Game Mechanics - Open Discussion

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asura8 asura8's picture
RobBoyle wrote:Fair enough,

RobBoyle wrote:
Fair enough, but you may want to hold out until you see the morph stats. It's not overwhelming. They literally get 1 or 2 points of Flex and nothing else. So far it has been well received in playtests.

In my experience, narrative control options tend to amount to offsetting disadvantages, correcting player oversights, and smoothing out gameplay (often by skipping past minor details to get to the good stuff). It is useful for leveling the scales, but rarely provides any sort of overwhelming advantage. So it has worked out well so far for PCs in disadvantaged morphs.

I think part of the problem is the piecemeal way we are being handed things. We can't be expected to judge how Pool works without full character creation information. The only things we might reasonably judge is the new skill system... and even that is dubious to a degree. We need to have the full picture.

I will say, my personal suggestion is to let Flex be the wildcard pool and have Traits and the like which allow you to spend Flex in new ways. e.g. Patron adds one to your Flex pool and allows you to spend Flex narratively in order to represent connections to your patron.

So far, this playtest looks like you are trying to change too much. But the pool system is the best thing going for it and I'd like to be able to give a proper judging.

atamajakki atamajakki's picture
Chalk me up as another one

Chalk me up as another one opposed to Flex being Morph-derived. Balance is a big deal, but I'm not sure some Morphs being worse than others is a flaw so much as how the setting works.

I'd sooner see it be a static value, like Refresh in Fate Core being defaulted to 3.

Decivre Decivre's picture
asura8 wrote:I will say, my

asura8 wrote:
I will say, my personal suggestion is to let Flex be the wildcard pool and have Traits and the like which allow you to spend Flex in new ways. e.g. Patron adds one to your Flex pool and allows you to spend Flex narratively in order to represent connections to your patron.

That's an interesting thought: if traits and implants could alter and expand the way you spend your morph pools, it creates an interesting new stat economy and new mechanics that can be overlaid onto those morph pools.

For example, Psi could theoretically use morph pools as a resource rather than durability (or hit points, or whatever the new thing will be). Traits and implants unique to certain careers could allow you to use morph pools for unique things within that purview (a hacker might get a trait that allows them to spend Insight or Flex to bypass certain security without a roll; Tailored Pheromones might require Moxie or Flex to manipulate someone's emotions; et cetera).

But yeah, there's not much to really say until we get more. We're speculating on the Flex pool, but all we know is that it exists. Nothing on any pool ranges, which would tell us the most on how balance works. That said, I hope EVERY character has at least 1 Flex... if narrative control exists in this game, then every PC should have access to it, not just the ones in budget sleeves.

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LatwPIAT LatwPIAT's picture
Laskeutua wrote:Decivre wrote

Laskeutua wrote:
Decivre wrote:

Out of curiosity, where did you get the 90 as hardcap number? I only ask because the original game's hardcap was 99 (core page 152). I remember that because I once tried starting a debate about the uselessness of that final point (99 still counts as a failure).

90 is the highest a skill can be raised to in character creation without the use of external gear or implants. It requires that a character either invests in specialisations or in the Expert positive trait.

In EP 1e, yes. Currently we don't have any character generation rules, so assumptions based on how it worked in 1e are extremely speculative.

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UnitOmega UnitOmega's picture
Yeah, from a verisimilitude

Yeah, from a verisimilitude level, Flex being tied to morphs seems... weird. It doesn't feel right, at least at the current high level view. I can see why from a mechanical aspect, it's a bit like being a Pure Mortal in Dresden Files or other RPG options - you get more stuff to do in the narrative because you're explicitly limited to only mundane options, but that doesn't quite seem like it fits the setting. We'll really need to see morphs before we can offer detailed feedback on it - but initially I'd say this sounds like Flex might warrant a sidebar or some additional talk for people who aren't taking place in the playtest forum discussion to actually explain kind of this mechanical component over "Yeah, a Case just sucks ass, but it helps build character or something." or any other weird implications.

Also, I'm going to now echo people to rephrase Short Rest to say 2 per 24 hours - so we can avoid dumb "but it says twice per day!" arguments in future. That's really not RAI - transhumans are still humans (or human-analogs), time is a standardized measurement and cultures in locations which have no meaningful day/night or orbital cycles to use on their own will be Earth Standard, and the body and culture is still adapted around our Earth cycles. But, let's nip the many future internet arguments in the bud?

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Laskeutua Laskeutua's picture
UnitOmega wrote:Yeah, from a

UnitOmega wrote:
Yeah, from a verisimilitude level, Flex being tied to morphs seems... weird. It doesn't feel right, at least at the current high level view. I can see why from a mechanical aspect, it's a bit like being a Pure Mortal in Dresden Files or other RPG options - you get more stuff to do in the narrative because you're explicitly limited to only mundane options, but that doesn't quite seem like it fits the setting. We'll really need to see morphs before we can offer detailed feedback on it - but initially I'd say this sounds like Flex might warrant a sidebar or some additional talk for people who aren't taking place in the playtest forum discussion to actually explain kind of this mechanical component over "Yeah, a Case just sucks ass, but it helps build character or something." or any other weird implications.

Also, I'm going to now echo people to rephrase Short Rest to say 2 per 24 hours - so we can avoid dumb "but it says twice per day!" arguments in future. That's really not RAI - transhumans are still humans (or human-analogs), time is a standardized measurement and cultures in locations which have no meaningful day/night or orbital cycles to use on their own will be Earth Standard, and the body and culture is still adapted around our Earth cycles. But, let's nip the many future internet arguments in the bud?

Could argue Cases have some inbuilt programming for an ostensibly mild sense of willpower just so that the sleeved ego can push themselves through the drudgery?
Honestly, that's actually not bad. Part of me wants to go through all the cheap morphs now and see how hard I can justify this before I sound ridiculous.

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LatwPIAT wrote:
Laskeutua wrote:
Decivre wrote:

Out of curiosity, where did you get the 90 as hardcap number? I only ask because the original game's hardcap was 99 (core page 152). I remember that because I once tried starting a debate about the uselessness of that final point (99 still counts as a failure).

90 is the highest a skill can be raised to in character creation without the use of external gear or implants. It requires that a character either invests in specialisations or in the Expert positive trait.

In EP 1e, yes. Currently we don't have any character generation rules, so assumptions based on how it worked in 1e are extremely speculative.

I'll concede that point, but I will say I'm unsure how that could change too much

kindalas kindalas's picture
Regarding Flex

Rob

Would it be useful to have the low end morphs like the exalt/ruster/that other low end not flat one that in Ep1 got +5 to 3 aptitudes that I assume will get 3 flex to instead get 3 points to add to the aptitude based moxies and then reserve flex with its narrative to an Ego trait like how moxie used to be?

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twodsix twodsix's picture
RobBoyle wrote:Quote:

RobBoyle wrote:
Quote:

[*]I hope that Flex won't be a morph pool, because I think it odd to have narrative control be a morph trait. I can't even imagine what a morph that grants more narrative power might look like. It feels like it should be the replacement for the original Moxie pool.

It is a morph pool. It's more common among low-end morphs, who don't have other pools/advantages, as an offset and to make them still worthwhile.

To provide a counterpoint to all the 'this is horrible rah rah rah', I actually think this is an awesome idea.

I mean, I know that it's likely that I'll end up with the most narrative control if I ever play because instead of getting a morph suited to my needs I love just taking a Splicer (or sometimes synth) and tweaking it to my needs. But I'm also assuming that morphs are built not under the assumption that all your pools total X, but that flex is counted as being equal to several points in any other pool.

Although I'll also be annoyed if pools are entirely morph dependent. Maybe not to the level of 'everybody has at least 10 points across small pools', but at least to there being (probably expensive traits) that increase one of your pools by one, as well as some mods that add to them (Neurachem is feeling like it adds to insight if I read it correctly, although I can also see Vigor).

I love the idea that there might be a game mechanical reason not to race for the best morph you can for whatever niche, and have more Splicers, Cases, and Flats show up. It also encourages starting with a better morph, while in 1e it can cost you a bunch of CP if all that you can get after farcasting is a Splicer or Case in 2e you'll know that at the very least you'll get more Flex.

