8 Point Template for races

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Re: 8 Point Template for races

Post  Zarhon on Sat Mar 02, 2013 8:23 pm

Why would basic flight be unable to hover? Fluttershy does that a lot. What do you define as hovering, exactly? Flying, in itself, is hovering, and basic flight allows that without penalty, so I'm not sure I catch the logic of it.

Also, trained/master flying doesn't state that you can actually hover.
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Re: 8 Point Template for races

Post  Ramsus on Sat Mar 02, 2013 9:02 pm

Z2... +15 now? It was a problem at +5. Raising the number just makes the problem worse.

Edit: You might as well just make a Utility that's "+50 to everything, so long as you're a flying monkey banjo player". It doesn't matter how many Utilities it costs to do so, specializing in that way breaks the balance of the system. Giving the potential for that game breaking bonus to an arbitrarily select group of people is always going to be unfair. And giving it to everyone not only makes the bonus pointless but, also forces people to take it in order to achieve anything. You might as well be telling people they get one less utility talent for no reason and left the DCs for things alone.

As for hovering, that's flying without moving anywhere and is in fact a difficult feat capable of being done by only the most skilled of flying creatures in real life. It is true that Fluttershy and most pegasi just seem to do it at will. I figured it was just meant to be the cherry on top of the end of the Flight tree. That said, I don't think it matters much at all gameplay wise so there's probably no actual reason to require the top flight skill or such for it.
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Re: 8 Point Template for races

Post  Xel Unknown on Sat Mar 02, 2013 9:21 pm

*note to self: Built a Flying Monkey Banjo Player... That idea is AWESOME.*


Oh yeah... Ramsus got a point and stuff... I wish I had something more to add.
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Re: 8 Point Template for races

Post  Z2 on Sun Mar 03, 2013 12:06 am

While I did say that +15 might have been a bit much, I'm not entirely sure - or rather, I am supremely sure - what you're looking for her Ramsus.

I have no clue what exactly you mean by 'arbitrarily select group of people', but it seems to me the biggest legitimate reason for your objections is based on less than stellar DMing. I'm sorry for whoever you've been with whose answer was always 'crank up the DC' but that isn't what high stats ACTUALLY mean. Somepony with a significant bonus in a skill will obviously look for a solution that uses it, yanno, kinda like in real life. Then that area of competence turns out to not be as effective. Have an example: There is a door in the way, the jack of all trades could attempt to make its 20 lockpicking DC; while the 'flying tackle specialist' could attempt the higher 35 DC of 'break the door down'.

Literally everything gets reflavored. Most of the players suggest new content. We. Like. Stuff.

I get it, you hate the very concept of a flat mechanical bonus of significance; but it doesn't break the game. Combat? Interactions of utilities with each other? Those might get a bit out of hand, but not this.

I tried to make a suitable compromise, because HEY! flat +5 to 5 skills? That very well could be a bit of a 'showstealer'. So it only does one skill. One skill so that the specialists, who want to play their ground-despising characters, and who can't destroy a properly formed system by virtue of a +30 bonus to what is still a single skill, can have their wishes.

I might be reading far to much into your last post, but I did address, at least, what was decisively there. I really think you should evaluate what you mean by 'game breaking' on this one, and if it could really be said to be the ability's fault. And after you finish that, how about:

+3 to an attribute
or
+10 to a skill?
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Re: 8 Point Template for races

Post  Ramsus on Sun Mar 03, 2013 1:13 am

By "arbitrarily select group of people" I mean fliers. As opposed to jester or spies or doctors or blind monks or banjo playing monkeys or whatever. Fliers are the only concept applicable for this bonus you want them to get that nobody else can get for the sole reason of them not being fliers.

I think you're misunderstanding me somewhere. It's not a problem of a GM deficiency that causes flat bonuses to raise DCs. It's a problem of correct GMing that would cause that. You can't have half your players auto-succeeding at extremely difficult tasks while the rest of your players are failing at moderate ones. The larger the disparity between "the worst" and "the best" is, the harder it is for anyone who exists in the middle to accomplish anything. The more always on + bonuses to skills we have, the less and less viable a jack of all trades or even just not hyper specialized character is capable of accomplishing.

