An Official Laughter Table

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Re: An Official Laughter Table

Post  Pingcode on Mon Oct 14, 2013 10:03 pm

They still tend to have really wild and unpredictable effects. She basically goes 'I'll use this spell in this different way, it should work right?' and then either it fixes things or, more likely, it has wild and unpredictable effects that make the problem worse.
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Re: An Official Laughter Table

Post  ZamuelNow on Mon Oct 14, 2013 10:27 pm

I'd joke that the GM just likes screwing her over. The end result is random but the concept is planned out. Arguably, most of her magic seems to be a mix of Magecraft, Element of Magic, and a Tons of Fun table when the Magecraft roll fails.

As far as Dan's proposal of giving Laughter something different, it could theoretically be implemented by taking into account what Pingcode mentioned. Make the Tons of Fun table a utility talent that requires a Magic Point, perhaps naming the talent itself Enigmatic Surprise or some other name. Make the new Element of Laughter the old Element of Loyalty since it actually does fit rather well for Pinkie (improving your mood clears your mind). Make the new Element of Loyalty the old Virtue of Honor with a buff to allow it to work with the helpless condition. Leave the LL side alone since it doesn't have a main group among its Virtues that require the same type of conceptual scrutiny and narrative weight.
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Re: An Official Laughter Table

Post  AProcrastinatingWriter on Mon Oct 14, 2013 10:30 pm

"Lifting your mood" and "Clearing your mind" don't really go that hand in hand though.

Hoof and hoof, sorry.
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Re: An Official Laughter Table

Post  ZamuelNow on Mon Oct 14, 2013 11:26 pm

Considering Equestria is a land where emotion has a bit of power behind it, I'd say that it fits well enough, especially since there's the whole concept versus mechanics issue. Applejack tends to be honest and relatively perceptive as opposed to having super lie detection powers but the current Honesty works for a game. Technically, we could always keep it as is but I was suggesting what I saw as the least difficult way of implementing Dan's comment.
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Re: An Official Laughter Table

Post  Stairc -Dan Felder on Tue Oct 15, 2013 1:48 am

ZamuelNow wrote:  Make the Tons of Fun table a utility talent that requires a Magic Point, perhaps naming the talent itself Enigmatic Surprise or some other name. 
That would actually intensify the main problem - being that DMs have to outright ban the core Laughter table instead of it being an opt-in thing for DMs. Making it a utility talent would make it easier for more players to have it.

However, I could see it being an optional expansion for DMs to include.

The elements haven't really changed since the first draft of the first playtest. Now that they've been playtested for over a year and it's clear that we're using this system for more than just my one-shot adventure, I'd like to see proposals for what people think the elements should be able to do. Your suggestions regarding the rest of the shuffling-effects-around could help a lot.

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Re: An Official Laughter Table

Post  sunbeam on Tue Oct 15, 2013 2:26 am

http://ponytales.forumotion.com/t671p30-element-expansion-discussion

The element expansion discussion room has been dead quiet for some time. We could reappropriate it as an element overhaul thread.

It has some cool ideas for what other elemental alternatives could be, too.
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Re: An Official Laughter Table

Post  ZamuelNow on Tue Oct 15, 2013 3:49 am

http://ponytales.forumotion.com/t714-what-s-up-with-the-magic-harmony-ability

All things considered, I think the thread about the Element of Magic is a better choice since it's about improving and balancing what we have as opposed to adding a brand new concept to the game.
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Re: An Official Laughter Table

Post  Philadelphus on Tue Oct 15, 2013 4:20 am

Pingcode wrote:Twilight Sparkle: Laughter - How many times has Twilight tried to resolve the problem du jour with some random spell she just learned/made up on the spot?
I'm afraid I have to agree with ZamuelNow here, Twilight does not make up spells on the spot. She might use spells she knows in novel combinations, but every spell she knows, she studied and worked hard on. (That's one of the things that drew me to the show originally, that while the main character has a lot of aptitude, it doesn't come naturally...it's only through focused study and discipline that she's able to unlock it. I tend to see a lot of myself in Twilight, actually.)

