Element/Virtue discussion

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Element/Virtue discussion

Post  Philadelphus on Tue Oct 22, 2013 3:20 pm

Suggestions to future changes to some of the Elements go here.

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.

Laughter
You always know when a mind-altering effect is about to happen to you or one of your allies you can see. You gain access to the following ability:

Tons of Fun – Magic
Preparation Time: Instantaneous
You and up to six visible allies become immune to all mind-affecting effects for the next 10 minutes (this also ends any such effects currently in place. This works for psychic, intimidation, fear, mind-control...anything that affects the minds of the characters.). All creatures affected by Tons of Fun also gain a +2 morale bonus to all skill checks for the duration of this effect.

I don't have time at the moment to reply to any comments people had in the Official Laughter Table thread this discussion started in, but if you'd like to copy'n'paste them into this thread I'll get to them when I next have time. Or just post new ones. Smile

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Re: Element/Virtue discussion

Post  ZamuelNow on Tue Oct 22, 2013 3:25 pm

Zarhon wrote:
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
Valid point.  This was already the rebalancing thread so we might as well use it as such.  While iffy about utterly removing prep time in one of the options, I think these feels the most suiting for the concept, especially with the "mortal danger" addition.

I think Philadelphus' style of suggestion might be the right way to go about some of these.  It simply makes them more robust and less situational.  That still leaves Honesty in a weird place.  The most simple usability improvement, removing the helpless requirement, is also the one directly vetoed.

I also think the new Laughter (if it does wind up being the new Laughter) needs a different subtitle than "Tons of Fun" since it's no longer pure randomness and is now more akin to Giggle at the Ghostie in usage.
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Re: Element/Virtue discussion

Post  Zarhon on Tue Oct 22, 2013 4:08 pm

Hm, what about giving each element a passive ability, in addition to the active that costs a magic point? The Loyalty suggestion (both Phil's and mine) has the rather useful "know when your allies are fighting" passive ability - it's pretty much a "danger radar" for when the party is split.

For instance, Honesty element might get a "empathetic", or "mimicry", style addition, to knowing when someone is withholding information from you, or otherwise "not telling you the full story". Generosity elements might have a sense of what's going on with their personal possessions (e.g. if its stolen, undisturbed...), or know exactly how much is required for a DC of someone else to succeed (so they can optimally use their +15 bonus).
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Re: Element/Virtue discussion

Post  conantheghost on Tue Oct 22, 2013 6:56 pm

That sounds pretty good. It also takes care of the issue that there are a few Utility Talents that already solve the issue that specific Elements are for(e.g. Zone of Truth vs Honesty).

Passive Segguestions
Honesty: You can tell when somebody is not telling the truth, even the whole truth. If the target is misinformed themselves, you can tell. Finally, you can see through all illusions with perfect clarity, even magical darkness and non-magical disguises.
Laughter: +2 Morale bonus to all allies and a(n additional) use of Twitchy Tail for 10 minutes.
Loyalty: After teleportation, you get a +1 morale bonus for every ally you can see for 10 minutes. +2 for any ally still in mortal peril.
Generosity: You gain the Pack Mentality trait for the next 10 minutes. If you already have it, you add an additional +2 on top of that bonus. You can Aid Another as long as you can see them, without needing to actually act.
Kindness: +10 to all Persuasion checks you make within the next 10 minutes.
OR
Kindness: +10 to all Persuasion checks against your "new friend" while he is still friendly.
Magic: For the next 5 minutes, you gain Magical Attunement and a +5 bonus to Arcana checks, +10 if you already have Magical Attunement.


Still no ideas for alternate Honesty Main powers. Perhaps make the Three Questions thing a Virtue, though? Some people still use it, even though it isn't very "honest."
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Re: Element/Virtue discussion

Post  Zarhon on Tue Oct 22, 2013 7:47 pm

You misunderstand - I was thinking passive effects as those that don't require a magic point to be spent to receive their benefit (as the Loyalty one requires to work as an interrupt at all), Conan.

