The New System is Here!

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Re: The New System is Here!

Post  Fury of the Tempest on Tue Jul 08, 2014 10:20 am

Stairc -Dan Felder wrote:Uh, I don't get it. A guy that's hard to kill and can punish enemies for not attacking you is kind of the definition of a Tank.

NO. NO ITS NOT. A GUY THAT IS HARD TO KILL AND PUNISH ENEMIES FOR NOT ATTACKING YOU. IS A PUNISHER. A TANK IS SOMEONE WHO 'TANKS' THE DAMAGE. AS IN, THEY TAKE THE DAMAGE ONTO THEMSELVES!

Stairc -Dan Felder wrote:
You have the Vengeance reaction. So, WHY don't you have the PROTECTION reaction?! Honestly. THAT reaction, THAT ability. Is basically ALL you need to make a tank possible to play. So why didn't you have it? Why did you overlook such an ESSENTIAL ability?

What do you mean by "protection"? Is it a combat talent for the old system (just did a ctrl+f for it and I can't find it). If you mean a way to reduce damage, we do have that in Wanderlust as a reaction. It's called Shield.

..... Protection. You know. PROTECTING? Stopping people from getting hurt? You know, THIS?:

[-2] Defender - Interrupt Utility
Trigger – An ally is targeted by an attack.
Effect - The triggering attack hits you instead.

And don't you DARE say that the Tank Feature does that. Because it DOESN'T. That is ONE attack per round, for ONE ally.
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Re: The New System is Here!

Post  Hayatecooper on Tue Jul 08, 2014 10:37 am

@ fury

[-1] Grapple - Standard Attack (Attack, Single)
Deal 2d6 damage to target creature and Grapple it (save ends). A creature Grappled by you cannot target creatures other than you with Single Attack Powers. When a creature Grappled by you starts its turn, it suffers Weakness 10.

I think this is what your looking for.
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Re: The New System is Here!

Post  Fury of the Tempest on Tue Jul 08, 2014 10:40 am

No. Its not. I admit, it is something I missed. However, that is only one enemy.
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Re: The New System is Here!

Post  Stairc -Dan Felder on Tue Jul 08, 2014 10:41 am

Fury, it's going to be a bit hard to take you seriously if you shout like that.

But I'll try in any case.

First, Grapple does exist in the system - and the Tank feature provides a similar effect (the Guardian Destiny combat side also had an upgraded version of this last time I checked). Both allow you to control enemy targets. We couldn't create too many of these effects, because they...

A) Get redundant with each other. Once you have one, having more doesn't do much.

B) Take away target selection options from the GM. These effects also often have substantial balance problems, because the value of a shifted attack changes radically depending on the situation.

We've also added a lot of 'taunts' via the challenges and similar effects. These provide a strong incentive for enemies to hit you, without forcing the GM to obey you. It's a good balance between the two options.

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Re: The New System is Here!

Post  Fury of the Tempest on Tue Jul 08, 2014 10:46 am

But you CAN'T play a Tank. Yes. There is Grapple and the Tank Feature that lets you control the enemies's attacks. Yes, their is challenge, which does incite the enemy to attack you instead of your allies. However you CANNOT chose to take on the allies damage. There is no 'Oh Shit That Attack is going to kill my ally, I will Defend them with my own body' move, or anything similiar.

All I'm asking for, is one talent. One. Single. Talent. If you add in Defender, then I will be happy. As then I can play a tank. Until that talent, or something similar - something that isn't super restrictive - is added. You cannot play a tank. You can play a controller or punisher. But NOT a tank.
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Re: The New System is Here!

Post  Stairc -Dan Felder on Tue Jul 08, 2014 10:54 am

That level of pure combat control was reserved for the guardian destiny. Tank combat builds have something cool to look forward to this way, and low level GMs don't need to worry about that amount of battlefield control as much. Also the balance problems and so on don't fall into it this way.

I think you have a narrow definition of what counts as a Tank. If you look at it as a guy that draws enemy fire away from allies and is really hard to kill, that absolutely exists. We just don't have the target-swap effect. You can still play a tank, just not with the exact same mechanic as before.

