Let's make some Flaws!

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Re: Let's make some Flaws!

Post  Paper Shadow on Wed Jan 30, 2013 10:16 pm

So, I had a proper look at the flaws on the first page. And I'm going to be honest; a lot of them are kinda bad. Derp is good because it does the big plays. You put yourself at a larger risk, but get a juicy magic point out of it. A majority of talents here is kinda small fry, the only reason one would take one of these flaws is for flavour, and in a system where reflavouring was kept in mind as a core design, that's not really saying much. It's only seeing play in campaigns because players have the option to take one without taking a utility talent slot, which kinda goes against the idea in my opinion. I'll post a more in-depth analyse tomorrow if I get the time and you wish me to...

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Re: Let's make some Flaws!

Post  Grey Pen The Flawed on Wed Jan 30, 2013 10:38 pm

That is true, Paper Shadow. Good job noticing!

If you wanted to reeeeaaaallly nice, you'd make suggestions on how to go about changing them to be more dramatic Wink
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Re: Let's make some Flaws!

Post  Paper Shadow on Thu Jan 31, 2013 10:00 am

Grey Pen wrote:That is true, Paper Shadow. Good job noticing!

If you wanted to reeeeaaaallly nice, you'd make suggestions on how to go about changing them to be more dramatic ;)
Well, dramatic might not be the way to go, but I'll give a run down with the problems I think this flaws have...

Let the criticism begin!
(Although I'm in a rush so I'll continue my analyse later)

Phobia and Obsession are both shadowed by the might of Freaky Knowledge. Freaky Knowledge gives a +5 to any roll regarding something you could take as your Phobia or Obsession, gives no downsides, and you get the bonuses for a second thing as well. There is no reason not to take Freaky Knowledge in the thing you fear and then just roleplay the fear or obsession instead of just taking Phobia or Obsession...

Herp Derp is weaker than Derp. Derp increases the Critical Failure Limit by 2 and gives a Magic Point for it. Herp Derp increases it by a further 3 and, technically, gives a Magic Point you can only use on your Element for it. Derp isn't popular because a lot of players decide the Critical Failure Limit is too high for their liking (although they agree such a trade-off is balanced), so hardly anyone would spend two utility slots to increase the chance of instantly failing from 1/20 to 3/10 just for 1.5 extra Magic Points. Just imagine if three out of every ten rolls you did instantly failed. The only player who would take this is a min-maxer who already knows he won't be doing any rolling, and honestly, since DMs can make you roll for certain checks, they will feel as if that utility talent is better spent elsewhere...

Fluctuating Cutie Mark is kind of weird. It randomises your Cutie Mark. Why take it? Why not just keep the Cutie Mark at something your character is built towards, rather than have it fly all over? If you have built a Athletics-based character, and your CM flies off to something you've not built towards, remember you lose the +5 bonus as well. You'll find yourself as if you had built an all across the board character. And trust me, I built a Jack of all Trades character, and when I see people pull out bonuses in the double digits, I get a bit jealous. Basically, to get the most of this utility talent, you have to have an average character, which means that all the rolls which aren't being boosted by the random Cutie Mark are going to be just that. Average...

Cutie Pox is a weird beast as well. However, if you play your cards right and get lucky dice rolls, you basically get a Cutie Mark in everything. Here's how...
  1. Take Cutie Pox, play as normal, using FCM whenever it procs. You get an extra CM.
  2. After it procs 6 times, and as such, runs out of uses, don't use any CM skill for a roll for the rest of the day unless needed.
  3. At the next day, you'll have all your CMs, and FCM has all of its uses reset. Play as normal, using FCM whenever it procs.
  4. Repeat forever...


The real problem with Cutie Pox is that, unlike other bad talent designs which encourage rolling, it encourages not rolling. If you roll a CM Skill, and you have no FCM charges left, you suffer, especially if you have only one left. When a player runs out of charges, they'll just sit back, and only roll if it won't affect a CM skill or if they need to. And if they do have charges, they will most likely save them until they are needed anyway, to get the most out of the skill. To not get screwed over by the talent, players have to sit in the back for chunks of the campaign, which is bad design...

Although now that I think about it, Derp also encourages not rolling. Hmm...

Meep! can be abused at the start of a day to give the entire party a +5 morale boost. Most GMs allow for Heal checks to actually heal, and if they don't, the players can just initiate combat on something to heal themselves up, either something inanimate (like a tree or something) or each other. Otherwise, it's kind of a boring talent which hardly activates and most will consider it not worth a utility talent slot...

Appleteenie and Bigger Mac are boring. Incredibly strong, because if you are building Brawn or Precision, you won't need the other anyway, but boring. That's pretty much all I can say about that. I would say these are possible the least flawed flaws. Taking these will help you most of the time, and only hinder you if the GM plots against you. On that note, I'd say Appleteenie is better than Bigger Mac, as you're more likely to encounter a random Stealth check than a random Endurance one...

Hyperactive is abusable, because you can say that you aim on moving fast when doing any athletics or acrobatics check to get the +5 bonus. In addition, if you state that your character paces whenever they can, you can avoid both penalties, as you are technically travelling. Also, a brawn built character can take this without suffering any real downsides, even if they spin around on the spot. Other than that, it's also pretty boring...