You can't have this system where people roll out of character creation with flat +40 bonuses to the thing they're good at and have a DC of 25 be something that's supposed to be difficult. You'd then have a completely cartoon physics world where people are doing insane stuff that completely defies logic any time they feel like it. This doesn't work for a roleplaying game. So if people are running around with always on +40 bonuses to stuff the DCs are higher as a result to make it possible for them to not automatically accomplish any ridiculous thing they come up with. This in turn makes it impossible for characters who aren't specialized like that and only have a +15 to even have a shot at accomplishing the same tasks or even doing anything useful that's related.

You mentioned stellar GMing. You know what a stellar GM does when presented with a system like that? They make house rules to fix the broken system. Because at that point the system is fundamentally unplayable in a way that's fun for everyone and not just people who specialize.

I don't care what numbers you're throwing around and how many stats you're attaching them to. The problem is still that you're throwing points that don't come from training, a cutie mark, or any limited source around and not caring that not everyone can get them or that the fact that they exist pushes the DCs for everything higher.

Maybe you just don't understand the nature of DCs? DCs are determined by how difficult it is for someone to hit that number. The more random + bonuses to skills and abilities are floating around the easier it is to hit DCs. Therefore the DCs get raised as a result. If you have fliers running around with Brawn and Precision totals of +35 before their roll the DC is not going to be 35 (which is supposed to be difficult). Because that only requires them to roll a 5. No, you will have DCs of 50. Also you then have this incredibly bizarre system where Brawn and Precision hard DCs are 50 but, Knowledge and Horse-sense hard DCs are still 35 because nobody would be hitting DC 50 Arcana checks.

I don't understand why you're offering choices of skill or ability. This isn't a price negotiation. This is a discussion where I'm saying any bonuses like that, regardless of what you're giving them to, break the balance of the system. (Note: Applejack of all Trades is an exception but, it's available to everyone equally and has built in way it works that prevents it from being damaging to the system.)

Edit: Though to answer your question +3 to anything is less game-breaking than +10 to anything. Precisely because the problem is the large number throwing the balance of DCs out of whack. They're both still better entirely avoided though.
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Re: 8 Point Template for races

Post  A1C Bronymous on Sun Mar 03, 2013 5:12 am

You know what a good analogy for this situation is? Affirmative Action. Kind of. Follow Along.

Pegasi and fliers in general have been getting the short end of the stick since day one, being cut down physically, or having their traits used up. Now that balance is being reassessed, we are now seeking special treatment in a way, to make up for it.

Then there's this perspective. Flight in this system is more or less an All-or-nothing route. You either pick it, and are ok with those penalties, or you pick the talents to overcome them. Its a sort of forced specialization in this way- anyone who wants to be good at flying can't really be good at anything else, at first. If we want to be decent, we have to specialize with those talents, and so we might as well go all the way and just keep specializing. By the time we start to level, we already have an established character with an established behavior, and whose actions are driven by those Flight talents.

Forcing a flier to sacrifice Talents just to be on par with everyone else in flight, and then saying "but you can't be better at it than us" is a bit selfish. If the flat bonuses to a select group are game-breaking, then the flat penalties to the same group shouldn't exist either.
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Re: 8 Point Template for races

Post  Ramsus on Sun Mar 03, 2013 5:39 am

*slams head into wall repeatedly*

You don't get to say "hey I know this is broken but my chosen people deserve the advantage cuz... I say so". The purpose of this isn't to make a system that makes people who feel wronged by whatever to then wrong others. It's to make a balanced system.

We're solving the taking up too many talents problem at the same time as the it giving an unfair advantage problem at the same time.

There's nothing selfish at all about saying everyone should have an equal chance to be good at all skills/abilities regardless of what kind of character they're playing. In fact, it's completely the other way around. It's totally selfish for you guys to be saying that flight characters deserve some kind of special advantage only they can get because.... what's the excuse here again? Because flying? Because.... because? There's not even a coherent argument for the favoritism. Just a loud shout of "favoritizism oh yeah!"

