Game Mechanics -- Open Discussion (Round Three)

16 posts / 0 new
Last post
o11o1 o11o1's picture
Game Mechanics -- Open Discussion (Round Three)

Just started reading the November rules kit now. I'm still not sure which parts have changed, I might need to take a copy paste of both and run a diff on then.

Can we get a compilation of the changes so far?

A slight smell of ions....

o11o1 o11o1's picture
Partial change notes

Partial change log, first few pages.

Quote:
Defaulting: Now fully up to GM decision.

Opposed Tests have been reworded:
• If one opponent succeeds and the other fails, the successful one wins the contest.
• If both sides roll under their target number, whomever rolls highest wins and succeeds. The other either fails or succeeds but loses.
• If both sides tie or fail, either the opponents remain deadlocked or the highest roll or skill wins and succeeds (GM’s choice).

Critical successes trump high rolls on opposed tests. If both sides succeed, but the lower roller gets a critical, they pull an upset victory from the clutches of defeat. If both opponents roll critical successes, the higher roll (or skill if tied) wins with a critical, the loser fails or succeeds but loses.

Rushing the Job:
Each 25% time reduction now incurs a -20% mod instead of -10%. Still stacks with other reductions in time. As before you cannot reduce by more than 75% total.

Moxie Pool Points:
May now be used for Rep and Infection tests.

New general use for Pool points:

• Ongoing (Insight/Moxie/Vigor Only):Receive +5 (1 point) or +10 (2 points) to all skill tests linked to one aptitude for 24 hours or until your next recharge (p. XX).

(( An aside, exact wording doesn't seem to require that we apply that to the aptitude the pool point is linked to, but it's probably the intent ))

Typos "Flex my be used for any test" (prexisting)

Insight/Moxie/Vigor/Flex: All now specify that you get ONE bullet point benefit, not all of them.

Insight Pool Points gain:
• Go first in an action turn if you are only taking mental or mesh
actions and no physical movement. If multiple characters choose
this option, they go in Initiative order before everyone else.

"Avoid Making an Infection Test when using a Ps Sleight" has been moved from Insight to Moxie (which we already saw in the October PSI rules)

Flex Points ability reworded:
• Introduce an item to a scene. Its presence must be plausible. The
item cannot be offensive (no weapons) and it must be of Minor (not
Rare or Restricted) Complexity. It can be a useful tool, a necessary
piece of gear, or even a clue. The GM determines its placement
within the scene and the nature of any clues.

Clarification that if the time spent Resting is interrupted, the time invested is lost.

Initiative and Turn Order doesn't seem to have changed aside from noting that Insight can go first for mental actions.

the Jump action now states:
If rushing, you can make an Athletics, Free Fall, or Pilot roll (as appropriate) to cross more distance with your jump. If successful, you cross an additional meter (running jump), 0.5 meters (standing jump), or 0.25 meters (vertical jump), plus an equal additional amount per superior success.

STANDING UP (QUICK)
If you are prone, you may stand up with a quick action and take
another movement action in the same action turn. However, your
Movement Rate is reduced by half for that turn (i.e., 4/20 becomes
2/10); jumping distance is also halved.

Microgravity is now specifically relative to your walker rate. (not specified before) Likewise for Low gravity. High Gravity no longer speeds you up, but does slow you down.

"It is beyond the scope of this book to asses the impact of different gravities on all of the movement types. GMs should use their best judgment when applying modifiers. "

New statement under Movement Types:

To keep the movement rates simple for GMs handling action scenes abstractly, we have mapped each movement type to a speed range: very slow (2/8), slow (4/12), medium (4/20), fast (8/32), and very fast (8/40).