Oh Buck is also boring. You will rarely take out of combat damage, and even if you do, you might end up doubling that damage. I doubt anyone would take Oh Buck if it costs a utility slot...

Narcoleptic is abusable because, if you have time and a high score in something like History or Arcana, you can essentially keep using this talent until you roll the double six, and refresh your dailies. It's an improvement from older versions, sure, but it's still very strong in the hands of someone who can abuse it...

??? is okay, I guess. It doesn't really aim for the sky though...

Quirky is like a mini-Derp, but boring and not really worth it. I’ve Read A Lot About It and Applejack of All Trades are more appealing choices, even if they give less, as they have no downsides. Much more desirable than making every one out of ten rolls fail...

Heavy Weight simply is not worth a utility talent slot. It does so little. You're better off getting one of the two talents I mentioned above...

What The Hay!? is also okay. I'm not a fan of it, but it doesn't have any major problems...

Introvert, again, is boring, and most campaigns have you travel around, as opposed to staying in one place, so you suffer the penalties more than the benefits. Also, if someone is your friend, then there is very little reason you'll need to use a Persuasion check on them. The utility talent slot isn't worth it...

The G and PT is weaker than Illusionary Mask. Illusionary Mask has three uses per day, works on everyone, and can't backfire...

Hyperkinesis is boring and not worth it, but to be fair, I consider all the Ponykinesis talents to be boring and not worth it...

---

I will finish analysing later, maybe in a new post...

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Re: Let's make some Flaws!

Post  Grey Pen The Flawed on Thu Jan 31, 2013 12:05 pm

Paper Shadow wrote:Let the criticism begin!
(Although I'm in a rush so I'll continue my analyse later)

((Let the picking apart begin!))

Phobia and Obsession are both shadowed by the might of Freaky Knowledge. Freaky Knowledge gives a +5 to any roll regarding something you could take as your Phobia or Obsession, gives no downsides, and you get the bonuses for a second thing as well. There is no reason not to take Freaky Knowledge in the thing you fear and then just roleplay the fear or obsession instead of just taking Phobia or Obsession...

((True... except FK requires a certain amount of specificness, whereas Phobia/Obsession can be as broad or narrow as you're willing to risk. I do agree that it could use an octane boost, however.))

Herp Derp is weaker than Derp. Derp increases the Critical Failure Limit by 2 and gives a Magic Point for it. Herp Derp increases it by a further 3 and, technically, gives a Magic Point you can only use on your Element for it. Derp isn't popular because a lot of players decide the Critical Failure Limit is too high for their liking (although they agree such a trade-off is balanced), so hardly anyone would spend two utility slots to increase the chance of instantly failing from 1/20 to 3/10 just for 1.5 extra Magic Points. Just imagine if three out of every ten rolls you did instantly failed. The only player who would take this is a min-maxer who already knows he won't be doing any rolling, and honestly, since DMs can make you roll for certain checks, they will feel as if that utility talent is better spent elsewhere...

((The original version actually just gave you an additional Magic Point; I forget who, but someone cryed "Foul!" And it was changed. It'll probably be changed back before it's all over.))

Fluctuating Cutie Mark is kind of weird. It randomises your Cutie Mark. Why take it? Why not just keep the Cutie Mark at something your character is built towards, rather than have it fly all over? If you have built a Athletics-based character, and your CM flies off to something you've not built towards, remember you lose the +5 bonus as well. You'll find yourself as if you had built an all across the board character. And trust me, I built a Jack of all Trades character, and when I see people pull out bonuses in the double digits, I get a bit jealous. Basically, to get the most of this utility talent, you have to have an average character, which means that all the rolls which aren't being boosted by the random Cutie Mark are going to be just that. Average...

((Personally, I prefer being decent at everything over awesome at one or two things and crap at everything else... but, the point does stand that yeah, this one is mostly just weird.))

Cutie Pox is a weird beast as well. However, if you play your cards right and get lucky dice rolls, you basically get a Cutie Mark in everything. Here's how...
  1. Take Cutie Pox, play as normal, using FCM whenever it procs. You get an extra CM.
  2. After it procs 6 times, and as such, runs out of uses, don't use any CM skill for a roll for the rest of the day unless needed.
  3. At the next day, you'll have all your CMs, and FCM has all of its uses reset. Play as normal, using FCM whenever it procs.
  4. Repeat forever...


The real problem with Cutie Pox is that, unlike other bad talent designs which encourage rolling, it encourages not rolling. If you roll a CM Skill, and you have no FCM charges left, you suffer, especially if you have only one left. When a player runs out of charges, they'll just sit back, and only roll if it won't affect a CM skill or if they need to. And if they do have charges, they will most likely save them until they are needed anyway, to get the most out of the skill. To not get screwed over by the talent, players have to sit in the back for chunks of the campaign, which is bad design...

Although now that I think about it, Derp also encourages not rolling. Hmm...

((Again, I'll admit; it is just plain weird, and rather abusable.))