However, if you want to houserule in the standard Defender combat power, that's totally fine with me. You can add it in right now. I don't think it's great for the core rulebook, but as mentioned - no system will be ideal for every party. That's why we made sure to mention that up front.

Sadly, I have to sign off for now. Got to do research for work at FFG.

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Re: The New System is Here!

Post  Fury of the Tempest on Tue Jul 08, 2014 11:19 am

There is a HUGE difference between having abilities to look forwards to for your build, and not being able to actually play a build. A tank, quite simply, is someone able to redirect enemy attacks to them. Which is why Defender is completely necessary as a level 1 ability in order to play as a tank. Yes. THere is the feature, and the 'Challenge' mechanic. That does help them. However, they need an ability to redirect enemy attacks, at level 1. It is 100% essential to a tank, and the ability to redirect attacks to yourself, is not a broken ability that gets in the way of DM's. Esepcially as Defender only works on single-target attacks
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Re: The New System is Here!

Post  Xel Unknown on Tue Jul 08, 2014 7:29 pm

But the new system doesn't want you to do anything when it's not your turn... Because that'll smooth up combat's flow or something like that. Or that's what I assume is the reasoning for nerfing free actions into the semi-free actions they are now... And the removal of Interrupts...
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Re: The New System is Here!

Post  Stairc -Dan Felder on Tue Jul 08, 2014 9:09 pm

@Fury - Making the ability to point-click-and-pull-anything-to-you makes tanking something you don't have to think about much. By saving that flexibility for the destiny and making other forms of tanking require planning and thought - rather than just taking damage from anyone at any time - it's a lot more engaging. Also, if we made that infinitely-flexible, mindless tank readily accessible - it makes the more interesting versions less playable. Also, there are a number of small balance issues.

@Xel - In reality, we found that Free Actions off-turn and Interrupts could both be represented by Reactions in the vast majority of the cases - and the use of multiple action types that worked like this was unnecessary. We still do interrupts when they're balanced, we just word them as reactions. Look at Shield as an example.

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Re: The New System is Here!

Post  Fury of the Tempest on Tue Jul 08, 2014 9:12 pm

[-2] To such an ability, adds a LOT of strategy and depth to Defender. In fact, having it [-2] means it is NOT a mindless-ability, and you have to think of when to use it, and who to use it on, as well as how it interacts with your other abilities. Meaning, it still requires planning and thought. So... apart from these 'small balance issues', there is actually no reason at all to not add Defender. It is not mindless, or any less interesting, and at the same time, it doesn't make the other Defender builds any less relevant or playable.
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Re: The New System is Here!

Post  Stairc -Dan Felder on Tue Jul 08, 2014 9:24 pm

Feel free to houserule it in yourself then. Personally, I haven't been convinced that it's a good way to solve the issue. Unless, of course, the issue is just nostalgia for the past.

The balance issues and loss of GM control are also *major* concerns. The fact that there are a lot of small problems means there's a lot of problems that happen to add up to a really big deal. For a GM to have a big, exciting story moment and delivering a crucial blow to a PC for story reasons, or reasons of tension, or anything else that could work... And having the tank in the party being able to go, "Nope, sorry GM, you don't get to make that decision" sucks. With guarding specific players or targeting specific enemies, or having it be a destiny feature that isn't infinitely-spammable, it's easy for GM's to keep your tactical options for redirecting attacks in mind. Constantly tracking your energy total and waiting till you're below 2 is much harder and more cumbersome. There are also multiple balance issues that pop up when energy is spent to affect target selection, and it makes the other options less versatile by comparison.

Basically, there are other factors beyond players getting a cool power or not. There are two sides of the table that need to be considered, plus larger issues that pop up if we move away from our game balance economy. I don't want to suffer all those downsides.

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Re: The New System is Here!

Post  Fury of the Tempest on Wed Jul 09, 2014 5:23 am

The thing about the GM having 'a big, exciting story moment and delivering a crucial blow to a PC for story reasons, or reasons of tension, or anything else that could work', is that story wise, if the Tank is there, they would more than likely dive into the blow's way. Because that is what a tank does. It takes the blows for it allies, it doesn't care about story, or tension, or anything else. If an ally is about to be hit by a powerful, or crucial blow, they WILL most likely intervene... and not having that option, the ability to have your character dive into the way of a strike? That is much, much MUCH more restrictive and unfair when it comes to story reasons, then not having it.

