Orin J.
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Re: WFRP 4 analysis

Fri Feb 08, 2019 10:56 am

That means more that the other combat systems need to be reworked rather than restricting the magical system to being anti-fun, magnus. if the only way to balance magic against the rest of combat is to make people not want to use it, then the entire system is faulty.

Silke
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Re: WFRP 4 analysis

Fri Feb 08, 2019 12:48 pm

CapnZapp, why not use a system when you spend advantage to gain +10 % bonus? Any reason you didn't choose this route, and instead want winning and gaining as house rule?
That would make A stacking a gamble, save them and you could loose them or spend it and loose it.

I don't like the negate critical with armour and also feel the critical tables are to dangerous if you remove it, splitting the crittable up in A,B,C seems like a good solution, question is hen you use A or B or C, severity i guess but what would decide that?

CapnZapp
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Re: WFRP 4 analysis

Sat Feb 09, 2019 5:26 am

Mostly that we want to leave behind the need to track how many points of Advantage you have.

You are correct in that spending the points avoids Advantage taking over combat. And yes, that is half the issue.

But the other half is not wanting to remember whether random Snotling III has one or three Advantage. Just having to track which combatant has Advantage and who does not, is plenty enough.

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totsuzenheni
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Re: WFRP 4 analysis

Sat Feb 09, 2019 6:12 am

Could Advantage become a group mechanic rather than an individual character mechanic? The increment of Advantage gained would need to be lowered, or something similar done to tone down the speed of increase. I would suggest trying increments of 1 to start with. As a bonus i think it could work very well for representing swarms vs individuals or small groups.

Graak
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Re: WFRP 4 analysis

Sat Feb 09, 2019 8:09 am

In my games we don't feel whiff factor as a problem to be fair, but I can see it can be one. Having said this, did anyone tried so simply rise %values by 10 or 20 in the entire game (PCs, NPC, monsters...)? Could this solve the whiff problem?

I'm saying this because there are enough modifiers in these editions (1,2 and 4th) without bothering tracking Advantage too! Having to do that it's simply madness imho.

CapnZapp
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Re: WFRP 4 analysis

Mon Feb 11, 2019 1:41 am

Graak wrote:
Sat Feb 09, 2019 8:09 am
In my games we don't feel whiff factor as a problem to be fair, but I can see it can be one. Having said this, did anyone tried so simply rise %values by 10 or 20 in the entire game (PCs, NPC, monsters...)? Could this solve the whiff problem?

I'm saying this because there are enough modifiers in these editions (1,2 and 4th) without bothering tracking Advantage too! Having to do that it's simply madness imho.
May I assume you haven't adopted 4E as of yet? I will say that while our group didn't feel whiffing was on the top list of 2E weaknesses (mainly because we didn't play by the rules as written - when it came to general skill use we more or less reinterpreted the rolls using an informal unstated bonus) I can see how a player can wonder how the game is even playable - especially if you come from a tradition of actually competent starting characters (like in many other games).

In the 1/2E framework it doesn't really work to just increase stats by +20. Why? Because those games are pretty well locked into the percentage scales. (In short: skill values of above ~90% or so doesn't really work) This means it is attractive to use the bottom half of the 1-100 scale, so you have room to play for longer before you "top out" your scores.

This issue is two-fold: one is how experience is handled, and one is how the game mechanics actually perform. (Very briefly: if you always succeed, what's the point of even rolling?)

Thing is, 4E has solved both these issues, but seemingly without realizing it - since characters still start in the same 20-40 region as in 1E/2E!

The XP aspect is solved since XP costs now increase exponentially.

The "drifting out of target range" aspect is also solved since the game is now not simply about success vs failure. I mean Skill Levels. The game now easily handles a Witch Hunter with 150% sword skill facing a Chaos Knight with 120%. The fact that both will nearly always succeed is irrelevant since everything is about who gets the most SLs.

So it's a bit ironic that 4E provides the tools to fix this issue... and then didn't take it all the way.

Instead we got this clutzy "unopposed tests are generally at +20" rule, which in my actual playtest didn't work out. Why? Because it meant the players were constantly asking me whether they got the +20 or not.

It is only fair that as a player you get to know your target number. You want to know what you need to roll to succeed. We arent interested in just reporting our rolls and having the GM decide behind his screen (I don't actually have a screen) if that roll is a success or not. As a player I want to declare "I succeed" and I want to instantly know by how many Success Levels.

So I was beleaguered with requests for decisions. Is this test at +20%?