The basic rules text for each movement type seems to be unchanged, other than all speeds snapping to the categories:

BOAT (PILOT: NAUTICAL, FAST 8/32)
HOPPER (ATHLETICS, SLOW 4/12)
HOVER (PILOT: GROUND, FAST 8/32)
IONIC (PILOT: AIR, VERY FAST 8/40)
MICROLIGHT (PILOT: AIR, FAST 8/32)
ROLLER (ATHLETICS, VERY FAST 8/40)
ROTOR (PILOT: AIR, FAST 8/32)
SNAKE (ATHLETICS, SLOW 4/12)
SUBMARINE (PILOT: NAUTICAL, FAST 8/32)
SWIMMER (ATHLETICS, MEDIUM 4/20)
THRUST VECTOR (PILOT: AIR, VERY FAST 8/40) (also covers space rockets, use Pilot: Space)
TRACKED (PILOT: GROUND, SLOW 4/12)
WALKER (ATHLETICS, MEDIUM 4/20)
WHEELED (PILOT: GROUND, VERY FAST 8/40)
WINGED (ATHLETICS, FAST 8/32)

A slight smell of ions....

eaton eaton's picture
So! Took my playgroup on an

So! Took my playgroup on an actual run through chargen + acrimony with some ad-libbing to get a few non-quickstart elements into play. Some really vigorous feedback.

The players were Gwen, relatively new to RPGs but a big lover of the EP lore and world who played in a short EP1 arc with us; Mike, experienced tabletop player and longtime EP1 player; Amanda, experienced EP1 player but no other tabletop background; Null, EP1 player who does system administration and infosec and loves nothing more than shredding security on the GM's carefully designed enemy installations.

On Skills

Gwen: "The smaller set of skills is a HUGE improvement, I don't get confused about what I'm supposed to use at any given time." Compared to her EP1 play sessions, she seemed much more confident that she was making the most of her new character's social-focused abilities.

Amanda: "Yeah, I can't even figure out what's gone, it just makes more sense." I was wondering how she'd feel about it, because her EP1 character had a curious mix of Profession and Art skills that didn't really translate meaningfully to the "Know" skill. She just RP'd it comfortably when she wanted to and didn't miss the presence of the explicit stats.

Agreement from Mike and Null on the skill reduction and the general "sensibleness" of it.

On pool points

The general idea of pool points replacing morph bonuses took some explanation, and generated some frustration.

Gwen: "The iconography for the pools is too abstract, too similar to each other, and doesn't appear up in the Attributes section, only alongside skills." Gwen does QA and it shows.

Mike: "I like the pools but I really, really hate flex. It's the odd man out, because it's not connected to any attributes and it's split between ego and morph."

Gwen: "If Moxie is a morph trait and Asyncs basically depend on moxie, doesn't that completely screw them if they every have to sleeve into a low-MOX morph for a mission? There's no way to make a character with ANY moxie that sticks with them from morph to morph, that kind of sucks."

For the rest of the night that problem was referred to as "The moxie trap."

After back and forth conversation about what they did and didn't like with pool points, they ended up deciding that they'd love to see "Flex" go away, and Vigor + Insight + Moxie be represented as both ego and morph pools. Less abstract iconography for the pools (fist, brain, and heart were suggested) and labeling the attributes, not just the skills, with the icons was also put forward.

These are probably (fairly) radical changes at this point in the rules' evolution, but I'm considering it as a homebrew solution. Letting players spend CP on the three pools, rather than Flex, seems like a reasonable house rule. I'm curious if other playgroups have run into this as well, though.

On Jade, the NPC from Acrimony

Amanda: "Oh, HELL no, we're not letting her in the party."
Mike: "We need to kill her."
Null (playing a paranoid infomorph): "I'll bet she's the ringleader."
Gwen (playing Chi): "Let's just use her to set off traps."

I'm not sure I would trust any of them to not sell my liver if I was asleep.

Favors, Rep, and Money
They didn't see much difference, because we'd been playing for nearly a year with an EP1 house rule that made favors and social networking basically equivalent to EP2's rules.There are no explicit "networking skills" and your rep is the target of your roll — they liked it when we started playing with it, and were glad to hear EP2 made it canon.

Misc Notes
The new approach to brute force hacking (which might just be part of the Quickstart rules) got high praise from Null. He and the other non-hacker players really appreciated high-visibility high-speed brute forcing, which leaves you locked in a fight for control with countermeasures but can be performed in combat without sitting the whole fight out. He spent most of our EP1 sessions as an infomorph either doing ridiculous pre-combat prep in order to be useful, or trying to figure out how to meaningfully spend his actions during combat. Way less frustration with the EP2 rules.

ubik2 ubik2's picture
eaton wrote:There's no way to

eaton wrote:
There's no way to make a character with ANY moxie that sticks with them from morph to morph, that kind of sucks.

