Utility Talent/Racial Trait overhaul/revamp - New "Abilities" system

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Re: Utility Talent/Racial Trait overhaul/revamp - New "Abilities" system

Post  Fury of the Tempest on Sun Feb 23, 2014 9:40 pm

That's the problem through. +1 all the time was too expensive for a utility talent, especially now there merged into abilities.
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Re: Utility Talent/Racial Trait overhaul/revamp - New "Abilities" system

Post  Stairc -Dan Felder on Sun Feb 23, 2014 9:59 pm

Fury of the Tempest wrote:You might want to check the Ability Document again.

'Each player participating in the party gains a +1 morale bonus to all skill checks for the next hour'

Ah, yes, I remember Philadelphus talking about that change. Based on the comments here, I assumed it had been changed back for some reason.

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Re: Utility Talent/Racial Trait overhaul/revamp - New "Abilities" system

Post  sunbeam on Sun Feb 23, 2014 11:04 pm

waitwaitwait, Instant party no longer lasts all day? This is great! This is just what I needed! Now I can save it.
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Re: Utility Talent/Racial Trait overhaul/revamp - New "Abilities" system

Post  ZamuelNow on Mon Feb 24, 2014 1:48 am

Fury of the Tempest wrote:You might want to check the Ability Document again.

'Each player participating in the party gains a +1 morale bonus to all skill checks for the next hour'

That seems fair in my opinion. It still stacks with other passive buffs and it lowers aberrant play styles. As a whole day buff, general wisdom suggests it be used at the start of the day/session which seems off for the concept of a party. While it can be reflavored, it felt less like a meaningful decision in the old form.
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Re: Utility Talent/Racial Trait overhaul/revamp - New "Abilities" system

Post  Paper Shadow on Mon Feb 24, 2014 3:41 am

ZamuelNow wrote:
Fury of the Tempest wrote:You might want to check the Ability Document again.

'Each player participating in the party gains a +1 morale bonus to all skill checks for the next hour'

That seems fair in my opinion.  It still stacks with other passive buffs and it lowers aberrant play styles.  As a whole day buff, general wisdom suggests it be used at the start of the day/session which seems off for the concept of a party.  While it can be reflavored, it felt less like a meaningful decision in the old form.
Instant-Party still provides enough food and drink to satisfy six people for the rest of the day, so in that regard it is still good at the start of the day...

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Re: Utility Talent/Racial Trait overhaul/revamp - New "Abilities" system

Post  ZamuelNow on Mon Feb 24, 2014 4:07 am

True...but it can also be a midday meal substitute or something for emergencies when you're trapped in the <location>. It's now a meaningful choice instead of one option only being the default best.
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Re: Utility Talent/Racial Trait overhaul/revamp - New "Abilities" system

Post  Philadelphus on Mon Feb 24, 2014 5:44 am

Indeed. An Instant Party that provides a buff for the rest of the day is boring. Every day becomes:
"Ok, you all wake up from your extended rest. It's a beautiful day and–"
"Instant Party for breakfast! Plus-one to checks and a free shot at a Magic Point!"

The problem (if you'll excuse me getting a little mathematical here) is that the time-to-expected-return curve is strictly monotonic and leads to a global maximum: the best time to use it is as early as possible, because there is absolutely no downside to doing so.

From a psychology perspective, this is boring and the choice is unnecessary. It might as well be a passive ability that triggers after each extended rest because actually making the choice later than that is strictly worse.

Giving it a duration of an hour removes the global maximum and instead gives it an exciting landscape of ever-shifting local maxima. The choice of when to use it becomes real, meaningful, and thus interesting.

Though getting back to Grandeur, it's a holdover from the original race-specific bonuses (specifically for baby dragons). It's certainly a fair question whether we need it anymore. From a gameplay point of view it's rather uninteresting – a simple, passive, roll-inflator. It doesn't exactly enable any new character concepts or provide interesting choices. I'm not even sure it's worth trying to modify it. I'd rather cut it and see about possibly replacing it with a reworked version of one of the much-more-interesting utility talents that haven't been added yet.

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Re: Utility Talent/Racial Trait overhaul/revamp - New "Abilities" system

Post  Stairc -Dan Felder on Mon Feb 24, 2014 6:45 am

Absolutely. However, it's worth noting though that the current design comes with some unpleasant ripple effects. A +1 bonus is rather small and it's difficult for it to feel relevant at any particular moment. An hour of in-game time can also be rather hard to measure, it can be harder to tell when the effect should have worn off. Pulling the trigger on Instant Party doesn't come with obvious benefits. While the strategic selection of when to use it is more interesting than auto-using it at the start of each day, the upside of the ability is so small that the impact of using it at the right time is kind of anti-climactic.

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Re: Utility Talent/Racial Trait overhaul/revamp - New "Abilities" system

Post  Philadelphus on Tue Feb 25, 2014 12:53 am

True, the current design certainly isn't perfect either.

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Re: Utility Talent/Racial Trait overhaul/revamp - New "Abilities" system

Post  Stairc -Dan Felder on Tue Feb 25, 2014 12:58 am

It's funny, considering that the whole thing came out of me wanting to make, "Create Food and Water" a more exciting ability.

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Re: Utility Talent/Racial Trait overhaul/revamp - New "Abilities" system

Post  ZamuelNow on Tue Feb 25, 2014 1:20 am

I think the move has worth. And considering the Ability system. There's breathing room for tweaking the exact buffs.
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Re: Utility Talent/Racial Trait overhaul/revamp - New "Abilities" system

Post  Stairc -Dan Felder on Tue Feb 25, 2014 1:27 am

Agreed.