Now, an idea that just came to me, considering how dangerous uncontrolled magic can be in Equestria, would be to have it so that badly-enough failed rolls of Magecraft trigger rolling on the Laughter table. "What's that? You rolled a 1 on your Magecraft check? Roll me a d100!"

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Re: An Official Laughter Table

Post  Zarhon on Tue Oct 15, 2013 11:28 am

Spoilered since it sort of diverges from the topic of the thread:
Spoiler:
Well, the thing I noticed about the resident Element of Magic: She seems to be very good at copying, or removing/manipulating spells of others, or learning them quickly. She learned a anti-gravity spell for an exam, knows a forcefield spell (likely from her brother), knows a spell very similar to what Cadence can do (want-it-need-it), copied Sombra's magic on a whim, removed the enchantment from a cursed door, can reinforce the memories of others...

She also knows a "failsafe" spell, but that didn't work against Discord.

To be frank, the element of magic seems more akin to what the Element of Loyaty does, with its negative effect dispersal - enforcing or restoring friendship in the group, or protecting that friendship. Something of a talent that benefits the whole group directly.

That, or some form of magecraft.

The laughter table, in my opinion, should be more than 20 options - a d20 makes it too easy to re-roll repeated results, rather than new and exciting ones, and might not offer the full range of madness and laughs that a player or DM can come up with. A d100 table seems like a "default" option, but DMs/players can't be arsed making it or balancing it, and leaves many outcomes that will simply never see the light of day. I think a number of 40-50 is a solid way to go.

And with this new table, you still have to consider the "Master of Madness" destiny, which employs the "alternate" table, which also needs defining. It was made as a joke, but it seems like it could be so much more - something that won't get banned on sight, or that won't leave a player receiving much less than his peers. Something like allowances to manipulate the table directly, if one assumes an official table is used.

For instance (note, I didn't really bother balancing it):

Master of Madness:
Master of Madness
Prerequisite: Element of Laughter

lvl4
Whenever you use your Element of Laughter, you may roll an additional time, and cause any choice of results to occur, after hearing their description and effects. This effect stacks and affects the utility "Double the Fun". In addition, you may use your Element of Laughter once a day at no Magic Point cost.

lvl7
You gain full knowledge of the Tons of Fun table, and you may apply immunity to yourself and one willing ally for any effect caused by the Tons of Fun table. You may use your Element of Laughter twice per day without paying for its Magic Cost. You gain the following abilities:

Organized Fun - 1/day
When rolling on the Tons of Fun table, rather than using the full table of effects, you may either:
- a) Choose a range of ten effects/results/numbers to be rolled for as a d10.
- b) Exclude a range of ten effects from the roll.  

Fun for the whole family
Whenever you use your element of Laughter, you and allies affected or witnessing it gain a +1 bonus to skill checks. This effect stacks with other bonuses, but not itself.

lvl10
Your Element of Laughter is now 3/day. Your allies may automatically gain immunity to Tons of Fun table effects. In addition, you gain the following abilities:

Organized Chaos - 1/day
Pick and cause an effect from the Tons of Fun table.

Utter Chaos - 1/Campaign Interrupt
Cause a randomly rolled Tons of Fun effect to become permanent and affect the entire campaign universe, excluding up to six creatures of the DM's choice, and any creature that chooses to be immune.
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Re: An Official Laughter Table

Post  ZamuelNow on Wed Oct 16, 2013 1:26 pm

Stairc -Dan Felder wrote:
ZamuelNow wrote:  Make the Tons of Fun table a utility talent that requires a Magic Point, perhaps naming the talent itself Enigmatic Surprise or some other name. 
That would actually intensify the main problem - being that DMs have to outright ban the core Laughter table instead of it being an opt-in thing for DMs. Making it a utility talent would make it easier for more players to have it.

However, I could see it being an optional expansion for DMs to include.
That's sorta what I meant though I'll admit to not explaining it clearly. Make the utility version of the Tons of Fun table, The Fun Has Been Doubled, and the Master of Madness destiny part of a separate expansion.
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Re: An Official Laughter Table

Post  Stairc -Dan Felder on Wed Oct 16, 2013 2:05 pm

Then that sounds like a good approach.

