Last Time, on Song of Swords:
New Edition of Ballad of the Laser Whales!
Laser Whales Fecht, Kane & Cistern vs the entire police department
Krajina Protectorate? Wait, do those mean the same thing?
Stone Age Weapons
Space Age Weapons
Previous Thread: >>44687094
Song of Swords is a realistic fantasy tabletop RPG that draws inspiration from historical fechtbuchs, weapons and armor. Its combat system is fast and it can be used for both fantasy and historical/mundane settings.
Call of the Void is a pulpy sci-fi tabletop RPG about fighting space-nazis and hunting giant whales with harpoons made out of the moon. Its combat system is more modern, based in the early 20th century, but can probably handle combat up to the present day.
Here's a .rar archive with the newest version of the rules as well as all related current working documents. At this time the latest version is v1.9.9:
Here's Ballad of the Laser Whales' latest version: https://www.mediafire.com/?rtbjk51jnm2wv8a
Here's a wiki detailing SoS's fantasy setting, getting filled up bit by bit as Jimmy reveals more details:
There's also a roll20 room where new players are encouraged to try the rules, test new rules, and find game breaking issues: https://app.roll20.net/join/346755/hRKd4w
The room might be empty, but the people who teach the game still browse the thread frequently. If you're looking to learn, post here in the thread. We also play Guy Windsor's card game Audatia in the room.
You can't kill me, you fuckin cockaroaches, I'm the fucking Legend!
Did we just watch 2 terrorists successfully escape justice via wanton killing of under prepared cops? What the fuck is Jimmy trying to say here?
The moral is, you should have had assault rifles since you were not in a whalebone vessel.
I don't come to these threads often, just poke my head in to find out how the whole thing is coming, but I have to agree with >>44806706
Ballad of the Laser Whales sounds fucking metal, making it inherently superior to Call of the Void as a title.
Jimmy said he wanted to do a fecht based on a famous shootout between the police and the cops from the 1980s. To my understanding though, in that event the cops eventually killed the suspects, whereas this time Ornstein and Smough killed fucking everybody.
So I did some research. The bittenfield is a 12+1 pistol so small it can be concealed in the sleeve of a jacket.
The only analogue for this I could find in the real world was the Glock 26, which is 10+1 and is really tiny, but still not as high-capacity as the bittenfield. That may be explainable by some sort of extended magazine or something I don't know.
Anyway the pocket hammerless is probably still undervalued in its conceal quality.
Quiet quiet. Is there really nothing in the rules for Ballad to discuss?
Second from right, bro.
It's one of the most common carry options for the 26 because it gives you somewhere to put your pinky for a slightly stronger grip.
I think on that it's just there to absorb some of the impact if you just drop the magazine on the floor hollywood style. You should ideally never do that, and always pocket your used magazines so you can reload them later, but sometimes shit happens.
As mentioned last thread, the P7 is also pretty tiny despite holding up to 13+1 rounds. Though still not exactly the kind of tiny you'd easily conceal up your sleeve. Unless you have really huge sleeves, I guess.
>not wanting to operate with an AT rifle
That's pretty much the reason for ALL chickleans, anon. People chicklean because they aren't confident in their ability to hold the weapon steady while in a proper shooting stance.
Plain english? Yeah it looks impressive, but I'd be willing to put money that he wouldn't be able to hit the broad side of a barn.
Sure, chick leaning with a rifle or shotgun is funny and useless.
But you're not really saying that it's any way plausible to fire AT rifle from shoulder and actually hit things, right?
Complaining that someone is not firing AT gun with a good stance is a bit silly.
Next on the list: Shooting AK with a one hand, practical or practical?
At that point I don't think it's so much a question for holding it steady, but literally for not toppling over. If the centre of mass is moved beyond the support, you fall down. It's a simple matter of physics, doesn't matter how buff or capable you are.
>Next on the list: Shooting AK with a one hand, practical or practical?
Well, considering that OH-58 aircrew have gotten kills with an M4 in one hand while using the other one to fly the chopper...?
>the defensive talents are hugely overpowered. We were basically invincible as long as we were in cover.
That's intentional. Cover is OP in real life. Anyone who Aims for three turns will get enough dice to make hitting someone in cover with talents a distinct possibility.
I wasn't in the fecht so I don't know how it went down, but an interesting fact about the North Hollywood Shootout. The cops finally managed to bring one of them (the one who didn't puss out like a bitch and kill himself) down by shooting under the car he was using as cover, taking his legs out from under him.
But you can't have that! You've got to think of this in terms of it being a game; you'll just end up with PCs digging trenches everywhere to permanently give themselves a bonus, and that's not something people would do in real life. No, everything should be balanced.
