The Lost Elements of Harmony

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The Lost Elements of Harmony

Post  Z2 on Fri Feb 22, 2013 4:07 pm

Well, with extra sets of elements being all the rage right now, I thought I could throw in my two bits.

Functionally, I just thought that these might be the most appropriate to add as new 'elements', and somewhat useful in under-served ways.

Love – Magic
Love is a gift given to the whole world
Upon using this Element, you immediately gain three "Gifts of Love". These "Gifts of Love" do not expire. Whenever an ally makes a skill check and you roll to assist them, you may expend one of your "Gifts of Love", which causes the assist roll to be an automatic success, and provides a +4 bonus on top of the bonus you would normally give. Spending additional gifts on a single roll increases the boost by 2 (3?) for each. You may have up to five "Gifts of Love" at one time.

Trust - Magic
Harmony requires more than an individual
Allow target ally you can see use of your utilities and/or attributes as if they were their own for one hour (X/day, X/session abilities draw from the same pool of uses for both players).

Hope - Magic Reaction
Hope remains when all others fade
Trigger - You or an ally roll a critical failure
Effect - Treat all of the party's future critical failures as regular failures for the rest of the day.
V2 : Hope - Magic Reaction
Trigger: You or an ally roll a critical failure
Reaction: You may make a relevant/logical skillcheck to avoid the consequences of your failure once you know what they are, and my treat that skillcheck as an automatic success.

and three more for a campaign!
Element of Sacrifice - Magic
Give up your magic points/hp/c-per-day abilities to restore the same for an ally. (A magic point need only be spent if you give a magic point, but you may only use this talent once daily if not spending a magic point) note: a 1/day ability must be sacrificed to restore a 1/day ability, no sacrificing a single charge of a 5/day teleport to repower dazzling wings, or the like.

Element of Progress - Magic
On your next skillcheck, you may roll three times, adding half the amount by which you missed the DC to each subsequent roll. (i.e. miss the DC by 50, get a +25, miss it by 30 the next roll and get a +15 on top of the 25)

Element of Inspiration - Magic
Define a 'goal'. The Ponyhandler must tell you the best action to undertake in the immediate future to accomplish that goal.


Last edited by Z2 on Tue May 28, 2013 7:46 pm; edited 11 times in total
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Re: The Lost Elements of Harmony

Post  Xel Unknown on Fri Feb 22, 2013 4:56 pm

This are nice first ideas... But I think Love doesn't work cause it seems to be wanting to jump into combat, or be useless and pointless... Trust... I'm not sure what to think of it. And Hope seems a bit weak but it's does feel the ideal of hope...
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Re: The Lost Elements of Harmony

Post  A1C Bronymous on Fri Feb 22, 2013 5:25 pm

Z2 wrote:Trust - Magic
Allow target ally you can see use of your utilities for the next 1d8 hours. Utilities copied this way cannot be used in tandem, and draw from the same pool if an X/day ability.

...This is of major relevance and concern to my interests and/or headcanon, and/or a character or two of mine.

That said, its a bit weak, since Magic can do that exact thing, from the other side, to greater effect. If I've learned anything on here, don't go for minimal, go all out, and let everyone else cut it down to acceptable.
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Re: The Lost Elements of Harmony

Post  Z2 on Fri Feb 22, 2013 6:48 pm

Time to give your feedback feedback:

I don't think hope is underpowered, if anything I'm afraid that it is OVERpowered. It can essentially cut you down to a max of one crit failure daily (which is awesome, but kind of powerful.)

Trust... I'll also let it copy attributes, which should remove the overlap with magic; and maybe take out a couple caveats.

