Kickstarter Updates #15 & 16:

Here are a couple of links to recent updates on the kickstarter.

Update #15: Results of the monster survey, additional info about the Monster Guide stretch goal, and the goblin art progression from sketch to ink.

Update #16: A preview of some stunts (the skill character’s equivalent to the warrior’s combat feats and the wizard’s spells) and a link to the 10/14 RPGnet chat with Sean answering questions about Five Moons RPG.

 

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6 thoughts on “Kickstarter Updates #15 & 16:

  1. STUNTS
    Liking what I see there. Way better than I imagined. There’s so many options you can do with your boosts in each one.

    DR
    I agree with you on your stance with damage reduction. From my experience, DR feels way too binary. Either the battle never ends or the character with energy damage ends the encounter quickly because the monster had to be deliberately weaker to compensate for its DR. In either case, it’s not fun. I rather liked how 5th Edition handled it where resistance simply halves its damage. I find this useful, design-wise, because you always know that, at most, the battle will take twice the time to finish rather than potentially never end at all. Also, I feel like damage reduction in 3.5e/PF would work better as some kind of reactive ability or temporary effect, which opens more options for dealing with it.

    AD HOC BOOSTS
    You mentioned that characters can use boosts to execute improvised ways to overcome challenges. I really like this, allowing players to be creative by letting them spend resources to let rule of cool take control. It would allow the GM to feel more comfortable about it since they have to burn a resource for it. (One of my more infamous moments in D&D was when I picked up and tossed the party bard Disgaea-style to cut off a fleeing boss’s escape.)

    3PP POLICY
    Rather awesome to hear there’s 3rd party publishers interested in developing material for Five Moons. I personally have interests in writing material for it. In fact, many of the design goals and implementations of Five Moons seem to align well with a RPG/setting side-project of mine, but it’s probably way too premature to talk about it, especially when you have not decided the 3PP policy yet.

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  2. Far as Stunts go, I do like them, though I can see in part you fell into the notion of Rogue Powers that so many other people commonly do.

    Smoke Bomb in this case, is rather strange for how disassociated it kinda is. This is the type of power from 4th edition that people disliked, where there’s this item that’s a power, doesn’t exist till the Rogue uses it, nobody else can loot it from him, sell it,nor can anyone else in the party use it. Also since the Rogue has an infinite supply of it, seems implied he can make these, albeit he could easily not have the skill to do so (thought he might just have enough skills to have a rank in all of em, making that minor point moot). In video games, we won’t really question the disassociation as due to the limitations of the technical medium. That said, I can get we wouldn’t want there to be a money “tax” to use it, don’t want to do piddly tracking of X bombs (could be buy X/adventure consumables vs. bean counting them). However I’m sure you understand the concern of what is being conveyed here.

    There was a concern about Slow Metabolism, but I’d imagine that’s an easy fix via perhaps base value of 4+CON or Minimum 4 round/min

    Lastly, I am feeling the concern there’s quite a bit to spend boosts on, and the abilities themselves not too exciting for them.

    Now onto the rest in the Transcript:

    “[21:02] Social Combat is an optional rule in Five Moons. It’s a GM technique they can use to create climactic diplomacy/intim encounters.”

    It really looks like Social Combat is just reflavored combat, may come as a “well duh”, but doesn’t really sound that outstanding on that front however. Albeit the differences likely be the HP is reversed (may mean more/less for some classes) and Social powers/skills are usable now. It seems odd for it to be “optional” given its one of the core aspects of the game. Oh, and yes, I’ve heard of this in the first podcast, but I felt it more relevant to mention it now.

    “[21:36] “that’s not in the rules” is something I want to eradicate from player and GM vocabulary :)” (Also Fiat Boosts)

    Fiat-use for Boosts is similar to an idea I have for a campaign of mine, so I can dig that, but that vagueness what it can be used for I don’t like so much. It can create inconsistency in character capability, and as we are human, are very much likely to make error of doing too awesome of things for a given level (so I’d recommend strong guidelines there). While that option is cool, I do want to mention in general the rules are important, they serve as our shared language to the game world, that facilitates a consistent, fun, and cooperative experience. So I would consider it a very important part of our vocabulary, even when we’re not referring to making/playtesting the game.

    ” I’ve grown unhappy with how DR works, partly because it punishes martial characters and forces parties to rely on magic spells or magic weapons.”
    Could you explain how it punishes Martial Characters? I know D&D had WAY too many DR types, creating Golf-bag of weapons, though that can easily be standardized into solid and short list of DR overcoming types. I don’t really feel its necessary to do away with DR, it can help ensure some big monsters don’t get punked by armies of horse archers, among other benefits.