What, Matt "Go Full Pedant" Easton is a bit pedantic? Call the presses, he's the hero we both need and deserve at /traditional "nowhere does it say how many limbs you have" games/.
Stat me, /SoS/.
Alternatively, stat me as a Krajini.
nice taste anon
Calculate the compound stats yourself.
Hale and Hearty 1
Natural Born Killer 2
Enemies (I don't know, there's surely a lot of folks that hate him. The Yoshioka School, for example)
>you'll just end up with PCs digging trenches everywhere to permanently give themselves a bonus
No you won't, because moving is just as good as being in cover, if not better because you're mobile.
I was giving it a read the other day, and I was kind of pleased when I saw that nearly everything in the manga can be easily translated into SoS. Like, every single move in every single fight.
You can't move faster than several rifles. Especially when you're with several other people yourself.
No, literally, moving at all gives you a Defense bonus equivalent to 50% cover, and the Talent line that increases that bonus is longer than the one that increases cover.
So if the choice is between 50% cover and simply loving, optimized characters are better off moving. 3/4ths cover is where it's at though.
I'm reading it now after picking up an omnibus. It's remarkable how well it fits the tone of an SoS campaign, albeit with Musashi killing five guys at a time regularly using a Large Club. The only explanation I can muster is that he started the campaign with around 20 CP.
Just about to came to say that there's a new chapter of our favorite little castle waypoint. Didn't read it, or any of the chapters since last year. Don't want to get depressed over imaginary deaths any more.
Jimmy! Are there any notable unarmed fighters in civilized Vosca, or are all the people who people think of as great weapon users like Kal'Ceska or Gizka?
How would this guy in his prime fare against King? What about when he's using his weapons?
Though really, with how ridiculous his Esoterica is, he doesn't even really need a weapon. The only thing that he wouldn't be able to just punch to death is somebody going full tin can, and against those he can just switch over to wrasslin.
Wasn't his esoterica something along the lines of he can choose which type of damage he inflicts with each hit?
Like all of the martial arts of Hokuto No Ken compressed into one man?
>tfw Gizka and King's relationship soured when he gently brushed her cheek and accidentally cut her face in half
Strength represents a character’s overall physical power and muscle mass. It plays a part in many physical skill checks as well as determining damage dealt in melee combat.
Agility is a measure of a character’s nimbleness, balance, and hand-eye coordination. It is a frequent component in physical skill checks that require any kind of precision and plays a significant role in calculating a character’s combat prowess.
Stamina represents the general health and physical ruggedness of the character’s physique. Stamina governs everything from the ability to resist damage or toxins, to the capacity for healing, recovering from illness, and length at which a character may undertake strenuous activity before experiencing adverse effects.
Speed represents the character’s ability to both project fast-twitch muscle force for motion as well as a measure of how quickly their body responds to and can carry out commands. It’s obvious uses plug into the Athletics skill, but it also is a key figure in reaction time, and plays a role in combat as well.
Acumen represents a character’s intelligence, reasoning and the ability to learn. Acumen is useful for any character type, but it is of particular importance for those who rely on knowledge-based or scholarly skills. Acumen also directly affects Perception.
Cunning represents a character’s quick thinking and mental resourcefulness. It governs awareness, intuition, and speed of thought. Cunning plays a part in many skill checks, but is also of particular importance in calculating Perception rolls and the character’s combat ability.
Willpower represents a character’s mental fortitude and self-discipline. It plays a key role in many resistance or discipline based checks, as well as some skill rolls.
The Social attribute covers a number of related, but often hard to define elements. It is an overall representation of a character’s charisma, bearing, personal appeal and social intelligence. The Social attribute is invaluable for skill checks to influence, lead, bargain or manipulate. As well, a character’s interactions with others in the world may be influenced by their Social attribute, just as people tend to form opinions and biases quickly in the real world.
>Do you guys prefer to get the beta...sooner or later?
>all posts have to be approved by a moderator before becoming publicly visible
More than likely I'm just going to unite the best aspects of both games into one. I'm looking more towards SoS right now because I like the tone and world they're going for more, and I like the design philosophy that Jimmy sometimes rambles before leaving to not work on the game or Kickstarter. Meanwhile there's some worrying things about Builder that need to be cleared up by actually looking at it. It may turn out to be better, but right now I'm primed to be with SoS. Maybe just because I have more experience with it.
I don't think they've been paying attention to the other game's development at all. They seem to be taking radically different approaches to a lot of things, like their default TN and the weapon construction business. They're forging a new, untested, and possibly even more broken path.