@Conan's suggestions:
Honesty - Way too powerful, compared to the utilities that it mimics. It makes both True Sight (which has a super-short duration and is really impractical to use) and all the other "truth" abilities pointless/redundant to take as utilities.
Laughter - Makes Twitchy Tail pointless to take as a utility (since you get a potentially more-often-usable version with that element version).
Magic - I think the bonus would allow for Magecraft min-maxing (mostly due to having a duration). On the other hand, it's +10 bonus is sort of "wasted" by default, considering the utility you copy with it likely has a preparation time and you have to use it before those 5 minutes elapse.
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Re: Element/Virtue discussion

Post  conantheghost on Tue Oct 22, 2013 10:17 pm

Ohhhhh. That makes more sense. In that regard, I can see the passive powers being a good way to shore up the more situational power's...situationalness. Generosity and Magic wouldn't get much, Honesty and Kindness would get a moderate boost, and new!Laughter and and new!Loyalty(and old loyalty, for that matter) would get a rather significant boost.

In that vein...
Honesty: Straight up lie-detector. A lot of utility, and not OP if it can only detect outright lies. Possibly make a check involved?
Generosity: I don't see personal-objects as a good power here. Perhaps make it easier to help ponies with Aid Another? Just not so OP asin my previous post.
Magic:
Kindness: Kindness sense go! You can sense the hostility levels in creatures, or whether they are nice, or even just misunderstood.
Loyalty: Danger radar seems good for Loyalty, but I'm not feeling it for RD.
Laughter: Pinkie Sense in a more show-accurate version? Perhaps the player uses a certain check to sense vague danger incoming? Nothing concrete, though, but a "be ready for anything" warning might fit.
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Re: Element/Virtue discussion

Post  LoganAura on Tue Oct 22, 2013 11:12 pm

Also keep in mind that the Game Devs are against adding too many more flat bonuses to stats

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Re: Element/Virtue discussion

Post  ZamuelNow on Wed Oct 23, 2013 2:37 am

I think passives should only be based off of the need of the Element/Virtue itself.  Magic, Tenacity, Reliability, Family the current form of Laughter are all usable in a vacuum at all times.  Two of them are actually passives already.  Generosity is useful as long as you have an ally in sight.  The only possible buff I could think of that would make sense would be allowing it to buff Yee-Haw type powers by an additional +5 when used on an ally.  Kindness works against any hostile creature so it's a powerful way to end combat before it even starts.

The rest are more situational and arguably are the ones that need extra boosts.  I think the proposed "know when allies are in danger" for the new Loyalty and "know when mental manipulation is incoming" for the new Laughter make sense without being overpowered.  I think figuring out passives and overall adjustments to Honesty requires a bit more compare and contrast.

Honest Utilities:
Pinkie’s Interrogation – 2/Day
Gain a +10 bonus on your next skill check to determine if someone is lying.

Zone of Truth - 1/Session
Preparation Time: 10 seconds
A ripple of white light shines out twenty feet around you in all directions. All creatures the white light touches are unable to speak falsehoods. The white light vanishes after ten minutes.

Honesty
Faithful and Strong - Magic
Target helpless creature must answer 3 questions truthfully without distortion.

Integrity - Magic
Target helpless creature must answer 3 questions that you ask truthfully without distortion. This effect ends after the three questions are asked, or after thirty minutes elapsed (whichever comes first).

One interesting standout is that the Aspirations of Harmony and Living Legends version of the same Element have key differences in wording.  LL winds up being more restrictive since it explicitly has a time limit and only the one who activates it can asks the questions.  While a personal opinion, I think Zone of Truth is both cooler than Honesty and feels more thematically appropriate despite backfire potential.  The former feels like you become a living beacon of Truth while the latter comes off like a Nolanverse Batman shakedown.

A smaller concern I think may be worth noting is that the Elements probably don't need their subtitles from the intro song anymore.  Some weren't quite right in the first place considering the attached powers while others will shift farther due to this revamp if it goes through.
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Re: Element/Virtue discussion

Post  Philadelphus on Wed Oct 23, 2013 3:02 pm

Lots of good discussion going on here, wow. I don't have time to go over it in detail at the moment, but a lot of the ideas in ZamuelNow's last post have also been occurring to me (such as giving passives only to the more situational Elements). I'm wondering if it would be good for Zone of Truth to become the new Honesty. It definitely feels more thematically appropriate, and if you think of it as an information-verification ability rather than an interrogation one like the current Honesty, it's definitely powerful enough in its own way. After all, it's 1/Session as-is, which indicates it's already pretty powerful. Making it a Magic ability would actually be a step up in terms of availability for it.

