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 Post subject: Re: the Core Mechanic
PostPosted: Thu Jan 10, 2008 8:34 am 
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dancross wrote:
The core mechanic is based on die-ranks. For any single ability, die type corresponds to “rank,.” The more sides on the die, the higher the rank. Ability ranks normally progress from D4 through D12. This is the “die-rank.”

Examples...The Swordsman swings, rolling D4+D8+D4 (+3 threat points due to sword type), and gets the result of 13 (plus 3), for a total of 16 threat points. The fighter uses his "Weaponry" Defense Pool to defend, but only had 10 points in that score. 6 threat points penetrate to his leather armor. The player rolls 1D6 for his leather armor, gets a 6, and breathes a sigh of relief. His "toughness" defense is untouched.


From the example above, it shows that attacks and armor are based on die rolls (ranks). But defenses seem to be pools that get depleated (refreshed each encounter).

Was there a reason you did this in your game design (instead of, say...using die ranks (roll) for defenses as well)?

The obvious advantage I can see of keeping a 'pool' system for defenses is that eventually you will wear-down an opponent, but using a die-roll defense system a combat could go on for a long time...

The obvious disadvantage I can see in a 'pool' defense is that most attackers will miss the first attack (because the defender's pool is still fresh). While not a big deal in melee, how does this work with missiles (e.g., do all targets usually dodge the first arrow fired at them)?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jan 10, 2008 10:04 pm 
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Banesfinger wrote:
From the example above, it shows that attacks and armor are based on die rolls (ranks). But defenses seem to be pools that get depleated (refreshed each encounter)...was there a reason you did this in your game design (instead of, say...using die ranks (roll) for defenses as well)?


Yes, there are several reasons why we chose ablative hitpoint pools as modes of defense rather than opposed rolls, or an "AC" like mechanic. First, I wanted mechanics that best supported the semantics of the game. Rather than say "roll to hit" it's "roll to determine threat points". It helps players get into the narrative feel of the action when they choose a mode of defense against each attack. It cuts out extra dice rolling, to cut to the chase, so to speak, by eliminating the to-hit rolls.

Quote:
The obvious advantage I can see of keeping a 'pool' system for defenses is that eventually you will wear-down an opponent, but using a die-roll defense system a combat could go on for a long time...


A die-roll defense system can go on for a long time, indeed. In my experience combat systems that rely on opposed rolls do run the risk of becoming endless dice rolling-fests, especially with two characters of equal power. So you nailed that one.

Quote:
The obvious disadvantage I can see in a 'pool' defense is that most attackers will miss the first attack (because the defender's pool is still fresh). While not a big deal in melee, how does this work with missiles (e.g., do all targets usually dodge the first arrow fired at them)?


I would say only those targets whose Speed and Agility abilities (in ERP) are high would always dodge the first arrow. It really depends on the target's characteristics. Just so, not all melee attacks will fail to penetrate active defenses and affect a targets armor...it all depends on the opponent's abilities. Defense pools are usually determined by the maximum value of the root abilities. For example, a warrior with D12 melee and a Specialization in Bludgeons of D8 has 20 Weaponry points. He uses this pool to defend himself in whatever way is appropriate for the weapon held. The passive defenses do have carefully chosen multipliers (via playtest) so characters don't drop dead immediately when armor is penetrated.

So, there is as much variety in the interplay between attacks and defense as there are combinations of abilities and their derivative Defense Pools.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jan 11, 2008 8:01 am 
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Very good explanation Dancross, thanks :D

One additional question:

Are there any limitations on the amount you must deduct from your defense pools? For example, if you are the target of 10 threat points, must you deduct all, some or none of those from your pool?

The reason I ask is that if a target has armour (say 1d6 leather), he knows his armor will always stop at least 1 point. So if he took 10 threat points, he would be wise to only deduct 9 from his pool and let his armor take care of the remaining point. He could even play the 'odds' and hope for an average d6 armor roll of "3" and deduct 7 from his defense pool instead.

Did this occur in playtesting?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jan 11, 2008 9:45 pm 
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Banesfinger wrote:
Are there any limitations on the amount you must deduct from your defense pools? For example, if you are the target of 10 threat points, must you deduct all, some or none of those from your pool?


Hello! The core rules state "...a chosen defense pool must absorb all the damage, even if depleted to less than zero. In other words, one cannot choose to use only a few points from one or several Defense Pools; it is all or nothing. Depletion beyond zero means the attacker penetrated the Active Defense. Luckily, armor normally reduces threat points exceeding the defenders chosen defense".

Quote:
The reason I ask is that if a target has armour (say 1d6 leather), he knows his armor will always stop at least 1 point. So if he took 10 threat points, he would be wise to only deduct 9 from his pool and let his armor take care of the remaining point. He could even play the 'odds' and hope for an average d6 armor roll of "3" and deduct 7 from his defense pool instead.