I'm with SoS mostly because I want to see more Laser Whales. IMO it's already a better game than SoS. At this point, Jimmy should be focusing on making SoS more like the parody game than vice versa.
To begin with, because it was made after SoS and all of the lessons seem to have been learned already, it feels a lot smoother. There are fewer vestigial systems, like Toughness. Proficiencies and Talents feel a lot tighter (though the lack of schools is a bit weird, I like it) and the initiative system for combat is a lot tighter. There also feels like there's more "space" with the ships. It was also the first magic system we got, however lackluster.
Another element is that my big attraction to SoS was Tattered Realms and all the weirdness of its lore. Laser Whales is sort of a continuation of that, but it applies it to a time period and a type of combat I like more. Guns and operators are more my speed than pollaxes and sallet helms. Not that those aren't cool.
Personally I think Laser Whales, if they ever try to make it a serious thing, is going to succeed to a far greater extent than SoS will. Just the name screams millennial appeal.
> To protect this board from spam-bots, I have severely limited the features all newly registered users have access to. Each and every one of you needs to have your first post approved by a moderator before those limits are automatically lifted. As such, we encourage you to introduce yourself in this very thread -- bots are getting really good these days and posting something about your gaming background in a specific thread makes our canvasing job much, much easier.
> What all this means is that until you get approved, your submitted posts will NOT visible on the boards. Don't panic when that happens. Nothing is lost. I can easily approve them all.
Looks like that was just a way to control spam bots. Only the first post has to be approved, per the statement.
I remember reading somewhere on their forums that the first version was hit so hard by spam posts they had to wipe some stuff.
Ran a test combat for my players. I loved it, bit jerky cause we're new to the system. My players complained about the supposed book keeping. A real bother cause I found it great fun to run
What exactly is the story behind Reinhold and Ivan's shit? Apparently they're wanted for involvement in some sort of terrorist attack, but what was the Wire Street Massacre? Why did we jump from the police chasing them to the fucking SAS? Do the British not have a SWAT equivalent? It seems a bit extreme.
Probably a reference to Cable Street, where half of South London showed up to rally against a fascist demonstration.
In this universe, it became a massacre... So probably Ren and Stimpy walked in and slaughtered a bunch of protesters.
I'm going to guess that they probably didn't deserve it, but that Abbot and Costello had their reasons for shooting up a crowd that made it seem like a good idea at the time. He likes that sort of thing.
This is also Jimmy Rome's mind, where anti fascism protests likely escalate into three day police sieges and the Dacian government sends out ballots to hospitals because political parties kneecap their opponents to make it harder to get to a voting station. The demonstrators may have been crazy assholes too, really.
So how dangerous is combat is CotV? And how necessary is a tactical map? Can you go all Hotline Miami on a building of people you mildly dislike or would you need to be one of the few Void Magicians or a user of The Five? How hard is it to be the protagonist of a John Woo movie?
As we saw in the fecht, it's a really, really bad game to be a mook in, but it can be relatively safe if you have some good Talents or some body armor.
We did that fecht without any sort of visual aid and it went fine, but I think it'd play a lot better with one, since you could see better how you're flanking and outflanking and stuff.
Hotline Miami would be a bit tricky because melee looks like it might slow the game down a bit, but I think if you just kept it to the basics (attack/defend) it would be pretty easy.
>John Woo movie
We need a ruleset for rolling around on serving carts and sliding down rails, STAT.
>So how dangerous is combat is CotV?
you're either 100% percent fine or 100% dead
at least, if you have no armor
>And how necessary is a tactical map?
very, much more than in sos
>Can you go all Hotline Miami on a building of people you mildly dislike or would you need to be one of the few Void Magicians or a user of The Five?
yup, m'lad, you can just gun down thousands of lads, but expect that you'll be using lots of grenades
> the horse I'm backing
Why do people do this? It makes perfect sense to like one game more than the other for design reasons, or you could "back" both games because you like them. why do people make it into weird teams?
Hellsing did it best. If you're gonna be stupid, go maximum stupid.
The thing is that from just that picture you can't really get a good idea of what the weapon looks like, much less how it's supposed to be used. So far it looks something like a sidesword with a weird as fuck grip.
Basically, they're used like giant, oversized throwing knives by the Catholic Church's "Executioners" (professional monster killers).
The actual big deal is that they can hurt vampires, and have some weird techniques that can be used with them, like pinning a dude in place by their shadow.
In that case, I guess for melee combat you could probably take the profile of either the sidesword or espada ropera, but reduce the guard value to 1. For throwing, assuming they're balanced for it, take the profile of a thrown sword and reduce the MTN by 1, the damage by 1, and maybe increase the range by a bit.