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Re: Element/Virtue discussion

Post  conantheghost on Wed Oct 23, 2013 5:52 pm

How about an even more powerful ZoT? In addition to no spoken falsehoods, no visual or [other] falsehoods. Changeling magic is nulled, the user sees through mundane disguises and any illusions are outright dispelled.
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Re: Element/Virtue discussion

Post  LoganAura on Wed Oct 23, 2013 6:06 pm

So basically True Sight?

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Re: Element/Virtue discussion

Post  Zarhon on Wed Oct 23, 2013 6:43 pm

The thing I've noticed with Zone of Truth - it's painfully easy to avoid it's effects, and is completely obvious to anyone who isn't blind. Most enemies would recognize it as a bad/threatening thing immediately, and just need to move the required distance away, out of it's field, to avoid its effects entirely, or can simply keep their mouth shut. So unless you can restrain them / make them helpless (the current main drawback of Honesty) or trick them into talking inside of it ("oh, don't mind the magical light, it's for... theatrical lighting! Yes."), it wouldn't realistically be usable against not-stupid creatures for more than one answer, before they figure out whats going on. It also has the obvious "you have to speak truthfully as well" drawback.

It probably needs to be made a lot more subtle (visible only to allies?), or generally hard for enemies to recognize as a thing which they can then avoid, or allow for a forced reply (if you get asked something whilst in the zone, you feel compelled to answer truthfully?).

True Sight is also sort of lacking - it's only useable once a day (unless you have a whole destiny devoted entirely to it) and pretty much requires foresight or knowledge that there is an illusion nearby to use it effectively - make a wrong assumption, and you essentially wasted a daily ability. It may be powerful, but that doesn't mean it should invoke such a strong "too awesome to use" mentality - that just makes it the opposite of useful!
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Re: Element/Virtue discussion

Post  conantheghost on Thu Oct 24, 2013 5:12 pm

So a combination of Zone of Truth, True Sight and probably toss in some of the old Honesty? I would aslso go for all the buffs you mention(no spotlight, True Sight becomes more usable, etc).

As for the drawback of allies/yourself being affected... How about make the ZoT part specify "all targets that you can see" rather than just affect everything regardless? The center of your effect will be affected by a compulsory "must answer X(I'd argue one and make the PCs have to be clever for any more) questions completely and truthfully."
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Re: Element/Virtue discussion

Post  Philadelphus on Fri Oct 25, 2013 5:12 am

I used to think of Zone of Truth as a sub-par version of Honesty too, until someone pointed out to me that I was thinking about it the wrong way. It's not meant to be an interrogation ability, as Zarhon so helpfully detailed the problems with that; it's meant to be an information verification ability. Have someone (anyone) you suspect of not telling the truth? Just use it and you can be sure whatever they're telling you is true. And dealing with potentially-untrustworthy NPCs tends to be a pretty common thing in many campaigns. You can even use it on yourselves, in order to get people to believe what you're telling them if they think it sounds too unlikely to be true.

I'm liking the idea of Honesty taking over the effects of Zone of Truth (with some tweaks to go from being 1/Session to Magic) and the current form of Honesty becoming a utility talent.

On the subject of passive abilities, I agree that Magic and Generosity are versatile enough that they don't really need any passive abilities (Tenacity as well, and Reliability and Family already are passives). We have some passives for Loyalty and Laughter, so it's just Kindness and Honesty that remain. Kindness is pretty good as-is, I think; it's situational, but not so much that it really needs much. One idea I had for a mostly flavorful passive could be "always knowing when your allies are hurt", which would overlap slightly with Loyalty's (since combat and injury tend to go together), but could also be useful if a party member is going solo and takes some environmental damage. Flavorful for Kindness, but not over-powerful.