Meep! can be abused at the start of a day to give the entire party a +5 morale. Most GMs allow for Heal checks to actually heal, and if they don't, the players can just initiate combat on something to heal themselves up, either something inanimate (like a tree or something) or each other. Otherwise, it's kind of a boring talent which hardly activates and most will consider it not worth a utility talent slot...

((That seems like a bit of a stretch to me, but it does make sense. A Prerequisite of some kind, to make the fails harder to get, might help fix this.))

Appleteenie and Bigger Mac are boring. Incredibly strong, because if you are building Brawn or Precision, you won't need the other anyway, but boring. That's pretty much all I can say about that. I would say these are possible the least flawed flaws. Taking these will help you most of the time, and only hinder you if the GM plots against you. On that note, I'd say Appleteenie is better than Bigger Mac, as you're more likely to encounter a random Stealth check than a random Endurance one...

((For one, I personally think they're not strong enough; if the campaign is being run right, an effective Athletics score of 2 kinda sucks.))

((Two, it is (in my opinion) the GM's prerogative to make sure, that once in great while, the player falls behind a little because of a low stat. Stunt Check of 2 is a bad deal when you're running from that Plutonium Dragon; either you need to get really lucky on the die roll, or hope someone's willing to carry you. Not to say that should be a constant thing; just a "once in a while" thing, as a painful reminder that they chose to specialize. And is why I generally stick to nearly Everypony stats.))

((Thirdly (and this is a bit off-topic, but still) it really irritates me when specific skills are ignored just because the situation never comes up; if a character fails to eat every 5-8 hours, they ought to be rolling Endurance, with morale penalties for failure until they find some nommage. If they crit fail a Witchcraft check, an Endurance check could save them from the magical backlash. Etcetera.))


Hyperactive is abusable, because you can say that you aim on moving fast when doing any athletics or acrobatics check to get the +5 bonus. In addition, if you state that your character paces whenever they can, you can avoid both penalties, as you are technically travelling. Also, a brawn built character can take this without suffering any real downsides, even if they spin around on the spot. Other than that, it's also pretty boring...

((Again, the GM can fix this by simply providing a situation where it might be best to hold still. Or perhaps are forced to hold still.))

((It's simple, really... just think of every situation in which you've heard a little kid say "How much longer do I have to stand here?" And put the Hyper one into such a situation. And let hilarity ensue.))


Oh Buck is also boring. You will rarely take out of combat damage, and even if you do, you might end up doubling that damage. I doubt anyone would take Oh Buck if it costs a utility slot...

((True. It could use some tweaking. Perhaps it could cover some other out-of-battle negatives, such as morale or non-HP based wounds.))

Narcoleptic is abusable because, if you have time and a high score in something like History or Arcana, you can essentially keep using this talent until you roll the double six, and refresh your dailies. It's an improvement from older versions, sure, but it's still very strong in the hands of someone who can abuse it...

((Yeeees, but A) who has that kind of time, and B) if they do have that kind of time and devotion, don't you think they probably earned it with all the high checks they'd have to be rolling to reliably get over DC 30? To intentionally trigger an effect that would, without said utility talent, be a much higher DC? I fail to see the problem, other than wasting time; which is easy to fix with GM'ing skills.))

??? is okay, I guess. It doesn't really aim for the sky though...

((Admittedly, it could use an octane boost, and some re-wording.))

Quirky is like a mini-Derp, but boring and not really worth it. I’ve Read A Lot About It and Applejack of All Trades are more appealing choices, even if they give less, as they have no downsides. Much more desirable than making every one out of ten rolls fail...

((Again, a simple octane boost would probably remedy this. Perhaps allowing it to stack with trained and Cutie Mark skills? Maybe a slightly higher bonus, or affecting three skills instead of two.))

Heavy Weight simply is not worth a utility talent slot. It does so little. You're better off getting one of the two talents I mentioned above...

((Again, boost it. Maybe 2 or 3 attribute points instead of one.))

What The Hay!? is also okay. I'm not a fan of it, but it doesn't have any major problems...

Introvert, again, is boring, and most campaigns have you travel around, as opposed to staying in one place, so you suffer the penalties more than the benefits. Also, if someone is your friend, then there is very little reason you'll need to use a Persuasion check on them. The utility talent slot isn't worth it...

The G and PT is weaker than Illusionary Mask. Illusionary Mask has three uses per day, works on everyone, and can't backfire...

((True on the above too. Working on it, but I don't see them getting too far either.))

Hyperkinesis is boring and not worth it, but to be fair, I consider all the Ponykinesis talents to be boring and not worth it...

((In defense of PK in general: How many times has a Unicorn used Ponykinesis, and it's 30 ft ranges, to grab something off the top shelf, or otherwise out of reach?))
---

I will finish analysing later, maybe in a new post...

((I'll be waiting. And updating. You've given me LOTS of ideas.))
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Re: Let's make some Flaws!

Post  Paper Shadow on Thu Jan 31, 2013 8:43 pm

Grey Pen wrote:((Let the picking apart begin!))
Post Dissection Hard Mode!

((True... except FK requires a certain amount of specificness, whereas Phobia/Obsession can be as broad or narrow as you're willing to risk. I do agree that it could use an octane boost, however.))
Kinda. You have to choose an object still, so it's only better than FK if it is super broad (for example, a phobia of wild animals or an obsession with money), and those cases are the ones most likely to backfire horribly, unless you built a Persuasion character, at least...