Ad the secret is: even though the rules specify a lot of opposed tests, mosts such tests aren't that interesting or important.

When I ask for Perception tests, or Insight, or Charm, I am most often only looking for a general tendency. The character that rolls the lowest is the character the NPC turns to, or the character that smells something fishy or whatever.

Making each such Test into a proper opposed Test is way overblown IMHO and not something I want to spend mental energy on. Another thing is that opposed tests are incredibly swingy - no matter how sturdy and confident the Watch Captain is, if the player rolls well and the GM rolls poorly, no matter of steely confidence will prevent him from spelling the beans, since the probability of an Astounding Success (6 or more SLs) is always present in an opposed Test.

In combat that's alright (since it is the key to defeating whiffiness), but in general use, I prefer to run the game in a way that a strong-willed Watch Captain might get 2 SLs per default. Since the information isn't a state-secret I modify this two steps in the characters favour to account for the general +20% recommendation to 0 SLs. This means that a character that succeeds gets the info while a character that doesn't, doesn't.

In my opinion, a game mechanism that constantly asks me to decide on the spot whether this or that test is opposed and/or what modifier to apply to is a system that distracts me from my job, and I won't have it.

So I'm running the 4E game much like I did 2E, where whiffiness wasn't much of a problem. I have instructed my players to forget about the general +20% bonus, and instead expect the world to be 20 percentage units easier :) And we're back to worked well for me in 2E.

That said, 4E supplies every tool you need to actually shift starting characteristics upward to eliminate whiffing once and for all.

It's just that the devs weren't skilled enough to act on this, or strong enough to implement it (and actually change the starting values of WFRP).

mormegil
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Re: WFRP 4 analysis

Mon Feb 11, 2019 2:13 am

The unopposed +20%, from what I read, applies only in combat. I do not see the use of it in skills. In skills, DM may change the percentage due to circumstances.

CapnZapp
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Re: WFRP 4 analysis

Mon Feb 11, 2019 7:53 am

mormegil wrote:
Mon Feb 11, 2019 2:13 am
The unopposed +20%, from what I read, applies only in combat. I do not see the use of it in skills. In skills, DM may change the percentage due to circumstances.
No, you got it backwards :). Opposed rolls (such as most combat-related Tests) have no inherent modifier (though combat rolls are frequently modified anyway - you could be fatigued or outnumbered or whatever).

Its when you follow a trail of blood or try to repair your river barge (when there's no active force opposing your attempt) you gain +20%. That is, Tests are generally Average (+20%) rather than Challenging (+0%).

There are, of course, lots of exceptions. The Test being Opposed being the chief one :)

Best regards

magnus the flyest
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Re: WFRP 4 analysis

Mon Feb 11, 2019 9:03 am

Orin J. wrote:
Fri Feb 08, 2019 10:56 am
That means more that the other combat systems need to be reworked rather than restricting the magical system to being anti-fun, magnus. if the only way to balance magic against the rest of combat is to make people not want to use it, then the entire system is faulty.
I don't disagree with this, combat would be better if all class-types had access to cool abilities imo.

Graak
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Re: WFRP 4 analysis

Mon Feb 11, 2019 10:11 am

I don't plan to play 4th, the metacurrency aspect of Advantage and the metagame it creates is existentially incompatible with my idea of roleplay. I don't even know if I ever have the chance to play RPGs again to be fair :D


I personally always give modifiers to "every day" skill rolls related to the success chance I want them to have.
I know the average character has 30-40 in a given stat,experienced characters has up to 60 (considering bonus given by talents... Talking about 2nd here) and I take measure from that.
I consider that a use a common sense. I ask for unmodified rolls only when I want there is a chance to fail because the roll it's challenging in the narrative.
An artisan repairing a wheel? +30. He fails? Well, he broke his tools or the wood was rotten, another day of work and it's done.
Hence I can't see any problems regarding non-combat rolls if a GM applies "failing forward" with intelligence and moderation.
I also use common rolls like perception as a guidance... The characters that fail often perceive the smell later, after the characters who succeeded.

Regarding combat instead... It's another matter!...

The thing that worries me it's that opposite rolls are very, very swingy. I don't know if I like that aspect.

Orin J.
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Re: WFRP 4 analysis

Mon Feb 11, 2019 11:22 pm

The real problem with the "metacurrency" is that it's given out in much to large chunks- 10% is actually a very large amount when you start stacking it, and the game encourages players to built a lot of it fairly fast in and out of combat. the result is there's no actual way to balance combat in the system to be "close". either the players stomp the enemies, or they roll badly enough to get crushed. even with skill checks there's enough bonuses for talents in play you can't keep thinks difficult. everything either becomes impossible or routine. if you remove the element of risk, you're just telling a story-

and honestly i can do that without a game system just fine.