As for the combat, you can get a sense of how dangerous it is by testing out a few situations.
- Your MP comes entirely from your proficiency
- The Base Defense (BD) for a human is 4
- Moving reduces your dice by 4 and increases your BD by 2
- Three successive Aim actions gives you +(6 + PER) dice, which is enough that you can expect to hit just about anything
- Your caliber determines your starting damage
- BS adds to damage
- If you only get 0 BS, you graze the target. You can't inflict higher than a level 1 on 0 BS no matter what gun you're using
Say you have two guys with 4 Pistol Prof, so they have 4 MP. They have C18 Streithammers, a pistol with MTN 7 firing 9mm. They stand 10m away and do Regular Shots, firing twice at each other. To hit each other, they'd need all of their dice to be successes - even then they'd only graze, and do at most a level 1 wound. If they move, their dice pools drop to 0, and BDs go up to 6. They certainly can't hit each other now.
The way around this is to Aim. This gives you more dice. With a simple binomial calculator like SmallRoller you can easily see how your hit chances change as your dice increase. If our pistol guys have 4 PER, then three Aim actions will raise their MP from 4 to 14. This gives them about a 21% chance to graze - and 31% chance to hit - a moving target with BD 6. So even when they spend 3 phases to aim and fire, their hit chances are not great against BD 6.
Let's look at something else. 7.92x33mm is the weakest rifle cartridge. Suppose you get hit with one. The amount of damage inflicted will be 15 + 1 BS + 4 AP = 20. The AP applies only if you're wearing armor on the struck location. Say you're wearing AV 10 Battle Plate on the location. The damage inflicted is 20 - 10 AV = 10 -> level 5 wound. Clearly, basic Battle Plate is no protection against even the weakest rifle caliber.
Against AV 15 Heavy Battle Cuirass with Bulletproof, the damage inflicted is only 15 + 1 BS = 16. That will inflict only a level 1 wound, but that's because the shot got 1 BS. If it got 3 BS, it'd inflict a level 3 wound, and so on. So against rifles, only the heaviest armor will offer you any protection, and even then it is chancy protection. Thankfully you're not supposed to fight against rifles in Ballad, because you'll be on voidships.
And that's why cover is so damn important when fighting against rifles.
I mean, I hope people are recognizing this as a strength. Prior to modern bulletproofing, the weakest rifles could easily penetrate most available hard armor. Unless you were willing to go full NED KELLY on that shit (and that's easy GM fiat to work out), you don't stand a goddamn chance.
There's a reason gov'ts just saved money on armoring the majority of their infantry.
Hey now, after all the point of a bayonet is that you can mount it on the end of your rifle to extend the reach of your stab. Anderson doesn't have a rifle, so in order to still extend the reach of his stab he just takes the only option available, throwing them. Everything working as intended, making the best of what's available.
>mfw the party my players made is Angry Celt Alucard, Integra the Celtic Loli, Seras the Roman, Charisma-whore girl, Brienna of RomanTarth, and Gaius The Most Boring Legionnaire.
>mfw their collective accomplishments are rolling a pig around a pen further than some peasant, and cutting several angry villagers who were beating their employer literally in half
>mfw I don't know if they're playing SoS wrong or playing it way too right
>Song of Swords: Call of the Void: Ballad of the Laser Whales: Resurrection: Revengeance 2: The Reckoning: The Prequel: Part 1: Origins: Fifth Edition; Volume IX: Night Of The Day Of The Dawn Of The Son Of The Bride Of The Return Of The Revenge Of The Terror Of The Attack Of The Evil, Mutant, Hellbound, Flesh-Eating, Crawling, Alien, Zombified, Subhumanoid Kickstarter From Hell
Song of Swords: Call of the Void: Ballad of the Laser Whales: Resurrection: Revengeance 2: The Reckoning: The Prequel: Part 1: Origins: Fifth Edition; Volume IX: Night Of The Day Of The Dawn Of The Son Of The Bride Of The Return Of The Revenge Of The Terror Of The Attack Of The Evil, Mutant, Hellbound, Flesh-Eating, Crawling, Alien, Zombified, Subhumanoid Kickstarter From Hell: The Movie
Rejoice/10 with trait "Loved by the Hero(False)"
Out of standard F/SN your husbando rates at 2nd of 8 spots. Extended nasuverse drops him down at least 3 spots though.
I just noticed that CotV and SoS don't really have poisons, Jimmy will you rectify this or will you leave it to the GM's discretion?