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Re: Utility Talent/Racial Trait overhaul/revamp - New "Abilities" system

Post  Philadelphus on Sat Mar 08, 2014 1:22 am

While we can certainly discuss potential changes to Instant Party, I think in the meantime we should take a look at the possibility of removing Grandeur. It does very little but passively inflate rolls, and in such a small amount that it isn't usually important or exciting. And unlike Applejack of All Trades or I've Read A Lot About It, its bonus isn't incorporated directly into the character sheet; you need to manually remember it, which can be inconsistent and potentially argument-causing (people getting the bonus when the character with Grandeur isn't actually visible because most of the time they're there, or people forgetting about it when they should get it).

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Re: Utility Talent/Racial Trait overhaul/revamp - New "Abilities" system

Post  Stairc -Dan Felder on Sat Mar 08, 2014 1:25 am

Very reasonable points. It was originally created to give the baby dragon race something to mimic their ability to inspire the group with their adorable presence. With the abilities system, it's no longer serving that flavor role.

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Re: Utility Talent/Racial Trait overhaul/revamp - New "Abilities" system

Post  Crystalite on Sat Mar 08, 2014 4:24 am

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Re: Utility Talent/Racial Trait overhaul/revamp - New "Abilities" system

Post  ZamuelNow on Sun Mar 09, 2014 8:36 pm

Whatever came out of the discussions about elemental affinities or the question about adjusting the Element of Magic?
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Re: Utility Talent/Racial Trait overhaul/revamp - New "Abilities" system

Post  Philadelphus on Tue Mar 11, 2014 2:43 pm

What was the question about adjusting Magic? Sorry, I don't remember that one off the top of my head.

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Re: Utility Talent/Racial Trait overhaul/revamp - New "Abilities" system

Post  ZamuelNow on Tue Mar 11, 2014 3:12 pm

ZamuelNow wrote:
MagicMagic
Choose five abilities each worth 3 points or less at character creation. When you activate Magic, you may pick one of the abilities you chose. You or an ally you can see gains access to that ability for the next 10 minutes.
The ability to grant something like low end flight or fire immunity to a teammate is useful and sets it apart yet doesn't hit the level of doing everyone else's job like the old version did.

Also allows it to fill one of the gaps left by the removal of the Evolution destiny.
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Re: Utility Talent/Racial Trait overhaul/revamp - New "Abilities" system

Post  Philadelphus on Thu Mar 13, 2014 2:07 am

Thanks. I've gone ahead and made both those changes. Part of the reason we were reluctant to make the change with Elemental Affinity is because it would be strange to be able to have a character who could literally breathe fire, and yet at the same time not also be resistant to that fire. The amount of character customization and flavor that could be gained by opening it up was really enticing, however. I've modified the wording on the abilities slightly so that they no longer say "breathe" – instead, they now allow you to create that particular thing. I've also put a note telling people that they probably should take the right resistance if it would make logical sense for their character to have it with the flavor they chose. So someone with the Fireborn affinity could be a fire-breathing dragon (in which case they should also take the resistance or risk burning their throat out each time), or a magic-user who creates magical fire (in which it's not really necessary – they could have it, but could also live without it), or ever someone walking around with a flamethrower.

I also like the change to Magic – it helps bring back some of the versatility the utility talent version had, without simultaneously bringing back all the complexity.

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Re: Utility Talent/Racial Trait overhaul/revamp - New "Abilities" system

Post  mjh6 on Wed Apr 09, 2014 9:15 pm

Has Generosity been changed? You can now use it to boost your own checks? Not sure if I like that change...
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Re: Utility Talent/Racial Trait overhaul/revamp - New "Abilities" system

Post  Stairc -Dan Felder on Wed Apr 09, 2014 10:54 pm

Yeah, that doesn't sound right. I'll let Philadelphus know you saw this.

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Re: Utility Talent/Racial Trait overhaul/revamp - New "Abilities" system

Post  Philadelphus on Thu Apr 10, 2014 2:09 am

Whoops, good catch. I definitely didn't do that on purpose. Must've snuck in when I was updating it to a proper Trigger:Effect format. It is now back to be only allies (in both LL and PT books).

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Re: Utility Talent/Racial Trait overhaul/revamp - New "Abilities" system

Post  mjh6 on Thu Apr 10, 2014 12:55 pm

The mistake is also in the official handbook, so you know.

Also the names of the virtues don't quite match up between the LL ability doc and the handbook. What indomitable does is different in each doc.
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Re: Utility Talent/Racial Trait overhaul/revamp - New "Abilities" system

Post  Philadelphus on Thu Apr 10, 2014 3:03 pm

mjh6 wrote:The mistake is also in the official handbook, so you know.
Thanks, I forgot about that. Fixed now.
mjh6 wrote:Also the names of the virtues don't quite match up between the LL ability doc and the handbook. What indomitable does is different in each doc.
Again, thanks. I've synced up the names between the two using the ones from the abilities doc (which were meant to be the ones used), so the former "Indomitable" is now "Honor" and the former "Laughter" is now "Indomitability". If you find any other mistakes let me know.

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Re: Utility Talent/Racial Trait overhaul/revamp - New "Abilities" system

Post  mjh6 on Thu Apr 10, 2014 6:07 pm

Okay, combing through the LL handbook, I noticed that several of the footnotes elaborating on points appear twice. For instance, the explanation of what a Spectacular Success is appears twice.

Also, the Pony Tales link to character sheets is outdated, as are the sample ponies. The Living Legends Handbook doesn't have either in it.

Also- Also, In the Abilities doc, Frozen Time doesn't have a point value attached, and Elemental affinity still lists Elemental Resistance as a prerequisite.

Just things I noticed. Sorry to bother you.


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