((The original version actually just gave you an additional Magic Point; I forget who, but someone cryed "Foul!" And it was changed. It'll probably be changed back before it's all over.))
I should add that the problem of avoiding rolls also occurs here with Herp Derp as well. If I had those talents, I wouldn't even touch a dice outside of combat. That's why Ramsus (I checked) said three Magic Points for it would be ridiculous, because you wouldn't have to roll, ever (not really, but still)...

((Personally, I prefer being decent at everything over awesome at one or two things and crap at everything else... but, the point does stand that yeah, this one is mostly just weird.))
In my opinion, the system is built over the idea of being good at a group of things, and okay at everything else. That's why you get a base +5 bonus to everything, but only 8 extra attribute points. It's also the reason that there are only 11 different skill checks, while in D&D there are always more than you think there is. Heck, 3.5 had like 9 different Knowledge skills which all had to be individually improved. Finally, it's why Athletics and Acrobatics does almost the same thing. You don't have to put points into Brawn if you want to do physical stuff, if you have some points in Precision, or have built a Precision character, you still can do things like move fast or dodge stuff without your character being physically strong...

((Again, I'll admit; it is just plain weird, and rather abusable.))
Okay then...

((That seems like a bit of a stretch to me, but it does make sense. A Prerequisite of some kind, to make the fails harder to get, might help fix this.))
It is a stretch, admittedly, but if you had, say, an hour to wait, and could do a skill check instead of a standard action in combat, and a round of combat takes about six seconds, that's 600 skill checks per hour, maybe being perception checks to look at every tiny detail of every little thing possible until you roll a one and poke your eye out, to the amusement of your allies so they get a morale bonus, and then you go do it again. Crazy, yes, but if you are a munchkin, you'll consider it totally viable. Also, if you make the fails harder to get, you make it harder to activate unintentionally as well, making the talent more likely to be considered too situation to be useful...

((For one, I personally think they're not strong enough; if the campaign is being run right, an effective Athletics score of 2 kinda sucks.))

((Two, it is (in my opinion) the GM's prerogative to make sure, that once in great while, the player falls behind a little because of a low stat. Stunt Check of 2 is a bad deal when you're running from that Plutonium Dragon; either you need to get really lucky on the die roll, or hope someone's willing to carry you. Not to say that should be a constant thing; just a "once in a while" thing, as a painful reminder that they chose to specialize. And is why I generally stick to nearly Everypony stats.))
Remember, Athletics and Acrobatics are basically the same thing. You can use either to run away from that Plutonium Dragon. If you have spec'd into one, you have little use for the other. Athletics is the stronger one of the two because you get to do stuff which requires pure strength, such as moving a boulder, but building Precision gives other useful stuff, such as stealth and mechanics...

((Thirdly (and this is a bit off-topic, but still) it really irritates me when specific skills are ignored just because the situation never comes up; if a character fails to eat every 5-8 hours, they ought to be rolling Endurance, with morale penalties for failure until they find some nommage. If they crit fail a Witchcraft check, an Endurance check could save them from the magical backlash. Etcetera.))

Most parties carry around food with them, but the GM doesn't make them roleplay eating because that wastes time and is somewhat boring, so unless there is a reason they don't have food, everyone assumes they have brought some. And if they haven't brought any, that's only because one party member somehow creates a meal out of nothing and is so delicious it satisfies them for the whole day (Instant-Party). In my opinion, Endurance is the weakest skill to build into, followed by either Heal or Streetwise. That's why everyone puts points in Precision. Everything Precision gives is good in a lot of situations...

((Again, the GM can fix this by simply providing a situation where it might be best to hold still. Or perhaps are forced to hold still.))

((It's simple, really... just think of every situation in which you've heard a little kid say "How much longer do I have to stand here?" And put the Hyper one into such a situation. And let hilarity ensue.))

But if the GM has to design situations to counter it, it's not really much of a flaw, is it? That's like designing a situation where an illusion-based character is forced into a room full of enemies with True Sight. In addition, the flaw part comes after every hour, not instantly. The GM basically has to aim to stop the player from moving for the longest time for the flaw part of the flaw to happen, and a -1 penalty isn't all that much to be honest. Basically, hyperactive is perma-haste, and is only considered a flaw because it has some small penalties and, if you don't reflavour it (don't forget players can do that), your character will be hyperactive...

((True. It could use some tweaking. Perhaps it could cover some other out-of-battle negatives, such as morale or non-HP based wounds.))
Even so, the point about risking taking double the effect still remains. But I'm not the kind of guy who'd take something like that, so it might just be me not liking the talent itself...