I actually hope we're moving directly away from 'morphs have a CP cost' and towards 'morphs are theoretically all balanced with each other'. One of the things I love about Transhumanity's Fate is that if I want to play someone who has a load of identical Splicers scattered around the solar system so they always have the same 'look' I can without spending any resources (although I likely should buy a high ranking in Cred and/or Civ Rep I don't lose out on 2.5-5 skill points per body).

Now I'll agree with everyone saying that this is a massive change from 1e, I just think it's for the better.

Anyway, if the extra Flex is low enough compared to the pools high end morphs get then a Splicer or Flat isn't going to outthink a Hyperbright or outfight a Reaper without a very competent ego (and might have trouble outthinking Mentons and outfighting Olympians). It's more likely high Flex morphs will end up as jacks of all trades, not the best at anything but a decent choice if you're not hyper specialising.

TheGrue TheGrue's picture
Trappedinwikipedia wrote:We

Trappedinwikipedia wrote:
We haven't seen how character creation works, skill and aptitude soft caps may have been moved or changed. Purchasing skills may have changed as well.

That's a really good catch for rest Decivre, Venus has ~118 earth day long days, so only allowing a long rest about every 4 months would be a problem. Specifying earth days (or 24 SI hours of proper time, so to make sure gate-stuff doesn't mess with the rules)


To add to this, how does the rest mechanic interact with time-accelerated simulspace?

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Decivre Decivre's picture
TheGrue wrote:To add to this,

TheGrue wrote:
To add to this, how does the rest mechanic interact with time-accelerated simulspace?

2 virtual short rests and 1 long every 24 virtual hours, but it only restores pools for simulmorphs not physical bodies or infomorphs.

That's my guess.

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Trappedinwikipedia Trappedinwikipedia's picture
Not sure how I'd feel about

Not sure how I'd feel about Infomorphs with good hardware only needing 24 minutes between 4 minute rests to fully recharge their pools.

TheGrue TheGrue's picture
Decivre wrote:TheGrue wrote

Decivre wrote:
TheGrue wrote:
To add to this, how does the rest mechanic interact with time-accelerated simulspace?

2 virtual short rests and 1 long every 24 virtual hours, but it only restores pools for simulmorphs not physical bodies or infomorphs.

That's my guess.

I'd want to know then, what's the difference between a social/intellect pool for a simulmorph and a social/intellect pool for physical morphs? Particularly if the physical morph is running a cyberbrain.

Surely you can't load up a simulspace in the middle of combat, crank the time acceleration to max, and get 24 hours of mental relaxation in the span of a single action. I'm curious how the game mechanics are going to disallow this without also breaking verisimilitude.

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Decivre Decivre's picture
TheGrue wrote:I'd want to

TheGrue wrote:
I'd want to know then, what's the difference between a social/intellect pool for a simulmorph and a social/intellect pool for physical morphs? Particularly if the physical morph is running a cyberbrain.

Surely you can't load up a simulspace in the middle of combat, crank the time acceleration to max, and get 24 hours of mental relaxation in the span of a single action. I'm curious how the game mechanics are going to disallow this without also breaking verisimilitude.


The difference would be where you can use them. You can't use your physical morph's pool in simulspace, nor your simulmorph's pool in reality. And regaining pools for your physical morph requires 4 hours rest relative to its perception to time (an essential note, since relativistic speeds and temporal distortion are potential issues in this setting).

It's actually a pretty elegant fix, if this is how it will be done. Plus it opens intriguing possibilities, like drone jammers getting an implant that grants a vigor pool while jamming.

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ThatWhichNeverWas ThatWhichNeverWas's picture
Are we making this too hard?

How about we just replace "Rest" with "Recharge", and have the points represent an actual if non-specific resource that's expended.

In biomorphs this can represent rebalancing hormone and blood sugar levels that have been thrown out of wack, refilling pheremone and drug glands, or reconfiguring your mesh inserts. Synthmorphs repair structural microfractures and vent waste heat, whilst both synths and infomorphs perform system checks and antivirus scans.

You can perform two Partial Recharges between before a Complete Recharge.

No needing to rest and no time dilation - it's a function of your Hardware.

EDIT - Things like special hardware or buying tiome on an extra-fast server could be represented by granting bonuses to pool recharge, extra points which don't recharge or just 'buying' a Recharge if the currency system allows it.

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twodsix wrote:
Although I'll also be annoyed if pools are entirely morph dependent. Maybe not to the level of 'everybody has at least 10 points across small pools', but at least to there being (probably expensive traits) that increase one of your pools by one, as well as some mods that add to them (Neurachem is feeling like it adds to insight if I read it correctly, although I can also see Vigor).

I could see this, or having them increase your recharge rate for the appropriate pool, or altering the effects of spending a point, or introducing new spending outlets...
This point system opens a LOT of doors.

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HariSeldon HariSeldon's picture
Re: Pools

Thanks for the feedback.

RobBoyle wrote:

I get that there's a bit of weirdness to it, but we simply had to get rid of aptitude modifiers. Recalculating all of your skills was a pain to many people, and it was often a pain during gameplay if you had to resleeve in the middle of a scenario. It is among the the top complaints we received about 1E.

Wow, I had no idea it was that unpopular. Personally I added some JavaScript to a fillable PDF so that when you changed the morph bonuses all the skills updated automatically. And I tended to time scenarios so that resleeves happened between sessions. But I can see that might not suit everyone, and I understand you changing it if that many people complained.

Quote:

So far in playtests, running dry on pools hasn't been too big of an issue -- we actually cut out some refreshes, because we had too many.

I'm glad to hear that. I'm looking forward to seeing some sample morphs and bioware so I can get a more complete view of how big pools are, and how the whole process hangs together.

Quote:

If anything, we have a concern that some players may not spend their pools because they have a tendency to hoard points until they need them.

Yes, this is probably the main thing that worries me. I want players to feel able to use their abilities when it's dramatically appropriate, without worrying about whether or not this is going to be their last combat before bedtime, so to speak.

I was part of a playtest group for a game called Timewatch a few years ago. This was based on Gumshoe and used pools for all abilities and skills. I found that a lot of contests slowed down as people tried to decide how many points to commit to a given roll, based on what they thought might happen in the future. As a player I found it very frustrating, and did have a couple of occasions where my character was left struggling because I'd decided to excel at a previous test. I also felt it drew too much time and attention away from the actual scenario.

Now I don't think the system you're proposing would be as bad as that, because pools in EP2 augment skills rather than being the core mechanic for them. But it's one of the things that makes me a bit wary. It's good to know you're already thinking about this, though.

Decivre Decivre's picture
RobBoyle wrote:If anything,

RobBoyle wrote:
We wanted a bit more granularity than d10s provide.

Sure, we could have gone with d5, but in my experience, most players don't have an actual d5 sitting around, they roll a d10 and divide by 2, and it's slow. I've watched people struggle with it at the game table too many times. Everyone has d6s, it's easier to just grab it and roll. YMMV.


Does this mean that d6s are replacing d10s in every other instance but tests? Because I'm okay with this if this is where it's going. I still feel d6 is a small amount of the pools to restore with a short rest, but perhaps I will change my mind when I see the overall size of pools, and how the mechanics work in play.

RobBoyle wrote:
If anything, we have a concern that some players may not spend their pools because they have a tendency to hoard points until they need them.

This is a common issue I see with games that have multiple resources. Basically, any game resource can be divided into two categories: primary resources that are central to a character concept... wizard spell slots in D&D, durability for asyncs, bullets for a street sam in Shadowrun; and secondary resources that are part of game mechanics but not inherent to a character concept... like Fate Points, Edge, Moxie, and even Lucidity to some extent.

Players rarely have problems spending a primary resource because of how central it is to their character concept. You can't be a wizard without using spell slots, and you can't really be an async without taking hits to durability. But secondary resources often get hoarded because they really don't fit with what the player wants to do with their character.

Fate found a way to counter this by making Fate points easy to tweak through Stunts, thus giving players an easy way to make Fate points into a primary resource. You just have to do something similar.

This is why I think that implants should tweak the way that players can use pools. By doing so, players may very well pick implants that fit their character concept, and open up the use of their pools toward their chosen actions.

