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 Post subject: Infernal Crucible of Sezrekan the Mad - Austin, Texas (6/24)
PostPosted: Tue Jun 28, 2011 7:41 pm 
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Tight-Lipped Warlock

Joined: Fri Jan 28, 2011 2:52 pm
Posts: 1084
I ran a 5th level game of the Infernal Crucible for the same group I ran Portal Under the Stars for on June 15th. Keeping this in my same format. Summary info seems long enough without writing up a play-by-play.

Summary
As good as the 0-level games were, I came away feeling the 5th level game was just a little bit unfinished. There were things that bugged me a little and somethings that bugged me a lot and other things I thought would bug me but didn't at all. Overall, the 5th level game wasn't as tight as the 0-level game. I think part of that was unfamiliarity with the rules. But the players got that figured out pretty quickly. So I think there's another part of the mechanics that just didn't gel with them.

The Party
Player A
Started with meager 3e experience. Plays mostly 4e but was involved in a Basic D&D campaign recently. Prefers the hijinks and speed of older rulesets, although still likes 4e a good bit.
  • Thud O'Malley - Warrior

Player B
Feels strongly that 4e is the best edition ever. Has played 2e but came on board during the 3e era.
  • Quinenthal - Elf

Player C
Has played AD&D on. Hard to gauge which edition he favors. Enjoys a little bit about all of them. But is very critical of all of them as well.
  • Slaan-Ti - Cleric

Player D
Not sure if he played in the 3e era. Plays mostly 4e. Has some issues with it but likes it significantly enough to keep it going. Enjoys older rulesets but has had limited exposure.
  • Thumbs O'Malley - Thief

Player E
He's really into World of Darkness. And likes 4e a good deal.
  • Bartholomew Quo - Halfling


Highlights
  • Player B had a Mercurial Magic talent that allowed him to roll a d30 on his Magic Missile attempts. This was pretty wild, until he rolled poorly enough to lose the spell.
  • Nobody died. But Player B's Elf got left behind in the dungeon. Funny scene at the end where everyone made a mad dash for the door. Player B rolled really poorly on initiative.
  • The group played smart up until the last room, where they just walked in like it was no big deal. Elzemon dropped some electroshock therapy on them and then it got, as they say, REAL.


Player Commentary
I did a post-mortem after the session to get the players' thoughts and impressions on the mechanics and the game in general. Here's what I got. Note these are unfiltered/uncensored feedback I solicited post-game. Just because it's here doesn't mean I want the changes in DCC or that I agree with the player in question. See my observations below to get a feel for my thoughts on the session.
  • Player C really, really did not like the Cleric. Mostly because he rolled poorly on spellcasting, felt the Cleric spell list was pretty vanilla and felt the spell check penalty was punitive compared to what Wizards got.
  • Player D felt the Thief needed to do more damage. He felt that backstab's criticals were okay but weren't all that great, compared to being able to do x2 or x4 damage.
  • Player D didn't care for the Thief percentage skills at all. Others commented on them in a negative fashion.
  • Player B liked playing the Elf and felt that the arcane spellcasting was pretty cool.
  • Player A liked the Warrior and really liked the Attack Die instead of the bonus. Most other players wanted a die like that and made numerous suggestions on getting one for the other classes as well. Big hit there.
  • All players (even E who was new to DCC) wanted some means of increasing stats. There was a Spell Fumble and a Disapproval in this session. The players were more concerned about (A) getting a low stat out of the gutter or (B) getting a damaged stat back up to its previous rating than getting 18s or 20s in a stat.
  • All players requested a way to recover between combats. The Cleric was rolling poorly and wasn't getting the healing out there. Players requested a number of possibilities, from rolling a d6 to rolling a die and adding level to healing surges.
  • All felt pretty strongly that Luck offered a poor value for its expenditure. They unanimously requested that it be its own thing.
  • All (there was a lot of group agreement in this session) wanted something like Wisdom brought back. There were a couple of situations where Personality and Intelligence didn't cut it and it felt forced to have them roll one of those.
  • Player B sent out a compliment to the chef on not having negative hit points.
  • Player C wanted an Attack Die for the Cleric. He felt left behind by the characters that got two action dice and by the Wizard's mojo.
  • Player B pointed out that the way the spells scaled was insane. When I told him they were all "1st level" spells he about choked on his beer. He used several spells and the effects he got from them were pretty out there. Like slaying 4 creatures with one shot. Or putting a squad of hobgoblins to sleep for a day.
  • Player E felt the game was too swingy with the d20 and low bonuses. He thought it might work better using 2d10.
  • Both Player C and Player D felt the damage wasn't evened out among the classes. The Elf was just a killing machine. The Warrior did a boatload of damage. The Thief got crits that were interesting but didn't hurt opponents much. The other two classes were just kinda there.