I wrote the rules as such to avoid the use of armor as a permanent means of damage reduction round after round. That doesn't preclude creating an advantage allowing the use of a single active DP as you described, to enhance the utility of armor. That would need to be carefully playtested. so it didn't come up in playtest, but it remains an interesting idea.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jan 13, 2008 1:48 pm 
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Hi Dan!

Having been absent from this forum for some weeks I was all the more surprised to see the announcement of ELDRITCH. After what I have read so far it seems to be a really interesting game/system. But what I ask myself is this: with all the 4E craze going about don't you believe that developing and publishing a non-D20 fantasy roleplaying system at this time is perhaps a little risky? At least in terms of how much audience it is likely to garner? Even 4E opponents might not want a new RPG but will probably stick to 3.5 instead.

What are your thoughts on this?

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jan 13, 2008 3:48 pm 
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Argamae wrote:
Hi Dan!

Having been absent from this forum for some weeks I was all the more surprised to see the announcement of ELDRITCH. After what I have read so far it seems to be a really interesting game/system. But what I ask myself is this: with all the 4E craze going about don't you believe that developing and publishing a non-D20 fantasy roleplaying system at this time is perhaps a little risky? At least in terms of how much audience it is likely to garner? Even 4E opponents might not want a new RPG but will probably stick to 3.5 instead.

What are your thoughts on this?


I don't know if I'd be able to predict the best time to release a non-D20 fantasy game. I feel that Goodman's support gives me a far better chance at success than if I attempted to bring it to the market myself.

I started developing this game seven years ago, about the time 3E was coming about, when I was still writing "Lejendary Adventure" material for fanzines. My co-author and lead developers have been waiting a long, long time to find just the right publisher for this material, and I believe we've found exactly the right company to work with us.

I can't say more than that without jinxing myself, so I'll shut up. ;)


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 Post subject: Re: Will Eldritch Role Playing be OGL?
PostPosted: Mon Jan 14, 2008 5:45 pm 
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Ainereve has been described as a 'mid-fantasy' setting. It has also been mentioned that Eldritch is designed to be instantly compatible with anything approaching "classic" fantasy game settings.
dancross wrote:
Customizing ERP is easy, whether it's for unique races or new powers and abilities (I admit that statement can only be proven by individual experience).


Would it be possible (IYO) to use ERP for low-magic, or low-fantasy settings (e.g., ancient Greece, Vikings, etc)?
How much work would be needed to achieve this (or could it be done with minimal issues right-out-of-the-box)?


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 Post subject: Re: Will Eldritch Role Playing be OGL?
PostPosted: Tue Jan 15, 2008 12:23 am 
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Banesfinger wrote:
Would it be possible (IYO) to use ERP for low-magic, or low-fantasy settings (e.g., ancient Greece, Vikings, etc)?
How much work would be needed to achieve this


Very little work would be required. You could restrict the Arcanum skill altogether, which would eliminate all magic use, or change the scope and power of the twelve major "Effects". Or you could change how the Passive Defense of Resilience is calculated, increasing defense scores, making magic even less effective. Magic and magic items are not automatically assumed in the advancement of characters, or in balancing of encounters at various levels.


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 Post subject: Re: New Fantasy RPG?
PostPosted: Tue Jan 15, 2008 8:56 am 
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dancross wrote:
As you noted, it is a classless system; characters are built by choosing any combination of abilities. Beginning characters are created using character points, and are granted additional points to improve abilities as they earn levels. Occupation is presented as an option for additional direction.


Advancement

How does one gain levels (and thus character points). Is this an XP system (e.g., D&D), or do you get better at skills you use (e.g., RuneQuest), or some other combination?

How does ERP guide/restrict skill advancement? For example, you play several sessions in a desert, but a PC wants to advance his swimming skill. Can he automatically do this when he gets his character points?

How does 'occupation' (from quote above) help guide advancement?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jan 15, 2008 10:08 pm 
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Banesfinger wrote:
How does one gain levels (and thus character points). Is this an XP system (e.g., D&D), or do you get better at skills you use (e.g., RuneQuest), or some other combination?


ERP bases Advancement on two types of experience point (XP) scores: Victory Points and Role-Playing Points. In order to advance in level, each character must earn the requisite number of Victory Points and Role-Playing Points. Having gained a new level, a hero earns Character Points, which are the currency of character advancement, used to buy or improve abilities. You earn Victory Points by defeating monsters or escaping dangerous situations. You earn Role-Playing Points when playing your character concept well, or by coming up with fun, good ideas that further the story.

To advance to the next level of experience, a
character must achieve two things:
1. Victory points equal to the character’s current
level of experience.
2. One hundred Role-Playing Points, representing
100% capability within the current level of
experience.

And yes, there are simple rules in place for when characters have enough VPs, but not enough RPs, or the reverse (Excess Points is a third category of XP, used as a game balance mechanic). For example, 100 excess points (which are overflow RPs) convert to 1 VP, if the character doesn't have enough VP to advance a level. Also, each excess VP convert to 20 RPs. So, low levels adventurers tend to advance quickly by means of VPs (combat and danger), but at higher levels, they depend more on RPs (thinking and story interaction).