As far as love 'encouraging' combat, as far as I've seen combat will happen regardless. A 100% effective last ditch avoidance for DEATH is by nature situational, and inherently desirable in my book. I'll admit that it's designed so that there is a VERY good chance you will NEVER use it; but if the situation arrives where it COULD be used and you can't, I think the consequences would make carrying it around worthwhile.
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Re: The Lost Elements of Harmony

Post  sunbeam on Tue Feb 26, 2013 6:38 pm

I don't think the idea is that it's encouraging combat, it's just that utility talents aren't supposed to be used during combat, as it throws off game balance, and combat is when 90-99% of all deaths are likely to occur.
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Re: The Lost Elements of Harmony

Post  Stairc -Dan Felder on Tue Feb 26, 2013 7:20 pm

I love the core concept of Hope.
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Re: The Lost Elements of Harmony

Post  Z2 on Tue Feb 26, 2013 7:35 pm

sunbeam wrote:I don't think the idea is that it's encouraging combat, it's just that utility talents aren't supposed to be used during combat, as it throws off game balance, and combat is when 90-99% of all deaths are likely to occur.

Yes, I thought of that while I was creating it; but there are several non-combat abilities already in existence that UNDO death. I did not think adding one that merely PREVENTED death would make for a balance issue, particularly since it in no form increases the party's ability to actually WIN a combat encounter. Love won't have any effect on the combat itself, it just makes a loss (at least for one character) less permanent.


Dan, I'm glad you like Hope. It was my favourite as well.
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Re: The Lost Elements of Harmony

Post  Stairc -Dan Felder on Tue Feb 26, 2013 7:40 pm

Hope is certainly excellent.

The thing is, utility talents just can't be used in combat unless you're trying to avoid combat. So... Love needs to be reworked to function outside of combat if you want it to work that way.
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Re: The Lost Elements of Harmony

Post  Z2 on Tue Feb 26, 2013 8:09 pm

While I guess I see where you're coming from, I still don't perceive it as being combat-related. If utility talents are to be used solely for avoiding combat, then it does exactly that: in lieu of death, one ally AVOIDS the rest of the effects of the combat. If you actually have a suggestion for how to reword it, I'm all ears; but the fact that it is possible for it to be activated during combat does not seem like a sufficient reason to ban it for being a combat ability.
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Re: The Lost Elements of Harmony

Post  Stairc -Dan Felder on Tue Feb 26, 2013 8:13 pm

Because the rules-bleed will cause lots of unnecessary and easily avoided arguments between players and DMs about other utility talents going forward that are far easier to answer with a hard and fast rule "you can't use utility talents during combat unless you're trying to escape it".
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Re: The Lost Elements of Harmony

Post  Z2 on Tue Feb 26, 2013 8:16 pm

...Sure...

Love - Magic Interrupt
Trigger - An ally would die
Effect - Ally instead lives at 1hp before death, and cannot have their hp affected at all for one hour; if triggered in combat, the ally is said to have 'escaped' the combat.

Better?
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Re: The Lost Elements of Harmony

Post  Xel Unknown on Tue Feb 26, 2013 8:29 pm

It looks even WORSE in my opinion...
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Re: The Lost Elements of Harmony

Post  Z2 on Tue Feb 26, 2013 8:45 pm

It would be really nice if somepony could post IDEAS instead of:

"Noooooo, it has the potential to be vaguely involved with combat, it must be bad."

Nopony has actually objected to it on the grounds of an emergency prevention for actual death being unfeasible, so I'm having trouble seeing the problem...
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Re: The Lost Elements of Harmony

Post  Xel Unknown on Tue Feb 26, 2013 8:56 pm

The new version seems to have people wanta keep their magic points "just in case" of in combat somebody dies... Then somebody get's out of combat for like one full hour in-game time? That's just... Wow... I only can forsee it abused badly.

I'm not sure the way to build Love as "get out of death free" card is the way to go with the element that in said fan-fic is second in power only Magic being more powerful... We've got quite a few revibe powers out there.

The problem is in that if somehow a character dies in combat and somebody triggers Love they'll first auto-exit the combat and the "HP can't be effected for one hour" will only lead to problems of either being UNSTOPABLE in any combat joined cause they can't lose HP in any way possible. Or they'll be able to AUTO-AVOID combat for one hour. Both are totally OP effects...