For example, Tacsoft might grant a player the ability to use their Insight pool on tests involving firearms. This might seem like it causes the pools to step on each other's toes, but note that what matters is giving players incentive to use them (plus it's a fairly narrow benefit). Or maybe Medichines can allow someone to spend their vigor pool to quickly heal, making that pool useful to someone who isn't really a combat character, but wants the ability to protect themselves from death easily.

HariSeldon wrote:
Wow, I had no idea it was that unpopular. Personally I added some JavaScript to a fillable PDF so that when you changed the morph bonuses all the skills updated automatically. And I tended to time scenarios so that resleeves happened between sessions. But I can see that might not suit everyone, and I understand you changing it if that many people complained.

I noticed a significant shift towards disliking aptitude modifiers on morphs after the morph cards came out. Playgroups in my area became big on sleeving constantly in adventures to take advantage of the fact that one should just have to switch cards, but we quickly noticed that adjustment was a bit harder than the cards wanted to imply. They slow the game down as players have to shift values on sheets.

With this new system, it could be as simple as shuffling around some token pools on your sheet while swapping morph cards. Big improvement in my eyes.

Transhumans will one day be the Luddites of the posthuman age.

Help me get my gaming fix, if you want.

eaton eaton's picture
Extended thoughts

It’s finally upon us! Hurrah, hurrah! Although I’ve been out of circulation for most of this week I’ve been watching and waiting for the document to drop, and have some thoughts. Most are super good.

TL;DR

  1. The skill simplification (Folding COO into REF, folding the plethora of ranged weapon skills into ‘Guns’, eliminating ‘Networking’ and making rolls against straight rep) are all great. “Piloting” could use a similar roll-up. Knowledge skills haven’t been seen yet, but I have high hopes.
  2. The Pool system is promising but has some odd edges that need to be filed off. Consider tying the Flex pool to the ego; since the other three (attribute linked) pools are morph-based and make sense thematically as body enhancements, sourcing the the Flex pool’s narrative control elsewhere feels appropriate.
  3. Clearer action economy during combat is excellent; gear design should be explicit about auto/quick/complex/task distinctions folding into the combat value of equipment.
  4. Movement is improved but still has some hiccups. Consider making walk automatic, making full-speed running a quick action, and eliminating ‘rushing’, to clarify the pros and cons.
Aptitude/Skill/Pool system

This is the biggie, really.

Six attributes mapped to physical, mental, and social skills makes sense, and divorced from any historical inertia just feels good. The loss of COO isn’t much of a price to pay if the simplified skill list can be balanced out a bit more — WIL was always a weak link for players who weren’t rolling async.

Using different skill pools for different kinds of “stretches” — pushing a character beyond what they’re normally able to do in a given situation — feels very solid. I don’t really share the concerns others have expressed about the in-game flavor implications of moving away from hard stat bonuses; in-game, no one was should’ve been talking about a morph’s “+5 to COO” anyways, just “enhanced cognition” or “neural boosts” or what not.

Eliminating SPD is probably the biggest and most (potentially) controversial byproduct of the pool system, but has the most potential to make EP’s combat rewarding for… less-optimized players. Since the Vigor pool allows a player to slap extra actions onto the end of a turn, it’s functionally a lot like pre-Transhuman SPD rules. Except of course that it’s optional and paid for in points each time it happens, rather than automatic on every turn. That raises the question of how deep you’re anticipating the average/max Vigor pool to be. If it’s tool shallow, SPD-like combat tricks are basically dead. If it’s too deep, everyone is basically a SPD demon if they decide to spend their points right. If there’s high variation, the way I hope, I think it’ll feel juuuuuust right.

I’m hoping that traits and gear will also help fill some of the gap; implants that use a quick action to refill a player’s Vigor pool in combat, drugs that refresh 1 pool point per turn at the cost of emptying the pool after combat, etc are all options that make a lot of sense using the system.

The one concern — and this has been brought up by others on the board — is the fact that “Flex,” the catch-all and narrative-control pool, will ALSO be tied to morphs/shells. If there’s any candidate for a pool being attached to ego instead of shell, this is the one.

Outstanding Questions:

  1. Current version says that the “Insight” points can be used to “Avoid making an Infection Test when using a psi sleight (asyncs only).” Historically Psi stuff was WIL-linked, but the Insight pool is COG/INT. Inconsistency? Indication of a change in Psi powers?

  2. Related to the same line, I’m intrigued by the idea of a specific, explicit “Infection test.” Previously the mechanics for infection were pretty scattershot, even split over three or four sections of the core book depending on the vector. Making it standardized would be pretty sweet.

  3. If morphs are the primary source of pool points, how common are you anticipating gear/trait/sleight based enhancements to the pools? Traits that allow points to be used for additional purposes? Etc?

  4. Will creatures, robot shells, and vehicles have these pools as well? Without at least Vigor, it sounds like there will be no way to achieve the equivalent of a dangerous, high-speed kill critter.

Action Economy

Praise be, the elimination of “any number of quick actions” is here! A clear, unambiguous breakdown of what can be done in a given turn will make a lot of combat sessions easier for players to engage with, IMO. If gear and skills are also explicit about what action types they require, it’ll help a lot. Putting more weight the individual case (Skill X, Weapon Y) to specify the action type will be more straightforward than trying to comprehensively list “kinds of complex actions” IME.

“Taking time” is a little ambiguous in that it refers to tests and actions, but realistically, should only apply to task actions. (Unless the intent is to allow players to turn what would otherwise be a complex action into a task action outside of combat-time?) If the former, changing “You may take extra time to complete a test…” to “You may take extra time to complete a task action…” might make sense. If the latter, clarifying how quick or complex actions are affected by the time-taking rules would be cool.

Movement

This sort of fits with the action economy stuff, but movement being clarified in a number of areas is a relief. I especially like the clear mapping of action types to the levels of obstruction/complication involved with a particular kind of movement. Climbing a rock face isn’t just “moving,” it’s a task, for example.

The one part I’ve been staring at is the interaction of standard move, full move, and rushing. Historically, rapid movement meant penalties on other actions that were happening at the same time. With the new system, though, I’m wondering if it makes sense to be more explicit. Why not just make Run/Dash/Full Move a Quick Action instead of an automatic one? That puts the choice in the players’ hands, treats dashing/full move similarly to other physical acts like jumping. Eliminating Rushing entirely might even be justified with this approach; its only purpose would be to give some skill-based variability to the ground a player can cover in one action.

Also — “Standing Up” is listed as a quick action, but “Going Prone” isn’t. The feels like it’d be a good companion, and given the action economy, it’d also make tough choices necessary. Standing, full move, and going prone in a new location would be three quick actions — to get off a shot, I’d need to use a Vigor point and push for another action entirely. I like it.

Overall

Took some thinking, but in general I really like the changes. We’ll have to see how the skill list comes together — in particular knowledge skills, which consume a disproportionate swatch of the charsheet but are a bit of a tangle in real play. I think the new mechanisms have the potential give give players radically different ways to approach problems and situations — rather than just “Higher skills, more SPD, bigger gear.”

fr0id fr0id's picture
Playtest Notes:

Playtest Notes:

*As someone else mentioned, the wording used in the list of modifiers is vague and ambiguous. In addition to the wording "Roll the dice when...the situation is challenging" implying that most rolls start at the Challenging -20 modifier, the words used (i.e. simple/easy or difficult/challenging/hard) don't really mean a lot. Gauging modifiers is one of the most difficult jobs mechanically for a GM, and it would help to have as much guidance for it as possible. For instance, the standard deviation of a d100 roll is about 28, meaning about 2/3 of rolls will be the average +/- 28). Thus, it takes a modifier of 28 or more to have a have a 2/3 chance of beating out the "swinginess" of the d100. So a modifier of +/-10 or even +/-20 actually has a fairly high chance of being obviated by dumb luck. That's not really intuitive knowledge for GMs or players, and results in the feeling that the dice can be too swingy. It could be helpful to revise the information on modifiers to something more "gamey" about how much effect they have on luck (i.e. the swinginess).

*It's also mentioned that the GM should not spend too much time tracking every possible modifier and should instead just give a value based on "the overall net effect." I haven't seen the rest of the rules, but I wonder how this principle interacts with things like gear and combat that may have big lists of modifiers to apply. I know a lot of players would be peeved if they had managed to accumulate a bunch of modifiers through concrete rules and then have the GM just alter them based on his feel for the moment. I'm curious to see how this principle plays out with the rest of the rules.