The Charisma Chi sleight can provide one, but the houserule for pools is a nice way to let them access more.

Thanks for writing this up.

Automata Automata's picture
New player here

Hi all. I'm new to Eclipse Phase but supported the KS after a friend basically shoved the lore at me and I lost a few days pouring over it. I just took a look at the play-test and QS stuff and it seems really neat. My friends and I will be running through Acrimony in a fortnight or so, which we're looking forwards to.

The issue I'm facing is I'm a little uncertain on exactly how Superior Successes work. If I'm reading the rules right you want to roll lower numbers to ensure you succeed, but Superior Successes are for rolling high numbers? Is that intended to reward rolling 'close to the edge', as it were?

That seems to make sense if you have high skills, such as the QS character Njal rolling Infosec 80. You want to roll *under* 80, but if you get *over* 32 you get a Superior Success, and if you roll *over* 65 and *under* 80 you get two Superior Successes. In this case rolling 70 would be good, and you may want to use your pool to swap an 07, right?

On the opposite side of things if you're rolling against Amal's Atheletics 40 you have a slim range for Superior Success - 33 to 39 - and rolling that 70 from the other example would be really bad since it would be a Superior Fail, and you'd likely want to use your pool to swap to 07, which is a regular success, right?

I feel I might have figured this out writing these examples, but I might as well ask and make sure I've got this right before we play.

Other questions: Is there anywhere in the current play-test material that explains the gear and wear the four pre-made characters have? Has anyone put up any play-throughs of Acrimony, or is that not allowed yet?

CordialUltimate2 CordialUltimate2's picture
1. Yes you pretty much

1. Yes you pretty much figured out the rolling system. It is commonly called a blackjack system for its obvious similarities.
2. There are playtest materials that have some description of gear and implants. They should be described as Playtest files on DrivethroughRPG site. Gear packages are in character creation parts. Weapons and armor are in action and combat parts.
Still the descriptions are pretty sparse. If you want some context on what a ware or weapon is, try searching it on eldrich.host or Chuck's Eclipse Phase wiki. Link to the former is in my signature.
Use GM fiat to apply these details.
3. Acrimony is now available to the public, so playthrough reports should not banned in any way.
I vaguely remember that someone posted their feedback on this adventure time on these forums.

Exurgents wanna eat your ass and you are low on ammo? Register to mobile gear catalogue at eldrich.host.mesh! ORDER NOW! FOR FREE PLASMA MINIMISSILE PACK! *explosive delivery options included

Automata Automata's picture
Thanks, good to know I got

Thanks, good to know I got there eventually.

I'll take a look at both of those, I appreciate the recommendation.

Ooh, I'll have to try to track that down. Thanks again.

Fearsomesole Fearsomesole's picture
Automata wrote:On the

Automata wrote:
On the opposite side of things if you're rolling against Amal's Atheletics 40 you have a slim range for Superior Success - 33 to 39 - and rolling that 70 from the other example would be really bad since it would be a Superior Fail, and you'd likely want to use your pool to swap to 07, which is a regular success, right?

If I understood correctly from what you said, you understood the superior failure a bit wrong. So when you roll superior success, you want to roll above 33 to get single, and 66 to get double superior success. Conversely, and you fail, you want to roll as high as possible. In other words, if you get a failure, rolling under 66 would result single superior failure and if you roll under 33 you get double superior failure. So for failures the 33/66 rule reverses compared to successes. Going back to what you wrote, if Amal fails Athletics roll with result 70, it's a simple failure, while 66 would result a superior failure. At least this is how I understood the 33/66 rule.

o11o1 o11o1's picture
Fearsomesole wrote:Automata

Fearsomesole wrote:
Automata wrote:
On the opposite side of things if you're rolling against Amal's Atheletics 40 you have a slim range for Superior Success - 33 to 39 - and rolling that 70 from the other example would be really bad since it would be a Superior Fail, and you'd likely want to use your pool to swap to 07, which is a regular success, right?