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Re: An Official Laughter Table

Post  Philadelphus on Wed Oct 16, 2013 2:45 pm

Technically, The Fun Has Been Doubled just lets you rolls twice on the regular Tons of Fun table, it doesn't offer any new options (as it currently stands).

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Re: An Official Laughter Table

Post  Philadelphus on Sat Oct 19, 2013 11:39 pm

ZamuelNow wrote:Yeah, while it makes some bit of conceptual sense for Loyalty to be able to prevent an outside influence that would cause them to betray someone, Dash herself seems more like Honor's ability to teleport to someone's side if it were buffed to allow the helpless condition instead of just combat.

Speaking of adjustments, still trying to figure out if we should be commenting based on the mean, mode, upper end, or lower end of player usage for Element/Virtue adjustment.
I've been thinking about this for a bit, and with some timely advice from Stairc I've come up with the following suggestions. Loyalty gets a buffed version of Honor, while Laughter gets a buffed version of Loyalty (and the old Laughter becomes its own separate expansion, though I haven't put any thought into that).

Loyalty
You always know when your allies are in combat, even if you aren't in contact with them. You may spend a Magic Point at any time to instantly teleport to one of your allies, appearing next to them.

Laughter
You always know when a mind-altering effect is about to happen to you or one of your allies you can see. You may spend a Magic Point at any time to make you and up to six visible allies immune to all mind-affecting effects for the next 10 minutes (this also ends any such effects currently in place). All affected allies also gain a +2 morale bonus to all skill checks for the duration of this effect. (This works for psychic, intimidation, fear, mind-control… anything that affects the minds of the characters.)

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Re: An Official Laughter Table

Post  conantheghost on Sun Oct 20, 2013 4:30 pm

@Philadelphus: I wholly approve of the way that Laughter would work, I like what would happen to the Laughter table, but the Loyalty fails on two counts. One, the base idea of story/combat spearation that the game adhere's to pretty well. Secondly, it still seems kind of useless in many respects. There's already a Utility Talent that accomplishes a very similar thing, and can be used infinitely(I'll Rainbow Dash to your Side: +30 to zoom to allies in combat).

Suggestion: make the Laughter Table into a Virtue, possibly one linked to Discord rather than Pinkie. It still carries a lot of weight.

Magic: Keep as-is. Most of Twilight's effects are very directed. They just happen to be mis-aimed. Or miss entirely...
Laughter: Philadelphus' idea is perfect. It boosts the old version to be much more useful. My only suggestion is that it be modified so that mind-control is a useful prospect again for GM. Currently Loyalty makes it a slap in the face to GMs(if they only have one shot) or PCs(if the GM bypasses Loyalty by affecting the party twice or whatever) when mind control is used.
Honesty: AJ is the most dependable of ponies. The default Honesty ability is actually rather mean spirited. You either hold a pony up or it's outright mind control. I would suggest something that lets you barrel through moral obstacles with your integrity intact, that's what AJ's really all about.
Kindness: Fits Fluttershy perfectly. It can be the Stare or her adorable winning the hearts of a nation, it matters not.
Generosity: Rarity may be manipulative, but Generosity is not. It works as-is.
Loyalty: RD is actually a bit of a self-centered pony. She does things that benefit her...so she can always be ready to help her friends. She draws her strength from knowing that they need her. She fast so she can reach them in time. She's strong so she can beat up their enemies. And most importantly, she will never turn her back on her friends.

Element of Loyalty
You gain a +X bonus to all checks for every ally that you can see for the next ten minutes. During that time, you can not be affected by outside forces that would restrain you, physically or mentally. If an ally is severely injured, they instead provide a +X*2 bonus.

