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 Post subject: What you really don't like . . .
PostPosted: Wed Jul 13, 2011 9:17 am 
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Wild-Eyed Zealot

Joined: Sun Jul 10, 2011 5:50 am
Posts: 96
To complement the "What you really like . . ." thread I decided to start this thread for the negative stuff (hey I posted a lot of positive stuff too :) ), eventhough I appear to be late to this playtesting round (oh well better late than never). I will note that I haven't played this game yet and have only read through it.

1) In looking to later editions for better mechaincs that can be applied to the Appendix N stuff I find it curious that the designesr stopped at 3.5. I think 4e has some good changes that could work well in this game. I know the designers are going for a high mortality game but as I stated in another thread that doesn't seem to fit with what I know of the the Appendix N genre. The stories I am familiar with (mostly Conan and the Gray Mouser stuff) don't have high mortality for the main characters. So I think the 4e higher HP at first level and healing surges would have been great additions to this game and fit the appendix N stuff better.

2) Speaking of the Appendix N main characters they didn't have ability scores stats either. Conan was very strong, quick, and smart. Fafhrad was definitely very strong as well. Speaking of 4e a point buy system seems like it would work better than rolling stats.

3) On the same note I don't understand the 0-level average Joe thing. I am an average Joe in real life. I don't need a game to pretend to be one. The main characters in the Appendix N stories didn't start out as a group of 15-20 average Joes and by luck just happened to be the ones that survived. I guess I just don't get this tone for the game. It seems to be emulating OD&D more than Appendix N and I thought the goal was to change the things from OD&D that didn't fit with Appendix N.

4) Speaking of Appendix N. Are clerics represented in Appendix N? Again this seems like an OD&D retread than inspired by Appendix N.

5) There are a lot of tables to reference during the game. Seems like too much book referencing during play, but I will see how this one comes off in actual play.

That all I can think of for now. If I totally have misunderstood the appendix N thing then please enlighten me. Like I said I haven't read much of it but what I do know of it just seems different than what is presented in this game.


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 Post subject: Re: What you really don't like . . .
PostPosted: Wed Jul 13, 2011 10:52 am 
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Mighty-Thewed Reaver
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Joined: Sun Jun 19, 2011 5:28 am
Posts: 357
fjw70 wrote:
To complement the "What you really like . . ." thread I decided to start this thread for the negative stuff (hey I posted a lot of positive stuff too :) ), eventhough I appear to be late to this playtesting round (oh well better late than never). I will note that I haven't played this game yet and have only read through it.

1) In looking to later editions for better mechaincs that can be applied to the Appendix N stuff I find it curious that the designesr stopped at 3.5. I think 4e has some good changes that could work well in this game. I know the designers are going for a high mortality game but as I stated in another thread that doesn't seem to fit with what I know of the the Appendix N genre. The stories I am familiar with (mostly Conan and the Gray Mouser stuff) don't have high mortality for the main characters. So I think the 4e higher HP at first level and healing surges would have been great additions to this game and fit the appendix N stuff better.

I have no experience in appendix N, except form the ideas i got from these forums. I think though that the fact that 0-level HPs are added to those gained at 1st level should give a few more HPs at first level than at further levels. Healing surges are something i hate about 4E, it's so videogamey... but that's just me!
I like the tuning down that HPs and damage got in this game. Everything makes more sense, when even a 10th level wizard won't have much more than 30 HPs and could be killed by a volley of goblin arrows if he couldn't cast a spell first. Similarly, having monsters with less HDs (even in 3.5 i didn't like those 150+ HPs monsters...) is healthy for the game as every monster is both a threat and a challenge, no matter what level you are. Just as 10 goblins might be lucky enough to surprise a 10th level wizard, 15 0-level PCs could be strong enough to kill a 5HD hydra. In 3.x that's impossible - that's why in 3.x there were CR.