My Observations
  • At 5th level, we used the funky dice a lot more. The Warrior rolled a d8 and ignored 8s for a d7 with no fuss. The dice were not a significant issue at all. Not one complaint, despite reluctance early on in the first playtest with this group.
  • The Infernal Crucible is light on the combat. But I'm here to test the rules. So I threw in an intro combat prior to the party finding the portal. I'm glad I did because it gave me some useful insight.
  • Monsters by-the-book are really boring. Very AD&D swing-hit/miss, swing-hit/miss. I'm a good DM and even I had a hard time spicing up the encounters. Combats were a bit of a slog, especially the Ape. I think DCC could benefit by borrowing some 4e-isms for their monsters.
  • At 5th level, the PCs were pretty buff in everything but their saves. I could see this being intentional. No complaints from me.
  • I think DCC could benefit by bringing the "Attack Die" concept to all the classes as maybe a "Class Die" (I think that's what it's been called on the forums). Maybe it takes the place of the Wizard's spellcasting bonus. Or the bonus the Thief gets to Thief skills. Or the bonus the Halfling gets to Sneak/Hide. You get the picture by now. It's a great mechanic. It's really simple and very enjoyable.
  • Maybe the Cleric can have a smaller spellcasting bonus die and have the die type lowered whenever he rolls a 1 instead of the ever-increasing spell check penalty? I'm thinking a d7 at 5th level that gets dropped to d6 or whatnot. Just thinking out loud.
  • Spells need to be audited by spell level. As it stands, I can't see any arcane spellcaster casting anything except Magic Missile until it is lost. The scaling of spell effects is way out of whack.
  • Mercurial Magic is hard to keep track of. We forgot about it more than once.
  • DCC at 5th level felt odd at times. It was like it's this really cool kinda-old-school game. And then you call out for a Fortitude save. The dissonance was palpable.
  • Overall, DCC at 0-level was a blast. DCC at 5th level? It had its moments. Beyond some reworking of the spell effects, I think the spellcasting is great. The Warriors Attack die is also great. But the percentile Thief skills are just weird -- especially sitting next to the Warrior with this cool die mechanic. It's like it's almost there. Thank goodness this is the Beta.
  • I guess the most painful verdict of the night's play was that none of the players were really jazzed about doing another game. Most came away with a seen-it, been-there attitude. Almost all the players ran into an issue with one mechanic or another that cooled their jets -- whether it was Luck, spell check penalties or percentile skills. They've agreed to give it another go when the official rules come out. And also to playtest the thing I've been working on. But I may have to find another crew to continue playtesting DCC beta. This is disappointing because there was serious talk of using DCC as an alternate campaign from the bi-weekly 4e game after the 0-level playtest


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 Post subject: Re: Infernal Crucible of Sezrekan the Mad - Austin, Texas (6
PostPosted: Tue Jun 28, 2011 9:08 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jan 14, 2011 11:53 am
Posts: 379
  • Player C really, really did not like the Cleric. Mostly because he rolled poorly on spellcasting, felt the Cleric spell list was pretty vanilla and felt the spell check penalty was punitive compared to what Wizards got.

