Harminous Element

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Re: Harminous Element

Post  Fury of the Tempest on Mon Feb 11, 2013 3:15 pm

Philadelphus wrote:Let me sit down with it this week and go over it thoroughly, and if I can clear up any confusions or potential problems I find I'll see if I can get it tested in the next game I'm in, which should be starting in a month or so.

Thank you, thank you. Thank you!!!!
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Re: Harminous Element

Post  Philadelphus on Wed Feb 13, 2013 2:54 am

First part of analysis: the overall mechanics (future parts will go over each element separately).

–Tying directly into Harmony gained: It's an interesting idea, and definitely fits thematically, though I can't help feeling that 400 Harmony is a slightly odd number to remember, compared to, say, every 500 Harmony. Also, I know that at least some groups (such as the one I'm currently in) don't really keep track of their Harmony precisely, preferring instead to let the GM keep track of it in a general sense and simply informing the party when they level up. One advantage of tying things to level-ups is that it's less work to remember when to get a new bonus, which is why I did it for my supplement; everyone can agree on when a level-up happens, and it's easier for GMs who don't want to track Harmony that closely (and since level-ups are tied it Harmony, after all, it works thematically as well). If nothing else, perhaps you could add an alternate method that ties points more closely to level-ups. That might be the best solution overall.

– 22 seems like a pretty good number of points, allowing some granularity without getting into numbers too large to easily do mental arithmetic on. That's partly why I chose 20 for the number of Talent Points you get in my supplement.

Now, just letting you have free-rein about being able to grab different attributes and abilities from elements that aren’t your own rather ruins the point of the Elements of Harmony.
I don't think so, honestly. Just because you most strongly associate with one of the elements doesn't mean that you don't resonate with the others as well. I like the idea of being able to gain access to additional Elemental powers, but I think the cost is a bit low. Although you should be able to gain access to additional Elements, it should probably take longer than 1.2 levels' worth of Harmony to be able to get the benefits of second one.

The cost of buying an upgrade in a system like this actually serves two purposes: it limits how many points you have to spend on other things, and it also provides a bare minimum of time that must pass before you can afford it. The idea of splitting the costs into buying the ability to buy additional upgrades and buying the actual talent itself is ingenious, and I like it, however, I would suggest changing the cost scheme. Make it a flat 1 point to buy the ability to buy additional upgrades, and make it another flat or perhaps even a decreasing cost to buy the original abilities. Now, it currently goes like this:

Second Element [1] [2]
Third Element [2] [3]
Fourth Element [3] [4]
Fifth Element [4] [5]
Sixth Element [5] [6]

According to Dan, each Element's power is supposed to be roughly equal to one utility talent, and under this cost structure you can buy access to the full abilities of a second Element after only 1.2 levels worth of Harmony. It pains me slightly to suggest this because I love getting additional stuff, but in order to keep it from being too powerful it might best if you limit people in the number of additional Elements they can have the benefits of. After all, in my supplement, you're only getting the equivalent of two additional utility talents' worth of power, whereas with this system you get five.

I'd suggest making it go something like this:

Second Element [1] [7]
Third Element [1] [6]
Fourth Element [1] [5]
Fifth Element [1] [-]
Sixth Element [1] [-]

Given that you listed the cost of various Alternate upgrades as 7 points, and those are supposed to be equivalent to the original abilities of the Elements, I think the costs I put fit pretty well. This would mean that people could only get up to three additional elements at the cost of 20 Element points (and being level 10) while still having 2 left over to spend on other things (and having access to 4 different Elements is still pretty amazingly powerful). I think this might be useful because if there's no way to buy all the Elemental powers, no one will feel like they "gotta collect 'em all" and will (hopefully) feel more like spending those points on the other cool abilities you came up with.

In defense of my two main points, when I showed this to my GM for potential use in our next campaign he balked precisely because he didn't want to keep track of the group's Harmony that closely and because he felt it was much too easy to get additional Elements. I think that this supplement has a lot of potential so I'm going to keep offering suggestions for improvement, and hopefully with a little tinkering we can get it to a place where he's willing to test it.


