Feedback-New Boons

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Feedback-New Boons

Post  Nehiel Mori on Sun May 19, 2013 3:56 am

Helpful Link - https://docs.google.com/document/d/1L4uNrJnaVca9Mwp4iifgn6GoMNBLTmjDOkS6OA0mx7s/edit


Judging by a certain thread *coughcough Errata coughcough* there seems to be a certain desire for a bit more of an open door policy between us and you guys. So, I want to ask you all for freeback or stories about the recent Boon changes and what you've found now that they've been out for a little while.

So, if you would kindly tell me your thoughts, opinions and interesting stories about how you mind-slaved Princess Celestia. I want to hear them all! I'm going through the announcement thread right now culling out the initial feedback but this is for post-initial feedback feedback!
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Re: Feedback-New Boons

Post  Stairc -Dan Felder on Sun May 19, 2013 4:58 am

Absolutely. If for some reason you weren't posting boon feedback in the boon thread where it was announced, please post it here. =)

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Re: Feedback-New Boons

Post  tygerburningbright on Sun May 19, 2013 9:29 am

OK from what I heard from my players

Unreliable narrator is under powered while in my eyes the 1 effect may cause a bit of strife when it is revealed.

The Build a boon was considered but was not taken due to the party not being able to agree on three talents that they would all want (The two that were agreeded upon were given to the assistant).

Don't have anything to say about rewrite and the team nor the higher leveled ones due to not being there yet.

Assistant for some reason is the only one a group I am in or I run has taken but that is not a clear indicator at all. In one the DM was going to revive well it was something to one player to be the assistant and in the other the house rule of the assistant being allowed to use This is Whining on party members was put in place to replace the old boon of an artifact that had This is Whining.

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Re: Feedback-New Boons

Post  Ramsus on Sun May 19, 2013 2:34 pm

Over in Zarhon's game, we're just getting our Boon and the only one we could agree on was the Assistant as well. Personally, I preferred the old Boons over most of the new ones. Though, the new Assistant is feels more worth taking.

Edit: Btw, feel free to go look at what I did with Boons in Tier and steal ideas from me. I've done the same with you guys afterall.
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Re: Feedback-New Boons

Post  Nehiel Mori on Sun May 19, 2013 3:22 pm

Will do Ramsus, and I have to concur with you guys as well. One of my non-Dan campaigns just hit level 3 and we felt the only one worth taking was Assistant. So far it seems our current level 3's need something more.
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Re: Feedback-New Boons

Post  Philadelphus on Sun May 19, 2013 4:18 pm

For our group, Team Awesomeness is looking like pretty much the only way to go when we hit level 3 (just got to level 2 this week), due to a party member with Derp who has a tendency to get critical failures very frequently at plot-critical moments and the rest of the party being fed up with his crit fails having ramifications for the group.

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Re: Feedback-New Boons

Post  Ramsus on Sun May 19, 2013 5:17 pm

Ah, right. Team Awesome is actually pretty good. It's just not my personal taste to take just mechanics things for the Boons over more flavorful option. I didn't mean to make it sound like there weren't any good options there. Overall, Boons are just a tricky concept to get right.
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Re: Feedback-New Boons

Post  Stairc -Dan Felder on Sun May 19, 2013 5:27 pm

Absolutely. I love the flavor of the old boons, but it was really weird - as a lot of DMs noted - for players to get a ship the moment they leveled up, or a fan-club in a wilderness, and many players didn't really feel like boons mattered because most weren't practical. Giving the group a big ability they can use together makes a lot more sense, but I miss the flavor still. Luckily, flavor can be added by players and DMs to suit the campaign. It's also why we try to keep in things like "I Dream of the Sky" - which are cool concepts as well as useful.

Boons make so much sense in theory. One big thing the group decides on together lets us make more powerful talents than otherwise and is just a cool decision for the party to make.

However, getting that implementation right is so hard. You need boons that everyone in the group likes, or some people will be disappointed with the choice - and we definitely want to improve the current layout.

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Re: Feedback-New Boons

Post  Ramsus on Sun May 19, 2013 5:33 pm

One thought is that you could just include (at least some of) the old Boons as well with the new ones for those which those things do work. A wider selection is always going to be better for this concept.
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Re: Feedback-New Boons

Post  Stairc -Dan Felder on Sun May 19, 2013 5:52 pm

The flavor and power mistmatch would be considerable, but if we make it clear that DMs are supposed to choose which boons go into their campaign... That could definitely work. I'm worried it'd create arguments between players and DMs as to what to allow though.