No ideas for Honesty, but there's my two bits.
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Re: An Official Laughter Table

Post  Zarhon on Sun Oct 20, 2013 6:45 pm

I'm not too sure about making laughter's Tons of Fun mechanic an "expansion" thing - a lot of the games already incorporate it (one revolves entirely around it), so it's already sort of "ingrained" in its current random state, and would take away it's uniqueness. I like the idea of the +2 bonus, though - make it work like an improved "Grandeur", and fits perfectly with the theme of funny things happening (your allies laugh at the sillyness and thus gain the morale boost).

It's proposed effect to make it a mind-control counter by Phil seems like a good idea, but its questionable for a number of reasons:

a) Is it at all usable without anything to "counter"? Would its +2 bonus be usable "as is", just to get the bonus? If not, it's in the same "situational" state as the current Loyalty.

b) The +2 bonus on itself doesn't really justify a Magic Point or an Element - if there isn't anything to "counter" or "prevent" with it (entirely possible), there isn't any appeal to take it as an element over Generosity.

c) It's +2 bonus would be impractical and clunky to use - requiring "timing" or "forethought" that you'll need the bonus for the next 10 minutes (which isn't very long to utilize it, in most cases), +2 isn't a significant bonus (you get the same from an assist), it doesn't/can't affect you, and a flat +10 bonus from a MP, or Generosity, is much stronger, if it is to be used to prevent a skill check failure.

Conan makes a good point with the immunities: If you have and can provide the immunity to the whole party, the DM pretty much can't do anything about countering it (and thus can never use it as intended), or is forced to work with cheap shots that bypass/waste the ability entirely or similar blunt railroading.
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Re: An Official Laughter Table

Post  Philadelphus on Sun Oct 20, 2013 9:11 pm

Ah, some reactions, good to see.

conantheghost wrote: but the Loyalty fails on two counts. One, the base idea of story/combat spearation that the game adhere's to pretty well.
Technically, it doesn't effect combat at all, so it steers clear of that line. All that happens is that you know when your allies are in combat, which is part of the story, after all (and could be important if the party is split). And if it makes you feel any better, I voiced pretty much the same concern to Stairc, and he was fine with it.

conantheghost wrote: Secondly, it still seems kind of useless in many respects. There's already a Utility Talent that accomplishes a very similar thing, and can be used infinitely(I'll Rainbow Dash to your Side: +30 to zoom to allies in combat).
You find the ability to instantly teleport to any ally regardless of where they are or what state you or them are in useless? Anytime an ally is in a situation where they could use your help but you're prevented from reaching them – teleport! Find yourself in a life-threatening situation, but one of your allies isn't? Teleport! To me, this actually makes Loyalty a serious contender with the other Elements.

(And as a head's up, I'll Rainbow Dash To Your Side will probably be going away in the future, since this is both more powerful and better defined [and considering IRDTYS only works while an ally is in combat and you aren't, I'd say it falls even closer to the combat/non-combat split].)

Zarhon wrote:I'm not too sure about making laughter's Tons of Fun mechanic an "expansion" thing - a lot of the games already incorporate it (one revolves entirely around it), so it's already sort of "ingrained" in its current random state, and would take away it's uniqueness.
Making it an expansion isn't going to magically force campaigns using it to stop using it or prevent new ones from doing so. Rather like Magecraft, it'll be an option for DMs to use. Some campaigns having random effects like that might not work, but it's annoying to have to ban an Element – this way people can have all the Elements, and a Tons of Fun table if they want to. More choices for everyone! cheers 

Zarhon wrote:a) Is it at all usable without anything to "counter"? Would its +2 bonus be usable "as is", just to get the bonus? If not, it's in the same "situational" state as the current Loyalty.
Yup! That's why it says you can spend a Magic Point "at any time." I deliberately designed it with this dual purpose in mind, so that even in campaigns where mind-affecting effects aren't a big thing, Laughter people can still contribute something. It might not be quite as powerful in those campaigns, but it's a far cry from useless.

Zarhon wrote:b) The +2 bonus on itself doesn't really justify a Magic Point or an Element - if there isn't anything to "counter" or "prevent" with it (entirely possible), there isn't any appeal to take it as an element over Generosity.
Well, yeah, that's why it's part of a larger effect. The immunity to mind-affecting effects is the primary part of the Element, the bonus is secondary – but a secondary you can use at any time, even if there are no mind-affecting effects present, which increases its versatility.