My idea is maybe love being like doing some type of 3d20 rolls for something... Somehow... *shurgs* I like the idea of getting to roll multible d20s...
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Re: The Lost Elements of Harmony

Post  sunbeam on Tue Feb 26, 2013 9:12 pm

I had a rewrite in mind, I just still don't like it, because it's only purpose is combat based (or instant death based, but I lump that in with combat):

Love - Magic
The next time target ally would die, their hp is set to 1. If this occurs in combat, they are considered to have "escaped" the combat, and cannot return. This talent cannot be used during combat. Only one target can be affected by this ability at any one time.

The last bit is to ensure that one person can't spend a week sitting in Ponified Rivendell casting "immortality" on his allies.
I'd also kind of like the idea of requiring that you know the pony in some intimate way, or have been in their presence for a certain period of time (2 hours, say), but I had no idea how to word that.
It's still awkward because it's a utility talent with almost purely combat purposes, which screws with the combat/non-combat divide, but at least this way there are no arguments over whether it can be used in battle. It also changes the flavor noticeably, from a "NOOOOOOOO" sort of idea to a wife kissing her husband and sending him off to combat. How does that feel to you?
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Re: The Lost Elements of Harmony

Post  Z2 on Tue Feb 26, 2013 9:15 pm

@ Xel
They'll be comatose still. Super-comatose. They're not just out of the combat, they're out of the game; but for an hour instead of totally losing their character. I'm not sure that can really be abused. I think death prevention IS appropriately significant for the 'second most powerful' element. I'm not sure I see the problem with having the element making players not want to spend their magic points, isn't wanting to conserve them for emergencies already a perfectly respectable and popular way of handling magic points?

...Is all this confusion because nobody is reading "1 hp before death" to mean that the character would need to take only 1 more damage to die, i.e. -29hp standard total?

@ Sunbeam
Your version seems significantly more powerful than my own, but otherwise the same. If you can get everyone else to stop objecting to it, I'm all for it, however.
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Re: The Lost Elements of Harmony

Post  sunbeam on Tue Feb 26, 2013 9:58 pm

Yeah, to break it a little less, and make it more similar to yours:

Love - Magic
The next time target ally would die, their hp is set to 1, and they are rendered comatose for 1 hour. If this occurs in combat, they are considered to have "escaped" the combat, and cannot return. This talent cannot be used during combat. Only one target can be affected by this ability at any one time.

Actually, what would make this talent really awesome, from a flavor perspective, is if the dead guy went somewhere for the hour he was out. Like, say, living a fantasy where the world is saved and the Lover and the lovee have a happy life together. Obviously it wouldn't work for everybody, but that's what reflavoring is for. So flavor change:

Love - Magic
The next time target ally would die, their hp is set to 1, and they are rendered comatose for 1 hour. The DM and "lover" decide what happens mentally to the "lovee" during this time. If this occurs in combat, they are considered to have "escaped" the combat, and cannot return. This talent cannot be used during combat. Only one target can be affected by this ability at any one time. This effect disappears after affecting the same person for 24 hours.

I don't think that's the standard wording for "this power peters out after x minutes" but it gets the point across.
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Re: The Lost Elements of Harmony

Post  Z2 on Tue Feb 26, 2013 10:09 pm

Pfffffffff....

Okay, let's scroll this back to zero:

Love - Magic
For the next 24 hours, target ally cannot die. If circumstances arise where the ally would die, ally instead is rendered comatose and unable to interact with anything for 1 hour. At the end of this hour, target is assumed to be standing, with 1 hp, next to the user of the element. If the element bearer dies, Love's protection is withdrawn from the allies.