*The use of the word "noob" under Superior Results: The 33/66 Rule feels out of place. Noob has been falling out of slang usage in recent years, and its connotations mostly just fall in video gaming. Using something like "amateur" or "novice" instead would sound better, in my opinion.

*It is unclear whether the GM or the player decides which effects to use for superior results. Also it would help to include something about the GM declaring whether it is eligible for superior results before the roll. The effects about affecting "subsequent tests by +/-10" also don't indicate how many tests this could apply to, whereas the +/-20 from a critical result only applies to "the next test you make." It would be good to have them just apply to the next test made by or against that character.

*I am unsure what is meant under the section Trying Again by the line "In certain situations, however, extra time may be of no help, and so the GM may rule that no modifiers apply." Is this saying that the GM could not apply the cumulative -10 modifier to repeated rolls because "extra time may be of no help?" If so, what does extra time not being helpful have to do with that? I'm confused by this.

*For pools, how many points can be spent at once? This question applies to spending points on a roll or spending points to add narrative control. Also, when are they allowed to be spent (e.g. can you spend Insight at the very end of the round for the extra action?)

*If possible, it would be very helpful to have a rules handout or even the character sheet itself list what the various pools can be spent on.

*A lot of the pool uses refer to rules that occur later in this chapter/book. It may be helpful to move the section on pools to the end of chapter and then to include page references to other referenced rules (such as making an Infection Test, the effects of trauma, rep network favors, etc.)

*I don't like the idea of having to spend in-game currency to negate a player's social gaffe. This seems too punitive to inexperienced players and is targeting something that happens outside of the game ( a player not knowing about the setting) as opposed to things in the game (e.g. bonuses to rolls, gaining narrative information you'd normally test for).

*I second the motion to make sure that short rests are taken twice every 24 hours rather than twice per day. I like the idea of having it be based on things like scenes and game sessions, but I think the argument that tying it to timescales puts the pressure on players and can up the horror ante is a good one. Maybe offer the option for the GM to choose how he does it? Also, it would be good to clarify if resting could include things like walking around, reloading weapons, looting a body, etc. I like the suggestion made earlier in the thread for it to be "nothing that would require a roll."

*Under Action Turns, you state "Note that basic movement such as walking or running does not require an action," but then immediately contradict this by saying that basic movement is an automatic action. Please revise.

*Task actions are listed as being able to be accompanied by quick actions or automatic actions. It could help to have something stating under them that the GM may determine that some quick actions or automatic actions cannot be done while engaging in a task action.

*Given that initiative requires division and rounding, it may be helpful to include a table of possible results (e.g. 12/5 is initiative 2, 13/5 is initiative 3). This would depend on whether the modifiers to initiative affect it before or after the division. Obviously it would be much simpler to just modify it after the division.

*Under Initiative Order, the phrase about characters going simultaneously with an initiative tie leads to a whole bunch of questions about timings and movements and what have you. I think it would be much simpler to just include a rule for breaking those ties (maybe just re-roll) rather than dealing with "what happens when they both attack and kill each other" or "what happens if X moves into cover simultaneous to Y shooting at him."

*Can Delay be used to interrupt characters in between their individual actions, or just their entire turn? Also, can it be used to delay all the way into the extra actions of a turn caused by spending Vigor or Insight?

*What happens if you declare one type of movement but don't actually move the full distance (e.g. declare a full move but only move the base move in distance)? Would you just have to eat the negative modifier due to your character's "poor planning?"

*Rushing seems like a waste of an action given how comparitively small something like an extra 4 meters would be. A lot of GMs I think when pressed would not really differentiate that much between 24 meters and 20 meters in "theater of the mind," and would likely just tell a player "eh, sure, it's 20 meters away."

*What happens if you fail a rushing action? Does it just become a full move that used up a complex action? If a character takes a complex physical action after rushing, do they not have a negative modifer like they would if they made a full move?

*When making a roll when jumping, does it still count as a quick action? Could result in a lot of rolling in one turn.

*Jumping says that "you can cross 3 meters with a running jump." How is "running" defined in game terms?

*How would action economy work for jumping on a ledge then climbing over it? Would it take a non-standard movement to climp after making the jump or could the jump?

*Given that jumping and standing up are sort of "auxiliary" actions, would it be helpful to have some others reflecting non-standard movements such as flight or swimming with certain morphs equipped to do that? I'm thinking of a classic example of a flying enemy that dives down, slashes a target, then flies back up out of range. What would that look like in terms of the movement and action rules?

*It seems weird to have specific rules for microgravity and low gravity, but then just GM choice for high gravity.

*The listing on movement types has actual rules (use in vacuum or not) mixed in with the fluff about them. These should be separated out for clarity.

o11o1 o11o1's picture
Oddly Specific Movement Speeds

Something that comes to mind when reading through the various movement types s that the speeds all seem to be slightly different from each other, in a way that makes it tricky to keep a memory for the entire set of them. For instance, walking and Hopper are different by about 4 meters at the longer range. One thing I had hoped for would be that the different numbers become more standardized from their 1st edition values. Often when I am GMing we don't have an actual grid out with minis, but we're describing things more abstractly. 'Theater of the mind' as fr0id notes. If on the other hand, if there were for instance three main speed values that all the different movement types "snapped" to, then I could mentally lump them into those groups for speed purposes, to decide "who's actually faster" when it comes up, and worry about their differences in terms of things like available vertical option, behavior under different gravity and atmosphere states, and so on.

I think I will also favor the suggestions to simply the Rush action by removing it. If someone wants to move at "maximum speed" then they can take three quick actions and spend all of them on multiple instances of Run. Pop a Vigor point for the extra turn and then -also- take three Run actions for that Olympic-grade sprint when the situation really calls for it.

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Leetsepeak Leetsepeak's picture
I don't see any problem with

I don't see any problem with Flex being given to Morphs, especially in the small numbers that Rob pointed out. It's clearly not an equalizer, but providing one more reason why sleeving into the simple ones like a flat or a case isn't the absolute worst thing ever from a game perspective. It seems pretty reasonable.

MrWigggles MrWigggles's picture
After playing one game, with

After playing one game, with it. I dont foresee any problem with Flex being with the Morph.

gleech gleech's picture
I Loathe Flex

We had a GM who really liked Fate, and who did something like what Flex does: every time we'd roll Research (for example) to look for something, he'd say, "ah, tell me about the awesome gun store you found." We the players eventually demanded he stop doing that, because it was screwing up the horror: good horror sort of runs players having limited control, and that's completely defused when you can make arbitrary changes to the universe around you. (It reminds me a little bit of Danger 5, wherein Hitler always has a convenient window to jump out of, no matter where he was before. I love Danger 5, but it's not good cosmic horror.)

I don't like "you can ignore it" as an answer, because, if players spend CP on buying it, or if it's provided by morphs and part of the morph balance, the GM really *can't*. If everyone gets a flat, GM-specified amount of Flex, and the GM can specify 0, then fine; but if players buy it with CP (or what replaces it), then the group can potentially be stuck with it.

Also, not that I'm a mean GM, but I'm worrying about players introducing elements that derail stories, defuse traps, don't fit with the tone of the rest of the scenario, or otherwise are to the taste of one player while annoying one or more other players.

The other dice pools could be very good or could be very bad, depending on how gear works. On the one hand, I like breaking moxie up into three stats; I also like the potential to replace a lot of complex rules and modifiers with "you get +1 Insight!", which would certainly simplify things a lot! However, I'm also very worried about loosing a lot of the interesting differences between bits of gear: as a person who really enjoyed the transhuman hardware porn in eclipse phase, I'm going to be very sad if picking gear gets hacked down to "pick three items that give you +1 *Pool* for each of your 3 pools".

A lot of the other stuff I like. I posted elsewhere about how I hated speed and wanted to see the pilot skills attached to movement modes regardless of how you're operating the morph, so yay for those two changes specifically. ^.^

Edit: may I suggest that you add the limit that "any option from the pool menu can only be picked once per check?" Otherwise, people might drop like 4 Insight or Vigor on getting a +80 on one check.