Zarhon wrote:c) It's +2 bonus would be impractical and clunky to use - requiring "timing" or "forethought" that you'll need the bonus for the next 10 minutes (which isn't very long to utilize it, in most cases), +2 isn't a significant bonus (you get the same from an assist), it doesn't/can't affect you, and a flat +10 bonus from a MP, or Generosity, is much stronger, if it is to be used to prevent a skill check failure.
You use it much the same way you use Stealth Mode – you decide that a +X bonus to Y for the next Z minutes will come in handy based on all available evidence, then just use it. The bonus isn't very strong because it's not supposed to be the main point of the ability – the mind-immunity is. The bonus is just icing on the cake. I could see a few instances where it might come in handy (for instance, the party is low on Magic Points and realizes they're going to have to make a series of checks for the next few minutes for whatever reason. Then a +2 bonus applied to every check might be more useful and give more successful checks than one or two Magic Points).

Good point about you yourself not being able to use it, I'll modify that wording to "You and up to six visible allies..."

Zarhon wrote:Conan makes a good point with the immunities: If you have and can provide the immunity to the whole party, the DM pretty much can't do anything about countering it (and thus can never use it as intended), or is forced to work with cheap shots that bypass/waste the ability entirely or similar blunt railroading.
This is actually miles ahead of the wording on the old Loyalty. With the old Loyalty, it was a one-shot with no immunity, so the DM couldn't really have any sort of on-going effect without blatantly railroading the players ("You used Loyalty? Ok, you're free of the effect. The Big Bad smiles, then casts the spell again. You're all dominated again.") That's assuming the DM even lets you use Loyalty while mind-affected ("Mm...no, your character is pretty happy right now. She doesn't feel like breaking this mind-control.")
(Both of those have happened to me, by the way.)

With this version, there's now a defined period of immunity along with the option to trigger it before becoming affected. So you get 10 minutes to take down the Big Bad, disable the fear-spell, or just get the heck out of there before it wears off. If players don't manage to remove or escape the source of the mind-affecting effects before the 10 minutes are up, then the DM is free to hit them with it again. It gives a sense of urgency: "We've got 10 minutes to figure how to stop this, so let's go!" while leaving the DM some power of their own (within well-defined limits).

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Re: An Official Laughter Table

Post  ZamuelNow on Sun Oct 20, 2013 9:25 pm

@Zarhon: Whether or not Laughter should be kept is something that keeps revolving back to the unanswered question of which group these should be designed for.  Random can be difficult to deal with...but a large number of people here have gotten used to Laughter's current incarnation to the point where its difficulty of use seems suspect.  An "expansion" was merely a form of constructive criticism for the suggestion of removing the Tons of Fun table as a default Element.  The other end of things would be keeping it in as is and simply completing a table as the OP set out to do.  And then from there is the discussion of whether it should be a full 100 or fewer.  The suggestion of fewer is so that it's finally finished, especially since DnD itself has an example that is less than the 100 roll range.  It doesn't need to be an exact 20 and even if it is, a DM can weight different results differently.

@Philadelphus: I still think the primary problem with Honor, both mechanically and as a conceptual replacement for Loyalty, is that it is only combat as opposed to also allowing the helpless condition.  The current form actually makes it the only Element/Virtue that is completely unusable in a campaign without standard combat.