Okay, that one is probably better anyway, thoughts?
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Re: The Lost Elements of Harmony

Post  Stairc -Dan Felder on Tue Feb 26, 2013 10:15 pm

It works fine... But it's not exactly exciting. It's also munchkinny if every player takes Love and all make one another immortal.
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Re: The Lost Elements of Harmony

Post  Z2 on Tue Feb 26, 2013 10:25 pm

I've often seen DM's restrict copies of elements, so there's that to hopefully prevent everypony from taking it. Even if every character did have that protection, it still wouldn't remove the possibility of failure; just turn a TPK to a TPC (Total Party Capture.) Love struck me as one that would be a lot more interesting for the roleplaying than the mechanics; and really, I'm not sure how I could improve it by pushing it into some standard of interesting. Generosity is ABSURDLY boring, but I'd certainly be against removing or messing with it.

Edit: I went ahead and modified it on the first post.
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Re: The Lost Elements of Harmony

Post  Stairc -Dan Felder on Tue Feb 26, 2013 10:30 pm

Disagree on Generosity. People that like helping their friends like making their magic points strictly better at helping their friends than otherwise. Here I have to give up my magic point for the day to potentially forestall someone's death... Which won't happen most times, so I'm just playing without a magic point. Not exactly inspiring.
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Re: The Lost Elements of Harmony

Post  Z2 on Tue Feb 26, 2013 11:07 pm

Not sure how you are 'disagreeing' with Generosity. I like the effect, I'm just commenting that it is very plain, which you didn't seem to refute. But moving on:

You don't have to take Love. I suppose I can see not wanting to use your magic point on something that may not happen, thus depriving yourself of potential entertainment, but Love is selfless after all. Razz

I personally think it carries an appropriate risk for an effect of its power, but it clearly isn't for everypony. As far as this is concerned, I'd prefer it to be vetoed by virtue of being mechanically unsound, rather than you potentially just not being 'inspired' by it. Of course, if you actually have a suggestion to better it, I am watching.
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Re: The Lost Elements of Harmony

Post  Stairc -Dan Felder on Wed Feb 27, 2013 4:01 am

Z2 wrote:Not sure how you are 'disagreeing' with Generosity. I like the effect, I'm just commenting that it is very plain, which you didn't seem to refute. But moving on:

I just disagree that it's aburdly boring. =)

I think I know what you mean, that it just gives a +5 to what your magic point would normally do instead of some alternate effect - but that's also what the popular Yeehaw and Stare do in other circumstances. So, if you're talking about just numbers - I agree, it's bland. But it's what it represents - helping another in an active and dynamic way - as well as the highly significant mechanical benefit that keep it exciting. Probably just a terminology issue, I'm pretty sure we agree on this. sunny


Z2 wrote:I personally think it carries an appropriate risk for an effect of its power, but it clearly isn't for everypony. As far as this is concerned, I'd prefer it to be vetoed by virtue of being mechanically unsound, rather than you potentially just not being 'inspired' by it. Of course, if you actually have a suggestion to better it, I am watching.

It probably would be nicer to have it being vetoed by virtue of being mechanically unsound than it not being inspiring. However, we genuinely want all virtues - especially one as iconic as love - to be inspiring and worthy of the name.

The problems with love as currently designed are manifold.

1) The player that takes it will often spend his gaming sessions not getting any benefit out of his element *and* never having access to one of the coolest things in the system - his magic point. This does not make for as fun a gameplay experience as we prefer.

2) The implications of the talent are weird. Does this mean my ally can 'die' infinite times over the next 24 hours with no long-term repercussions? We can have our pegasus fly down a dragon's throat - possibly choke it... Go comatose in the process and after 1 hour the ally will suddenly by standing at my side - teleported there from the dragon's gullet by magic.

3) The "we're all immortal" total-love-party is still a weird thing. It's cool that a couple can be elements of love and make sure that neither can die... But it's also pretty weird and munchkinny. Making people effectively immortal and requiring DM intervention to stop it isn't a great idea. The DM making rules that go against what the system says is a recipe for arguments at the table - something we like to avoid. Additionally, the system exists to make lives easier for DMs that want to run a game - not harder. We don't want to add in something that requires a specific DM ruling to avoid abuse if we don't have to.