CapnZapp
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Re: WFRP 4 analysis

Tue Feb 12, 2019 1:34 am

A bonus of +10% isn't in itself very large. A system that lets you stack these bonuses is not inherently unworkable (the metagame issue aside).

But WFRP4 makes your effective skill score (including all these bonuses) exponentially valuable: not only do you hit more often, you deal more damage, and you inflict more criticals. Then talents make "hit more often" even more valuable, since nearly all of them add Success Levels. Talents as well as equipment then add even more utility.

It's simply too much. A +20% bonus for outnumbering your foe (being two against one) isn't in itself broken or even noteworthy.

But in WFRP 4 you can easily get +100%! There are a lot of bonuses, and they all stack, and they are often +20% or more. And then, on top of all that, you add advantage. And when you look at that number - plus a hundred percent - what that means is not +10 damage, but easily +15 or maybe even +20 damage(!)

WFRP4 contain many many subsystems that taken individually - evaluated in isolation - are eminently balanced and quite reasonable.

But the design team appears entirely inept in actually creating a workable fine-tuned well-balanced whole out of all these moving parts.

I consider 4th edition a catastrophic mess as written. You don't need to be a professional game designer to conclude they didn't know what they were doing, didn't communicate internally, ran desperately short of time, or all three. There are far too many subsystems that are all very fiddly. The complexity is huge, all too often for very little benefit. Elegant this game is not. But worst of all, there is no semblance of balance in the sense that this system has no stable core - it's all wildly swingy. One moment a character attacks at +0%. The next a character attacks at +40% or +60%. No individual ability or skill means very much when outside factors make all the difference.

There is no calmness in the mechanics whatsoever. All indications are to a runaway project where the head developer completely lost control and oversight.

The opportunities to metagame and optimize this game to death lie wide open. A game master must be very experienced to stay on top of this very wobbly ramshackle construction.

Unless, of course, said games master follows this thread and applies its set of recommended house rules (ready when done) :)

mormegil
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Re: WFRP 4 analysis

Tue Feb 12, 2019 3:52 am

OK, now I got what you mean about the +20. From my experience with WFRP, players always asked me about any modifier for the roll. This was the case in all editions due to the easy, hard, etc. of the surrounding circumstances.

To make the treatment of advantage more universal you can make it work like the monster section, where to use it, you have to spend it.

CapnZapp
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Re: WFRP 4 analysis

Wed Feb 13, 2019 7:50 am

mormegil wrote:
Tue Feb 12, 2019 3:52 am
OK, now I got what you mean about the +20. From my experience with WFRP, players always asked me about any modifier for the roll. This was the case in all editions due to the easy, hard, etc. of the surrounding circumstances.
Generally I find this reasonable.

Having to decide whether some task is Easy or Hard is a fair question.

What I strongly dislike is making every interaction into an opposed roll. That simply is unworkable in my opinion. Not to mention how rolling twice instead of once makes the roll MUCH more swingy. Let me rephrase: mandating that every NPC should make a roll to determine the difficulty of the Charm, Gossip or Persuasion roll effectively means to make the task difficulty essentially random. That is not good design in my book.

Instead, if the Watch Captain is a gruff veteran that has no business with corruption, I look at his Will Power and decide the task of convincing him to let you in is Hard.

Equally, if the party is trying to get Trixie the saucy tart to reveal what kind of coin her last customer paid with, that test is Easy.

I don't want the dice to tell me the first task is suddenly very easy, just because I rolled very badly for the Watch Captain. That NPC is having his only interaction with the players, and it should represent his personality, not swing by a fluke roll.

The chance the players roll really well is enough of a random factor.

Likewise, I have no patience for the dice coming between me and my attempt to get Trixie to provide the next stage of the investigation. That test should be so easy that only rolling really poorly should derail the investigation. I don't need Trixie to roll '01' and clam up.

So I'm not generally opposed to being asked to decide a difficulty.

What I see no value in, is having to decide whether a test is opposed or not, or the wild swinginess inherent to opposed rolls!