@conantheghost: While you're right that the game version of Honesty is rather antagonistic, it feels like something to leave as is for lack of other options.  On the show, Honesty hasn't gotten as much play as the other elements.  AJ seems to be more of "an honest day's work" which is more of a concept of dependability.  When it's more upfront, it's more portrayed as various wisdoms than lie detector powers.  Both Honesty and the current form of Loyalty are greatly GM dependent and that really determines their worth.  Thus the discussion in the other thread about whether or not the helpless condition should be required for Honesty.
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Re: An Official Laughter Table

Post  Philadelphus on Mon Oct 21, 2013 2:38 pm

ZamuelNow wrote:@Philadelphus: I still think the primary problem with Honor, both mechanically and as a conceptual replacement for Loyalty, is that it is only combat as opposed to also allowing the helpless condition.  The current form actually makes it the only Element/Virtue that is completely unusable in a campaign without standard combat.
I agree that Honor as it stands is pretty restrictive, which is why my proposal for Loyalty says you can teleport to any ally at any time. It just also has the side-effect of always letting you know when your allies are in combat. (In fact, Honor on its own could go away with this proposal, merging and simplifying into the new Loyalty.)

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Re: An Official Laughter Table

Post  ZamuelNow on Mon Oct 21, 2013 5:31 pm

*re-reads*
You may want to alter your wording a bit.  As is, it seems like "find out if an ally is in battle: if so, jump to them".  I have no complaints with your intended rework of Loyalty now that I actually understand it.  It might look better as:

Loyalty
You may spend a Magic Point at any time to instantly teleport to one of your allies, appearing next to them.  Also, whether or not you have a Magic Point to spend, you always know when your allies are in combat, even if you aren't in contact with them. 
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Re: An Official Laughter Table

Post  Zarhon on Mon Oct 21, 2013 9:38 pm

Philadelphus wrote:
ZamuelNow wrote:@Philadelphus: I still think the primary problem with Honor, both mechanically and as a conceptual replacement for Loyalty, is that it is only combat as opposed to also allowing the helpless condition.  The current form actually makes it the only Element/Virtue that is completely unusable in a campaign without standard combat.
I agree that Honor as it stands is pretty restrictive, which is why my proposal for Loyalty says you can teleport to any ally at any time. It just also has the side-effect of always letting you know when your allies are in combat. (In fact, Honor on its own could go away with this proposal, merging and simplifying into the new Loyalty.)
I think the teleport mechanic would be easily abusable, and limits DM options quite a bit. You could instantaneously teleport *anywhere*, any distance, with no limits, so long as one of your party enters combat. You could be in a inescapable super-prison and bust out by having allies punch a person outside of it, teleporting to them. Alternately, you could have one person infiltrate an area, and then you teleport over to them by having them enter combat. Or maybe your allies are fighting in a different state of existence (e.g. dream worlds, ghost realms...), or different dimensions - you'd instantly shift to there. You could use it for instantaneous travel over huge distances as well.
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Re: An Official Laughter Table

Post  sunbeam on Mon Oct 21, 2013 9:49 pm

Zarhon wrote:
Philadelphus wrote:
ZamuelNow wrote:@Philadelphus: I still think the primary problem with Honor, both mechanically and as a conceptual replacement for Loyalty, is that it is only combat as opposed to also allowing the helpless condition.  The current form actually makes it the only Element/Virtue that is completely unusable in a campaign without standard combat.
I agree that Honor as it stands is pretty restrictive, which is why my proposal for Loyalty says you can teleport to any ally at any time. It just also has the side-effect of always letting you know when your allies are in combat. (In fact, Honor on its own could go away with this proposal, merging and simplifying into the new Loyalty.)
I think the teleport mechanic would be easily abusable, and limits DM options quite a bit. You could instantaneously teleport *anywhere*, any distance, with no limits, so long as one of your party enters combat. You could be in a inescapable super-prison and bust out by having allies punch a person outside of it, teleporting to them. Alternately, you could have one person infiltrate an area, and then you teleport over to them by having them enter combat. Or maybe your allies are fighting in a different state of existence (e.g. dream worlds, ghost realms...), or different dimensions - you'd instantly shift to there. You could use it for instantaneous travel over huge distances as well.
From where I'm standing, if you append "for a magic point" to each of the scenarios you proposed, it sounds quite reasonable. Badass, but reasonable.
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Re: An Official Laughter Table

Post  Philadelphus on Tue Oct 22, 2013 1:47 am

The problem with trying to restrict it to "when an ally is in combat" is exactly what Zarhon pointed out...two of your allies can start combat between themselves, and you can then teleport to them, breaking the spirit, if not the letter of the law. Considering that that form of the talent is exactly the current Honor, this functionality has actually been in the system for a while now, and I haven't really heard anyone complaining about it being broken yet. We discussed opening it up to any-time teleportation, and ultimately decided that wouldn't be too powerful (since you could basically do it anyway using that exploit). If people can abuse the system by entering combat just to trigger it, you might as well write a version that does that same thing but without the exploits.