((Yeeees, but A) who has that kind of time, and B) if they do have that kind of time and devotion, don't you think they probably earned it with all the high checks they'd have to be rolling to reliably get over DC 30? To intentionally trigger an effect that would, without said utility talent, be a much higher DC? I fail to see the problem, other than wasting time; which is easy to fix with GM'ing skills.))
It doesn't take that much time if you just keep up picking up dice, saying you make a Perception check (and you know a player can easily get +20 in Perception easily), and keep repeating it. The party will understand, since they know how good getting all your Magic points and Dailies back is. But thinking about this made me realise that the possible abuse isn't the problem, since you still need to roll the double six. But that leads on to the the problem I just realised. Assuming you can't abuse it, why take it? The high check means that if you have at least a +10 to any check, you risk falling asleep, and if you don't, you have no chance to proc this talent, making it useless. In addition, there is only a 1/36 chance for it to be worth it, but a 5/18 chance for it to punish you with a -3 penalty to all checks. Would you spend a utility talent slot for those chances?

((Admittedly, it could use an octane boost, and some re-wording.))
If you say so. To be honest, you could get rid of the whole penalty part and make it a normal utility talent and people would consider taking it, as it's just like taking a second copy of a daily talent...

((Again, a simple octane boost would probably remedy this. Perhaps allowing it to stack with trained and Cutie Mark skills? Maybe a slightly higher bonus, or affecting three skills instead of two.))
I can't really comment on balance. I don't really like stuff that increase the critical failure. Personally, I think Derp would be actually considered as a serious utility talent if it was buffed so it fails on only 1 and 2, as opposed to 1, 2, and 3. Currently, it's balanced but no one takes it since it still takes a utility slot...

((Again, boost it. Maybe 2 or 3 attribute points instead of one.))
Even if you did, it's still pretty boring, and it suffers a problem I think a lot of these flaws suffer, which I will explain at the end...

((True on the above too. Working on it, but I don't see them getting too far either.))
Okay...

((In defense of PK in general: How many times has a Unicorn used Ponykinesis, and it's 30 ft ranges, to grab something off the top shelf, or otherwise out of reach?))
PK has a range of 50ft, not 30ft. Also, I wouldn't know, I haven't really played much, just analysed...

Now that's over, let's get back to analysing...

Eerie Focus is weaker than I’ve Read A Lot About It unless you already have training in the skill you want to boost, in which case it just becomes boring...

Everything Has To Be Perfect! is okay, I guess, although maybe it's on the weak side. You have to fail at least three checks for the bonus to go, and then it can still continue to go downhill from there, but it depends on how you play. I'm not a fan of it, but I don't seem to be a fan of many things here...

One problem I have with Lucid Dreamer is that it punishes for rolling high, while usually rolling high is a good thing. Otherwise, it's another Double Or Nothing talent, with some added Nothing Happens on top...

Storm Hopper is very situational. I'm not a big fan because of it. Thunder and Lightning doesn't really happen that often, so getting bonuses and penalties around that is kinda bad...

Haunted requires constant work from the GM to make an infinite amount of characters for spirits that hang around for the whole day, and make quests for the player with the talent to go on, and because of it, the one player will be in the centre of the spotlight while doing these tasks. It's not fair on the GM to make all this for one talent, and not fair on the other players to have the spotlight constantly on one of the players (as an addition, bonus analysis, I don't like Mother Nature's Mare for the same reason)...

Defenestrative Urges is, erm, yeah. Before I criticise this, I need to ask, why would you take it? Like, seriously? This talent is nothing but trouble...

Colorblind could arguably give combat bonuses, which is bad. Other than that, it's super, super weak due to the harsh penalties and lack of magic detection and, well, the fact you are colourblind will no doubt hurt as well. Nightwatch give night vision, so you can see why Colorblind isn't worth the utility talent slot...

Workaholic's bonus/penalty system is different than anything else in the system, so it's going to be a bit of a black sheep there. It also doesn't give any benefits until you build them, which also puts it in an awkward place. I don't see any reason to take it, it's kinda weird all around...

Eternal Pessimist is also abusable. Just keep making those checks after a rest to get the good stuff...

Amnesiac is okay. You can't make any plans with it, but whatever. Three questions though. One, can you use it on itself? Two, how would you decide what random talent you get instead? And three, what happens if you get a talent which has pre-requirements you don't meet?

Snail's Pace is dull. You suffer some big penalties for a slightly better Take 10...

Foreign Speaker is arguably weaker than Freaky Knowledge because Freaky Knowledge doesn't have any downsides, while Foreign Speaker gives a Persuasion penalty and prevents easy communication between the character with the talent and the other characters, and the extra one area of knowledge won't be worth it. I will assume any player who takes this will play like the R2D2 player in that Star Wars D&D web comic...

Identity Issues is kinda boring. It doesn't really do much useful, and that penalty can be deadly if unchecked. Maybe I'm not looking at it right. Tell me, how would you use it?

Blunt Magic is also boring...

Calorie Mage is, well, yeah. Needs work. Question; how does it work with the Instant Party's meal which satisfies ponies for the entire day?

Crashmaster and Delicate Flyer is basically the same deal as Appletennie and Bigger Mac, but taken to 11 and with flying. If you are building towards one of the two, you have no use for the other...

I don't understand Deep Focus. Can someone please explain?

Diurnal, Nocturnal, and Crepasecular are all situational, dull, and I hate them...

Disaster Magnet suffers from you-will-never-use-its-benefit syndrome, unless it applies in combat as well, which is bad design...

