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Tywyll

Replacement for END costs in a END free game

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@Duke Bushido

 

Here's the magic system if you want to see the full details (or at least the Arcane element). Divine magic and innate elven magic are similar but with a few slight differences.

 

I didn't originally mention, the details because the thread wasn't about the magic system so much as my idea for non casters. 

 

 

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On 1/19/2020 at 12:25 AM, Duke Bushido said:

I would suggest specifically that you go out of your way to find a more thematically-appropriate name for your END pool.  Yes; I know: the mechanic you seem to be implementing is precisely the same as the END mechanic--and I have no quarrel with that; it's ideal for what you are trying to model.  So why would you change the name? 

 

Actually, we do use a 'slightly' different name. We converted our campaign over from The Fantasy Trip, where Wizards (only) track Fatigue. So the mages have an END Reserve called Fatigue. 

 

It's funny you mention this because I was wondering last night if anyone would have said anything if I'd said, I have anew stat called Mana that mages have to buy to power spells.... 🙄

 

On 1/19/2020 at 12:25 AM, Duke Bushido said:

 

A non-mage gets, as Hugh's attention to detail points out, Zero END for free on anything but magic items (if I understand correctly, it's the use of magical items by non-magicians that might burn Stun?  I'm not only cool with that, I sort of like it as a trade-off for not having to manage "resources" Ala END or "maximum number of sword swings." 

 

There was one magic item picked up in TFT that does cost the user Fatigue. Its the only time a noncaster spends Fatigue. When I initially converted it I changed it to Charges but I don't really like that, which led me to considering this rule to burn Stun. I will probably go back to doing the stun thing. 

 

On 1/19/2020 at 12:25 AM, Duke Bushido said:

Archers have to manage their arrows (I assume; Lego Lass never seemed to run out,  UT it's possible he was managing them off-camera). 

 

Wizards can do way more than swing a stick or stab at distance.  Requiring some sort of bottleneck like managing their available magic juice seems both a reasonable control against dominating any situation and not too terribly large a burden, all things considered. 

 

Exactly, its the cost for playing with cosmic power...

 

On 1/19/2020 at 12:25 AM, Duke Bushido said:

 

As I said, these were suggestions from seasoned hands, from people that know the system and it's mechanics backwards and forwards; people who know every single thing I just said, when you get down to it.  But even they balked at the idea of "no one counts END except spellsligers.". Imagine how a lesser-experienced group- one familiar enough to know that END is usually a thing that must be tracked and appreciates the value of not having to track it- might react to the idea that "everyone gets free END except for the guy I want to play...." 

 

Luckily, this is everyone's first experience with HERO except one player, who never created a character just played one I made for him in an earlier campaign years ago. My caster player has no issue with tracking his juice, considering he was doing it already in TFT where no one else was tracking anything but damage. I'm surprised at the kickback on this, especially since in the thread where I actually detailed the magic system no one blinked at the END Reserve. in that thread.

 

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On 1/19/2020 at 12:28 AM, Gnome BODY (important!) said:

Assign the same Limitation value worth of Charges to each item, then normalize charges/use to the largest charge count.  Takes a few minutes during chargen and less time in play than END. 

 

Which still doesn't allow for slow recovery through the day. Also it requires deciding how many times you should cast per day, rather than mimic the system we translated over which allows caster to recover slowly after casting spells. 

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On 1/19/2020 at 1:02 AM, Doc Democracy said:

I don't disagree with the ambition, I disagree with making a player pay points for something that limits the character.

 

It doesn't. They are paying points for an ability that other characters don't have. They AREN'T paying points for normal END. 

 

On 1/19/2020 at 1:02 AM, Doc Democracy said:

 

Give the base pool for free and pay for enhancements?  Sounds good to me.  Want magic points to recover more slowly?  Then use the normal END system but have REC add to STUN every turn and to END every five minutes.  You get the same delay without the tax and without two separate REC values.

 

Then REC becomes cheaper for mages to buy but not non-mages if you are applying a limit to it.