4) Staving off death in any shape or form is supposed to be rather special. Having it be an effect that anyone can get at level 1 seriously undermines the healer's destiny and other resurrection mechanics. True, those are more fun to use - as you can wait until you need to use them before spending a magic point - but the presence of a form of immortality available at level 1 makes things like that a lot less exciting later.

5) The immune-to-infinite-deaths thing is going to sap player intelligence and engagement. Why be careful when you can send the beloved bob in and have him scout the scene? He'll die, but he's loved - so he'll be fine in an hour. Repeat again every hour until you have the information required. Other immortality sources, even the level 10 healer destiny feature, at least have some sort of limit or require you to have the body.

Those are five current problems with love as is. Sorry that I'm not fixing the problems myself, but while I think love is mildly interesting (adore Hope, that we'll almost certainly do something with) the current execution has too many problems for me to want to take extra time away from working on polishing items, boons, monsters and races (our current design team tasks) and start working on this. Happy to provide feedback though. I love you
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Re: The Lost Elements of Harmony

Post  Z2 on Wed Feb 27, 2013 10:43 am

You said both that love doesn't feel very special, and that anti-death effects are supposed to be extra special, so contradiction there. But whatever, I'm not so committed to the theory of Love that I consider it worth this annoyance.

Take a pick:

Love - Magic
Treat your next heal check as an automatic success.

Love - Magic (This version, is, in fact, now my favorite)
For the remainder of the day, all of your assist checks are considered automatic successes. (Possibly also increase the amount to +3?)
Alternatively: Choose an ally, for the remainder of the day all assist checks made to help that ally are considered an automatic success that gives a +4 bonus.
(So kind of like generosity, but spread out a bit.)

Love - Magic Interrupt
Change locations with target willing ally.

Love - Magic
Swap conditions with target willing ally. (This means MP, HP, curses and poisonings, etc.)

The second and fourth ones of those both seem pretty decent to me.
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Re: The Lost Elements of Harmony

Post  Stairc -Dan Felder on Wed Feb 27, 2013 1:30 pm

Z2 wrote:You said both that love doesn't feel very special, and that anti-death effects are supposed to be extra special, so contradiction there. But whatever, I'm not so committed to the theory of Love that I consider it worth this annoyance.

I'm sorry that my feedback is annoying you. It's really not my intention to annoy someone when I spend a long time giving detailed feedback on someone's design. Since it looks like I'm just upsetting you, I'll just clarify the seeming contradiction for anyone else that might be interested in this thread and then leave it alone for now. Feel free to ignore the below explanation if you're just getting upset - it's just a clarification of what I meant for anyone interested in getting their designs into the system.


Z2 wrote:You said both that love doesn't feel very special, and that anti-death effects are supposed to be extra special, so contradiction there

I understand why you'd be confused. However, your design managed to take an effect that's supposed to be special and rare and make a watered-down version of it that doesn't seem very exciting - both making the element feel less exciting and undermining the uniqueness of the resurrection mechanics. It's a difference between the design not seeming very exciting to actually take due to how rarely it'll be useful (unless you're munchkining or are being absurdly reckless) and the fact you don't get to play with your magic point most days. Simultaneously, since it is *a* resurrection mechanic - it makes the other anti-death and immortality features provided by destinies and boons feel much less unique.



Love - Magic (This version, is, in fact, now my favorite)
For the remainder of the day, all of your assist checks are considered automatic successes. (Possibly also increase the amount to +3?)
Alternatively: Choose an ally, for the remainder of the day all assist checks made to help that ally are considered an automatic success that gives a +4 bonus.
(So kind of like generosity, but spread out a bit.)

Interesting.


Last edited by Stairc -Dan Felder on Wed Feb 27, 2013 4:17 pm; edited 1 time in total
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