Also, one little random thought I had: given that these are Harmony points, and tied to the group's Harmony, what if you could spend Harmony points to buy additional daily Magic Points? There's only one way to get them at the moment (Derp), and it doesn't quite tie in with the theme of my supplement, but I could easily see spending 10 Harmony points to get an additional daily Magic Point. Just an idea I had.
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Re: Harminous Element

Post  Fury of the Tempest on Wed Feb 13, 2013 8:52 am

I thank you for your feedback and have decided to your judgement does make sense.

Because of this, I have listen an alternative system that means you get Harmony points when you level up, but has the same amount of points over all. Plus, I have made it harder in acquiring the elements' talents as you have suggested, while making it much easier to get the elements themselves, and thus getting access to the passive abilities.

I'm not sure about spending 10 points for another magic point through, I gave Magic a 15 cost passive of getting an extra magic point... but I do admit. I would like to have a way of using Harmony Points like you have done for your Talent points.
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Re: Harminous Element

Post  Philadelphus on Tue Mar 05, 2013 5:43 am

Alright, I really haven't actually forgotten this, just been too busy to sit down and give it the attention it deserves for a few weeks.
Loyalty

[2] Talent, Stackable - For an hour, grant your allies a +1 bonus to skills you are trained in. If this talent is taken several times, both the duration and bonus increases by 1

[4] Passive, Unique - When rolling to assist an ally, gain a +5 bonus to pass the assist.

[3] Ability, Stackable, 1/Day - When an ally fails a check in a skill you are trained in, you can roll for the test yourself. Any negative that the ally would take for fail the test are inflicted on yourself instead. By expanding a magic point, you can use this ability an additional time per day

[7] Alternative - For ten minutes, if any ally fails a skill check in a skill you are trained in, perform the skill check yourself with a +5 bonus. Treat your ally's check as successful if you succeed.
For the Talent: I like the idea you're going for here, but I'm not sure it stays true to your vision if you take it to its logical extremes. By level 5, you could have 5 uses of this, which gives your allies a +5 bonus to all their checks on skills you are trained in for the next 5 hours. Keep going, and you could eventually provide allies a +11 bonus for the next 11 hours at level 10. If your trained skills are ones that come up frequently, this could be quite powerful.

I've noticed that usually in Pony Tales, the more powerful a talent is, the shorter the duration of its effects (it's almost like some sort of equine-flavored quantum mechanical non-commutativity principle). The Elements, as they currently exist, tend to have fairly short-duration but powerful effects. I would suggest thinking about changing this one a bit; one option would be to simple make it so that the duration of the effect doesn't go up as you take additional levels. That way you can't have a party walking around with a +10 bonus to two skills for ten hours. (Or are counting a cutie mark as a separate training, if it's not stacked?)

Another option would be to make it shorter, but give it a more powerful effect. For instance, maybe it could give everyone a +5 bonus to their next roll, or +3 to their next 3 rolls, or something. That way it feels more like it's tied specifically to the use of the Element of Loyalty. Something inspiring that gives people a boost to their next attempt. You could also possibly have it be able to be taken multiple times, though probably not more than 2 or 3.

For the Passive: I like this one. I'd be interested to hear how you arrived at the pricing for it, since there's the utility talent you can take that gives a +1 bonus, and this is basically 5 times more powerful than that, and you can get it by level...2? 3? But I really do like the idea of getting bonuses to assist.

For the Ability: Hmmm...so, let me see if I understand this: it's similar to Awesomeness, but instead of letting your ally reroll upon failure, you roll for them and take the brunt of any consequences if you too fail? Huh. That's definitely an interesting idea. I'll need to think about it some more, but the part about being able to use it with a Magic Point is a neat touch.

For the Alternative: Forgive me if I'm misunderstanding this, but this is basically the same as the Ability, just with a 10 minute duration and a +5 bonus, correct? It seems pretty balanced overall, since it requires an ally to fail (which is generally something to avoid), and in a skill that you have training it (so it could be more or less useful depending on your trained skills). I'll probably need to ponder this one as well.