As for the GM? They should be flexible, and have the story, the campaign, be around the players. If one them is a Tank, then they should know, that the character, WILL be taking blows for their allies. And asking them not to do to so, for a praticularly attack, for story reasons or whatever, is entirely unfair. Plus... its not the GM's that create the story. They provide the setting and other character's. But it is the players. The main characters, that create the story.
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Re: The New System is Here!

Post  sunbeam on Wed Jul 09, 2014 8:09 am

Funny thing is, last night I had an idea that fills in that crack, in it's own way. The simple version is like this:

[-3] Saveabitch - Reaction
Trigger: an ally would take 30 or more damage
Effect: You immediately take that damage instead. The ally gain 3 energy worth of stuff (like 20 life, or 3 energy).

The wording is odd (I haven't looked at the nuances of how to write interrupts-as-reactions yet), but the basic idea is to let you take massive damage in place of an ally (30 damage could be increased to 50). If I remember correctly, redirecting damage doesn't cost anything, so everything you pay to redirect the damage can be funneled into supporting that ally. We could always make it grant a little less of a bonus to the ally if, say, we wanted to assume that the user would have Avenger's armor 10, but I like that it's technically an energy neutral reaction (pay three energy, gain 3 energy), but it's not spammable. It can sort of be thought of as the ultimate redistribution power.
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Re: The New System is Here!

Post  Stairc -Dan Felder on Wed Jul 09, 2014 10:39 am

@Fury - In actuality, the GM has a rather important role in creating the story. Also, having to mentally track a tank's energy with the potential to redirect attacks is a significant mental tax that takes up mindspace. It's also not as fun for GMs if tanks can pull attacks reliably and the GM knows their big, cool attack will rarely hit the guy they want it too. It also creates way too much predictability in combat. The tank can take big hits reliably, so the pain doesn't get spread around as much - which means other players don't often get that panicked thrill of being in as much danger. The balance things are issues too. And, of course, having this defender power reduces the amount of planning defenders otherwise do (not spending energy much doesn't count as planning in the same way that choosing a specific ally to defend or a specific enemy to grapple, and it's not nearly as thematic either - since being able to jump in front of any attack anywhere on the battlefield is rather ridiculous story-wise, especially for a heavily armored knight). It also would cheapen what makes the Guardian destiny special, because that destiny breaks the rule and lets you pull any attack to you. It doesn't just do something cheaper, it does something that otherwise can't be dont.

Way too many downsides, not seeing many upsides - other than that you want it.

@Sunbeam - Seems a lot more fun at least than Defender, but also runs into many of the above problems. A more powerful version as a trait might work well though.

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Re: The New System is Here!

Post  Caden2112 on Wed Jul 09, 2014 11:44 am

Been watching this discussion for a bit, and I have to say this, right now.

This is not a single-player RPG. If the GM's story cannot move forward without a party member getting critically wounded, then the GM needs to re-evaluate how he planned for the story to proceed. What you're describing, Dan, is cutscene incompetence, which is frustrating enough when you're playing a game alone. We, as players, will not forget we have revival abilities/training when a party member gets shivved, or universal antidotes for poisons, or the ability to magically heal wounds that would leave another crippled or worse. A GM who basically says "So this character's down, because STORY SAYS SO," will quickly find themselves needing a new group when their players grow tired of them essentially telling one player they can't participate anymore and forcing the rest of the team to be a man down until the vague 'story injury' is healed.

...In addition, allowing tanks to fulfill their purpose more than once a battle is more work, but it also makes the times when the big, super-flashy, Screw-You-Player attacks get through much more meaningful. With the logic you're attempting to use to defend your point, you may as well remove the tanking ability altogether, because you, simply put, don't seem to WANT a defender starting out in the system. Your statements essentially are invoking the same problem people have with countless single-player games: You speak as if you want the person whose entire purpose mechanically is protecting his allies to stand around like an idiot because improvisation is too difficult to handle.