Orin J.
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Re: WFRP 4 analysis

Sat Feb 16, 2019 11:22 pm

I don't think opposed rolls are bad. but opposed rolls with a percentile di(c)e is a recipe for trouble and that should have washed out in the blind playtesting they seemingly chose not to do. Between their overuse of opposed rolling with a bad dice system for it, an excessive system of gaming advantage bonuses and a lack of proper balance instruction, 4th has significant teething problems and i don't think it was honestly ready for publishing. still there's good ideas to poach from it if you put in the work.

Graak
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Re: WFRP 4 analysis

Sun Feb 17, 2019 1:47 am

CapnZapp wrote:
Wed Feb 13, 2019 7:50 am


What I strongly dislike is making every interaction into an opposed roll. That simply is unworkable in my opinion. Not to mention how rolling twice instead of once makes the roll MUCH more swingy. Let me rephrase: mandating that every NPC should make a roll to determine the difficulty of the Charm, Gossip or Persuasion roll effectively means to make the task difficulty essentially random. That is not good design in my book.
I strongly agree with this.
Unfortunately many game designers show very little competence in statistical analysis and math. I found this quite depressing to be fair.
Orin J. wrote: I don't think opposed rolls are bad. but opposed rolls with a percentile di(c)e is a recipe for trouble and that should have washed out in the blind playtesting they seemingly chose not to do. Between their overuse of opposed rolling with a bad dice system for it, an excessive system of gaming advantage bonuses and a lack of proper balance instruction, 4th has significant teething problems and i don't think it was honestly ready for publishing. still there's good ideas to poach from it if you put in the work.
Second this too!


@Capnzapp, you're trying save 4th edition, but don't you think it would be easier to start from 2nd edition, hack apart 4th edition salvaging the good bits and importing those in a "fixed" 2nd edition ruleset?

Your houserule for swift attacks and number of attacks, as I wrote before, is simply wonderful. And imho perceived whiff factor can easily be fixed modifying tactical actions modifiers for combat. Example:

Standard attack: +10
Aim: stackable up to +30
All out: +30
And so on...
Rule for outnumbering would also add positive modifiers to this.

Is that not enough? Let's add an optional rule that says: rise every % stat in the game by +10 from the start for a more "heroic" and competent feel.

Wouldn't that be enough? You can also steal some ideas from Dark Heresy regarding combat related talents (furious charge, inverting digits from a given roll, free rerolls for certain failed rolls).
In addition you could import anything you liked from 4th edition (in this case please name a few of these rules because I haven't read it into depth).

:)

CapnZapp
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Re: WFRP 4 analysis

Sun Feb 17, 2019 3:53 am

Graak wrote:
Sun Feb 17, 2019 1:47 am
@Capnzapp, you're trying save 4th edition, but don't you think it would be easier to start from 2nd edition, hack apart 4th edition salvaging the good bits and importing those in a "fixed" 2nd edition ruleset?
The main reason: my players love the new careers and XP advancement system (much more than I do)

Other than that, we started the campaign specifically because 4E was out. Little could I know it was this bad, but now I'm stuck with it. Call me naïve, but I had heard great things about Cubicle 7's ability to create wonderfully evocative systems that really bring out the best in a campaign world (i.e. The One Ring). I certainly did not expect to get what essentially is a Warhammer fantasy heart-breaker... :-/

Switching game systems (even to another WFRP edition) would likely kill the momentum, as it usually does when players find they can't really recognize their characters any longer...

CapnZapp
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Re: WFRP 4 analysis

Sun Feb 17, 2019 5:25 am

I have finally finished a first draft of what I call "Zapp's Unofficial Rules Patch for WFRP 4th Edition".

I will circulate it internally among my players first, and then post it here. Watch this space!

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totsuzenheni
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Re: WFRP 4 analysis

Sun Feb 17, 2019 7:38 am

Orin J. wrote:
Sat Feb 16, 2019 11:22 pm
I don't think opposed rolls are bad. but opposed rolls with a percentile di(c)e is a recipe for trouble [ ... ]
I'm curious to know what it is that you ( all ) think is a recipe for trouble about putting percentile di(c)e together with opposed rolls. I'm developing a system that does just that and, though the way in which the rolls are opposed in the system i'm developing is different to the way in which they are opposed in WFRP 4th edition, this is one of the few things about WFRP 4th edition that i think i like, at least at 'first glance'. Is it the particular combination of percentile di(c)e and opposed rolls that appears in WFRP 4th edition, or is it any such combination that you ( all ) find troublesome?

CapnZapp
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Re: WFRP 4 analysis

Sun Feb 17, 2019 10:04 am

Not Orin but my guess is that we discussed social skill use (and skill use in general) rather than combat.

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