    “[20:24] (actually, swap your racial abilities right and you could have a skeleton PC, or something like a Forsaken from Warcraft)”

    A friend and I, would be deeply interested in hearing this, whether now or some point, would you be willing to mention what ability swaps those would be? While I figure it may very well be obvious, I figured I would ask now, just in case, so we can be faithful to the oh almighty intelligent Skeleton Jerry!

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    • I wouldn’t really consider smoke bomb that disassociated of a mechanic. When Justin Alexander wrote about disassociated mechanics on The Alexandrian, he mainly referred to when:
      A) There exists a disconnect between the player’s decisions and the character’s decisions, or
      B) When an abstract entity affects the game world despite not actually existing it.

      There’s some disassociation, but the bombs exist and the character throws them. I admit there’s not much roleplay meat on the bones of this ability, but I’m certain Sean did this intentionally so GMs or players could flavor the ability as they please.

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    • {Smoke Bomb in this case, is rather strange for how disassociated it kinda is. This is the type of power from 4th edition that people disliked, where there’s this item that’s a power, doesn’t exist till the Rogue uses it, nobody else can loot it from him, sell it,nor can anyone else in the party use it.}

      There’s really not much difference between
      “wizard has a spell component pouch, it never runs out, he refills it for free in town, and uses sand from that pouch to create a blast of colors that stun or sleep people,”
      and
      “rogue can create a burst of smoke.”
      It’s a magical world. No-gp-cost spell components are a needless bookkeeping time-waster. If you get rid of the M component of Color Spray, there’s no reason Smoke Bomb should have a material component, either.

      {Fiat-use for Boosts is similar to an idea I have for a campaign of mine, so I can dig that, but that vagueness what it can be used for I don’t like so much.}

      There will be guidelines for this in the book. I was responding to a chat question, not copypasting an excerpt from the book, so it was light on details.

      {Could you explain how [DR] punishes Martial Characters?}

      Casters can ignore DR by using energy spells. Or other spells that don’t deal B, P, or S damage. Or spells that don’t deal damage at all, like save-or-die effects.

      Martial characters don’t have that option. If PF, *all they can do* is deal B/P/S damage, so as soon as you bring out a monster that has DR, the martial character understands that either (A) their damage just dipped because they don’t have the right weapon to overcome that DR, or (B) their damage is unaffected because they do have the right weapon, in which case the DR is pointless. Meanwhile the caster finds a way to ignore the DR and neutralize the threat.

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      • “There will be guidelines for this in the book.”

        Fair enough, I just mean to make sure this fiat portioned is well explained, especially with examples (author-intent can be lost easily in something like this). Such as ensuring it stays within being level appropriate more or less.

        ” Meanwhile the caster finds a way to ignore the DR and neutralize the threat.”

        Just because PC’s eventually get abilities to bypass certain defenses doesn’t mean those defenses are pointless to begin with. With that logic, by the time you have flight and lot of monsters become flying archers, doesn’t mean there should be no flight. Needing Magic Weapons, or your attacks to be “magical” to fight ghosts at 3rd, flight at 6th, constant flight at 10th, Teleporting & Planeshifting around level 9th? Is part of power level ranges the game is covering, consistently showcasing those monsters power. Damage Reduction in this case, fulfills in part in the design space, and like the casters, All classes should have ways of overcoming DR in some manner, especially with alternative tactics (fact they didn’t in current paradigm was problem with the game obviously, not DR itself being bad).

        Speaking of Damage, I’ve noticed you mention it Alot, leaving me to ask, Will there be combat powers that go beyond than just doing damage to achieve victory conditions? Such as if Monsters have Resolve as “mental HP”, and there’s attacks that damage that, since it’ll likely be less, it becomes the “true” damage to use against the monsters, and similar for PC’s as well (should it have that function extended to them as well). SoD’s are ok, so I could support softening them I think, to make them less binary.

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  3. Oh! Some last minute mention(s) I forgot!

    “[19:38] Well when the kickstarter is done (and before I start writing everything full-time) I’m going to read the 4E PH again cover to cover to see if there are any concepts I want to use. ”

    I’m afraid you’re not going to find all too much in there, the first core book was rather limited and basic (among other things). You’re going to find the Psion rules in PHB 3, and Psionic Power for expanded material on that.

    You might also be interested in Skill Challenges“, albeit you’d be redoing the implementation from the ground up. In that, I would strongly require the change not be on failure states, but on a timer of X rounds. Where you try to get X amount of successes before the round timer is up, and can possibly have some skill uses increase the round timer, in addition to giving encounter-long bonuses, bonus on next check, etc. Then you can have grades of success, if the PC’s got over the required number of successes and such. IF OF COURSE were to take to that idea at all…

    Anyone else have any 4E books to suggest to SKR? While the game didn’t execute well, it did have “some” cool ideas at least.

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