Again, this is not a single-player game. Story injuries should be reserved for the event of the party being incapacitated, not just because the GM doesn't know how to tell a story that arbitrarily removes a character because they think it's dramatic. The party isn't going to think shivving the healer/mage/thief/whoever else is a neat dramatic moment for the plot. At best, either the GM or the defender is going to catch flak for the injury (for invoking the Rock of Doom on the GM, not fulfilling the character's basic role for the defender.) At worst, it will bring the session (And possibly campaign) to a screeching halt as the players essentially revolt.

tl;dr version:
When you say that you don't want defenders because it might detract from the story, it makes the rest of us feel as if there's no point in participating if the GM is essentially going to play with themself, limiting the party to the role of passive observers in the process. It also makes those who play defenders feel arbitrarily worthless as far as what they bring to the table is concerned. After all, if you're having to save your one save for the inevitable "I win" attack, you're never going to use it, ever. This link will sum up the problem quite well (WARNING: TVTROPES LINK. Too Awesome To Use ) ...On the other hand, if that's your design goal, then you've succeeded, at the cost of essentially making it clear that defenders have little place in your system, and ensuring that it will never be used.
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Re: The New System is Here!

Post  Fury of the Tempest on Wed Jul 09, 2014 11:48 am

... Well said Caden. Very well said.
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Re: The New System is Here!

Post  Dusk Raven on Wed Jul 09, 2014 5:42 pm

On a random note, I'm not sure what the "Form of the X" abilities mean when they say, "(at the end of your turn, if you did not use an X power, gain the following effect): This power gains 1 Charge." Does that mean that, as long as you have it, if you haven't used it yet, you accumulate charges at the end of each turn?
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Re: The New System is Here!

Post  Stairc -Dan Felder on Wed Jul 09, 2014 10:22 pm

@Caden - Great to hear from you Caden, but I think you're missing my point. I'm not just talking about one big cutscene moment that's happening in combat. I'm talking about the GM's ability to have enemies create tension in the places they want to, as well as have story moments where certain things are personal. Those are options. Are there workarounds that aren't quite as effective and require a bit more planning? Yes. The same goes for Tanks. Without the -2 defender power that comes with a ton of subtle problems, you still can do defending with a bit more planning.

Let me change a few words to show a flip side.

This is not a single-player RPG. If the player's story concept cannot come about without being able to pull any attack, regardless of target, then the player needs to re-evaluate how he planned his character. What you're describing, is character building incompetence, which is frustrating enough when you're playing a game alone.

It's tempting to look at things from just the perspective of a single player, but you can't just say that the GM's ideas aren't important, and their options aren't necessary, they should find a way to work around all these problems instead of a player having to be satisfied with a slightly less versatile, far less problematic power... Because a player's ideas are important and any GM that doesn't like it should find a new group.

You've taken my discussion of just one aspect of the many problems of this power, namely the way it can ruin dramatic moments or flavor in combat the GM is setting up for the player's to experience, and turned it into "this is bad because cutscene auto-kills we can't do anything about are bad". No one is talking about that. No one is suggesting that a GM should one-shot players out of nowhere. Also, players have lots of other defensive options to protect themselves and others - so this power's existence wouldn't mean players suddenly have no ability to defend (even as a reaction).

You're arguing against someone's position, but I don't think it's mine.

Dusk Raven wrote:On a random note, I'm not sure what the "Form of the X" abilities mean when they say, "(at the end of your turn, if you did not use an X power, gain the following effect): This power gains 1 Charge." Does that mean that, as long as you have it, if you haven't used it yet, you accumulate charges at the end of each turn?

Actually, that's exactly how they're intended to operate. It's essential to making sure they're worth using even if you don't use them on turn 1.


Last edited by Stairc -Dan Felder on Wed Jul 09, 2014 11:23 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: The New System is Here!

Post  Hayatecooper on Wed Jul 09, 2014 11:18 pm

@people complaining about Tanks

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1WW6s5t7JpJc7ehNliujJSUaBEt47IzrJRr42KCVC96w/edit

I built a thing! It's a, Tank other peoples damage a lot, thing!
Doesn't go up against AOE's like.. at all really but it'll tank the crap outta everything else. So hopefully the idea that you can build something like this concept without defender is possible.
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Re: The New System is Here!