Honesty is a bit harder. Either version (current or ZoT) is still somewhat situational, but it's really hard to come up with a passive that isn't game-breaking. Any sort of "you always know deception when you see or hear it" would basically make it impossible to use deception in campaigns, which would be a serious problem. The best I've come up with is "you gain a +5 bonus to knowing when someone is lying to you", but my problem with that is that it's basically +5 to Perception checks, and I really, really want to avoid making the Elements tied to a specific skill.

Honesty could possibly work without a passive. I think I'll propose it as taking over Zone of Truth and we can continue to think about possible flavorful, not-too-powerful passive abilities.

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Re: Element/Virtue discussion

Post  Zarhon on Fri Oct 25, 2013 10:42 am

The problem with ZoT being used as a verification ability is that those caught in it pretty much have to be willing to do such verification, or fooled into doing so - it's really obvious when it's in effect, or that "something's up". It's sort of a problem shared with Pinkie Promise (which is pretty much the most situational, extremely-difficult-to-use, but effective (unless it's used against you), verification ability in the game) - you need willing creatures, and those that are willing to go through with such things already implies that they're valid/truthful/not willing to betray you, meaning the ability is just a redundant "failsafe" that achieves little in that regard, whilst on the other hand still allows for a clever creature / DM to abuse loopholes in their mechanics (which forces the players using it to make their words VERY careful - which is hard to do in Skype on a whim, and can still be futile against a DM who has ample time to think up a counter to it).

It makes the ability pointless unless you the creature is unwilling to go through with it (which may be cause it doesn't like being tied down/obligated in such a way, or because it's dishonest and hoping to avoid it - opportunities for a false positive), in which case you can't actually use it, because you need willing creatures!

There's also the issue of "is the creature aware it can't speak falsehoods until it attempts to do so", and how long it takes till they connect the dots. Take the movie "Liar Liar" as an example of how a "truth compulsion" works - The character displays both physical inability to say falsehoods or things they know are lies (stammering gibberish instead), as well as "accidentally" speaking the truth instead of a lie, akin to a "Freudian slip".

The thing I've found faulty with kindness is that it's got too many loopholes that can outright negate its powerful effect - If you pacify a big bad, nothing stops him from ordering his minions to do the dirty deeds for him, which in turn causes the effect to be dispelled on the big bad (cause by entering combat with his minions, you're harming his allies!), or for him to otherwise indirectly cause you harm (activating a trap, etc), or cause harm to creatures that aren't in your party (e.g. hostages or other NPCs who you're trying to protect). There's also the innate limitation of it affecting a single creature - meaning you won't get to use it unless the DM allows it by making a solo-creature threat.

For a kindness passive, how about these?
- An innate "detection" of cruel intent - For instance, when a wild beast is stalking the party with intent to kill/hunt, or someone is trying to poison an ally.
- Being able to tell whether the creature is in a state that allows it to be calmed down or pacified (so they can try alternatives to using the Kindness-bomb, such as diplomacy or non-hostility).
- An innate sense of when a creature is in need of kindness (in other words, genuinely needs help or assistance).
- An early warning of when combat is imminent, allowing for Kindness or other actions to be applicable as an interrupt.
- Gaining innate knowledge of why a creature is hostile to you, or otherwise mistreating you (e.g. figuring out it's pissed because you stole from it, or harmed it, or painted its fur pink, or that it's simply a psychopathic sadist, or that you've 'ruined its plans for the last time!!!'...)
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Re: Element/Virtue discussion

Post  Fury of the Tempest on Fri Oct 25, 2013 12:10 pm

While people discuss how to possibly buff/tweak the current elements. I'm just going to put down some extra virtues I've come up with.

Patience
You can pass any skill check if you take X minutes, where X is the skill check's DC. You cannot have magic points.

Courage
When performing a skill check, if the DC is 30 or above. You gain a +3 bonus to that skill check. This bonus increases by +2 for each 5DC above 30. You cannot have magic points.

Temperance
Whenever you are effected by a mind-altering effect, you can immediately roll to get rid of the effect with a +5 bonus. You cannot have magic points.

Faith
Whenever an ally performs a skill check, you can make an assist roll for that skill check, even if you normally would not be able to. You cannot have magic points.

Hope - Magic
Whenever an ally fails a skill check, you can have them reroll the skill check with a +10 bonus.