Quote:
2) Speaking of the Appendix N main characters they didn't have ability scores stats either. Conan was very strong, quick, and smart. Fafhrad was definitely very strong as well. Speaking of 4e a point buy system seems like it would work better than rolling stats.

This has been already debated, check the forums, but in the end it seems that if you mess with the randomness of PC generation you're demolishing the game from its base. Nothing stops you to devise your point-base system for PC gen, of course! but you might not get the same feeling from the game.

Quote:
3) On the same note I don't understand the 0-level average Joe thing. I am an average Joe in real life. I don't need a game to pretend to be one. The main characters in the Appendix N stories didn't start out as a group of 15-20 average Joes and by luck just happened to be the ones that survived. I guess I just don't get this tone for the game. It seems to be emulating OD&D more than Appendix N and I thought the goal was to change the things from OD&D that didn't fit with Appendix N.

Remember: History is written by the winners. This also replies to your mortality-rate doubt. Maybe the tales you heard or read, about Conan or Gray Mouser were just a few of the many, inglorious adventures that every day end with the death of the protagonist, without anyone there to write or sing about it. Your role as a DCCRPG actor is to try and be one of those few who survive, if you can... and if that is not the case, well try to have fun in the process that brought to your grisly death. :wink:

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4) Speaking of Appendix N. Are clerics represented in Appendix N? Again this seems like an OD&D retread than inspired by Appendix N.

I don't know about this, but the idea i got is that this game is not just an "appendix N" based RPG. It should be OD&D if Gygax could have focused more on his sources (App N) than on rulecrafting. Of course, the cleric is a staple in OD&D so it has the right to be in there IMHO.

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5) There are a lot of tables to reference during the game. Seems like too much book referencing during play, but I will see how this one comes off in actual play.

This is true. A lot of tables. :? But you get used to them, and if you spread them around the table (like i will do tonight in playtest) like... you give John the Crit tables, Eric the Fumbles, Matt the Corruptions... table surfing becomes quicker and involves the players as well.

Quote:
That all I can think of for now. If I totally have misunderstood the appendix N thing then please enlighten me. Like I said I haven't read much of it but what I do know of it just seems different than what is presented in this game.

This were just my 2 cents so please don't pay them more attention that they deserve :lol: wait for someone more "enlighted" to reply :oops:

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 Post subject: Re: What you really don't like . . .
PostPosted: Wed Jul 13, 2011 11:27 am 
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Chaos-Summoning Sorcerer

Joined: Mon Mar 14, 2011 5:28 am
Posts: 779
fjw70 wrote:
1) In looking to later editions for better mechaincs that can be applied to the Appendix N stuff I find it curious that the designesr stopped at 3.5. I think 4e has some good changes that could work well in this game. I know the designers are going for a high mortality game but as I stated in another thread that doesn't seem to fit with what I know of the the Appendix N genre. The stories I am familiar with (mostly Conan and the Gray Mouser stuff) don't have high mortality for the main characters. So I think the 4e higher HP at first level and healing surges would have been great additions to this game and fit the appendix N stuff better.

First, 4e has legal issues around it that would prohibit the use of some of its rules. Second, Appendix N is the inspiration but Joseph appears not to be slavishly devoted to that inspiration. See my answer to Q3 below for more.

Quote:
2) Speaking of the Appendix N main characters they didn't have ability scores stats either. Conan was very strong, quick, and smart. Fafhrad was definitely very strong as well. Speaking of 4e a point buy system seems like it would work better than rolling stats.

This goes against the entire feel being sought. The idea is to jump into the game and just play. Decision making in character design prohibits that. If you notice, the only choice you make at 0-level is your alignment. Everything else is randomly generated. At first level you get to choose your class, if you are human, and you get to buy equipment.

Quote:
3) On the same note I don't understand the 0-level average Joe thing. I am an average Joe in real life. I don't need a game to pretend to be one. The main characters in the Appendix N stories didn't start out as a group of 15-20 average Joes and by luck just happened to be the ones that survived. I guess I just don't get this tone for the game. It seems to be emulating OD&D more than Appendix N and I thought the goal was to change the things from OD&D that didn't fit with Appendix N.