 

I mean, END Reserve is right there...it perfectly encapsulates what I want. None of my players care. Why not use it?

 

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On 1/19/2020 at 12:25 AM, Duke Bushido said:

I don't think I'd change anything; I like what you have, and if it works for you and your players, our opinions don't matter anyway (though, to be fair to us, you _did_ ask for them, so please: keep that in mind when they are offered). 

 

Not to sound snarky, because I don't mean it that way, but the opinions I was looking for was about using Stun in place of END in a game where you don't track normal END use. The magic system is secondary and not really what I wanted to talk about (we've been playing it this way since October with no issues)! 

 

Anyway, again, I appreciate your time and feedback!

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On 1/19/2020 at 5:42 AM, dsatow said:

 

When mixing charges in a multipower, the charges on the multipower determines the number of uses of the multipower while the charges on the slot determine the operation of the slot.  That sounds confusing so lets look at a simple example (if silly example).

 

 

Do you really think this is a better idea than my idea? No.  I  am like Duke Bushido.  I prefer an End Battery and/or Personal End for spells.  But it's a functional way to do things you or someone reading this post might want to try.  "More than one way to skin a cat" phrase so to speak. 

 

 

Thanks for that break down!

 

I can see that working for a D&D based game, though it rapidly gets to a problem where suitable duration spells become prohibitively expensive as the Charges turn into advantages.

 

It doesn't work for the system we converted from where casters spend fatigue, can rest, and then cast again. Their fatigue recovers slowly (1 per 15 minutes) but a mage could exhaust themselves in the morning and in an hour have a little more emergency juice at their disposal, and in two-3 hours be back to full strength. So charges don't capture the feel or utility of the system. 

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19 hours ago, Hugh Neilson said:

 

I assume you are making the players limit the REC on the reserve, as the default is a one/turn recovery. EDIT:  Now posted - per 5 minutes or slower.

 

Yup.

 

19 hours ago, Hugh Neilson said:

 

My only concern would be on the impact it actually has on the game.  Do spellcasters carefully husband their resources (and maybe get pretty bored watching the non-spellcasters handle whatever can be done without magic, since I don't want to have no resources when we really need them)?  Do we get the 15-minute work day (Caster goes nova every combat, then we set up camp and wait for them to recover their Mana Pool)?  Assuming it is working well in your game, I would not mess with that.

 

The impact on game play is pretty much as desired. The caster can cast a bunch of spells, but has to be extremely careful if they have everything running at once or they burn out. After a fight the party has to make the choice of pushing on or resting, and resting has the risk of wandering encounters when they are in dangerous areas. So there is definitely a risk/reward, which is what I want. The caster can use a bow when she's out of mana, but interestingly, while she used her bow quite a bit in TFT, she rarely uses it in Hero. So she seems to have resources to burn. 

 

19 hours ago, Hugh Neilson said:

 

Per five minutes means I can buy 9 REC (6 AP) per 5 minutes (-3/4, the spread between "per turn" and "per 5 minutes") for 5 points, so pretty rapid recovery is practical.  Seems like this would be more limiting to a single encounter than a day.

 

Keeping the REC to around something that felt similar to the rate in TFT left them with a 6 REC. I probably won't let it go higher without outside help. 

 

They have a secondary reserve as well, that only recovers with an hour long ritual, so they have an emergency tank they can dip into. That recovers fully after the hour ceremony though. It's pretty cheap with 12 extra END in it. This mimics a talen she had in TFT. 

 

19 hours ago, Hugh Neilson said:

 

 

Or just require the END reserve, and all spells must take Costs END, which draws from the END reserve.  Much like Magic Skill, the more magic you purchase, the more points you will save due to that limitation.  If the spell would not normally cost END, give that spell a -1 limitation since nothing in your game costs END by default.  That should also apply to "burn STUN instead" builds like +2 OCV since that also would not have cost END, even in a normal "costs END" game.  We could quibble over whether it really "costs END" or has a side effect inflicting a bit of STUN damage, but it comes to the same thing - the character takes a bit of STUN damage when they use this ability.