It's not, that's the thing. I mean, it's an Alienware laptop from several years ago (i.e. when I was young enough to buy an Alienware laptop) but it *should* be able to run fucking DD:DA. It meets the requirements et al.
Yeah, I'm pretty certain it's seriously messed up.
I mean, I was having framerate drops and screen tearing in fucking Undertale.
And I didn't realise it because I was fighting Sans and thought it was part of his shtick.
Screen tearing should usually be alleviated by enabling Vsync. As for framerate drops, first off try updating your drivers, and then check the hardware monitor to see if there's perhaps a bottleneck somewhere, possibly with the RAM or CPU load.
>Huu huu the Catholic Church created Racism
>The Catholic Church invented Sexism
>The Catholic Church invented Nationalism
>The Catholic Church did the dark ages huu
>Huu huu muh matriarchal religion
It's like 99% horseshit Tyson-tier falsehoods and 1% Vatican conspiracy. The reality is that if there were living descendants of Christ today, nobody would care and nothing would change.
I dunno man the descendants of Muhammad are usually pretty big deals.
>Flunked out of uni by being a stupid alcoholic nigger
>Cried like a bitch about racism
>Gets a degree for bitching so loud
>Does nothing relevant in his field
>Becomes Meme Science Man
>Gets Isaac fucking Newton's birthday wrong while trying to burn Newton's religion
He's a stupid, ignorant know-nothing nigger who failed college and got a media job because some white liberals felt bad for him. He expresses a distaste for philosophy because he can't think. He is literally fed lines by a team of writers, every time he says something on his own he sounds like a stupid asshole.
Everything is stupid. Every station in life is bedeviled by fools. Philosophy has the benefit of an ultra-competitive environment in a field where "winning" only satisfies the ego and holds no material value. Thus, it is free from outside interest, and only the strongest survive.
Don't forget the part where a character who is an Englishman talks about "lol chevrons is dicks" in reference to military rank.
Even though the UK, and most other places that use chevrons, use downward facing ones. The upward pointing chevron is a pretty distinctly American thing, and only after 1903.
Random vidja plug: Naval Action is about to launch into EA in two days. It's currently a pretty rough alpha (especially the UI is basic as fuck), but goddamn does it ever scratch that Hornblower itch like nothing else.
Okay book, terrible movie. Factual errors abound.
The mythology is also mostly wrong, but it's full of interesting ideas. Gotta break some eggs to make an omelet.
The assertion that Opus Dei has fucking assassin-monks is pretty laughable. If anyone does, it's Cardinal Dolan, who I can confirm regularly storms heretic strongholds with a brigade of swiss mercenaries, like a much worse dressed Darth Vader.
Yes, and I'm ashamed of you for not knowing the source already
Everybody knows that the actual hardcore order that you call for the black ops shit is the Pugnus Dei, anyways.
Post more buff dudes so we can summon Jimmy and get him to yell stuff at us.
Yeah Jimmy if you could just give me your Steam ID so I can rent your Gizka that would be great.
Jimmy, what do communion wafers taste like? This is genuinely important to the campaign I'm running.
Being poisoned, although it's not the players themselves. It's their ward, who they're shepherding in order to get dynastic leverage (he's heir to a minor barony that one of the players is next in line to).
Said that the players aren't responsible, and I presume that includes independent action by individual players. So it's probably someone else.
I'd be willing to bet that 'someone else' is someone the players really dislike, though. Allow it to go through, then point the grieving baron at the technically guilty party... it's win-win.
I hope so. Because the whole point of it is to make it look like the players poisoned him. Which will allow the third-in-line (plus other nobles) to seize the barony and prevent the player(s) from gaining a voting foothold into the state. The third-in-line doesn't actually care about the ward, see, and the players can't actually take advantage of the barony if they were to gain it (they're too far away and while they're relatively powerful mercenaries, they fear a noble faction forming).
If you want to know why the local nobles are so focused on keeping the player out, it's because there's a lot of class tension going on already; let a burger become nobility right now and anyone might cut out a slice of the pie. The first-prince-elected is turning a blind eye because the player's tangentially related to nobility in a very rival country; he fears its use as a means of controlling his state via vote.
Inspired by history, but definitely fantasy. The country in question is a small-ish border state in between one huge expansionist not!Polish commonwealth that would very much like to puppet them in order to threaten the large tribal confederation of Russian/Sumerians (imagine the Akkadians invaded the Kievan Rus with shadow daemons) on their other border. They combine the fiercely democratic nature of the not!Poles (along with their ancient imperial longings) with the Slavic shadow-worshipping culture of the confederates. Which it is informally a part of.
The players themselves are Arabic militia-mercenaries from not!Italy.