Howard and Lieber just never got around to writing those early stories about Conan and the Mouser. :) DCCRPG is a game first and an homage to Appendix N second. Everyone who has tried the funnel has enjoyed it. You really root for the plucky characters that survive the funnel: moreso than most other 1st level characters you've ever played.

Quote:
5) There are a lot of tables to reference during the game. Seems like too much book referencing during play, but I will see how this one comes off in actual play.

Once 1st level play starts each player should have a copy of the critical hit charts appropriate to their class. Wizards and clerics should have "spell books" containing their spells as well as the side effect charts common to all spellcasting. This reduces the amount of page flipping at the table.


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 Post subject: Re: What you really don't like . . .
PostPosted: Thu Jul 14, 2011 8:14 am 
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Tight-Lipped Warlock

Joined: Fri Jan 28, 2011 2:52 pm
Posts: 1089
My biggest beef with the Beta as-is are the spell charts and levels. Specifically, how the results of lower level spells are on par or even better than higher level spells. And that's not a huge issue. It bugs me, though, and I think it will be a more significant issue over time. I don't think I'll be using the spell charts as-is long-term anyway, unless there's significant auditing.

I agree with the OP about hit points. I don't think zero level PCs should get a hit point boost. I like the funnel the way it is, for the most part. I do think leveled characters should get a hit point boost and that the hit points earned per level and from STA bonus should be mitigated. I've discussed this in earlier threads. It's not a problem I have with DCC though. It's a problem I have with all D&D games (and games taking inspiration from D&D) -- except 4e, of course, which I think went too far the other way.

Most of my recommendations for DCC are in this thread. Some of them I hadn't pinned down until I sat a group of people around the table. Some of them were issues whose math perked up my ears and then were confirmed in play. And there were some (like the hit points thing I just mentioned) that were a big deal before the Beta but just dropped off the map in comparison to other issues I'd noticed and their relative effect on actual play.

Most of the bullet-points in that thread are "nice to haves", not must-haves. The spell chart thing is about the only thing where the math is so egregiously broken that it presents a risk, IMO, to groups taking the game seriously long-term.

Of the rest of that list, I'd qualify some sort of stat boost per level (or every other level), faster recovery of hit points post-encounter, making the Lucky Roll a straight +1, expanding the role and applicability of the Attack/Class die idea and more colorful (read: 4e-ish) monster stats as the changes that would most likely impact gameplay in the most positive fashion.

And I'd qualify spell "fizzle" effects on the charts, tweaking Mercurial Magic and Corruption, using my Divine Aid chart and jmuchiello's d10 "untrained" skill rolls as really nice changes that could make the game more fun in more specific circumstances.

I'm not putting % Thief skills in there because Joseph has already said those are being changed.

As the list illustrates, most of these are really minor changes (except the spells thing). A lot of them could be explained in a paragraph or less. I have no problem with some of them being in a "variant rule" appendix or whatnot. I like games that allow me to adjust various dials to make them play different ways. Some of them will be easy to house-rule. Some will not -- like new spell charts.

Which I need to work on, as soon as I'm done reading Dance With Dragons.


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 Post subject: Re: What you really don't like . . .
PostPosted: Mon Mar 12, 2012 8:18 am 
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Mighty-Thewed Reaver
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Joined: Wed Mar 07, 2012 8:24 pm
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Location: The end of time.
It seemed that the solution to an authors description of a character was always

Conan str18, agi18, sta18, per18, Int18,luck 17 (spent one avoiding that spider in Tower of the Elephant)
Just look at the competition's stats to Mr Salvator's characters. At that rate, why don't we just play Villains and Vigilanties (showing my age here). What is strong or the ability to move like a panther? 12? 15? I'm happy with above average.


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