    I think Clerics need spell like Invoke Patron and Patron Bond. When I was skimming the rules I saw the DM example about the Frog Demon Patron and assumed it was for the cleric. When I read the rules I was shocked it was for the wizard (though that's cool as well). I guess you could use Divine Intervention for this purpose but they do need something at this point to spice them up.

  • All felt pretty strongly that Luck offered a poor value for its expenditure. They unanimously requested that it be its own thing.

    What do you mean, make it like hit points instead of an ability score?

  • Player C wanted an Attack Die for the Cleric. He felt left behind by the characters that got two action dice and by the Wizard's mojo.

    Speaking of action dice, does it slow the pace much with these extra actions? Probably not an issue with these guys since they enjoy 4e but from your perspective...

  • Player B pointed out that the way the spells scaled was insane. When I told him they were all "1st level" spells he about choked on his beer. He used several spells and the effects he got from them were pretty out there. Like slaying 4 creatures with one shot. Or putting a squad of hobgoblins to sleep for a day.

    Thanks for confirming this. I had similar issues in my play test with a lucky elf and his Invoke Patron spell and a wizard with Magic Missile. Some spells are really, really out of whack and with so many ways to get bonuses (mercurial, luck, spell burn, halflings, levels, etc.) it needs some adjustments or limitations.

  • Monsters by-the-book are really boring. Very AD&D swing-hit/miss, swing-hit/miss. I'm a good DM and even I had a hard time spicing up the encounters. Combats were a bit of a slog, especially the Ape. I think DCC could benefit by borrowing some 4e-isms for their monsters.

    What do you mean by 4e-isms? I suspect you mean something like in WFRP 3rd edition where monsters all have at least one or two cool powers/effects. Maybe Goblins have a bonus to hit if they outnumber their foes and have a "latch and bite" attack where they cling to your leg reducing AC by 2, the zombie might cause disease on a crit, on a fumble his arm falls off and can spew blinding bile once every 5 turns. There's more to it than that but you get the point.

  • Spells need to be audited by spell level. As it stands, I can't see any arcane spellcaster casting anything except Magic Missile until it is lost. The scaling of spell effects is way out of whack.

    Agree 100%. I simple can't believe this is the intention (how boring) but that is exactly what will happen in most games.

  • Mercurial Magic is hard to keep track of. We forgot about it more than once.

    I think it needs a much greater % chance to have "no change, cast as normal". I intend to make it at least 50% that their is no change. That way they are that much more special and hopefully easier to remember.

  • DCC at 5th level felt odd at times. It was like it's this really cool kinda-old-school game. And then you call out for a Fortitude save. The dissonance was palpable.

    The 3e base for this game pokes its head out way too much. I really wish they had of use Basic as their base and modernized some things. That said, about the saves specifically, is it just the names reminding you of d20 that seemed odd, or do you think they lose their "mystery" when presented as Reflex/Fortitude/Will? For me it's a bit of both. Having come from older editions I kind of liked them at first but now I want something that meets half-way.


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 Post subject: Re: Infernal Crucible of Sezrekan the Mad - Austin, Texas (6
PostPosted: Tue Jun 28, 2011 9:16 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jun 09, 2011 7:05 pm
Posts: 261
Location: Central Vermont
bholmes4 wrote:
[*] Mercurial Magic is hard to keep track of. We forgot about it more than once.

I think it needs a much greater % chance to have "no change, cast as normal". I intend to make it at least 50% that their is no change. That way they are that much more special and hopefully easier to remember.


Is Mercurial Magic intended to be rolled with every spell check? I was under the impression that you rolled it once when memorizing the spell and it had a constant effect on that particular spell for that particular caster forevermore. So, we just recorded it on the character sheet directly next to the spell name. Is this incorrect?