After all, it is an Element of Harmony, it's something I'd like people to be excited to take. Smile

@ZamuelNow: You do bring up a good point, I could see how it could be confusing. Perhaps it should be templated slightly differently to make it more clear?

Loyalty
You always know when your allies are in combat, even when you aren't in contact with them. You gain access to the following ability:

Big Adventure – Magic
Preparation Time: Instantaneous
You teleport to one of your allies, appearing next to them immediately.

In fact, my proposal for Laughter could probably be templated the same way:

Laughter
You always know when a mind-altering effect is about to happen to you or one of your allies you can see, and may choose to use the following ability as an interrupt. (To be clear, you can use it at any time you like, you merely have the option of using it as an interrupt ability.)

Tons of Fun – Magic
Preparation Time: Instantaneous
You and up to six visible allies becom immune to all mind-affecting effects for the next 10 minutes (this also ends any such effects currently in place). All creatures affected by Tons of Fun also gain a +2 morale bonus to all skill checks for the duration of this effect.

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Re: An Official Laughter Table

Post  Zarhon on Tue Oct 22, 2013 1:15 pm

Hm, about that alternate mind-control wipe: What if you don't want to use it as an interrupt immediately? For instance, if you want to allow a mind control effect to affect you, so you can get rid of it at the perfect moment later (e.g. when the enemy has his guard down or isn't looking at you, or otherwise assumes you're under his control), or if you were knocked unconscious and thus would technically be unable to really "see it coming". Would the wording allow for you to free yourself when you're already outside of your mental control, by intent or otherwise?

Also of note: The effect only prevents mind-altering stuff. If someone took control of your body, marionette style (think Wolverine vs. Magneto), you'd still be helpless and potentially forced to do bad things against your will (or do nothing when you should be). Same if you're knocked unconscious and your body is "animated", or necromancy is employed.

A minor alteration that would assist with "Loyalty" not being exploited would be to make the "combat trigger" be changed into something that wouldn't readily be abused (unless it's absolutely necessary) - something with potential unwanted or even deadly consequences, like entering mortal danger, risking crippling injury from a dangerous daredevil stunt, or combating an actual dangerous or non-merciful foe.

Though with loyalty, maybe it should be less about "teleport" and more about what Rainbow Dash actually displays with her loyalty - saving or rescuing those she is loyal to, as evidenced by her repeatedly saving her friends in Sonic Rainboom, Secret of my Excess, Wonderbolts academy, and the conflict of loyalty (for Cloudsdale) that Discord abused. Something like this:

Loyalty:
Loyalty
You always know when your allies are in combat or mortal danger, even when you aren't in contact with them. You gain access to the following ability:

To the Rescue! – Magic Interrupt
Trigger: An ally would be rendered helpless whilst in mortal danger, or risks mortal danger (death and/or serious or crippling injury), from an incoming effect.
Effect: Teleport to that ally immediately, and you may perform one of the following:
- Unerringly and completely protect the ally by subjecting yourself to the triggering effect, as they would be.
- Perform a single skill check with a +10 bonus, preceding the triggering effect.
- Activate one of your utilities with no preparation time, preceding the triggering effect.

Note: Why are we discussing Loyalty in this thread? Very Happy
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Re: An Official Laughter Table

Post  Philadelphus on Tue Oct 22, 2013 2:50 pm

You're right, we have drifted a bit off-topic. Smile I'll make a new thread we can discuss stuff in.

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Re: An Official Laughter Table

Post  Zarhon on Mon Nov 11, 2013 3:57 pm

Alright, let's get back on topic then!