Quote:
How does ERP guide/restrict skill advancement? For example, you play several sessions in a desert, but a PC wants to advance his swimming skill. Can he automatically do this when he gets his character points?


From the core rules: "For each level of advancement, a player character cannot purchase more than one increase to an ability’s rank value, including Specialization or Mastery dice. In other words, a character may move an existing ability up from D4 to D6, but not from D4 to D8 for a single level of advancement. However, he can purchase any number of new abilities, including Specializations and Masteries". The GM may determine whether a character has access to the sort of training environment needed to add a new ability, specialization, or mastery.

Quote:
How does 'occupation' (from quote above) help guide advancement?


Occupation is a guide for players and GMs in deciding what assortments of abilities are well suited to the campaign world. The ones given in the core rules are geared for your classic epic fantasy setting. They serve as templates.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jan 16, 2008 8:48 am 
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Dan, the more I read about your Eldricth RPG, more excited I'm getting about it!

I hope a quickstart is soon to follow!

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jan 16, 2008 9:15 am 
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Coleston the Cavalier wrote:
Dan, the more I read about your Eldricth RPG, more excited I'm getting about it!

I hope a quickstart is soon to follow!


Actually, there will be a quickstart (the sample adventure is in playtest right now), and more Designers Blog entries too. Stay tuned... :D


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jan 17, 2008 4:50 pm 
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dancross wrote:
Coleston the Cavalier wrote:
Dan, the more I read about your Eldricth RPG, more excited I'm getting about it!

I hope a quickstart is soon to follow!


Actually, there will be a quickstart (the sample adventure is in playtest right now), and more Designers Blog entries too. Stay tuned... :D


Can't wait to see it!

(Though I've already pretty much decided to buy the book when it comes out)

M


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 Post subject: Sold?
PostPosted: Fri Jan 18, 2008 2:39 pm 
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Will bookstore chains such as B&N and Borders be carrying Eldritch? If so, when will they be stocking it?

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 Post subject: Re: Sold?
PostPosted: Fri Jan 18, 2008 2:47 pm 
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joela wrote:
Will bookstore chains such as B&N and Borders be carrying Eldritch? If so, when will they be stocking it?


Most Goodman Games products can be ordered through B&N and Borders, but they are rarely kept in stock on the shelves unless an individual store has someone on staff who is really into RPGs. And for something like this, it'll probably take a month or two after the official release date before they'll have it in the warehouses. I speak from the knowledge of being a former B&N employee.

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 Post subject: month
PostPosted: Fri Jan 18, 2008 3:10 pm 
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thanks, mythfish. i'll start querying the stores in either March or April.

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 Post subject: Re: the Core Mechanic
PostPosted: Mon Jan 21, 2008 8:40 am 
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It has been show that the main game mechanic is based on ascending die-ranks, tiered into a basic > specialization > mastery format.

How does (superior) equipment and/or environment affect this?

From the quote below, it looks like it is a simple bonus to the die results.
dancross wrote:
The Swordsman swings, rolling D4+D8+D4 (+3 threat points due to sword type), and gets the result of 13 (plus 3), for a total of 16 threat points.


Is it as simple as Dagger +1, short sword +2, long sword +3 (for example)?
If so, why would anyone choose a dagger over a long sword?

How about the environment? Is an Archer firing into a rainy wind storm, while rocking in the ship's crows nest, at -3 to his die result for example?


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 Post subject: Re: the Core Mechanic
PostPosted: Mon Jan 21, 2008 8:30 pm 
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Banesfinger wrote:
It has been show that the main game mechanic is based on ascending die-ranks, tiered into a basic > specialization > mastery format. How does (superior) equipment and/or environment affect this?


There are bonuses or penalites based on equipment or environment. These are based on weapon type, shield type, or considerations like cover from ranged missile fire.

Quote:
Is it as simple as Dagger +1, short sword +2, long sword +3 (for example)?
If so, why would anyone choose a dagger over a long sword?


Different weapons have different "max-split" ratings, which is the number of times a dice pool can be split into different attacks. A dagger would have a greater max-split and a higher initiative bonus than a great sword or big axe. So weapons differ in harm bonuses and initiative bonuses. Also, Mastery (the third tier of an ability-dice-chain) adds various amounts of bonus points to ones "Weaponry Defense" hitpoint pool. This varies by weapon too. In the end, however, a knife can kill as readily as a sword, in the right hands.

Quote:
How about the environment? Is an Archer firing into a rainy wind storm, while rocking in the ship's crows nest, at -3 to his die result for example?


There is no "to-hit" roll for archers, but situations such as the one you mentioned can do much to mitigate or even cancel Potential-Harm. The GM can used reduced die-ranks, or straight reduction to threat points, or even force a "opposed roll" ability versus ability (rarely).


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