TheGrue TheGrue's picture
Leetsepeak wrote:I don't see

Leetsepeak wrote:
I don't see any problem with Flex being given to Morphs, especially in the small numbers that Rob pointed out. It's clearly not an equalizer, but providing one more reason why sleeving into the simple ones like a flat or a case isn't the absolute worst thing ever from a game perspective. It seems pretty reasonable.

But what you've just described is exactly that; an equalizer.

I don't have any problems whatsoever with gear choices that are mechanically suboptimal to others, as long as those choices are clearly indicated as suboptimal so as not to entrap new players. Having suboptimal choices among morphs allows for a lot of interesting options in scenario design; characters might have to roll with the flaws of a morph they didn't choose, or make the best of a limited selection. I dislike, as a rule, mechanics that make gameplay choices more equal. If every choice is equivalent, what is the purpose of making that choice?

MrWigggles wrote:
After playing one game, with it. I dont foresee any problem with Flex being with the Morph.

I'd ask you to clarify your stance, Wiggles, but I'm given to understand you're under non disclosure. Let me just say I'll reserve my reply until I've seen the rules with my own eyes and playtested them myself, and leave it at that.

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Laskeutua Laskeutua's picture
Further Reflection...

You know, the more I'm thinking about it the more excited I'm getting because it is genuinely sounding like a lot of the, hard to rule-hack around, niggling issues are going to be cleared up.

Given that, for years now, I've wanted to do a fantasy setting for the EP ruleset with similar themes, but some of the specific quirks of the system just made it difficult to work around. This might make that a more realistic endeavour.

But, there was a question I did want to ask along with this post as well, reading the Play Test Report that was recently posted, there was mention that Art as a skill was gone and that Psychosurgery as a skill had been changed. Does this mean that knowledge/field skills along with narrow/niche active skills were drastically overhauled?

Leetsepeak Leetsepeak's picture
TheGrue wrote:Leetsepeak

TheGrue wrote:
But what you've just described is exactly that; an equalizer.

I don't have any problems whatsoever with gear choices that are mechanically suboptimal to others, as long as those choices are clearly indicated as suboptimal so as not to entrap new players. Having suboptimal choices among morphs allows for a lot of interesting options in scenario design; characters might have to roll with the flaws of a morph they didn't choose, or make the best of a limited selection. I dislike, as a rule, mechanics that make gameplay choices more equal. If every choice is equivalent, what is the purpose of making that choice?

When I said not an equalizer, I meant that it's pretty obvious the degree to which you are benefiting is in no way equal to what you're losing out on, which seems even more obvious in the context of Rob's explanation.

If you get a pool of 5 vigor and 5 insight and 5 moxie in a hypothetical normal morph, then getting 1-2 points of Flex in the sub-optimal morph is in no way an equalizer. It's compensation. Hence, with what Rob said it seems pretty clear to me that this is a non-issue.

CordialUltimate2 CordialUltimate2's picture
Many people complain that

Many people complain that EPv1 fight is only slugging it out and it is not tactical. That is very true.
It is a combination of 3 factors.

1. In combat movement is slow like a snail.
2. Weapons are very deadly.
3. Speed multiplies weapons deadliness, but not movement rate.

ad. 1. When you enter combat turns your olympian can suddenly only move 4 meters per TURN.

ad. 2. Unless you are tricked out tank, you can not reasonably expect to survive more than 3 hits. And you are potentially crippled after first shot.

This all has an outcome like this.

Say you want to perform flanking manouver, basic tactics really. You and your enemy both have 3 speed. Pretty reasonable for high stakes covert operatives. If you run for the cover 15 meters from you, you have to accept -20 modifier to your shooting for movement and be out of cover for 2 action phases. In this action phases you are out of cover and you are shooting worse.
Even if you have someone covering you the other side has to just accept making some Fray roll to shoot at you. They would be doing this anyway.

In this scenario the benefit from moving was nil.

The problem boils down to dps/mps (damage per second/movement per second) is to damn high. It is easy to fix that. Allow extra complex actions to be spent on full movement.

THE IMPORTANT PART RELEVANT TO EP2:

After reading the rules I noticed that the problem is alleviated by removal of speed. Somewhat. Because Vigor replaces speed. But you can spend it all to multiply your damage output and we are back at the root of the problem that not moving is the best possible option.

It is a simple fix really. Remove the one line in the movement section: "Extra actions in a turn do not allow you to cover more distance..."

To balance that force the Athletics / Freefall check every time extra action is used for additional movement to reflect the skill needed to move at such velocity.

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Tokita Tokita's picture
Pool Monster

I read the Playtest Text and afraid for some points.

*Pool Monster PC.
Some members in my group said "If I have much Flex Pool, I do not need Rep. Do not think so?"
If Max of Flex Pool is 10, he will make PC of Flex 10. Aka Pool Monster PC.Maybe he can control the scene. even without Reps.

I like Reps Rules. Flex Pool Rule kills Reps.

*Too Much Pool Effects!
Five Pools and Total 19 Effects.
It is hard to explain newbies and ,more Hard to Count through the game.

I think fewer effect is better.

One Moxi is good for EP2.
Effect that need is below:

• Before rolling: Add +20 to the test’s target number.
• After rolling: Flip-flop a d100 roll. For example, 83 becomes 38.
• After rolling: Reroll the Dice.
• Before rolling: Add 1d10 to Initiative Roll.
• Damage or Stress:Erase one.

*Superior Result:The 33/66 Rule
It is confusing!
FAQ" Is 33/66 Critical or Superior Result?"
I think 30/60 is better to understand.
And Developing the Current Excellent Rule or Deleting Superior Result Rule will make EP Play simple.

Thank You.

Decivre Decivre's picture
gleech wrote:We had a GM who

gleech wrote:
We had a GM who really liked Fate, and who did something like what Flex does: every time we'd roll Research (for example) to look for something, he'd say, "ah, tell me about the awesome gun store you found." We the players eventually demanded he stop doing that, because it was screwing up the horror: good horror sort of runs players having limited control, and that's completely defused when you can make arbitrary changes to the universe around you. (It reminds me a little bit of Danger 5, wherein Hitler always has a convenient window to jump out of, no matter where he was before. I love Danger 5, but it's not good cosmic horror.)

I don't like "you can ignore it" as an answer, because, if players spend CP on buying it, or if it's provided by morphs and part of the morph balance, the GM really *can't*. If everyone gets a flat, GM-specified amount of Flex, and the GM can specify 0, then fine; but if players buy it with CP (or what replaces it), then the group can potentially be stuck with it.

Also, not that I'm a mean GM, but I'm worrying about players introducing elements that derail stories, defuse traps, don't fit with the tone of the rest of the scenario, or otherwise are to the taste of one player while annoying one or more other players.

Do note the word "plausible" in every one of those options. If it doesn't fit, you can veto it.

I have a playgroup I run Transhumanity's Fate for, that doesn't really do narrativist play. Fate points are mostly just bonuses in that game, and have never been used for story elements. For groups that don't like it, nothing gets lost. Same could be true here, just let Flex do all the other features.

gleech wrote:
Edit: may I suggest that you add the limit that "any option from the pool menu can only be picked once per check?" Otherwise, people might drop like 4 Insight or Vigor on getting a +80 on one check.

I'd argue to keep "one die modification with a pool per check" as a rule. If there really a lot of pool points, then I can see some players taking advantage by doubling or tripling up as necessary.

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Decivre Decivre's picture
TheGrue wrote:But what you've

TheGrue wrote:
But what you've just described is exactly that; an equalizer.

I don't have any problems whatsoever with gear choices that are mechanically suboptimal to others, as long as those choices are clearly indicated as suboptimal so as not to entrap new players. Having suboptimal choices among morphs allows for a lot of interesting options in scenario design; characters might have to roll with the flaws of a morph they didn't choose, or make the best of a limited selection. I dislike, as a rule, mechanics that make gameplay choices more equal. If every choice is equivalent, what is the purpose of making that choice?


From what has been said, it's not so much about equivalency as it is about making lesser forms enjoyable to play at all. If pools are a key new mechanic of the game, lacking pools entirely takes away your chance to enjoy the mechanic. Allegedly, cheap morphs get a small pool of flex due to losing access to other, larger, pools.

