

I appreciate your time as well.

While I'm more willing to do some extreme tweaks to a system to feel, my current ED GM is more of a "small nudges" kind of guy. We actually did the "failure by 5" thing, and I still managed to hit it both times. :D It's definitely a table-to-table kind of thing - printed material matters much more to some than others.

I agree, Knacks aren't an ideal way to "fix," but at least it's a published thing. I think the main thing is the resulting impression it leaves: Knacks kind of says "the original system is fine and these are custom things an Adept can bolt onto it," whereas optional/alternate rules say "we acknowledge there may be some problems with the original system, here would be a published recommended way to alter them if you're in that boat."

Again, appreciate the thoughts. One last parting perspective, though maybe this is something that you guys already consider:

I generally look at "time" as blocks rather than a continuum. For me, there's generally four blocks for action duration.
  1. Standard Action. Things that are extremely, totally doable in combat.
  2. ~1 minute. Things that could be pulled off in a long combat (especially if you're just holding ground for any variety of reasons) or can be done around the corner right before combat.
  3. ~5 minutes. Things that can't be done IN combat but could be pulled off with a make-shift barricade ("hold the door while I do this"). Also, things that require light planning.
  4. Anything more. Until you start getting into multiple hours, it's really just splitting hairs. Whether it takes 15 or 30 minutes, it's not getting done in a pinch, and everything grind to a halt while it's being done (unless you can do it on the move).
Personally preference is that anything falling into that last block should have an effect duration on the order of a day, or RANK hours. That action duration has crossed into the heavy planning arena as well as the "you get one shot at this, we're not waiting longer" arena.

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Re: The Saddening

Post by The Undying » Mon Jun 05, 2017 1:39 am

Mataxes wrote:
Sun Jun 04, 2017 12:22 am
We're looking at the costs of intentionally creating thread items for the ED4 Companion chapter on Enchanting, and these kinds of considerations come into play as well.
I wanted to make a special point on this. I love Enchanting, but I can see where it creates some balance problems at a table and where some GMs would either prefer to minimize it or ignore it. If you're looking at ways to make Enchanting "harder" (my word) in order to increase scarcity of thread items or to reduce accessibility of Enchanting, please do it in a fun way.

I would say that you could easily cut out 90+% of civil for-profit thread item creation (and thereby greatly increasing scarcity) by increasing the personal investment part of the process. In previous editions, personal investment (crafting, harvest material, symbolic actions, etc) were a mechanical way to lower difficulty. By making these REQUIRED parts of the process, you remove the ability for someone to sit in a workshop and craft out thread items. So, instead of these things lowering difficulty, they provide points of "investment," and there's some system dictating how much "investment" is needed (maybe per rank, maybe with a Fibonacci sequence so high ranks require more investment than earlier ranks). Certain things should be worth more "investment" than others. Note that this also servers to create a more natural barrier to entry than an arbitrary difficulty number. Want to create a four rank item at Circle 4? It's possible, BUT since you'd only be accruing "investment" points at a very slow rate, it'd take you a long time - many months. Want to do the same thing at Circle 8? You can do much more impressive "investment" activities, so maybe you can knock it out in a few weeks. This also creates a neat mini-game - maybe certain things provide more "investment" when the rank reflects the thing (we're starting to lean into legendary crafting, but it's still a neat idea). Lastly, it also could support non-Enchanting people to get involved in Enchanting - the Enchanter just becomes the conduit for the final creation, but the adventurer who accrued all the "investment" is present through the process, maybe even performs a variety of the actions under the direction of the Enchanter.

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Re: The Saddening

Post by Dougansf » Mon Jun 05, 2017 6:59 pm

Just to throw it out there as a brainstorming option.

Beastmasters are the other "pet class" of the game. Could some of their mechanics improve the Summoning mechanics (or vice versa)?

Maybe codifying the way pets are handled game-wide would be helpful?

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