The Arabic guys have Genoese style trading colonies. Some are in the north. The heir lived in one of these, and joined the Arab-Genoans in order to make *some* name for himself.
He's also from the nearer not!Poland.So it's more that one of the Russians ended up becoming a mercenary. That said, the Arabitalians are prestigious enough that one of their magnates could have married into the royal line.
The Wire Street Massacre was a disaster that occurred in Albion six days prior to the events of the Fecht.
Basically it was a demonstration by Albish fascists to try and capitalize on an ascendant ultranationalist movement in the country. It was protested by a very large antifascist group, and the protest turned violent.
Reinhold and Ivan were ostensibly a security detail for Harland Burrows, the leader of the party, but they were in fact hired by the Abwehr to massacre the protestors when things turned violent, as a cover for the assassination of two members of parliament who were attending the protest.
The street itself was essentially a cul de sac, and the congestion created by the protest made escape impossible. Kane operated a BZK-303 placed in a strategic location at the event, and Ivan performed the actual assassinations with an M28 from a balcony overlooking the scene.
Hundreds were killed either by gunfire or by trampling, in addition to the actual targets. Burrows and his men were among those slain by the fire, confusing authorities as to the nature of the attack.
They almost got away with it as well--unfortunately for them Albish Intelligence were able to form a composite sketch of Kane from witnesses, and he had already been on a watchlist because of his Chironic ancestry.
The question now is whether they'll be able to make it to their escape ship before the SNS kills them.
Their odds have diminished significantly, but they have the benefit of chaos on their side, and an unusual escape method. Only time will tell if they can actually pull it off.
The odds are bad of them even making it to the shore, though.
I hadn't thought of that and it was much easier than I thought it would be.
Yo Jimmy, I need your oawns stats so I can find her in the Rift because apparently being able to search by name/steam ID was too much for them to put in.
Jimmy Rome is right. Anyone who wants to friend me, go ahead. You'll get to see how long I spend playing Guns of Icarus and Atilla instead of doing my actual job.
As for Gizka, she's a level 48 fighter. I think she's a Scather, which felt really appropriate thematically and is also the best option for a fighter.
I play a Ranger because magic is for fags, but an advice to you guys who play shit that sucks: Don't get High Anodyne. The extra two seconds isn't worth the healing bonus.
I've been working on a DS inspired sitting that takes place in the afterlife centred around the ruined City of the Gods. Just waiting for monster and magic rules before I try and mash them together.
Care to tell me more about your own setting?
Note that you can actually get a pretty sweet rapier as a fighter weapon for her, though only through a quest with a variable outcome. You can get it soon after you're allowed into the castle. Slight spoilers:
It's the one involving Ser Mercedes. Make sure not to interfere in the duel at all to get the rapier, as otherwise you'll only get a cutlass.
Your setting sounds cool. How do you deal with the high combat fatality rate in a DS inspired setting? Do you have a "respawn" deal, or do you just let your players roll up new characters? What's the focus going to be -- combat, exploration, base-building politics?
Mine's the communion wafer one, if you want to read about it. I also post in the worldbuilding threads
and on /r/worldbuilding. It's pretty much totally fantastical (it's not a distorted historical Earth á la WHFB and Tattered Realms) but it is heavily inspired by things from history. It's best described as unending masturbatory Realpolitik. It contains such marvels as a Wakou HRE and Turkish Communists.
You could always jerry-rig your own magic rules. It's what I did; right now a hell of a lot of it comes down to GM discretion, though. Thinking about cleaning it up a bit to be more mechanical and then releasing it in case anyone else wants to try it.
I also made my own monster hunter rules. Basically it boiled down to making each monster its own puzzle, with lots of skill checks to do stuff like climb into their mouths to blow shit up, and special woundable areas not covered by armour.
I'm waiting for CotV to polish up a bit so I can use it in my magical singularity Stalingrad setting (the future of the above setting). This seems to be the part of the setting that most people actually think is best, so I can't wait for the thing to be decently playable (I'll need to make some adjustments).
Your setting sounds cool anon, I'll check it out.
As for the player death issue I was thinking of going the respawn route with cumulative negative modifiers each time they die. Maybe hand out/create banes that will restrict or dictate how their character will act to a small extent. Of course this will get to a point where the character is fairly far removed from the original idea that he/she is no longer really the same person and at this time I would consider the character dead as they've pretty much just 'Hollowed'.
When the gods died the land became barren and the skies filled with clouds so dark no one remembers the last time that there was light. This ofcourse has led to the madness that grips the living inhabitants of the city. Finding anything colorful/alive like a flower or a beautiful dress reminds the characters of how they are and this will remove the negative side effects of death. Fulfilling character goals will also help with this where as failing will add more banes/restrictions.