I think the goal is to make playing such forms enjoyable, despite the overall low stats. I imagine the Griefer will have a surprising amount of Flex, just to represent its talent for annoying people.

Transhumans will one day be the Luddites of the posthuman age.

Help me get my gaming fix, if you want.

swordchucks swordchucks's picture
A long list of (mostly) minor quibbles

I haven't read all of the posts in this thread, so I'm probably repeating a few things (or am directly in conflict with a few things others want), but here is a quick list of notes I took while reading through the playtest. Many of these are wording changes/edits, but some are more substantial. Overall, I'm positive on the changes, though I'm wary about collapsing things too much and losing the "badass" level that EP1 characters can obtain.

Page 3, top left, when you list the success bonuses -
"Covertness" needs to be clarified a bit. In particular, the "(+/-10 as appropriate)" bit seems a bit obtuse. I can guess at what it means, but would appreciate some clarity.

Page 3, top left, when you list the success bonuses -
"Detail" might work better phrased "You acquire information that is more specific/accurate (success) or false (failure)". Maybe. The wording is just awkward to me.

Page 3, middle left, Criticals -
Critical hit bit - needs the (critical success) notation for consistency - my inclination would be to tweak this to make double damage the default and make reduced armor the GM's discretion - for instance "A critical hit deals double damage or (at the GM's discretion) targets a less armored part of the target, halving their armor value (critical success)"

Page 3, middle left, Criticals -
"Carry +/- 20 forward" - unless this is going to be a new term you use a lot in future chapters, I'd rephrase it to "Gain a +20 (success) or -20 (failure) modifier on the next test you make" in order to keep with the terminology you've been using

Page 3, bottom left, Defaulting -
"but critical successes are ignored." is weird phrasing "but a critical success cannot be achieved" is more accurate.

Page 3, general comment -
(I had a comment about time here, but deleted it once I got to page 5. A crossreference to Taking Time (p5, top right) in the Modifiers rules would be welcome, though. I can see a case for having the rules beside Task Actions, but I can also see a case for having them here. Either way, I'd appreciate a crossreference from the place they aren't.)

Page 3, bottom right, Opposed Tests -
"If any modifiers apply to the situation, they should be applied to whichever side gains an advantage only (...) or to both sides if equally affected (...)" is a bit awkward. How about "Modifiers should apply to the side(s) that are affected by them, which may be may be just one side (...) or both sides (...)"?

Page 3, bottom right, Opposed Tests -
"If both sides tie or fail" may be clearer as "if both sides fail (or succeed with the same die result)"

Page 3-4, transition, Opposed Tests -
"If both opponents roll criticals, the higher roll critically succeeds, the lower critically fails" - the crit fail seems unnecessary. You're actively making it worse to have a low critical success than to have rolled a failure. Why not simply make it "the lower fails"?

Page 4, bottom left, Using Pools -
An explicit mention of being able to (or not) spend multiple pool points on a single check would be fine.

Page 4, bottom left, Using Moxie -
"Ignore the effects of 1 trauma" needs to be expanded. When? Why? If I'm making a Reflex test, do I get to spend a Moxie to ignore the effects of trauma on it? Or is it a longer-duration ignore than that? Without the new trauma rules, I guess it's hard to tell, but it seems too vauge.

Page 4, top right, Using Vigor -
"Ignore the effects of 1 wound" gets the same comment as above. Is this only on linked tests? Any tests? Duration?

Page 4, middle right, Refreshing Pools -
D&D terms? Really? Can we call them "Brief Downtime" and "Extended Downtime" or something instead of using the D&D terms?

Page 4, middle right, Refreshing Pools -
I'd change "You may only take one long rest..." to "You may only benefit from one long rest...". It's subtle, but more accurate.

Page 4, bottom right, Refreshing Pools -
"Rest time-frames may not be shortened or interrupted." What happens if they are?

Page 5, top right, Taking Time -
Given that rolls go 0-99, I'd suggest the automatic success be either "target number reaches 100" or "target number exceeds 99". That extra point seems an odd requirement.

Page 5, top right, Rushing the Job -
The implication here is that a task action that normaly takes a complex action could be done faster using this rule. Is that the intent? Either way, clarifying language would be welcome.

Page 5, middle right, Initiative Order -
"The highest roller" seems odd since you roll and then math the result. "The highest total" is clearer.

Page 7, left middle, Hover -
"In microgravity, impellers function as a one-directional thrust vector." may work better as "In microgravity, treat this as the Thrust Vector movement type, including the use of the Pilot: Aerospace skill." Also, no mention of how they act in vacuum (I'm assuming they don't).

Page 7, right middle, Thrust Vector -
Wikipedia (that faultless source...) tells me that the term should either be "thrust vectoring" or "thrust vector control (TVC)". Vectored thrust control also seems to be okay. Regardless, my more pointed comment is that this section should be tweaked a little to make it clear that normal TVC doesn't work in vacuum. I'd be sorely tempted to add Mass Ejection as a separate category since it's a) the only means of space flight on the list and b) practically different from the non-mass ejection versions in design and logistics.

Moon-Hawk Moon-Hawk's picture
RobBoyle wrote:

RobBoyle wrote:

View it as your morph gets tired. Sure, you're Fury is fast, and you can go faster and more often in a fight, but even a Fury is going to get worn down to "normal" human levels after a while.

This doesn't sit right with me. I get that aptitude modifiers required too much recalculation and had to go. However, to push this example even farther, if at the end of a long adventure, a tuckered-out Remade is no different from a Flat, that feels to me like the mechanics are working at cross-purposes to the transhumanist feel of the setting. Obviously the remade was a bigger badass during that adventure, but that feeling that a better morph is intrinsically better, faster, stronger, smarter than baseline is an important part of the setting, I think. The old mechanics, while cumbersome, reinforced that, and I'd hate to see the baby thrown out with the bathwater. I'm eager to see the morph/sleeving rules, and very hopeful that there is a way to work in some kind of static or passive bonuses for morphs (beyond just health), in addition to the pools, to reinforce that intrinsically superior feel for morphs that warrant it.

DivineWrath DivineWrath's picture
I certainly get why you are

I certainly get why you are worried. Many times, aptitude bonuses are/were the big selling point of a morph.

I did get annoyed with aptitudes for morphs at one point. I made a bunch of morphs where I tried making the augment selection and augment discount the main selling point. Don't forget that the morph creation rules did offer a discount for augments and traits, and allowed you to pick the DUR of a morph.

Urthdigger Urthdigger's picture
A lot of other good points

A lot of other good points have been raised in the thread, but there's one concern I have. So, first off I think I'm starting to like the pool system as a change to the moxie/speed systems we had before, and don't think I didn't notice that it appears to be pushing a three class system of sorts, which may make character generation loads easier. However, I had a bit of a problem with Flex: While the other three may only be used on skills that match their aptitudes, flex can use the old moxie rules on literally every test, on top of the narrative control options. Personally I think it should probably cost extra to affect dice rolls, or be more difficult to raise, as a price for its extra versatility.

Decivre Decivre's picture
I actually just realized a

I actually just realized a potential issue with the final game.

Pools are more confusing when you're managing them for NPCs.

I always avoid giving EP NPCs Moxie in most games, and Fate skirts this issue by giving you Fate points to use for all NPCs at once. But if I have five NPCs in a battle, does that mean I have to manage five vigor pools, five insight pools, five moxie pools AND possibly some flex pools?

Cuz that would be damn confusing. Is there a simplification or alternative mechanic for them?

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SquireNed SquireNed's picture
Typically, most NPCs have

Typically, most NPCs have just one point of something like Moxie, if even.

That's how I've seen it in 90% of games. Big boss enemies and exsurgents may have full pools, but everyone else gets left out.

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Decivre Decivre's picture
SquireNed wrote:Typically,

SquireNed wrote:
Typically, most NPCs have just one point of something like Moxie, if even.

That's how I've seen it in 90% of games. Big boss enemies and exsurgents may have full pools, but everyone else gets left out.


Yeah, but in those games the pool generally represents something more abstract. In Eclipse Phase, your vigor pool is a representation for your physical transhuman enhancements, moxie pool a representation of your social transhuman enhancements, and the insight pool a representation of your mental transhuman enhancements.