Not exactly sure how I could add Forgiveness....
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Re: Element/Virtue discussion

Post  sunbeam on Fri Oct 25, 2013 12:24 pm

Before we start discuss those, I'm going to suggest that you move that to the element upgrade forum, since this is specifically supposed to be a thread for revising the current elements.
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Re: Element/Virtue discussion

Post  Fury of the Tempest on Fri Oct 25, 2013 12:36 pm

... It simply says Element/Virtue discussion.

And posting them here makes sure people should actually pay at least some attention.
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Re: Element/Virtue discussion

Post  sunbeam on Fri Oct 25, 2013 1:49 pm

True, but this discussion isn't going in the element expansion thread specifically because people wanted it to be a discussion of revising the current elements. I suggested moving it there, but they said that was a place for element expansions. Also, now people will notice, and hopefully follow the paper trail to the element expansion thread.
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Re: Element/Virtue discussion

Post  ZamuelNow on Mon Oct 28, 2013 1:44 am

Personally, I think newer Virtue concepts should be kept to separate threads since I feel the existing ones need to be fixed first.  It was the main reason I avoided posting in Mind Gamer's thread.  I do find it disappointing that a lot of conversations seemed to die down over the summer.  I don't know if people lack anything they feel needs to be discussed or if they're in a holding pattern as they wait for the various system revamps.  I'll admit to being partially in the latter.

Zarhon wrote:The thing I've found faulty with kindness is that it's got too many loopholes that can outright negate its powerful effect - If you pacify a big bad, nothing stops him from ordering his minions to do the dirty deeds for him, which in turn causes the effect to be dispelled on the big bad (cause by entering combat with his minions, you're harming his allies!)
To be frank, this sounds like a really crappy GM.  I can see the argument for non-sentient traps or a chessmaster villain who's setup things so his minions carry out his plans anyway, but once effected, a creature should not be able to act against you of their own free will.  Though temporary, I've always viewed it as a change of heart ability.  They have no desire to act against you.

Zarhon wrote:For a kindness passive, how about these?
- Gaining innate knowledge of why a creature is hostile to you, or otherwise mistreating you (e.g. figuring out it's pissed because you stole from it, or harmed it, or painted its fur pink, or that it's simply a psychopathic sadist, or that you've 'ruined its plans for the last time!!!'...)
Now this sounds like an awesome addition to the power, even if the knowledge was vague.  Hmm...let me attempt to word this one out:
Element of Kindness Revamp Proposal:
Kindness - Magic
Make one hostile creature temporarily non-hostile for the next five minutes or until something happens that would cause it to become hostile again. You also gain general insight to why that creature was hostile, though interaction may be needed to discover the details.
[*]
Sidebar thingie:
For example, you might calm an enraged guard long enough to explain the situation, but attacking him mid-conversation would cause him to be hostile once more.  You may discover that a creature is hostile due to coercion but you may need to ask some questions before you find out who initially sent them against you.

Been contemplating some things with Honesty and wonder if it just needs an outright revamp that's inspired by it's previous structure and some of the suggestions here.  Might still be situational and potentially a nerf to some but it would be usable for more concepts.
Element of Honesty Revamp Proposal:
Honesty - Magic
When you activate Honesty, choose one of the following:
-Up to three creatures within 20 feet of you within the next 5 minutes are compelled to answer any one question truthfully without distortion or omission.
-For up to 5 seconds, see the true appearance of all creatures, whether they are wearing a disguise, shape shifting, cursed, or altered by some other means.

Since it's been brought up, I'm wondering how important the light is to Zone of Truth.  Hmm...actually, I'll hold that thought for another thread.
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Re: Element/Virtue discussion

Post  Philadelphus on Mon Oct 28, 2013 4:28 am

Alright, I've gone ahead and created a separate thread for proposals for new Virtues, and posted some thoughts on Fury's proposals over there.

ZamuelNow wrote:I do find it disappointing that a lot of conversations seemed to die down over the summer.  I don't know if people lack anything they feel needs to be discussed or if they're in a holding pattern as they wait for the various system revamps.  I'll admit to being partially in the latter.
Yeah, I know what you mean. I'm working with Stairc on a completely new system for non-combat abilities and I'm excited to get it out to people to investigate, but it's not quite ready yet. This Element/Virtue revamp is one of the things we're waiting on, actually.