I'm wanting this to be really character driven and my games to really focus on the goals the players have set for their characters, anything ranging from finding the corpse of the god they worshiped in life to finding their childhood sweetheart that passed away moments before them.
This is all still very WiP and a lot has to be iron and hashed out but hopefully this gives a good idea of what I'm trying to go for.
>As for the player death issue I was thinking of going the respawn route with cumulative negative modifiers each time they die. Maybe hand out/create banes that will restrict or dictate how their character will act to a small extent.
That's a pretty damn good idea. Especially the hollowed thing. D'you mind if I steal it?
How do you control when players find something colourful? Is it used as a reward for exploration, or do you drop it in when you think they deserve it?
It looks like a very good setting so far, anon. Are monsters going to be the primary enemies? How do you think the players are going to react, given that SoS is mostly about making sure that by the time you're in combat you've already won?
>upside-down knives bonus: 0
As far as the colored items go I will probably treat them as high end loot drops. Something an important NPC might have on them or something gained at the crescendo of a long quest. Something like that.
Because the creatures were created by the gods for specific tasks I want them to be in areas that make sense for them. Harpies in the messenger tower or werewolves guarding some divine estate. Unless the players are traveling to areas that house these creatures I don't expect them to run across them too often.
Primary antagonists will mostly be NPC's and the insane/undead that wander the city.
I want to include pockets of supporting NPC'c, much like the Firelink Shrine area in DS, these places will be quest and trade hubs where the players can learn information about the surrounding area including what enemies may be where. I'm also planning on notes, maps and journals scavenged from the insane to play a role in the game. Hopefully enough information will be floating around for them to be able to plan ahead and tip the balance in their favor.
All in all it will be a very sandboxy campaign driven by the players.
So, let's talk about SoS's skill system for a bit. It tends to get lost next to the focus on combat, but given how combat in archetypical SoS campaigns tends to be a rare (though important) occurrence, the skill system probably sees as much or even more use than the combat system. That kind of highlights the problem that the skill system is kind of not very good. Now, it's functional and generally serviceable, but at the same time it's pretty unwieldy and inelegant. You have 26 skills in total, each of them with a possible 10 ranks and its own unique set of RS allocations. It tends to prolong chargen quite a bit, since even with skill packets you have to juggle a whole lot of things until you're all done. Also, the high degree of granularity somewhat reduces the feeling of progression you get out of character advancement. Adding a point or two here and there just doesn't feel like much of an achievement. And on a minor note, it takes up a boatload of space on a charsheet.
So, what could be done about it? The system as a whole doesn't need to be fundamentally changed, but it does seem like there's some room for optimisation. Some ideas:
-Standardise the shit out of skill test RS values and bonuses. One table for basic difficulties (e.g. "routine" - 1 RS; "extremely difficult" - 5 RS), and maybe a second table for classifying possible bonuses/maluses from circumstances or items.
-Skills have fewer ranks but each rank has a greater effect.
-Fold some of the skills into each other. Athletics, Climbing, and Swimming don't seem like they'd absolutely need to be separate skills.
-Perhaps even go a bit more free-form with the system. Consolidate the current skills into much fewer and rather broad categories, and then allow players to pick their own specialties (which offer a significant bonus) once they've invested enough. E.g. there might one generic "Expression" skill, and one player may opt to make bluffing their specialty, while another takes something like singing.
What bothers me the most about the skill system is how it throws the entire PCP idea out of whack. A single point of PCP is supposed to be of a standard value, and with the current chargen system, it isn't. Skills are woefully underrepresented in chargen, gaining only a paltry THREE INDIVIDUAL DICE per PCP that must be allocated among different, discrete checks.
Whereas Attributes are fucking rolling in new dice per PCP (though it has its own inherent problem of having a fucking geometric power progression while everything else is roughly linear).
I think that Skills would get more love if people could actually have Skills at chargen.
As to the Skills system itself, I feel like the skills do need further refinement and definition. There are quite a few currently (and this is a crunchy system), with references to the nonexistent Leadership skill persist in the books, and other confounding things
I think it could do with some standardization, yeah, but then we run into issues of different Attribute values scaling at different rates while Skills all scale the same- and both are used to calculate the skill pool.
I've been homebrewing Skill Packets back in to make skills a bit more attractive. You pick five skills, sometimes choosing the same skill multiple times, and level them all up by 1 in exchange for 3 points. It's a tiny fix but at least it adds some meat to Character Creation.