As far as the penalties not existing either, well, you've got a point there. This is why I wanted to shorten it down to two. Because at two you have "I have this option" and "I am actually good at this". However with the way we're looking at things with Ponykinesis, three talents to be as good at that thing as you can get at-will, will be the same for Ponykinesis, Flight, and Weather-Crafting. So... yeah, those other things don't get penalties but, Flight at base even with penalties offers a lot more possibilities than most other things you can do.

So that nobody goes "what are you smoking Ramsus?" about Ponykinesis and Weather-Crafting. Assuming we get rid of things that give passive bonuses and the changes to Ponykinesis we've discussed in this thread we'd end up with:

Flight
Flight at -10
Flight at - 5
Flight at no penalty

Ponykinesis
Ponykinesis
Precise Ponykinesis
Advanced Ponykinesis

Weather-Crafting
Weather-Crafting
Ten Seconds Flat
Heavy Weather

So, yes, other things don't require a tree of three things to be as good at-will at them as possible but, most of those things aren't as expansive. The only thing I can even think of that'd be as broad as those three would be It's Witchcraft! and.... well if anyone had any good ideas about how to extend that out to more than one talent that didn't break the talent, I sure haven't heard it.

So, I don't really see the problem with Flight working this proposed way since it's fair compared to other equivalent things, solves the big problems of it chewing up way too many talents and granting unfair bonuses at the end, and it lessens the "omg I instantly fall over in stiff breezes" issues that we used to have. Yes, it has penalties but, these are equivalent to Ponykinesis' weight limits and Weather-Crafting's prep time/size limit.
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Re: 8 Point Template for races

Post  A1C Bronymous on Sun Mar 03, 2013 7:34 am

Relax, I agree. I was just pointing out how that's kind of how its going, not that I think we really should get extra treatment.

Other point I just considered. We keep talking about flight as if its exclusive. Its not. With GE, anyone can have it, which means the pros and cons, the free bonuses, are available to anyone and everyone. Which means, that if you want the extra bonus it grants, then you should pick it and use it. If you don't, then you get to spend those Racial/UT slots on things that make you just as useful in other ways. There are plenty of ways to fill out a nonphysical character. In fact, choosing to take the bonus IS a choice on the part of the player, and reflects that they want to be good at flying and physical things, so why should they not be allowed to do that instead of being either bland and useless or stupidly varied?

And to speak from personal experience, my Pegasus gets to do almost nothing except talk and fight. Everyone else in the party is extra equipped to deal with everything else, so why shouldn't I get to just be "a good flier"? Everyone else gets to stack dailies and spend magic points, while I just sit and hover, waiting for the next skill check to happen with a +5, because that's all I'm capable of being good at at this level. I can't see how that's very game breaking on my part. In fact, I could argue that I don't get to have as much fun as everyone else because of this forced handicap. But I won't because I have never even once even come close to the conclusion that because someone else has an advantage, it means I am incapable of having fun playing the game.

I think it should be -5 base, and two Talents to 0 and +5, in one or the other, because there is such a thing at being better than everyone else at one thing. Make IALF -10. The specification of circumstance is as much a limitation as it is a boon. Yes, only fliers get it, but they only get it when flying. Indoors, or grounded, and no bonus for them. Any other passive bonus is always active, barring specific restrictions. And if it must go with no bonus, then at least add something to Talent Spec. for it. 8 pts, stackable up to 2, +5 bonus to flying based checks. Or any check while flying.
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Re: 8 Point Template for races

Post  Stairc -Dan Felder on Sun Mar 03, 2013 8:08 am

With the flight talent revamp, we could let pegasai start with no penalty to flight at all instead of the extra 2 point trait. Would that make them feel like they got suitable improvements from the race revamp? =)
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Re: 8 Point Template for races

Post  tygerburningbright on Sun Mar 03, 2013 10:32 am

Could you show us the entire new flight tree and all of the other racials as well?
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Re: 8 Point Template for races