Magically Unstable is Lucid Dreamer but simpler...

Oh phew, I'm actually done...

A big problem with a good chunk of these flaws is that they encourage min-maxing. You take a flaw which gives big benefits to something you are already good at, and the downside is negated because you had no plans to use the thing you sacrifice in the first place. Appleteenie, Bigger Mac, Hyperactive, Heavy Weight, Eerie Focus, Crashmaster, and Delicate Flyer do this the best, but a few of the other ones do if you play it right. You have already said that you prefer characters who are balanced, so you might not see this as a problem, but it is one. I checked. In the two campaigns which allowed a free flaw, two players took the Appleteenie flaw, and in both cases, they put at least 3 points in Precision and no points in Brawn. Obviously, they didn't go to 11 with this, but it shows that you can...

All the other flaws are abusable, too weak, too situational/boring, too weird, or okay, which by that I mean that they are okay in the same sense that Derp is okay...

My main problem with a load of this talents is that they are basically roll modifiers. It's all very dull. Derp doesn't give any modifier. It affects your likelihood of getting a critical failure, sure, but doesn't provide a modifier. Meanwhile, almost 25 talents here mainly work with modifiers. That's why I don't like a good chunk. In a world where I can phase walk, wipe minds, speak to animals, summon a ghostly battering ram, alter the atmospheric conditions in 10 seconds, build weird machines, and transform into a dolphin, why would I settle for something which makes me more efficient in a thing or two unless I heavily build into getting the most out of that thing?

I do have to ask though, and this is for anyone who wishes to answer. In your honest opinion, which flaws on the first page would you actually spend a Utility Talent slot on yourself? Keeping in mind all the other talents you could have instead. If you do find one, why would you take it? I'm interested in your answers...

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Re: Let's make some Flaws!

Post  Grey Pen The Flawed on Thu Jan 31, 2013 9:36 pm

I'm not going to answer all of that tonight; I'm tired and a little cranky, and it would probably come off as too rude right no. but, I will answer one or two issues right now.

Paper Shadow wrote:Identity Issues is kinda boring. It doesn't really do much useful, and that penalty can be deadly if unchecked. Maybe I'm not looking at it right. Tell me, how would you use it?

((It is currently in use in Derp Quest, to sneak a cat PC onto a train unnoticed. You might go look...))

Oh phew, I'm actually done...

((Eeenope. There's two or three more that haven't been added yet Wink ))

I do have to ask though, and this is for anyone who wishes to answer. In your honest opinion, which flaws on the first page would you actually spend a Utility Talent slot on yourself? Keeping in mind all the other talents you could have instead. If you do find one, why would you take it? I'm interested in your answers...

I have already taken Lucid Dreamer and Quirky on two different characters. If I get the chance, I am also contemplating Phobia, Obsession, Narcoleptic, and Crashmaster currently.

A couple of final words: Yes, a lot of these are unbalanced, abusable, time-consuming, and/or pointless; that's why they're in a forum thread instead of the Rulebook. They will become balanced, non-abusive, and unobtrusive, one way or another; I and a lot of other people have worked hard enough on this that it's all but impossible to throw it all away now, even if it ends up looking rather different at the end, even if quite a bit gets cut out, some of it will make it there one day.

If you have issues with it, fine... help us fix them. You've already identified the problems, how about some solutions? How would you fix all this, without just forgetting about it and moving on? If you can't do that, then forget about it, move on, and leave it to us.
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Re: Let's make some Flaws!

Post  Z2 on Fri Feb 01, 2013 2:02 am

Hi-ho! I've let everypony in my campaign take a flaw, and I figure I could keep you posted on how they work out. A check of 15 for The G & PT seemed excessively low, so we've decided to make it 15 + (your persuasion/2). It seems like fair scaling based on the persuasion of the characters.
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Re: Let's make some Flaws!

Post  Grey Pen The Flawed on Fri Feb 01, 2013 10:16 am

We noticed that issue in Derp Quest too (though the situation for using it never came up). That's actually a pretty good solution, why didn't I think of that?
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Re: Let's make some Flaws!

Post  Stairc -Dan Felder on Fri Feb 01, 2013 7:02 pm

Wow, PaperShadow's last big comment was detailed and excellent. Very nice job.

What about this?

Muffins
You lose the first magic point you would gain at the end of each extended rest. You gain the following utility talent.

Muffin! - 5/day
Trigger - You roll a natural 1 on a skill check.
Effect - Reroll the check.
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Re: Let's make some Flaws!

Post  Grey Pen The Flawed on Fri Feb 01, 2013 7:17 pm

Interesting!

I'll get the new stuff edited in tonight... I've got things to do right now Sad
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Re: Let's make some Flaws!

Post  Xel Unknown on Fri Feb 01, 2013 7:28 pm

Stairc -Dan Felder wrote:Wow, PaperShadow's last big comment was detailed and excellent. Very nice job.

What about this?

Muffins
You lose the first magic point you would gain at the end of each extended rest. You gain the following utility talent.

Muffin! - 5/day
Trigger - You roll a natural 1 on a skill check.
Effect - Reroll the check.
I'm now thinking that Mixing Muffins with Derp... WOULD MAKE YOU A GOD!