Since the ability revamp happened, we are now lacking a random 'Tons of Fun' / 'Laughter' / 'Chaos' / 'Crazy-Random-Things' table, until the developers of such get to making the "official, no-strings-attached-optional" version of it.

They probably could use our help or input, since humor tastes differ and it could speed up the whole process considerably.

For a general idea of what the effects should be like, check the spoiler below for a patented Dan Stairc Wall o' Text:
Laughter effect 'rules':
-) Make it good for the user *most* of the time. At least 51 of the effects should be beneficial.

-) Make it bad for the user or his friends about another 20-30% of the time (depending on how scary you're feeling)... And the rest just goofy as heck. Not particularly good or bad for anyone, but make sure it does something to fundamentally change the situation. Don't just turn everything pink, summon a swarm of ballerina hippos.

-) Make very few auto-win and auto-lose or permanent things.

-) Remember, a fun chaos table has about 50% positive effects for the party, about 20% negative and the rest somewhat neutral. However, the effects should all generate laughter and usually have a dramatic impact on the scenario, though not one that will (usually) trigger wide-scale events. Turning a party member into an elephant works just fine, whether temporarily or requiring them to go ona  quest to undo the effects. No chaos effect should ever be 100% permanent though unless it's beneficial to the players - and even then extremely rarely.

-) TLDR; Rods of Wonder should be used in emergency situations where players need to take a chance. When used, they should produce laughter of some kind or other and fuel more stories rather than derailing the story.

Therefore, whomever is interested to contribute to the upcoming official laughter/chaos table, post your suggestions right after now!

Let's start off with one of Pingcode's suggestions:

Pingcode wrote:-) You are awarded an important sounding medal from another country or faction on the spot. You're not sure what you've done to deserve it, but congratulations all the same.
As well as some of mine:

Chocolate Meteor:
-) A meteor made of gooey, warm, chocolate impacts (harmlessly) on your current location, covering a half-mile area around the party. If indoors, it instead explodes to cover the indoor area of the same range. It is extremely delicious, non-fattening, and completely safe for eating by any creature (even diabetics!). The chocolate makes movement difficult due to its sticky nature. All traces of the chocolate it it vanish after 24 hours.
Faithful Furniture:
-) Nearby pieces of furniture, terrain, or other small/medium/large inanimate objects suddenly animate and bond to a party member each. They act with the mentality of a common playful animal or pet, best fitting their form (dogs, cats, birds...). The objects remain animate for 24 hours, after which they return to their original spots. Depending on how well they are treated, they may help or hinder the PCs they bond with.
Hot Potato:
-) An explosive, skin-scalding-hot potato is conjured into a random party member's possession. It randomly explodes after 1d100 seconds, real time, encasing/restraining the holder and anyone within 5 feet in potato mash (DC40 athletics check to free oneself, or an hour's time of eating through it. Might not hinder some creatures). The potato sticks to its current holder, and cannot be gotten rid of by any means other than by touching another creature with it (after which it gets stuck to them).
Lava Lamp Monolith:
-) A nifty-looking Lava Lamp Monolith is conjured. It is immobile, immovable, and indestructible, and any creature looking at it risks becoming fascinated (DC 25 Endurance check), ignoring most non-life-threatening events or creatures around them to stare at it's magnificence. The monolith vanishes after 10 minutes, and any creature that spent time staring at it may now roll twice on any Knowledge, Precision, or Mechanics checks and take either result, until their next extended rest.
Elephant in the room:
-) An elephant (or a walrus, or other awkward, out-of-place animal, if there's no room for an elephant) is conjured, and follows the party. The first player (DM excluded) to acknowledge it's existence in any way transforms into its species for 24 hours, whilst the creature itself vanishes. No other creatures will acknowledge the existence of the conjured creature, or that any transformation took place.
Thar she blows!:
Activate/awaken the nearest nearby geothermal landmass (volcanos, fissures, geysers...), or dormant huge/colossal creature or landmass.Whoops!


Last edited by Zarhon on Mon Nov 11, 2013 4:37 pm; edited 2 times in total
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