Post  A1C Bronymous on Sun Mar 03, 2013 4:47 pm

Stairc -Dan Felder wrote:With the flight talent revamp, we could let pegasai start with no penalty to flight at all instead of the extra 2 point trait. Would that make them feel like they got suitable improvements from the race revamp? =)

So the list would still only be Flight, WC, and CM, but with no penalty? That... might be the best solution. The only thing is
Could you show us the entire new flight tree
I know that I still have the three boosting talents, so I'd need to to know what changes are being made to those. If those disappear and I'm stuck with no bonus (I'm getting used to the auto +5), then it might even be a downgrade to anyone who has a dedicated flier already.
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Re: 8 Point Template for races

Post  Ramsus on Sun Mar 03, 2013 5:05 pm

@Bronymous: You basically just highlighted the problem I was talking about. The more you specialize, the less else you have to do and that's not fun. So anything that's there to just give a +5 or whatever bonus is actually just sitting there as a trap to make everyone have less fun.

Also, Flight is exclusive to fliers. If you wanted that +5 bonus and took flying to get it.... you fly. You still can't have a character who doesn't fly get that bonus unless you just ignored the fact that you could fly and that wouldn't be at all fair.

@Dan: Would the no penalty flight be something people could afford in GE to build the same way as Pegasi? It sounds like you'd be doing this:

Pegasus
CM (2)
Flight++ (5)
Weather-Crafter (1)

That would be ok I guess. Seems kinda bland compared to the other version imo but, if it pleases people *shrug* . Honestly I think people are just thinking the other version is bland because it's what was already the norm before.
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Re: 8 Point Template for races

Post  Z2 on Sun Mar 03, 2013 6:37 pm


@Ramsus

I understand precisely how a CR works, and letting a character have a significant bonus in one skill does not break the purpose of the CR system. As far as the logic goes, yeah the number represents how difficult something is; but someone who has dedicated themselves to mastery of something can be expected not to fail idly even if the application of the ability is incredibly difficult. Saying that a CR of 40 is supposed to be 'difficult' means that it should require forty points of some effort, luck, or power; not exact forty points of frustration from the players. Maybe you just hate to see people NOT fail? I tried to note how a CR 40 in one skill of a specialist may be functionally equivalent to a CR 20 in another of the jack of trades, hopefully to show you some of that parity you don't think you're taking away, but I guess it didn't go through.

Also, I feel like I should take extra notice of this one: Not only CAN you have one of your players succeed fantastically at a hard task while the others fail moderate ones, you SHOULD. The fat guy who studies people and all academic disciplines has every business tripping on the stepping stones while the uneducated olympic athlete just jumps over the whole river! That is the entire purpose of being better at a skill; I admitted you had a point at +5 to half of everything being out of hand, so I came up with the one skill thing.

Maybe it's just a matter of me needing to avoid any game you run like the plague, but you seem to have the measures mixed up with the goals on DMing. You seem to almost grasp that the objective is for every player to manage to do things and have their fun, but missing something important. Messing with DCs and trying to 'fix' the rules are just the rudest and least creative method of creating an equal challenge for everypony. Sometimes you one lets the guy who got the +30 to stealth do his thing, and other times one requires that the guy with +10 perception and teleportation do it instead.

Incidentally, you mentioned hating the stat bonuses not coming from a limited resource... utility talents are a limited resource.

Now, you actually almost have a point that such a thing might not be best associated with 'flight', if we're doing multiple ability chains for things like 'flight' 'weather-crafting' AND 'ponykinesis' (and maybe a fourth earth pony type thing later on) then it makes perfect sense to me to add a nice meaty FLAT MECHANICAL BONUS GIVING utility to the tops of all of those ability trees.

And on that note:

Remember my Ponykinesis suggestions?
"With Ponykinesis I'd be willing to settle for three versions:

Ponykinesis - same old racial, but without a set weight limit; instead usable on anything a pony could logically physically carry with ease. Possibly utilizing their arcana/athletics attribute as a sort of 'baseline' to what 'easy to carry' means. I'm all for extra clarity most of the time, but I think being 'the kind of thing you could just grab' is intuitive enough to allow some freedom of definition. Also allow lifting multiple objects under the limit, so long as they move as one; i.e. hold four books, so long as all of them are just being moved to the left.