Anyway, let me know what you think of those ideas. About the question of what you could use unspent Harmony Points for, I came up with an idea the other day: You know how I have it so that you can use Talent Points to add to your own skill checks – but only your own, not an ally's? What if unspent Harmony Points worked the other way, they could be used to boost an ally's roll, but not your own? (Either as a bonus on top of a successful assist check, or just in general.) It would help promote team work since there's no incentive to spend them on yourself, and if you're also using the Talent Specialization it fits in nicely. Just another thought.

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Re: Harminous Element

Post  Fury of the Tempest on Tue Mar 05, 2013 4:39 pm

Hmmm... you do have a point about the loyalty talent... I'll tone it down, so it only lasts for an hour... and increase the cost to three as well.

Using spare harmony to upgrade your allies moves is also an excellent idea, I'm going to add that...

Is it okay that I steal what you got about spending talent points, and change it from 'your' to 'allies' etc? It explains things so well, and the systems are extremely similar...
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Re: Harminous Element

Post  Philadelphus on Wed Mar 06, 2013 12:59 am

Fury of the Tempest wrote:
Is it okay that I steal what you got about spending talent points, and change it from 'your' to 'allies' etc? It explains things so well, and the systems are extremely similar...
Go right ahead. Smile

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Re: Harminous Element

Post  Fury of the Tempest on Wed Mar 06, 2013 11:26 am

Well, turns out it didn't really fit... so I just add a small bit before the Keywords
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Re: Harminous Element

Post  Fury of the Tempest on Thu Mar 07, 2013 2:42 pm

Not much to announce here. However, I have updated the Harmonious Elements document, and all of the Harmony's now have an additional passive or ability. Its not much, but it does give people a wider range of choices, which is the point of the document, is it not?
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Re: Harminous Element

Post  Z2 on Thu May 02, 2013 4:41 am

Hi-Ho! I'm implementing this add-on in a campaign I'm using, and I've designed upgrades for the 'Lost Elements' that I'm also using. I figured I could post them here, too:


Hope:
[7] Talent, Unique: The protection offered by Hope allows ANY roll that makes the DC to succeed (e.g. 14 athletics, DC 15, roll a 1, succeed anyway)
[9] Talent, Unique: Hope's protection extends to the triggering roll as well
[4] Passive, Stackable: every time you or an ally fails a skill check, that player can add a +1 to checks on that skill for the remainder of the day
[10] Alternative (Nothing is Impossible): DOUBLE the roll made for a check with a DC of 60 or higher
[1] Ability, Stackable: Once per day, gain a bonus equal to twice the number of times you have taken this ability for a check made to prevent a death.

Trust:
[5] Talent, Unique: An ally that Trust is used on may choose to NOT receive any of your utility talents that they do not desire.
[5] Talent, Unique: If you 'Trust' an ally who has training in a skill that you also have training in, they gain an additional +5 bonus to checks using that skill
[7] Alternative (Burden of Trust): Target helpless creature must act as your ally for the next 1d20-4 hours (if negative numbers result, creature betrays you causing...trouble)
[1] Passive, Stackable: You gain an additional +1 from an allies successful assist check made to help you, but suffer a -1 if they fail
[4] Ability, Stackable: Pass off an active effect of an ability you've used to an ally... Target ally uses the effect as if they had activated it themselves.

Love:
[5] Alternative (Loves Live for Each Other): Swap all 'conditions' with a willing ally: This means HP, MP, any kind of Poisoning, etc.
[10] Talent, Stackable: Store up to three more 'Gifts of love'
[12] Talent, Unique: Each additional gift spent grants the full +4 bonus.
[6] Talent, Stackable: Gain an additional +1 if you spend only a single 'gift of love' on an assist.
[1] Talent, Stackable up to 12: when you spend a 'gift of love' on an ally, they may roll a d20. If they roll at least a 21-x (where x is the number of times you've taken this ability,) they also gain a 'gift of love' to spend.
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Re: Harminous Element

Post  Fury of the Tempest on Thu May 09, 2013 2:30 pm

Someone is actually going to test this?!

Awesome! Please tell me how it goes!

Also, you keeping track of the points via Harmony or levels?
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