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Re: Feedback-New Boons

Post  Ramsus on Sun May 19, 2013 7:07 pm

Well, it might take a bit of modification for the old boons but, I feel like it could be worked out somehow. Says the guy who probably doesn't have to do it. sunny
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Re: Feedback-New Boons

Post  A1C Bronymous on Sun May 19, 2013 9:51 pm

I think the Memory rewrite is pretty cool. It also has some weird kind of balance to it, because at level 3 it is unbelievably game-breaking if used correctly, but you only get one shot at it (unless you use the boons that let you take a lower level boon at 6 and 9, then you can max three of them)- though, thats to the point that no one will actually ever decide to take it.

Generally speaking, I think the pithy selection at level three just serves to make the Players' mouths water. They get the bread before the meal, and then the main course comes at level 6 and they won't be able to get enough. It builds anticipation, which isn't a bad thing.
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Re: Feedback-New Boons

Post  Stairc -Dan Felder on Sun May 19, 2013 9:54 pm

That's a really interesting point. Our kneejerk reaction is to want to make all the boons cool, but the idea of lower level things as building anticipation is really interesting. I like the analogy to appetizers a lot. =)


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Re: Feedback-New Boons

Post  Zarhon on Mon May 20, 2013 6:37 am

Already commented on boons in the original original boon-revamp thread, but didn't get any answer on most points, after it turned into a "let's make a song boon" thread. Razz

- Offering "Rewrite Memories" as a 1/campaign, as early as level three pretty much *guarantees* the party will not use it until the very certain end of the campaign (where such ability that cannot be veto'd, or fail, becomes more powerful). This in turn can make the party feel regret for not using it at a different, earlier time, where it might have been more appropriate. On the other side of the coin, if they do use it early in the campaign, then they'll feel regret for no longer having it available when a new situation occurs, thinking "ah, if only we had it...". This might even have them go out of their way to go pick the same boon again to get another use of it (via "think small" and/or "think different", allowing the 1/campaign ability to potentially become a 4/campaign, in total).

- "Unreliable Narrator" is made a bit redundant by the presence of the completely reliable "twitchy tail" utility talent. The ten extra uses it offers are ultimately spent making the unreliable narrator "more reliable", which, if luck is fickle, may not actually work.

- "Brainstorm" makes several utility talents AND destinies obsolete, and thus makes the boon a default "no-pick" if it interferes with the players who already have such abilities as a unique feature of their character. It also allows for the kind of "abuse" where the brainstorm abilities are taken early by various party members, then replaced with completely different talents, once brainstorm becomes available in boon form. It is also practically available from level 3, by taking the "Build a Boon" workshop and applying the identical utility talents (the talents are actually superior to the boon itself). Oh, and it makes the "unreliable narrator" redundant/obsolete.

- "Think small" and "think different" allows for multiple "1/campaign" boon uses, defeating their purpose and giving more than a little trouble to DMs.

- "Free revival" boons kind of make the other unique "revival" abilities (healer destiny, nine lives racial) less special. For the nine lives racial, it isn't clear how it would interact with such alternate revival abilities available - is the owner of the racial forced to revive with his nine lives, or can his allies "interject" an revive him on their own, before a "extra life" is expended?

- "Spelltacular" seems hilariously broken - it can easily go up to 120+ with manipulation (magic points, a number of destinies, it going nat20). It also needs clarification on how it interacts, exactly - who would count as "performing" it? Can it nat1 critfail, or go into a crit succcess? Is it counted as an "ally skill check", or affected by destinies and utilities?

- "Keys to the Universe", and "Show must go on" throw any possibility of the DM guiding or controlling his players out the window, especially since they're useable every session. KttU does so by making them viable to go anywhere they want and having no real way to stop them (they can just use "spelltacular" or a pumped-up caster to break barriers) other than an unreasonable veto. "Show must go on" makes them utterly immortal, removing any real consequence (other than that to NPCs/campaign world, which they may not care about) from their actions, or even letting them abuse it ("okay, we're utterly lost - let's just suicide and teleport back to our airship base") even if it makes no sense (e.g. disintegration).

- X/Session limitations are very vague for the boons - they can be short duration, or frequent occurring. It is entirely possible for a group to be able to use their boons more often then their utility/magic point talents (which are limited by "extended rests", a in-game time measure).

- Play-By-Post campaigns don't/can't really use "sessions", so it's a bit tricky to implement/control them in such.

- There's a lack of boons relating to magic points in any way (e.g. extra functions to use them for, bigger bonuses, gaining a group magic point, etc...). How come?