 

How would I add Costs END in Hero Designer to powers that already cost it? I mean, I could write in a custom limitation over and over I suppose. 

 

Why a -1 limitation, shouldn't it be -1/2 for Costs END as normal? 

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1 hour ago, Tywyll said:

They are paying points for an ability that other characters don't have. They AREN'T paying points for normal END. 

 

When they pay points to throw a fireball, they are paying points for an ability that the other characters don't have.  When they pay points for the magic skill roll that allows them into the brotherhood of wizards (and will be used to gain clues knowledge etc in-game) they are paying points for an ability other characters don't have.  When they pay points for the END reserve, they are paying points to allow for the bureaucracy of abilities that other characters don't have.  Will be my last time making the point because we obviously do not agree and it is your game.

 

1 hour ago, Tywyll said:

Then REC becomes cheaper for mages to buy but not non-mages if you are applying a limit to it.

 

I mean, END Reserve is right there...it perfectly encapsulates what I want. None of my players care. Why not use it?

 

The limit, for your game, can be -0.  You, as GM, see no value to the player in the limit, so the cost of REC remains the same for everyone.

 

As I said. I have no issue with the USE of the END Reserve, it performs the function you want.  My issue was simply charging players for having it when the only game effect it has is to limit the player character.  If the END Reserve was not being used then the powers bought by the players for their wizards could be used freely, just like STR and other things they spend points on.  You want to limit their access to those spells and, I can see no reason why you would not want to do that.  I still think you should not charge a player points because you want to limit their character.

 

BUT.  As I said before, your game, your rules, your players. 

 

Doc

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1 hour ago, Tywyll said:

 

It doesn't. They are paying points for an ability that other characters don't have. They AREN'T paying points for normal END.

 

They are paying points for an END reserve that no one else needs because no one else pays END.  That allows them to pay points for abilities that other characters don't have.  If they followed the same "no one else pays END" rule, then they would not need to buy an END reserve. 

 

If everyone started with a Fatigue pool, which no one else bought up, they would not be paying something for nothing, and that "one magic item" from TFT would not need a special rule.  Shifting to normal END could work, but would not capture the same feel without a lot of customizing anyway.  The END reserve seems like the right tool.

 

45 minutes ago, Tywyll said:

The impact on game play is pretty much as desired. The caster can cast a bunch of spells, but has to be extremely careful if they have everything running at once or they burn out. After a fight the party has to make the choice of pushing on or resting, and resting has the risk of wandering encounters when they are in dangerous areas. So there is definitely a risk/reward, which is what I want. The caster can use a bow when she's out of mana, but interestingly, while she used her bow quite a bit in TFT, she rarely uses it in Hero. So she seems to have resources to burn.

 

Keeping the REC to around something that felt similar to the rate in TFT left them with a 6 REC. I probably won't let it go higher without outside help.

 

Sounds like their REC is effectively faster in Hero.  With 6 REC and 30 END, they get the whole pool back in just under half an hour.  But if it's getting the right result, why mess with it?  I (maybe some others - can't speak for them) often wonder why people adopt Hero and then try to replicate a different system with as much precision as possible.  If the other system was great, why switch?  But it sounds like you have other reasons for preferring Hero, just want to simulate the feel of the magic system.

 

45 minutes ago, Tywyll said:

They have a secondary reserve as well, that only recovers with an hour long ritual, so they have an emergency tank they can dip into. That recovers fully after the hour ceremony though. It's pretty cheap with 12 extra END in it. This mimics a talen she had in TFT.

 

Given the whole pool recovers in half an hour, a one hour ritual does not seem so bad, but I guess the normal one recovers while you are on the move, so an hour sit-down would feel quite different.

 

45 minutes ago, Tywyll said:

How would I add Costs END in Hero Designer to powers that already cost it? I mean, I could write in a custom limitation over and over I suppose. 

 

Why a -1 limitation, shouldn't it be -1/2 for Costs END as normal? 

 

Probably have to call it "limited power" in HD as I expect it can't be told END does not normally apply.