Precise Ponykinesis - Control Up to X different objects with precision, so long as each individual object is vulnerable to your ponykinesis : that way it still allows for some specialization, but also ups the power some.

Master Ponykinesis - Same old magic point talent, just with a potentially much greater weight limit. Oh, and only this one would allow self-levitation, or that of other ponies."

Because I honestly think the Ponykinesis ideas are worth more consideration, I'm more than a little reluctant to see master ponykinesis cut out.


Last edited by Z2 on Sun Mar 03, 2013 6:48 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Re: 8 Point Template for races

Post  Ramsus on Sun Mar 03, 2013 6:59 pm

I saw a lot of insults in that post but, I'm just going to ignore them since they didn't really seem to relate to the topic at hand.

I think either you misunderstood the point I was trying to make or that we have fundamentally different views on things. The system of Abilities, Skills, Cutie Marks, and daily/session buffs to things is enough I think for showing the difference in skill level between those who aren't good at something and those who are. We're talking about a range that has a potential for 3 - 20 even without daily/session/Magic Point boosts. I think adding more things that give a passive bonus to skills/abilities just makes a mess of the system. I don't think it should be frequently impossible for someone with a total skill bonus of 8 to accomplish things the guy who is as specialized as possible can be does without using daily's, etc. If you do then, I think you've misunderstood the mechanical goal for the system. Everyone should be able to participate most of the time. This game is quite clearly designed to promote teamwork and variety. Pushing the system more towards a specialists required setup breaks it because it isn't designed to support that. Also that's just more of the same old tired stuff we've seen in dozens of other systems that is shown to interfere with the enjoyability of the game.

About Master Ponykinesis. I don't think anyone mentioned dropping it? I just didn't include it in my list because I was only showing things that functioned at-will, not limited use effects. You're probably right that if Ponykinesis is improved in general that Master Ponykinesis should improve as well.
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Re: 8 Point Template for races

Post  Stairc -Dan Felder on Sun Mar 03, 2013 7:35 pm

Alright folks, here's our new concept for the Pegasus (you can see the flight utility talent revamp in the eratta thread).

Pegasus
Cutie Mark (2)
Characters of your race gain a cutie mark.

Flight School (3)
Every Pegasus can walk on clouds and fly with poor maneuverability (you take -5 penalty to Precision and Brawn skills while flying). It takes practice to fly with grace and options for that appear in the utility talents.

Weather-Crafter (1)
Preparation Time: 10 Minutes
You can to alter the atmospheric conditions in a 100-foot radius. For example, you can make a sunny day rain or a rainy day clear up within the area of effect. You can also attempt a more difficult feat, such as creating a localized hurricane or forcing thunderstrikes out of clouds to hit tall objects. These more difficult tasks require a Stunt check or Acrobatics check set at the DM’s discretion.

Falling With Style (2) - 5/Day
Preparation Time: Instantaneous
On your next skill check, you may reroll natural 1s. You also gain a +3 bonus to the check if it uses your cutie mark.
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Re: 8 Point Template for races

Post  tygerburningbright on Sun Mar 03, 2013 7:41 pm

Falling With Style seems a bit iffy to me and I could have sworn that you agreed to 0 mod for a starting pegasus.
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Re: 8 Point Template for races

Post  Stairc -Dan Felder on Sun Mar 03, 2013 7:42 pm

Suggested, but didn't agree. I'll let Nehiel explain the rationale.
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Re: 8 Point Template for races

Post  Nehiel Mori on Sun Mar 03, 2013 7:49 pm

The reason we don't want to let Pegasi start with 0 is because we didn't want to make it so Pegasi couldn't get significantly better at flying. As it stood, starting them at zero (we didn't have the new Flying Ace in at the time; it was cut then Dan changed it) meant that any Pegasus was naturally as good as another yet we know in the show that Flutteryshy isn't as good as Dash, who isn't quite as good as the Wonderbolts (admittedly, that could be debatable.)