- What is the ruling of having "water sources" on the flying island? Is there anything preventing players from flying over a city with a island and having it rain endless waterfalls down (think pegasi cloud houses and their rainbow-falls), effectively flooding it, or just threatening to crush anything below them, much like was done by "Laputa" of Gulliver's Travels? Is there a possibility of the island crashing down from damage, or being destroyed by a powerful force, and its subsequent repair, after being summoned?
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Re: Feedback-New Boons

Post  Stairc -Dan Felder on Mon May 20, 2013 6:41 am

We're definitely going to have responses to these points. Your problem Zarhon was that you made too many great and insightful comments, we need time to sit down and give you a thought-out response. Why can't you just make simple, shallow comments or something? jocolor

Seriously though, we should have responded before now, we keep meaning too, but Spelltacualr happened and we've been super excited about getting that done.

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Re: Feedback-New Boons

Post  ZamuelNow on Sat May 25, 2013 1:46 am

I have to preface this with noting that my thoughts are all theory and opinion considering I haven't been playing long enough to be in a campaign that's gotten a boon.

Unreliable Narrator is weird in the fact that how interesting it sounds to me personally feels entirely based on how the Narrator narrates. Entirely outside of the the boon's balancing of course but quirky responses as opposed to flat yes/no would feel right for it.

Strategic Withdrawal's GTFO feels like it needs some sort of prep time, perhaps 5 minutes. It would keep it a useful escape but prevent purposely being reckless and getting out without any consequence. Prep time would also reduce argument of who is taken along per use if it requires some sort of prep/concentration beforehand. May want to make sure the rules' definition of "willing" is properly updated to account for things like allies who are sleep or brainwashed enemies. I believe the combat rules actually mention the latter. Perhaps also define preparation time as well.

Miracle
Remove any number of harmful conditions from up to ten willing creatures.
So...would Rewrite Memories be considered a harmful condition?

I Dream of the Sky seems really cool. While it has obvious power play uses, it's one of the new boons that most feels like it's simply trying to be fun while I get more of a numerical superiority vibe from some of the others. Guess that's the difference between the new and the old set with the new boons feeling more quantitative while the old ones feeling more qualitative. That might be why people have been reporting that the new level 3s are underwhelming. While "better", they lack the sense of accomplishment the others have the potential of if the campaign has decent RP.

Perhaps one thing that could be done is to figure out ways to better quantify some of the benefits of the old boons. An Adorable Assistant, A Wondrous Treasure, Friendship Never Dies, and A Private Island have stronger replacements with the new set of boons so those don't need adjustments.

As far as the RP quirks of the old boons (fanclub in the wilderness), that seems like...a RP problem. As in, there should be a minor delay before receiving the benefits or a creative setup for the oddity like your fans being that obsessed to follow you into the middle of nowhere.
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Re: Feedback-New Boons

Post  ZamuelNow on Mon Jul 22, 2013 6:00 pm

Been sitting and mulling over the original boon set wondering what all was good or bad about them in my eyes and what could be changed.

Level 3:
An Adorable Assistant and A Wondrous Treasure have both already been buffed with the latter getting a rename so no issues here.

A Friend In High Places can probably be kept as is for groups who are fine with it being vaguely defined and having greater story benefit than direct numerical advantage.  It would be good for groups to have a mild amount of control over who the friend is.  Add a special note that the GM may want to give the players this as a freebie pending on what has happened in the campaign.

A Place Of Your Own should be dropped.  Sorta.  I don't think it's worth it as a group boon, however, I think this should be moved over to the GM guide as a suggested freebie at the start of the campaign for individual players.  Having a home and/or business is a way to get players more invested in the world if there's a central town they actively return to.  I've actually done this in a campaign I'm trying to run and the players seem to be putting effort into them.

A Fanclub probably needs to be better defined on the benefits and it should be acknowledged that they'll only be available when it's safe.  So they may follow you all over town but not magically appear in the middle of the woods.  In the end, this is probably better as something the GM simply gives to the party than an actual boon.

Your Own Ship should probably be kept yet buffed.  I'm thinking of having a vehicle option that can be land, sea, or air with various differences.  I had a few ideas but I'll need to work them out.  I was also thinking that this should also have a Level 6 option that buffs the vehicle in varying ways.

Level 6:
The old Friendship Never Dies seems to be a better option than the new one.  Death should either be a non-issue (slice of life or lighthearted campaign) or carry a fair bit of weight.  Two resurrections per day is really not needed and the preparation time actually helps clarify confusion over who needs to be where and how many are resurrected.

A Whirlygig was mentioned in discussions as being fine to bring back as is so no problems here.