 

For a power that costs 0 END by default, there is no advantage to costing no END when the game does not use END, so it's even more limited/disadvantaged.  Not sure how often it would be relevant, though.  It may not be worth the extra customization/hassle.

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3 hours ago, Tywyll said:

 

Not to sound snarky,

 

No snark taken.  ;)

 

3 hours ago, Tywyll said:

 opinions I was looking for was about using Stun in place of END in a game where you don't track normal END use.

 

I see.  My apologies; the Stun as END thing came across as a special circumstance usage. 

 

As for using Stun as a magic fuel-  it works.  It works fine.  Mechanically, it adds interesting situations where a wounded caster would have access to less magic, etc.  From a mechanical point of view, it works fine. 

 

However, it causes a "feel" issue that works against somwthing you mentioned you were trying to avoid: if the power comes from the character, it feels more like superpowers than like magic (which, I think, is why Doc and I both prefer a separate pool to power magic). 

 

Now you have, with the Stun model, an interesting opportunity that character END doesn't allow: you can fix this narratively.  Build into the Lore of your world the "well-known fact" that magic comes from outside the caster.  Let the Stun be actual, real damage to the character, caused by channeling and focusing the magic through him.  Make it clear that magic is greater than people, and dabbling with it rewards the smallest mistake with death and disabling.  That will remove the "feels like a super-power thing, and will likely result in more serious, studious-types as magic users.  ;)

 

 

 

3 hours ago, Tywyll said:

 

 

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3 hours ago, Tywyll said:

 

It's funny you mention this because I was wondering last night if anyone would have said anything if I'd said, I have anew stat called Mana that mages have to buy to power spells.... 🙄

 

 

I can't speak for everyone,  but I wouldn't have.  My "normal" character sheets have defense characteristics not seen on any official sheet (mental and Presence defense) and a couple of other things.  I use a "magic power" stat a _lot_, and have even tracked Taint, Sanity, etc, over the years.  I'm all for it. 

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4 hours ago, Duke Bushido said:

 

I can't speak for everyone,  but I wouldn't have.  My "normal" character sheets have defense characteristics not seen on any official sheet (mental and Presence defense) and a couple of other things.  I use a "magic power" stat a _lot_, and have even tracked Taint, Sanity, etc, over the years.  I'm all for it. 

I'd love to see your character sheet... 😋

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9 hours ago, Tywyll said:

Which still doesn't allow for slow recovery through the day. Also it requires deciding how many times you should cast per day, rather than mimic the system we translated over which allows caster to recover slowly after casting spells. 

Recoverable Charges. 

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By the way, Tywyll, it occurs to me that we (myself included, if not especially) have been providing no shortage of unsolicited advice on your Casters rules, and occasionally mentioned the non-caster question you actually asked. You've been very gracious in filling us in on the desired game style and the background to the caster rules.  Thanks for that!

 

STUN instead of END could certainly be workable.  When out of END, a character in RAW can exert himself at a cost of 1d6 STUN/2 END already.

 

However, given it will likely be Martial-types using this, I wonder how well that will play out.  When we are at our most desperate, and I really need to use that extra boost, can I afford the STUN loss?  Clearly it will not be used in a last-ditch effort by a barely conscious (or just-recovered-to-positive-stun) character.  But I may open every combat with it, since I will get a PS 12 recovery and get the few STUN expended back.

 

You mentioned tracking END when characters do something extreme, just not for routine (well, routine for adventurers) activity.  One possibility would be ruling that the default rule of "nothing costs END" is really "if you have enough END and REC that going full-out in combat is no big deal, then you do not have to track END".  What END would they spend in a typical phase?  Maybe 1 for movement, a couple for STR, so 3 END per phase.  A 4 SPD character would use 12 END and recover what, 6 or 8?  So he'd start with 20 END, act on Ph 12, recover his END, take 4 actions, recover 6 END and start next turn with 14 END.  He can go two turns and a bit before worrying about END.  We give him a break when he recovers from being KO'd, but that's about it.