If you did group pools, would it be representative of total force and used as needed? Does that mean a physically-boosted Reaper morph can provide his meager Exalt subordinates a boost in vigor? Not that I'd be bothered by this, but it would be interesting to know to what degree this will be abstracted for play.

Transhumans will one day be the Luddites of the posthuman age.

Help me get my gaming fix, if you want.

o11o1 o11o1's picture
To me the obvious answer is

To me the obvious answer is that NPCs just have one single "Omni" pool and then if it's a reaper or whatever, it politely only uses it for Vigor spends, while a Menton NPC tries to only use it for Insight. Unless, of course, the GM needs them to spend otherwise.

I suggest this without having actually seen any more than the rest of you all.

A slight smell of ions....

TheGrue TheGrue's picture
o11o1 wrote:To me the obvious

o11o1 wrote:
To me the obvious answer is that NPCs just have one single "Omni" pool and then if it's a reaper or whatever, it politely only uses it for Vigor spends, while a Menton NPC tries to only use it for Insight. Unless, of course, the GM needs them to spend otherwise.

I suggest this without having actually seen any more than the rest of you all.


Something I've started doing in my EP games is applying a zero-sum approach to Moxie. Whenever a player spends Moxie, one point goes into an NPC Moxie pool; the GM can spend Moxie from that pool on any hostile NPC. When players refresh Moxie, the pool decays a little bit.

If I were to slap together a way for NPCs to spend from pools for EP2E, it'd look something like this.

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swordchucks swordchucks's picture
RE: Pools

I'm less concerned about NPC management (since a single pool with a much cut-down list of options seems like it would be fine) and more about the differentiation between morphs. I'm in agreement that losing the modifiers is good, but I'm less in agreement with the idea of pools being the answer. Unless they're very big pools, you're going to go from "the Fury is a badass" to "the Fury... is a Flat" in just a few combat rounds. That's... a really bad shift.

However, I'll reserve judgement until I see the rules.

fr0id fr0id's picture
I've seen mentioned in the

I've seen mentioned in the kickstarter that morphs will also have morph-specific ways to spend their pools. In addition to this, maybe morphs will also have some intrinsic basic modifiers or abilities?

CordialUltimate2 CordialUltimate2's picture
Each pool can be spent on

Each pool can be spent on connected skills and tests.
Other than that implants are still there.

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ThatWhichNeverWas ThatWhichNeverWas's picture
I'll mention this in the Wishes thread as well.

I'll second the worry about Morphs being characterised by their Pools, if only because it lacks variety. In general I like the pools, but I don't want them too become too central a mechanic.
They're great for abilities which are powerful but where usage restrictions make sense (Eelware anyone?) but for passive upgrades and morph differentiation they're definitely suboptimal.

For this sort of thing, gear/morphs/traits that introduce new roll-derived abilities or reduce action costs can provide both the feeling of increased capability whilst becoming de-facto pool outlets via roll manipulation.

To steal and distort one of Decivre's examples: Character healing is a RPG staple and justified in-game through biomods and Medicine-type skills, so let's assume that some level of healing is always present, and a task action plus roll from another character with appropriate tools can increase that value.
Medichines could then allow a character to perform checks on themselves as though they had tools, and/or reduce the task action's duration.

Unless morphs allow you to bypass restrictions in the economy rules for augments, I'd quite like to see morphs or morph 'families' have small thematic abilities inherent to their design. These needn't be particularly powerful thanks to the pools, but should drive home the reason you didn't just get a basic morph and load it up with augs.

For example, Arachnoids could maybe climb as part of their Automatic Full-Move instead of needing a Complex action, Furies could Aim as a Quick action, Reapers could Reload all their weapons at once, or Remade could have a small selection of 'free' augments of which one can be active at a time, with the selection changeable during long rests.

Regarding the Rest mechanic: Would it make sense to use “after Long Rest, you must wait X hours before you can benefit from another” instead of once per X?

It's a bit of a faux pas, but I'd really like to double down on requesting that the physical nature and/or the ingame reasoning behind resting (morphs being tired) being explicitly stated in the rules.
I think it'd save a lot of discussion/arguments at the table, and I expect that it'll come up often enough for it to justify the word count.

gleech wrote:
We had a GM who really liked Fate, and who did something like what Flex does: every time we'd roll Research (for example) to look for something, he'd say, "ah, tell me about the awesome gun store you found." We the players eventually demanded he stop doing that, because it was screwing up the horror: good horror sort of runs players having limited control, and that's completely defused when you can make arbitrary changes to the universe around you.
...
Also, not that I'm a mean GM, but I'm worrying about players introducing elements that derail stories, defuse traps, don't fit with the tone of the rest of the scenario, or otherwise are to the taste of one player while annoying one or more other players.

For mechanics like these it's really necessary to keep in mind where the pool's limits are; you can introduce an element, but that element can't be an insta-win button – it just opens up new options.
Functionally I find it it's easiest to think this as allowing a skill to be used when it would otherwise make no sense.
For example, if you're imprisoned you could say the guard is an old school friend... but they're still your guard. This can justify the use of Diplomacy (or equivalent) to escape where you would have used Deception or violence beforehand, but you still have to make rolls as normal.
You can also mess with the introduced elements as much as you want; maybe the PC owes them money, or they had a really bad fight, or they know about the PC and Karen so get ready for your beating you backstabbing son of a...

Yes players have some control over the story, but that control is a dwindling resource, and in a horror game those favourable little twists of fate can be the only thing keeping them alive.

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?

CordialUltimate2 CordialUltimate2's picture
ThatWhichNeverWas wrote:I'll

ThatWhichNeverWas wrote:
I'll second the worry about Morphs being characterised by their Pools, if only because it lacks variety. In general I like the pools, but I don't want them too become too central a mechanic.

They're very central now. And as means of differentiating morphs they are not the way to go IMO. You exchange the 7 differentiating stats for 4. For the only morph that feels very distinct is the Reaper. Also the problem is that Steve the Fate Points Bitch in a Splicer, can outperform the ****ing Reaper, if he spents all the Flex as Vigor.

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twodsix twodsix's picture
CordialUltimate2 wrote

CordialUltimate2 wrote:
ThatWhichNeverWas wrote:
I'll second the worry about Morphs being characterised by their Pools, if only because it lacks variety. In general I like the pools, but I don't want them too become too central a mechanic.

They're very central now. And as means of differentiating morphs they are not the way to go IMO. You exchange the 7 differentiating stats for 4. For the only morph that feels very distinct is the Reaper. Also the problem is that Steve the Fate Points Bitch in a Splicer, can outperform the ****ing Reaper, if he spents all the Flex as Vigor.

Except that we can assume a point of Flex has been considered to be equal to several points of Vigor/Insight/Moxie.

So, noting pools as V/I/M/F, a Splicer might have 2/2/2/3 (1/1/1/X should be reserved for flats), while a Fury may have 8/2/2/1, and a Reaper might have 10/1/1/1. Meanwhile a Menton has 2/7/3/1 and a Hyperbright 2/9/1/1, while a Sylph gets 3/3/6/1 and a Synth gets 3/3/3/2. Numbers pulled out of my arse to show that we can probably expect Steve the Fate Point Bitch to severely underperform compared to the Reaper if he spends all his Flex as Vigor, unless Steve has been hording his Flex and Geoff the Combat Octopus has been spending his Vigor (which means Geoff has likely been outperforming Steve for most of the session).

Also, demanding that Splicers are just straight up worse is unfair towards people like me, who like Splicers and tricking them out (because thanks to blueprints and high rep I can theoretically take my mods when I travel, compared to someone who went for a Reaper). While I'd argue that 1e was annoyingly unbalanced in favour of starting with nothing better than a Splicer or possibly Synth if hate to see 2e continue the tend of just making unmodded Splicers worse than anything else.

You can be a combat robot if you want, I'll take my massive collection of biomods, drug glands, and cybernetic implants. I also have about 20 modded bodies on ice around the system, and hop between them as needed (either to wear myself or send a Beta on errands with). Because I don't need an inherently superior body to be transhuman, I just need a body that suits me, and Splicers are good enough as a baseline. Maybe I'd do better starting from Exalts, but I've probably already blown millions of credits and many Rep favours upgrading this collection of Splicers.