By starting them at -5, they are able to expand their skills with training and become better. ALSO by starting them at 5 we can have non-flying races who gain flying start at -10. We didn't like the idea that a person who picked up the flying utility could be an equal flyer to someone who was born with wings and has been flying their entire life.
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Re: 8 Point Template for races

Post  Ramsus on Sun Mar 03, 2013 7:53 pm

Hmmm, I'm not sure how I feel about Flying Ace but, at least it's less of a requirement for good flying and doesn't break anything.

Falling with Style is a neat idea too.
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Re: 8 Point Template for races

Post  Z2 on Sun Mar 03, 2013 7:55 pm

Flight school still strikes me as a bit off, it's essentially just taking the racial that gives you a utility talent, then simply directing it to a specific utility talent.

And with falling with style... I guess I don't have any objections to the theory behind it, it just isn't something I would ever, EVER want.
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Re: 8 Point Template for races

Post  LoganAura on Sun Mar 03, 2013 7:58 pm

Think of it this way: You can never crit fail an extremely important roll 5/day. For example: using it before healing an important character, or before researching a magical artifact...

It's come up a LOT when people nat 1ed something extremely important, so a preemptive safety net is really awesome.

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Re: 8 Point Template for races

Post  Ramsus on Sun Mar 03, 2013 7:59 pm

Z2 wrote:Flight school still strikes me as a bit off, it's essentially just taking the racial that gives you a utility talent, then simply directing it to a specific utility talent.

That's always how Flight worked though.... Did you think they were going to change that? And what to? And how would you balance that?

Edit: I suppose "always" is incorrect. But, since GE came out anyway.
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Re: 8 Point Template for races

Post  Stairc -Dan Felder on Sun Mar 03, 2013 8:23 pm

Okay, it seems the final changes before full release are to fix Hippogriff. Here's the current concepts.

Hippogriff [Created by JasonShadow]
The Hippogriff a legendary creature, supposedly the offspring of a griffin and a horse. Like a griffin, it has the head of an eagle, wicked talons and wings covered with feathers. The rest of its body is that of a horse. It is said that these creatures can fly as fast as lightning.

Confirmed Traits

Horsepower (2)
Hippogriffs gain a cutie mark.

Eagle’s Wings (3)
Hippogriffs can walk on clouds and fly with poor maneuverability (you take -10 penalty to precision and athletics skills while flying). It takes practice to fly with grace and options for that appear in the utility talents.

Fast As Lightning (2) - Magic
Legends say that Hippogriffs can fly at the speed of lightning and it’s true that Hippogriffs can reach blisteringly fast speeds for very short amounts of time. By spending a Magic Point, a Hippogriff can fly at a rate of a 50 miles-per-second for the next minute. However, few Hippogriffs can endure a full minute at this pace. Flying at this blistering speed is incredibly dangerous; a Hippogriff and any passenger it might be carrying takes 1d20 damage for each second spent flying at this speed.


Debatable

Thunderbird (1)
Legends say that the hippogriff is a creature of thunder and lightning and can channel the strength of the crashing storm. Hippogriffs are immune to any naturally occurring electricity (though magical lightning bolts and similar can still harm them in combat). A hippogriff also begins the day with five charges of lightning. A hippogriff may expend one of its charges of lightning in order to give itself or a creature it can see a +1 bonus to its next skill check.

OR

We're Just Good At This Stuff (1)
Hippogriffs gain training in an additional skill at character creation.


Last edited by Stairc -Dan Felder on Mon Mar 04, 2013 2:01 am; edited 1 time in total
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Stairc -Dan Felder
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Re: 8 Point Template for races

Post  sunbeam on Sun Mar 03, 2013 8:30 pm

Isn't the 3 point poor maneuverability flight exactly what the pegasi got, -5 to relevant checks? If so, why are the griffins at -10?
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Re: 8 Point Template for races

Post  Stairc -Dan Felder on Sun Mar 03, 2013 8:32 pm

Oh, all the other flying races are going to get those buffs too of course. We're still polishing hippogriffs, but I'll go change that to prevent further confusion.
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Re: 8 Point Template for races

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