If I understood correctly from what you said, you understood the superior failure a bit wrong. So when you roll superior success, you want to roll above 33 to get single, and 66 to get double superior success. Conversely, and you fail, you want to roll as high as possible. In other words, if you get a failure, rolling under 66 would result single superior failure and if you roll under 33 you get double superior failure. So for failures the 33/66 rule reverses compared to successes. Going back to what you wrote, if Amal fails Athletics roll with result 70, it's a simple failure, while 66 would result a superior failure. At least this is how I understood the 33/66 rule.

I think Feasomesole is right, but not in a way that actually disagrees with what Automata wrote. Fearsome is explaining the general case, but Automata wrote a single specific example that looks correct to me.
If I understood correctly from what you said, you understood the superior failure a bit wrong. So when you roll superior success, you want to roll above 33 to get single, and 66 to get double superior success. Conversely, and you fail, you want to roll as low as possible. In other words, if you get a failure, rolling under 66 would result single superior failure and if you roll under 33 you get double superior failure. So for failures the 33/66 rule reverses compared to successes. Going back to what you wrote, if Amal fails Athletics roll with result 70, it's a simple failure, while 66 would result a superior failure. At least this is how I understood the 33/66 rule.

A slight smell of ions....

Automata Automata's picture
Thanks for clearing that up

Thanks for clearing that up for me. I looked over the rules again after reading Fearsomesole's post and it seems I had missed that Superior Failures operate in the opposite direction to Superior Successes, as both Fearsomesole and o11o1 explained. So in my example 70 would be just a failure. I like the way that seems to trend towards Superior Failures being hard to get or even impossible if you're good at something (barring penalties) while also being more likely to get if you're bad at something, and if you're really bad there's the chance you'll really stuff it up and get two Superior Failures.

Conversely the better you get at something the better the chance you'll get Superior Successes, which looks like it would feel like you're actually getting better at things if you start getting a particular skill. An interesting mechanic.

Thanks for all the help everyone.

cpt.crush cpt.crush's picture
Pool + Negative Modifiers

Let's assume:

  • I have Hardware: Mechanics (50).
  • I now try to pick a Slightly Hard (-10) lock,
  • with a Moderately Impeding Bobby Pin (-20).
  • Fortunately though, I read about these locks the before, which gives me a Boost (+15).

My target number is 50 - 10 - 20 + 15 = 35.

If I now use Vigor to "Ignore all negative modifiers to the test", what exactly is my target number?

  • 65, because I remove *all* negative modifiers?
  • 55, because "Slightly Hard" isn't a modifier but the difficulty?
  • 45, same as above, but "-20" and "+15" merge to "-5" before application?
  • ...
o11o1 o11o1's picture
cpt.crush wrote:Let's assume:

cpt.crush wrote:
Let's assume:
  • I have Hardware: Mechanics (50).
  • I now try to pick a Slightly Hard (-10) lock,
  • with a Moderately Impeding Bobby Pin (-20).
  • Fortunately though, I read about these locks the before, which gives me a Boost (+15).

My target number is 50 - 10 - 20 + 15 = 35.

If I now use Vigor to "Ignore all negative modifiers to the test", what exactly is my target number?

  • 65, because I remove *all* negative modifiers?
  • 55, because "Slightly Hard" isn't a modifier but the difficulty?
  • 45, same as above, but "-20" and "+15" merge to "-5" before application?
  • ...

My vote is that the target number is 55. You don't change the task dfficulty, but you can manage to use a bobby pin (and probably also your mesh inserts) to breach it.

The core book could probably use a fairly complex example like this one is.

A slight smell of ions....

ThatWhichNeverWas ThatWhichNeverWas's picture
Math!

Happy Holidays everyone :)

As I understand it, the target is 50.
Before the test you calculate the modifiers, adding them together to get a total modifier of -15.
You then spend Vigor to ignore that penalty, taking you back to your base value.

Awayyyyy!