Also, I'll be very surprised if pools are all that differentiate morphs (especially Synths). Has the character creation stuff been released yet? Because I want to see the morphs anyway and let this debate become an informed one.

I'm sure that either the core rulebook or players guide will have guidelines for removing higher flex pools for weak morphs so groups that hate it don't have to deal with it, but don't hate the Splicers for being competitive in a game. It's almost as if the objective is for both those in the cutting edge morphs and those in the basic no frills morphs are all having fun, and if the game moves to a point where it's not fun for me then I'll see no point in spending money on it. Heck I'm not backing the kickstarter because I'm voting with my wallet (which is light enough as it is due to being a student), if I like 2e I'll buy a physical book when it comes to my FLGS, it's what I did with 1e.

CordialUltimate2 CordialUltimate2's picture
I didn't sign an NDA or

I didn't sign an NDA or anything, but also I won't post the EARLIER playtest rules online as they are not representative of the final product. I will only hint that high-end morphs get 8 points in pools maximum. And Ego Flex was at 3 max.
Also the cheap morphs don't get enough Flex to outweigh their shittines only to make them playable. (Splicer isn't a shitty morph. I use the Battlesplicer all the time)

The feeling of the high end morphs totally outclassing the low-end is somewhat diminished at least with biomorphs. Case vs Reaper is still very clear.

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Trappedinwikipedia Trappedinwikipedia's picture
Ok Rules check time.

Ok Rules check time.

You can't replicate the effects of Insight, Moxie, or Vigor. It can be used for the 5 dice change options, and for narrative effects. It cannot do the things like gaining extra actions, getting clues without tests, ignoring traumas etc. So you don't need to worry about a splicer spending flex to room clear as well as a Reaper or Fury.

Quote:
Also, demanding that Splicers are just straight up worse is unfair towards people like me, who like Splicers and tricking them out (because thanks to blueprints and high rep I can theoretically take my mods when I travel, compared to someone who went for a Reaper).

That's not remotely unfair. You save 90+ CP on a morph, and demand it to be as good as a morph which costs 10x as much?! It's unfair to the poor sap buying a Reaper if a Splicer with 1/20th the cost can match them. You even went on to list a bunch of benefits from using a Splicer.

It's especially ridiculous because no one (I've seen) actually goes for the high-cost morphs in games anyway. They're too expensive and skills are more valuable. I think the highest CP cost morph I've ever seen in a game was a Sphere at ~60 CP. Pods seem to dominate in my experience because they get the job done while costing less than other options. The Basic Pod is probably the best morph in the game, as it costs as much as a Case, but is just about as good as a Splicer. It's super cheap and functional. (Even if my last character used an Ayah, because they're also a really cheap Sylph)

I'm hoping the new rules for gear acquisition help with this actually, because it's kind of lame having a lot of cool and more "out there" bodies, but knowing that basically all of them except the budget powerhouse Pods are sub-optimal choices, and basically exist for flavor purposes like the fun Interest skills.

twodsix twodsix's picture
Trappedinwikipedia wrote

Trappedinwikipedia wrote:
Quote:
Also, demanding that Splicers are just straight up worse is unfair towards people like me, who like Splicers and tricking them out (because thanks to blueprints and high rep I can theoretically take my mods when I travel, compared to someone who went for a Reaper).

That's not remotely unfair. You save 90+ CP on a morph, and demand it to be as good as a morph which costs 10x as much?! It's unfair to the poor sap buying a Reaper if a Splicer with 1/20th the cost can match them. You even went on to list a bunch of benefits from using a Splicer.

It's especially ridiculous because no one (I've seen) actually goes for the high-cost morphs in games anyway. They're too expensive and skills are more valuable. I think the highest CP cost morph I've ever seen in a game was a Sphere at ~60 CP. Pods seem to dominate in my experience because they get the job done while costing less than other options. The Basic Pod is probably the best morph in the game, as it costs as much as a Case, but is just about as good as a Splicer. It's super cheap and functional. (Even if my last character used an Ayah, because they're also a really cheap Sylph)

I'm hoping the new rules for gear acquisition help with this actually, because it's kind of lame having a lot of cool and more "out there" bodies, but knowing that basically all of them except the budget powerhouse Pods are sub-optimal choices, and basically exist for flavor purposes like the fun Interest skills.

I have literally no problem with Splicers in 1e, I think they might be too good compared to higher CP options, but I have no problems with them it's the stronger morphs that I think are worthless (at least at character creation, I can see trying to get one in game if it would be useful). I'm sorry if it wasn't clear, but I was specifically talking about 2e, where people like me who don't have access to the early playtest documents have no clue about how morphs are acquired at character creation, so I've been assuming (based on 'weaker' morphs getting bonus flex) that there isn't going to be a 'Splicers cost 10CP, Security Pods cost 30CP, Reapers cost 100CP' thing, but the morphs are roughly balanced game wise and you pick whichever one looks like what you want.

In other words, I'm assuming that by the time I've spent enough resources to make a Basic Pod or Splicer as good as a baseline Reaper then the person playing the guy in a Reaper Morph has had the exact same resources to upgrade their character, and might be running around in a supercharged Reaper with twelve integrated plasma weapons that they can fire as a single action or whatever (assuming you can even get a Splicer to a baseline Reaper level). Now if I'm wrong and morphs still have a CP cost (rather than just a Rep cost) I'm fine with Splicers being weaker, but I feel like that'll lead to another case of 'is a fancy morph worth the lost skill points' situation.

I have a feeling we're all arguing from different viewpoints on the morphs front, and that is why I want the character creation rules to come out already (or for there to be an official statement on how morph acquisition both at character creation and in-game works). I think there will likely be much less disagreement when it's discovered morphs do/do not cost CP at character creation, because at the very least I'll shut up if they do.

Trappedinwikipedia Trappedinwikipedia's picture
Ah, that makes more sense. I

Ah, that makes sense. I agree with your concerns then, because with gear costs mostly gone across the board I don't see a reason to ever go for the lower end models when time allows. It'll be nice to see some of the niche expensive morphs come out, but I don't know what will counterbalance going for anything but the most capable choice.

I don't think Flex really will because the other pools are stronger IMO. The narrative "mother may I" stuff with the GM and dice roll ranges don't really match up the neo-speed, trauma/wound ignoring, and the other things. Especially with it probably coming in smaller numbers. If I'm going for a smart character I'd value my ability to auto-pass investigation checks much more than my ability to pull a handgun at a convenient moment or whatever. Similarly for a fighting character, I'd value neo-speed and ignoring wounds, more than calling on the help of trustworthy or powerful/useful NPCs.

IDK though, hard to judge without knowing the pool depth and how much, if any, is from Ego not morph.

Maybe they're just messing with the acquisition time. If you've got the blueprints you can get a Reaper in ~5 hours in EP1, but maybe that's inflated up a lot in EP2.

It's really hard to judge with 7 pages of rules though. I'm hoping the next release is enough to actually play with, because most theorizing ends up wrong without some data to anchor it.

Decivre Decivre's picture
This exact argument going on

This exact argument going on is probably why they are trying to balance these things. The game counterintuitively encourages you towards weaker morphs at start, because skills, traits and software are far superior to equipment and sleeves.

I personally like the idea of trying to balance morphs against each other and open up selection. It means that GMs can limit morph selection to what really matters: locale, access, character concept and theme of play. Perhaps we'll get a set of points specifically offset for morph and implants (with bioconservative characters being able to purchase Flex to compensate).

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eaton eaton's picture
Quote:I don't think Flex

Quote:
I don't think Flex really will because the other pools are stronger IMO. The narrative "mother may I" stuff with the GM and dice roll ranges don't really match up the neo-speed, trauma/wound ignoring, and the other things. Especially with it probably coming in smaller numbers. If I'm going for a smart character I'd value my ability to auto-pass investigation checks much more than my ability to pull a handgun at a convenient moment or whatever. Similarly for a fighting character, I'd value neo-speed and ignoring wounds, more than calling on the help of trustworthy or powerful/useful NPCs.

Sure, but Flex points can be used *in place of* any other point type, in addition to providing Flex-specific options. So they're a sort of catch-all point that highly, ahem, *flexible* characters would benefit the most from.

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