Boons and Banes should probably be toned down a tiny bit when it comes to skills. Charisma based skills especially. By daisy chaining Beautiful, Known for Virtue, the various voices, and high Charisma, you can get 20+ dice right off the bat. Nobody can stand up to that unless you start making the RS for Charisma rolls a person's raw Will rather than an opposed roll, and even then a good diplomancer is going to reign supreme.
You have a dude.
The other guy has a dude.
You have a pool of dice.
They have a pool of dice.
Someone gets initiative.
Guy with initiative puts X dice into an attack.
Guy without puts Y dice into a defence/counter attack.
Someone dies or maybe not.
Someone ends up with the initiative.
Repeat from six once, then everyone gets their dice back and repeat from six again till someone dies or can't fight getting dice back every second time.
It's real simple.
Combatants have a combat pool of dice (the size of which depends on their stats) that serves as the primary resource during combat. They spend a freely chosen amount of these dice on a variety of maneuvers to either harm the enemy or protect themselves. For resolution, the dice that were spent are rolled and successes counted just like in most other dice-pool systems. The combat pool refreshes every other round, meaning that expenditure of dice has to be carefully managed so as not to overspend and end up defenseless.
A fight happens.
The combatants throw dice of different colors to determine who is offensive and who is defensive.
Offensive combatants declare maneuvers with a number of dice from their Combat Pool.
Defensive combatants declare maneuvers with a number of dice from their Combat Pool.
Both sides roll the number of dice declared at a TN determined by their weapon and the maneuver.
Whoever gets more successes wins. The attack hits, or the defender defends.
This is an "Action." After two Actions, the Round is over and a new one begins, refreshing Combat Pool.
Continue until someone dies.
Wounds reduce Combat Pool or inflict Bloodloss or other ailments that can eventually kill.
Well, for me routine means getting out of bed and having a shower, everyday stuff. If I did daily/bi-daily exercise that would be routine and probably not worth rolling for. Y'know, like the definition of the word routine. I'd make them roll for that stuff in the middle of a raid/other stressful situation
probably not, except for the exercisebut at minimum I'd make people roll for dangerous, or uncommon/precise activities like mountain climbing without kit, sailing in a storm or combing dangerous reagents into a potion.
Yeah, I was thinking "routine" in the sense of being routine for an average practitioner of the skill in question. So something like applying a simple pressure bandage would be perfectly routine for a field medic, and usually something that needn't be rolled for. But then that field medic gets himself shot, so now the rookie with no medical training whatsoever has to apply the bandage. To make matters worse he himself is also lightly wounded, and there's people shooting at him and oh my god there's blood everywhere, and suddenly the usually routine task carries a distinct chance of failure and can reasonably be considered something you should roll for.
The number of available skills does not offend me, but the cost of becoming skilled does. The uses and implementations of all the skills are also not entirely clear yet - some aren't even written yet, after all.
I wonder if the system wouldn't benefit, in the long run, from a more ... involved? method of resolving checks. Something to make it more interesting that just passing a test. At the very least, it should more emphasize that rolled successes are just that: successes; maybe the character didn't roll well enough to perform completely, but that doesn't mean they fail absolutely, does it?
The sliding scale of failure-to-success being enshrined in the rules is always welcome, one of my least favourite thins about RPGs is the tendency in certain groups to treat success of any degree as a grand achievement and failure of any degree as an embarrassing defeat.
They also killed the leader of the fascists, who they were officially supposed to be protecting. But I guess that just makes it a false-flag. Maybe it's supposed to look like some Antifas got carried away and killed a bunch of innocent people while trying to get to Not!Mosley.
Know what I think would top it? A one sided perspective of a Voscan exploring some foreign state, like Tattered Realms China or Tattered Realms Japan or Tattered Realms Aztec Empire. It would quickly became a bunch of weird, horrific, and unexplained shit popping off all around the character with both him and us being equally confused.
On that note, I've recently been introduced to a couple of systems that separate occurrence of success and quality of success in a pretty simple yet effective way. They both use d6 dice pools, and determine the basic question of success vs. failure the usual way (one counts successes, one takes the sum of the dice results). Then if and only if you do succeed the test, you count the number of individual 6s rolled to determine the quality of that success. No 6s mean it's a regular and unremarkable success, one means a good one that will get you some extra goodies, and two or more usually mean something really outstanding. Personally I find this to be a very good mix, since you still have the ease of use of a dicepool system, while at the same time also getting some extra anticipation and variance from what's essentially a critical hit.
Now, I dunno whether that'd work well with a d10 system (though we do generally have fairly large pools), or whether it'd even be useful since we already have quality of success represented by BS. But perhaps it's something to consider?