Post  Stairc -Dan Felder on Thu Jul 10, 2014 12:45 am

Yep, there are definitely cool builds like that.

I think the discussion over this power is going in circles at this point and is taking way too much focus. Huge changes to how characters die, starting life, the design of special moves, the progression systems and more have all taken place - but tons of posts are talking about one power some people want to transfer over from the old system. It's not even an issue of guarding allies not being possible, it's an issue of not being able to guard them in exactly the same way.

With that in mind, I'd like to stick a pin in this issue until after people have actually started playing the system. I think discussion has taken us as far as it can for now, and we should wait for people to actually try playing defensive characters - not just building them. Then we can get more reliable results, after the shock of the different options has worn off.

EDIT - As a side-note, I've gotten a lot of people sending me PMs over here and on Skype about not wanting to participate in this discussion because of the high amounts of drama going on. This included people agreeing with the people wanting to add in the Defender power, but not wanting to encourage the same levels of drama. We actually do have rules about no drama and not freaking out if your game design suggestion is turned down. I try not to enforce them except in the most serious circumstances, because they're so subjective, but when they're discouraging other people from participating I need to bring it up. I love the passion, but let's take it down a notch.

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Re: The New System is Here!

Post  Copper Rose on Thu Jul 10, 2014 12:59 am

Are there supposed to be only 11 available abilities for lvl 1 characters? That leaves very little wiggle room, and forces players to take abilities for their characters that they don't think would fit if they want to be able to do anything at all. It also makes for a very bland party at lvl 1, especially if there are to be no changelings. Are there more novice abilities forthcoming?
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Re: The New System is Here!

Post  ZamuelNow on Thu Jul 10, 2014 1:00 am

Stairc -Dan Felder wrote:and we should wait for people to actually try playing defensive characters - not just building them.

All things considered, I wonder if a good secondary goal would be to have some build challenges. Campaigns are better but they take time while some collective brainstorming might pull out some interesting ideas in the meantime.
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Re: The New System is Here!

Post  Stairc -Dan Felder on Thu Jul 10, 2014 1:04 am

Copper Rose wrote:Are there supposed to be only 11 available abilities for lvl 1 characters? That leaves very little wiggle room, and forces players to take abilities for their characters that they don't think would fit if they want to be able to do anything at all. It also makes for a very bland party at lvl 1, especially if there are to be no changelings. Are there more novice abilities forthcoming?

I think you're only looking at the novice section within the "general" abilities category. There are 9 categories.

ZamuelNow wrote:
Stairc -Dan Felder wrote:and we should wait for people to actually try playing defensive characters - not just building them.

All things considered, I wonder if a good secondary goal would be to have some build challenges.  Campaigns are better but they take time while some collective brainstorming might pull out some interesting ideas in the meantime.

I'd be happy to see some set up. The other system is better for attempts to optimize in general though. Wanderlust prioritizes good gameplay in the adventures themselves, which includes a lack of GM hassle and headaches, rather than prioritizing combos in character-building. If something looks like a cool build on paper, but wouldn't play very fun in real life (like builds that summon a million conjurations and have turns that last forever), we focused on ensuring the fun gameplay - not protecting the cool combo. There are a million systems, including Pony Tales itself, that go the other way.

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Re: The New System is Here!

Post  Copper Rose on Thu Jul 10, 2014 2:15 am

Oh. I am Derp.
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Re: The New System is Here!

Post  Philadelphus on Thu Jul 10, 2014 4:32 am

Phew, finally back from a long vacation with no Internet access! Feel free to field me your comments, questions, or concerns upon the non-combat side of things, and I shall do my best to address them.

@Copper Rose: Now that you've brought it up, we're considering moving the Exalted and Legendary abilities into their own document, the same way that Traits are separate from their level-1 counterparts, the Features. That way people won't have the higher-level abilities in their way when designing level 1 characters, nor the level-1 abilities in their way while leveling-up.

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