A Secret Ally should probably be dropped due to potential GM headache.  An ally helping out is good in theory but not as an ill defined get out of jail free card that the players would always expect to bail them out.

A Magnificent Mansion is interesting in that it would seem like A Place of Your Own but the status of having it is essentially a mini Sweet and Elite.  I think it's worthy of being a boon but unsure if it's right to be at Level 6.  Perhaps it actually should have a mechanical benefit instead of just a story benefit.

A Fantastic Fandom is in a weird place where it's obviously the higher level version of A Fanclub, yet I feel this would be better suited as a GM granted benefit than a boon.  Feels odd considering I'm sort of the reverse on A Place of Your Own/A Magnificent Mansion.

Intelligence Network/Pinkie Control a specifically defined utility should probably added into how it aids you though it's well defined and provides a useful ability.  While I'm mostly here for pony themed stuff, I prefer the Living Legends name for this.  Pinkie Control just sounds weird to me.

Level 9:
A Private Island has already been buffed with one that flies.

An Amazing Airship should be dropped in favor of vehicle options at lower levels.

Secret Lair sorta feels like it could stand to be lowered to Level 6.  If kept, it probably should have a few more options to choose from.

A Barony while hard to define in system mechanics, getting your own town/kingdom seems rather cool in concept.  While some of the newer Level 9s may outclass it in raw power, there's certainly a fair number of lateral benefits it carries.  This is one of those powers where a fair bit of GM handwaving can be allowed for mundane actions not take up the party's time and resources.

I was shocked Orbital Friendship Cannon wasn't added to the new set.  It's defined, fairly powerful barring the cooldown, and simply seems iconic to have the Elements of Harmony/Rainbow of Light/World Healing Wave.  I was also surprised to find that the Living Legends boon set didn't have a variant of this since mystic amulets that release world healing waves feels perfectly in line with a high fantasy setting.
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Re: Feedback-New Boons

Post  Philadelphus on Tue Jul 23, 2013 1:43 am

ZamuelNow wrote:I was shocked Orbital Friendship Cannon wasn't added to the new set.  It's defined, fairly powerful barring the cooldown, and simply seems iconic to have the Elements of Harmony/Rainbow of Light/World Healing Wave.  I was also surprised to find that the Living Legends boon set didn't have a variant of this since mystic amulets that release world healing waves feels perfectly in line with a high fantasy setting.
I'm guessing it didn't come back because it was so much more powerful than all the other boons. Our GM flat out banned it (with the full consent of us players), because if we took it there would be no dramatic tension whatsoever left in our campaign – it was basically a big red "we win" button.

I'm not against it, per se (it's a pretty cool power), just against it as a boon. That kind of incredibly cool power really should be earned within the game, not just available to be taken at level 9. In my opinion, anyway.

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Re: Feedback-New Boons

Post  Stairc -Dan Felder on Tue Jul 23, 2013 1:54 am

Yeah, it was basically too silly and destroyed plots. It was a pain for the DM to deal with. So we didn't include it. Love the flavor though, as it's perfect for the show.

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Re: Feedback-New Boons

Post  Ramsus on Tue Jul 23, 2013 2:14 am

I don't see the issue with A Secret Ally. Yes, it might be bad for some games. A ship might be bad for some games too. You're kinda obviously not getting Boons the GM doesn't agree the party should be getting. It's actually a lot easier for the GM to control how strong A Secret Ally is since they basically fully control that boon.
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Re: Feedback-New Boons

Post  Xel Unknown on Tue Jul 23, 2013 2:53 pm

Ramsus wrote:I don't see the issue with A Secret Ally. Yes, it might be bad for some games. A ship might be bad for some games too. You're kinda obviously not getting Boons the GM doesn't agree the party should be getting. It's actually a lot easier for the GM to control how strong A Secret Ally is since they basically fully control that boon.
I think the GM issue is more that it works great, if the GM's got enjoy exprence as a GM to work it right. Cause it fully depends on the GM to use it. Which also makes it less like the Party even gained anything if they'd pick that one, unless the GM is good enough to show that yeah that Boon Triggered to do things. Sure mechanically it's totally fine, and I'm sure a GM like yourself Ramsus would be golden with using that boon. But for a Newbie GM or an Evil GM, it'd basically be more seen as likely to be a waste. And a Boon that depends fully on the GM to show how powerful it is... Kinda is a bad boon, becuase Boons are ment to be a clear strong posive effect for the party. But A Secret Ally is only at best a "get out of jail free" card which might not be even needed in most campaigns, and those that do need it. It might've been more fun (in my mind at least) to see how the PCs could get out of jail themselves if such a thing where to happen.
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Re: Feedback-New Boons