ZamuelNow wrote:
Zarhon wrote:For a kindness passive, how about these?
- Gaining innate knowledge of why a creature is hostile to you, or otherwise mistreating you (e.g. figuring out it's pissed because you stole from it, or harmed it, or painted its fur pink, or that it's simply a psychopathic sadist, or that you've 'ruined its plans for the last time!!!'...)
Now this sounds like an awesome addition to the power, even if the knowledge was vague.  Hmm...let me attempt to word this one out:
Element of Kindness Revamp Proposal:
Kindness - Magic
Make one hostile creature temporarily non-hostile for the next five minutes or until something happens that would cause it to become hostile again. You also gain general insight to why that creature was hostile, though interaction may be needed to discover the details.
Sidebar thingie:
For example, you might calm an enraged guard long enough to explain the situation, but attacking him mid-conversation would cause him to be hostile once more.  You may discover that a creature is hostile due to coercion but you may need to ask some questions before you find out who initially sent them against you.
That's an interesting possibility. Certainly flavorful. At worst, it would just be something you can't do anything about ("Why was that hydra attacking us?" "He's hungry, and you look tasty"). Could also be a bit odd flavor-wise. ("You're not sure how you know, but you feel that this ninja was probably about to attack you because he was hired to assassinate you. You've got five minutes to cut him a better deal.") I'm sure there's a middle ground where it would make sense to determine that the manticore is attacking you because he's really grumpy about the thorn in his paw.

ZamuelNow wrote:Been contemplating some things with Honesty and wonder if it just needs an outright revamp that's inspired by it's previous structure and some of the suggestions here.  Might still be situational and potentially a nerf to some but it would be usable for more concepts.
Element of Honesty Revamp Proposal:
Honesty - Magic
When you activate Honesty, choose one of the following:
-Up to three creatures within 20 feet of you within the next 5 minutes are compelled to answer any one question truthfully without distortion or omission.
-For up to 5 seconds, see the true appearance of all creatures, whether they are wearing a disguise, shape shifting, cursed, or altered by some other means.

Since it's been brought up, I'm wondering how important the light is to Zone of Truth.  Hmm...actually, I'll hold that thought for another thread.
Honesty has been giving us the most trouble out of all the Element and Virtues, that's for sure. Though can say that the first option you listed isn't a nerf, since you no longer need a helpless creature. That could be potentially game-breaking in some situations.

The thing is, getting people to answer questions truthfully is actually already really powerful – so powerful that it requires the "helpless" condition to keep it from being too powerful. One idea bounced around would be to leave Honesty the way it is, but add in a passive +5 bonus to checks made to determine if a creature is lying – which would help you determine if you need to use Honesty on someone in the first place.

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Re: Element/Virtue discussion

Post  Xel Unknown on Mon Oct 28, 2013 4:31 am

I think the problem with Honesty, is that it's being used to make /other/ people act honest. While I'd agure the element itself when one thinks of AJ, is about how she is Honest and true... So maybe trying to work it over with that in mind instead for a bit and maybe something good would come out to make it work and not be game-breaking? I'd also help cover something I've realized is missing from this system. Being able to be honest to others in spite of what one's story is.
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Re: Element/Virtue discussion

Post  LoganAura on Mon Oct 28, 2013 8:17 am

If you go the route of the self being honest, bonus to checks to prove that what you're saying is true or something? (Dashing out the house so can't explain atm)

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Re: Element/Virtue discussion

Post  Pingcode on Mon Oct 28, 2013 9:38 am

...Hey there's a thought.

What if acting in accordance with your element when it would clearly cost you won you a bonus magic point? Some would be harder than others, but the hardest ones tend to be more individually powerful anyway so it sort of balances out.

Loyalty - Remaining true to your beliefs or allegiances in the face of overwhelming temptation. This isn't necessarily the party allegiance, but, say, an opportunity to gain everything you've dreamed, at the simple cost of ditching your friend's birthday party. In general Loyalty bonuses should not be awarded for any decision where 'falling to temptation' would be detrimental to the game. For example, if you were offered a place with the Shadowbolts if you ditched your friends in favour of Nightmare Moon, you would not receive a bonus for Loyalty for choosing your friends, because falling to temptation would have ended your participation in the game.