Given the fact that derp turns 2 and 3 into nat 1s too. So you'd get a 5 per day option to roll nat 1s and derp rolls... Only cost is that you just only get one magic point out of that deal.
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Re: Let's make some Flaws!

Post  Z2 on Fri Feb 01, 2013 8:24 pm

Ah, but you see, that's not what it says. Derp doesn't make 2 & 3 natural 1s, it makes them critical failures LIKE natural 1s. I've thought about that applicability before. It's created the interesting situation for me that rolling a 1 is superior to rolling a 2.
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Re: Let's make some Flaws!

Post  Stairc -Dan Felder on Fri Feb 01, 2013 8:46 pm

Actually, Derp treats the roll as if it were a natural 1 - letting you use all sorts of things like This is Whining and Muffins. Muffins was designed with Derp in mind.
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Re: Let's make some Flaws!

Post  Grey Pen The Flawed on Fri Feb 01, 2013 8:49 pm

I think the wording on Derp needs to be modified to reflect that...
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Re: Let's make some Flaws!

Post  Xel Unknown on Fri Feb 01, 2013 8:53 pm

I wonder why it hasn't be reworded yet... I mean this ISN'T the first time it's been brought up.
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Re: Let's make some Flaws!

Post  Paper Shadow on Fri Feb 01, 2013 8:55 pm

Muffins is pretty good. I personally don't like the idea of instantly losing my only magic point at the start of the day, but the talent might tempt someone else. It's interaction with Derp is also interesting. It provides a safety net for critical failures, and secretly for the low numbers 2 and 3 as well, but it's balanced because it takes 2 utility talent slots, and the chance of getting six 1s, 2s, or 3s is 3/20, so it'll only be a problem if you are unlucky or you roll around 40 skill checks a day. I would suggest that you make it able to affect allies you can see as well, as it adds utility to the talent, which the single version needs, but if you give allies muffins when you have the Derp talent as well, you will put yourself more at risk, which makes the idea useful and devious at the same time. Besides, you can't eat all those muffins. You gotta share, you gotta care...

See, I would like to help with the idea of flaws, but I honest think that a lot of the flaws on the first page just won't work. I don't think that any flaw with the following will ever work:
  • Gives a modifier to skills or skill rolls, be it positive to negative.
  • Either the positive or negative effects don't take effect if or until the player makes a successful or unsuccessful skill roll.
  • It takes more than a few sentences to explain.
  • I'm pretty sure there is something else here as well, but I've forgotten it...

Personally, I hate double-or-nothing ideas as well, because they are usually boring. With those in mind though, I made my own flaw. It's kinda like Dan's in the fact that you sacrifice something to get a usable talent, but I thought of it before seeing Dan's...

Copycat
You no longer roll critical successes on skills other than your Cutie Mark skill. You gain the following utility talent:
Monkey See, Monkey Do - 2/Day
Trigger - You see an ally make a skill check.
Effect - You make the same skill check, taking the result your ally got as if you had rolled it.

A variation you could have is that you can still roll critical successes in skills you have training in, but then I feel it's too easy to get rid of the flaw part of the flaw...

Now, I will admit, there are only so many variations on limits and bonuses regarding critical successes, critical failures, and magic points you can make, but I still believe that making flaws that are basically modifiers for skills isn't the way to go...

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Re: Let's make some Flaws!

Post  tygerburningbright on Fri Feb 01, 2013 9:14 pm

This one has been in my head for a while

Antimagical
You are unable to use or be affected by magic.
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Re: Let's make some Flaws!

Post  Z2 on Fri Feb 01, 2013 9:23 pm

Antimagical would be nearly impossible to balance. It seems more like something you give a MacGuffin than a player.
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Re: Let's make some Flaws!

Post  Xel Unknown on Fri Feb 01, 2013 9:26 pm

I think it'd be better to put it as a resistance type of thing for using such rolls to being effected by magic or using magic or a magical item.
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Re: Let's make some Flaws!

Post  Caden2112 on Sat Feb 02, 2013 12:28 am

Well, there's two versions I can think of, one for if it's a true flaw, and another for if it's a nifty talent...

(Flaw version)
You have a 50% chance of ignoring any hostile magical effect outright. However, you do not start with a magic point, and cannot gain any.

(HORRIFICALLY UNBALANCED, but it's a start maybe?)

(Talent version)
Antimagic (Magic)
For the next five minutes, hostile magical effects do not effect you. This also cancels any current magical effects on you.

((Again, not easy to balance, but I'm trying to think of things.))
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Re: Let's make some Flaws!

Post  Grey Pen The Flawed on Sat Feb 02, 2013 1:19 am

Added the new Flaws.
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Re: Let's make some Flaws!

Post  GentlemanOtherwise on Sun Feb 03, 2013 2:31 pm

Wrathful Wrangler
You may make an appropriate Stunts or Persuasion roll to muscle and bully any person into doing what you want of them, regardless of their size compared to yours - a limp-wristed little foal can force a Minotaur to move or goad a sweet young filly into spiting someone with Wrath. However, if you are slighted, you suffer from a -3 Morale penalty until you take some sort of loud, flamboyant revenge which your target notices, to which they react poorly.