Post  Ramsus on Tue Jul 23, 2013 2:55 pm

Nobody is forcing players to choose that boon with a GM/game that they don't think it will work with. That's still not a good reason to take away the option from those GMs/games it will work well with. Again, same deal with a vehicle or pretty much any boon.
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Re: Feedback-New Boons

Post  ZamuelNow on Tue Jul 23, 2013 3:29 pm

Some of these may just need clarifying and cleaning up.  A Secret Ally could potentially be good but it's the type that needs a lot of GM work, though that actually applies to a number of them.  Perhaps there should be a sidebar/comment about ways to put it to use?  To me personally, it sorta feels like it would be an occasional unspoken benefit of A Friend in High Places or Intelligence Network since they'd be watching your back anyways.  Different perspectives is good and I'm glad this is getting discussed again since the topic just sort of died previously.  It was already noted that the old boons are rather story focused and abstract while the new ones are more numerical. And in some situations it's also a strength level concern. I don't think a vehicle is a bad boon, I just think it isn't worth a Level 9 and a reworked version should be created for lower levels.

Speaking of perspective, I'd actually rather see Orbital Friendship Cannon to be reworked into something less lolzbroken than removed outright.  It actually has numerical definitions so there's ways of adjusting strength and availability.  Plus, time travel and outright negating plot elements have already been proposed in the beta boon set so it's not like the new level 9s don't have utterly crazy options already.
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Re: Feedback-New Boons

Post  ZamuelNow on Thu Aug 15, 2013 11:44 pm

This suggestion is meant to be a replacement for Your Own Ship and An Amazing Airship.  This is very first draftish but putting it out there so that others can help clean it up and fine tune the concepts.  I mention fuel as a general concept to represent travel time but not stuck on it as a specific concept.  Probably need to define actual speeds too.  Can't make specific balance claims so once again I'm very open to critique.  Also need one or two more for the lvl 6 so it has a good enough variety.

Level 3 Boon - Mode of Transportation:
Mode of Transportation
Either granted as a gift, purchased from an enterprising merchant, or crafted through your team's hard work and ingenuity, you now have a vehicle of some form to get where you need to go.  Pick one of the following:


  • Wonderous Balloon
    You have now obtained a simple, yet sturdy hot air balloon or blimp that can comfortably fit 6 medium sized creatures.  While speed is limited and care must be made that the balloon is not damaged, the sky is the limit as you have the ability to go wherever your heart wills.  You may travel 1 day non stop before needing to refuel.
  • Buoyant Watercraft
    You have a seafaring vessel capable of sailing on the ocean and comfortably fitting 7 medium sized creatures.  The wind allows you to travel with no concerns for fuel though an emergency motor allows you to greatly increase speed for an hour a day.
  • Automobile Rollout
    Through some marvel of technology, magiscience, or simply being towed by champion steeds, you now have road vehicle that can comfortably fit 6 medium sized creatures.  Speed is relatively fast and you can travel over a lot of unruly terrain.  You may travel 1 day non stop before needing to refuel but may travel fully protected from normal weather.


Level 6 Boon - Pimp My Ride:
Pimp My Ride
Pick any two of the following:


  • Brand New Lease
    Gain the Mode of Transportation boon.
  • Go Go Gearshift
    Your vehicle may switch between any two of the three forms of Mode of Transportation at will. This may be taken an additional time to be able to switch between all three.
  • Pedal to the Metal
    Your vehicle gains The Rainbow Dash utility talent.
  • Bling Bling
    Your vehicle gains jewels, precious metals, intricate carvings, or some other impressive status of wealth.  Most enemies have less of an interest in damaging such a fine vessel though they may be more inclined to try to steal it.  Many NPCs will treat the team as if they have Sweet and Elite utility when in the presence of your vehicle.
  • Mass Guzzler
    Double the size and carrying capacity of your vehicle.  This may be taken multiple times.
  • ALL Terrain Vehicle 2/Day
    For the next 5 minutes, ignore any one travel obstacle as if you passed the skill check needed.  This can range from shifting sands, superheated rock near a volcano, tsunami waves, gale force winds, steep mountain climbs, and whatever else dares stand in your way.

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ZamuelNow
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Re: Feedback-New Boons

Post  Ramsus on Thu Aug 15, 2013 11:59 pm

For level 6 you might want a not so delicate flying craft, a submarine, and maybe even a subterranean option.
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Re: Feedback-New Boons

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