Laughter - Going considerably out of your way to improve the mood of someone, long after good sense would dictate moving on and handling other matters. This doesn't apply to simple expressions of cheering others up - it only comes into play when you push to the point where it starts costing you, like Pinkie pursuing Cranky to try and cheer him up.

Generosity - Giving up something substantial for someone else, in such a way that your generosity leaves you clearly in want afterwards. To qualify, this must be both something substantial and it must be at significant detriment to you - for example, giving a friend your ticket to the Grand Galloping Gala, forcing you to sneak in would count, while loaning a friend your pen only to have to search your drawers for another afterwards would not.

Honesty - Being completely honest when doing so would cause you great personal difficulty. Note that this doesn't count if only your friends' lives are made difficult, you need to personally be greatly hampered by your honesty. Friends don't throw friends under the bus.

Kindness - Showing kindness and mercy when you have every right to withhold it, or when doing so will clearly (to your knowledge) come back to bite you later. Note that this is keyed off your knowledge at the time of your decision - if you have secret knowledge that negates the danger of letting someone go free (for instance, you've realised the caught thief is actually a member of a highly honourable order and will not betray your mercy) you don't get the bonus.

Magic - ???
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Re: Element/Virtue discussion

Post  ZamuelNow on Mon Oct 28, 2013 12:58 pm

Philadelphus wrote:That's an interesting possibility. Certainly flavorful. At worst, it would just be something you can't do anything about ("Why was that hydra attacking us?" "He's hungry, and you look tasty"). Could also be a bit odd flavor-wise. ("You're not sure how you know, but you feel that this ninja was probably about to attack you because he was hired to assassinate you. You've got five minutes to cut him a better deal.") I'm sure there's a middle ground where it would make sense to determine that the manticore is attacking you because he's really grumpy about the thorn in his paw.
I think that's where keeping it vague works. Thus, is less about knowing the ninja outright has a contract on you but rather that the attack seems impersonal and during the non-hostile time you can question on specifics.

Honesty has been giving us the most trouble out of all the Element and Virtues, that's for sure. Though can say that the first option you listed isn't a nerf, since you no longer need a helpless creature. That could be potentially game-breaking in some situations.

The thing is, getting people to answer questions truthfully is actually already really powerful – so powerful that it requires the "helpless" condition to keep it from being too powerful. One idea bounced around would be to leave Honesty the way it is, but add in a passive +5 bonus to checks made to determine if a creature is lying – which would help you determine if you need to use Honesty on someone in the first place.
I figured the +5 would be off the table due to avoiding passive stat bonuses. I feel that Honesty is pretty feast or famine. While I fully agree that compelling 3 questions can be quite powerful, I feel that requiring helpless feels like it really counters the conceptual feel of the others and has negative consequences. I think my view might shift a fair bit if it was noted that social situation helplessness can count (courtrooms, surround by a crowd you'd never attack, etc) as opposed to the only option being kicking someone in the face and tying them up. Helpless in itself really needs to be defined in the system. It's one of those "obvious" keywords that sorta isn't. Plus, even if kept as is, Honest still needs a slight rewording to mention it compels you (though admittedly that part feels obvious).

As far as the concept of proving yourself to be honest, I think that either would either be the issue of passive stat bonuses or would have to be a sort of Sweet and Elite for being trustworthy. The latter actually does seem like it could be interesting.

Pingcode wrote:...Hey there's a thought.

What if acting in accordance with your element when it would clearly cost you won you a bonus magic point? Some would be harder than others, but the hardest ones tend to be more individually powerful anyway so it sort of balances out.
This seems similar to how Mutants & Masterminds handles Complications and Hero Points. It's something I'd sorta like to have for this system but wasn't sure of implementation. I'll probably put a post up in The Many Worlds of Pony Tales at some point since M&M 3e actually has a free SRD and it's a concept worth exploring for this system if it could be handled right.

Oh, and for Magic it seems like it the way it would apply would be using a simpler solution rather than just pulling out the big guns to overpower a situation. Like using stage magic/sleight of hand to beat Trixie's raw magical might in Magic Duel.
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