Greedyguts
When bargaining costs and payments, you receive a 10% discount on all purchased items, as well as an extra 10% when selling them. However, you cannot willingly allow another pony access to your own equipment or money.

Slothful Snorer
When taking an extended rest, you may add an hour to the time sleeping to add +5 to a single skill for 24 hours. However, you cannot work more than 4 hours at a time without an hour break between. Additionally, when sleeping, you cannot be woken up unless you are physically harmed in some way or stimulated from sleep by magic specifically designed for said.

Perilously Prideful
When rolling a nat20 on any skill check, gain two magic points. However, when challenged to any sort of competition, make a Persuasion check against the opponent. On a failure, you must compete with them in the given competition until you either succeed or fail and make another Persuasion check. If the competition involves one of your trained skills, the Persuasion check is at -3. If it involves your Cutie Mark Skill, the roll is at -5. If it is both trained and Cutie Mark, -8. After succeeding at a challenge, you are immune to further challenge attempts from the same person for 24 hours.
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Re: Let's make some Flaws!

Post  Paper Shadow on Mon Feb 04, 2013 8:52 pm

The problem with an variant of an anti-magic talent is that it implies that you'd be protected from magic in combat as well. After all, if you're not going to be affected by a magical barrier or magical disguise, why should a conjured fireball be able to hurt you? This can be fixed by a cause saying that the talent doesn't affect combat, but then it becomes awkward. Why are you protected from magic in all situations except the situation where protection against magic would help the most? It's a nice idea, and if the system was designed for out-of-combat stuff and in-combat stuff to affect each other, it might work, but I doubt that it has a place in this system...

Wrathful Wrangler suffers the problem of being designed for Stunts (or Athletics, as it's called now for some reason) and Persuasion. No other build will benefit from the flaw, so no other build will take it. In addition, if you build Stunts or Persuasion, then a -3 Modifier isn't going to mean much to someone who has +20 in those things unless it stacks, and if it does stack, it becomes deadly if you aren't too careful...

Greedyguts is kinda hard to talk about. The main form of purchasing items in Pony Tales comes from items which you use in combat. The cheapest trinkets are 500 gold. Greedyguts gives very little when you think about it and compare the prices with the recommended money level in The Treasure Trove sheet. It only helps from level 3 onwards, with the actual worth of the extra items you get increasing at levels 6, 9, and 10. In addition, Pony Tales works so, when you sell the item, you get 100% of the cost back. It allows you to easily try and change items in case you get addition funds to spend, or you don't like your current combination. Which means, if you get 10% extra from selling an item, you don't need to have knowledge of the future to play the stock market to make trillions...

I don't know why, but I dislike Slothful Snorer. It gives me bad vibes, like something is wrong about it, but I'm not confident in my explanation to post it. I guess that is my inexperience with actually playing the system. I don't know how often in the system you will work for 4 hours without a break. If almost never, I think the flaw is too powerful. If it's common, I think it is too weak. Maybe I don't like the feel of the flaw? Maybe the positive part is boring? I don't know what, but there's something about it I don't like...

Perilously Prideful is abusable, since like previous examples, spamming checks during a quiet period will allow you to gain the positives easily. In addition, a Persuasion built character can avoid pretty much every challenge easily, except Persuasion challenges, which are as likely as they sound. Even if they roll low, they can use of their infinite magic points to use The Stare to further protect themselves from anything short of a Natural 1...

Volatile Temperament is boring. C'mon guys, stop making flaws which aren't always present. They are so dull...

I already mentioned Mother Nature's Mare in my Haunted analysis. Basically, it forces the DM to create a new event every day and constantly puts the player who took the trait in the spotlight...

Now that I understand Identity Issues, I feel it's abusable, and that the example you gave to be a poor one, as it was tied to an item which also seemed to have an illusion element tied to it. I think it works something like Buzz Lightyear in Toy Story 1. He thinks he's a real Space Ranger, and everyone but Woody believes him, so every time Woody said that he was just a toy, Buzz would suffer a -1 modifier, or something. Anyway, it's abusable because if you were to say that your character believed he was, say, the greatest thief or the strongest stallion or something, he'd get a +10 modifier to prove that. Basically, as long as the character knew someone was watching them or expecting them to do something, they would get a +10 modifier on all checks, which includes Stunts, Stealth, Mechanics, History, Arcana, you name it. Basically, with the right wording and clever play, it's a permanent +10 boost to all rolls...

That's all for now...

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Re: Let's make some Flaws!

Post  GentlemanOtherwise on Mon Feb 04, 2013 9:04 pm

How's this to fix the issue with Greedyguts?

Greedyguts
You may purchase any item for 90% of its actual price, and often receive half-off on minor purchases. However, you are too attached to your possessions to ever sell them, and you cannot use your money for the sake of others - only for yourself.
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Re: Let's make some Flaws!

Post  Stairc -Dan Felder on Mon Feb 04, 2013 10:32 pm

Well for one thing, it shouldn't affect the ability to purchase combat benefits like all items in the system currently provide. Utility things should never affect combat.
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Re: Let's make some Flaws!

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