 

Perhaps, just like casting means buying in to some extra tracking and resource management, so does an ability that "costs END".  It may be a means of introducing the overall END concept to the group.

 

Or those "costs END superskills" also feed off an END Reserve (perhaps with a different name) to place a resource management constraint on those characters' unusual abilities (the Monk has a "Chi Reserve", the Swashbuckler has "Panache", etc.).

 

Different abilities could also have different "side effects".  The Barbarian can fly into a rage (maybe he gets +5 STR for a turn or so), but when it ends, he takes a STR Drain from fatigue.

 

You mentioned it won't come up much, so perhaps that suggests an option to create a very customized consequence for the specific over-exertion in question.

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4 hours ago, Hugh Neilson said:

 

However, given it will likely be Martial-types using this, I wonder how well that will play out.  When we are at our most desperate, and I really need to use that extra boost, can I afford the STUN loss?  Clearly it will not be used in a last-ditch effort by a barely conscious (or just-recovered-to-positive-stun) character.  But I may open every combat with it, since I will get a PS 12 recovery and get the few STUN expended back.

 

 

 

See, to me that actually sounds good. A character entering a fight can try all sorts of fancy tricks and foot work, but when their back is up against a wall and they are bleeding from a dozen wounds, all that flies out the window and they only have their true skill to rely on. 

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On 1/16/2020 at 11:23 AM, Tywyll said:

I'm running FH and I did away with END tracking to help my players learn the system better and play faster (since our sessions are usually only around 3-3.5 hours). Casters have to buy END Reserves, but noncasters don't track END unless there is something extreme (they had to swim underwater for 200'). 

 

This makes the game faster and such, but does remove some interesting build concepts for non-casters. 

 

I was thinking last night and it occurred to me that maybe in place of END, a non-caster could still buy abilities that 'cost END' but instead of END they cost Stun. This way they can 'exert' themselves, and have abilities that require balancing resources, but without needing to track everything else. 

 

Good idea? Bad idea? I don't expect it would come up much, but I'd like to have the option and this seems like a decent way to handle it?

 

Hmm.  Make spell casters buy 'Susceptibility to using too much magic too quickly' (you define what those terms mean).  Boom.

 

I can think of some suggestions if you like.  Well, I just did, but I can type them out if you like :)

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17 hours ago, Tywyll said:

 

See, to me that actually sounds good. A character entering a fight can try all sorts of fancy tricks and foot work, but when their back is up against a wall and they are bleeding from a dozen wounds, all that flies out the window and they only have their true skill to rely on. 

 

That special ability is often defined as the exceptional skill that makes the warrior stand apart from others.  When their back is against the wall, that is the time when they dig deep, and access that deeper skill.

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10 hours ago, Hugh Neilson said:

 

That special ability is often defined as the exceptional skill that makes the warrior stand apart from others.  When their back is against the wall, that is the time when they dig deep, and access that deeper skill.

 

I think it depends on genre conventions. It could easily work either way...they only pull it out in times of great danger, the reverse death spiral where the more injured they get the more powerful they become OR it is their opening move, the flashy thing they use to end a fight quickly but when they are wounded and weak they can't pull it out...like when they are out of Stun/END/Motes/Blood/Mana/etc. 😉

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On 1/20/2020 at 9:16 PM, Hugh Neilson said:

Different abilities could also have different "side effects".  The Barbarian can fly into a rage (maybe he gets +5 STR for a turn or so), but when it ends, he takes a STR Drain from fatigue.

 

You mentioned it won't come up much, so perhaps that suggests an option to create a very customized consequence for the specific over-exertion in question.

 

18 minutes ago, Tywyll said:

It could easily work either way...they only pull it out in times of great danger, the reverse death spiral where the more injured they get the more powerful they become OR it is their opening move, the flashy thing they use to end a fight quickly but when they are wounded and weak they can't pull it out...like when they are out of Stun/END/Motes/Blood/Mana/etc. 😉

 

Seems like the above both suggest the same thing, basically.

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