In the past we've had to compensate for weaknesses, finding quick solutions that only benefit a few.
But what if we never need to feel weak or morally conflicted again?

ringringlingling ringringlingling's picture
Do Not Want

So you're going from a flexible, detailed, nuanced point buy system to a class based system with preset skill lists and fixed values? That's such a radical change, it takes so much freedom away from the players in creating their own characters. I don't understand.. are you trying to make the system more accessible? Are you trying to simplify it to bring in more fans? Is this a new artistic direction?

You cut about a dozen skills. I was having trouble creating characters without too much overlap already. Nobody likes having their two or three primary skills de-facto capped at 60 in a d100 system, its hardly better than a 50/50 chance. (At least when there is a reasonable expectation that the characters are supposed to succeed most of the time)

I didn't invest in a hardcover to have all my player options stripped and all my characters skills dictated to me.

I'm sorry, I'm trying to be polite, but it seems like you are sabotaging yourselves. If you want to switch to a 400 page hardcover to a 50 page softcover booklet, you need to rebrand and fill it with some flashy interior artwork.

I get that maybe you guys are trying to cash out, so I'm trying not to get upset like a stereotypical fanboy, but I mean, really?

Urthdigger Urthdigger's picture
I imagine any DM would likely

I imagine any DM would likely allow you to swap your active and knowledge skills around, or just place them based on the totals they reach in active and knowledge (quickly hashing this out before work or I'd go ahead and add them all up to see if they match, which I'm fairly certain they do except that weird one with the bonus knowledge skills). I'd be surprised if the finished version didn't have an option for point buy for those who know what they're doing.

As for skills being de-facto hard capped at 60, I really don't see that being the case? 2nd edition seems to no longer have the increased cost for putting them past 60 (Just the limit on placing them past 80), and the reduced number of skills makes it easier to hit a high skill in the area you're training in. Back in 1st edition I usually played someone skilled in infiltration, and the various movement skills alone really did a number on my CP total. Now I can just train athletics and call that side good!

In the previous version you kinda needed to create characters with a ton of overlap, as many DMs in my experience would stress the fine points between skills like search, scavenge, and spot. It meant for many different tasks you'd either need to blow a ton of CP on related skills, or just accept that you're likely running at an effective 30 skill due to defaulting penalties.

ubik2 ubik2's picture
ringringlingling wrote:So you

ringringlingling wrote:
So you're going from a flexible, detailed, nuanced point buy system to a class based system with preset skill lists and fixed values?

If you have Transhuman, you may recognize the general idea here from the life paths. It allows you to easily create a character based on a rough idea of their background, rather than having to figure out which skills are appropriate. There's no restriction on these paths, since the rules also say you can freely redistribute your skills.

Urthdigger wrote:
I imagine any DM would likely allow you to swap your active and knowledge skills around, or just place them based on the totals they reach in active and knowledge

Correct. This is explained on page 11 of the Nov 16 version of Making Characters (Step 6). "Players should feel free to switch their skills for any other skills as long as the number of points remains the same, and as long as Know skill points only go toward other Know skills." The one place where you might need a DM call is for the Academic career, which trades some Active skills for Know skills to better represent the Academic background.

Since we already have over 50 pages of preview material, I'm sure they aren't going to have a 50 page rule book. There was some skill consolidation, but I personally think this makes for a better game (if you're a crack shot with a rifle, you're probably pretty good with a laser rifle too).

I think the number of skill points has gone down, but the number of skills has gone down by more. This does mean that characters have broader competence than under 1e. However, I don't see a lot of overlap in characters. Some overlap is going to be present. Everyone should have Fray/Perceive at a decent level, and Kinesics is really useful as well. Many characters will be competent at combat, though you probably still have a combat specialist.

Like Urthdigger, I'm not sure where you got the idea that there's a limit of 60 for skills.

I don't know anyone in the RPG industry that does it to cash out. It's generally populated by a lot of passionate people who are working at a low rate so that they can work on something they love. Even WoTC doesn't make a lot of money on their RPGs, despite the fact that they have massively more scale.

Edit: Regarding the potential for less content in EP2, I do think they're moving a bit away from the gear porn design school, so expect some gear to be consolidated.