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 Post subject: Re: Infernal Crucible of Sezrekan the Mad - Austin, Texas (6
PostPosted: Tue Jun 28, 2011 9:28 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jan 14, 2011 11:53 am
Posts: 379
meinvt wrote:
Is Mercurial Magic intended to be rolled with every spell check? I was under the impression that you rolled it once when memorizing the spell and it had a constant effect on that particular spell for that particular caster forevermore. So, we just recorded it on the character sheet directly next to the spell name. Is this incorrect?


I probably worded that poorly but you are right, that's how it's done as far as I understand. I am saying I would like to see this entry from Mercurial Magic:
10-13 - No change – spell manifests as standard
Be expanded. Maybe make the chart d30 and make this 10-23 or something.

Actually as long as their were more effects which were just flavour I'd be fine too (ie. the room chills, sparks fly, smoke comes out of your ears etc.). That might make more sense than just "no changes".


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 Post subject: Re: Infernal Crucible of Sezrekan the Mad - Austin, Texas (6
PostPosted: Wed Jun 29, 2011 7:01 am 
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Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2011 7:41 am
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Smathis, great post . I haven't had the opportunity to playtest yet :cry: so I've been hoping for playtest reports like this that detail how the mechanics work out in actual play, especially at higher level.


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 Post subject: Re: Infernal Crucible of Sezrekan the Mad - Austin, Texas (6
PostPosted: Wed Jun 29, 2011 7:34 am 
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Tight-Lipped Warlock

Joined: Fri Jan 28, 2011 2:52 pm
Posts: 1084
Hi bholmes4. Thanks for reading. Clarifications to follow.

bholmes4 wrote:
Player C really, really did not like the Cleric. Mostly because he rolled poorly on spellcasting, felt the Cleric spell list was pretty vanilla and felt the spell check penalty was punitive compared to what Wizards got.

I think Clerics need spell like Invoke Patron and Patron Bond. When I was skimming the rules I saw the DM example about the Frog Demon Patron and assumed it was for the cleric. When I read the rules I was shocked it was for the wizard (though that's cool as well). I guess you could use Divine Intervention for this purpose but they do need something at this point to spice them up.


I disagreed strongly with Player C about the Cleric. But I'm not playtesting to hoist (or really voice) my opinions. I felt Player C was having a bad night and projecting his poor dice rolling onto the system.

I think Divine Aid needs a chart. And I'll pitch the chart I put together. Because the benefit doesn't measure up to the cost. The examples in the book are weak -- considering it's effectively a 10th level spell. And it needs a broader range of effects that aren't just "fail" or "you got it".

Player C raised an interesting point about Attack Dice. It might be good to expand that mechanic and allow the Cleric some sort of nerfed Attack die to use on casting and attacks. Something like 1d3-1, increasing to 1d4-1 then 1d5-1, etc. Something that doesn't mess up the Warrior's schtick but allows the Cleric a little more of a fightery feel.

But, overall, I felt strongly that Player C was disgruntled. I didn't see that many issues with the Cleric in play.

The Halfling, however. You'd think getting 2d16 for two attacks would be a good thing. But not so much. Not at all, in fact. It made me wish DCC had a d18, believe it or not.

bholmes4 wrote:
All felt pretty strongly that Luck offered a poor value for its expenditure. They unanimously requested that it be its own thing.

What do you mean, make it like hit points instead of an ability score?


They wanted Luck to be more like Karma Points in FASERIP or Hero Points in other games. Part of it was they didn't see it as a viable ability. It wasn't tied into saves and they thought rolling on it for "Listening" as it says in the beta rules was silly. Their Lucky Rolls only came up a couple of times. And the Lucky Rolls were one of those things that was just weird to keep track of. Like the slew of bonuses in 4e. They kept forgetting about them and to adjust them up and down when their Luck went up and down. Just having Lucky Rolls be a straight +1 would make the system much better, IMO. And it would stifle the disconnect between something called a "Lucky Roll" actually giving a negative more often than not.

I'm of two minds on Luck. On one hand, I wouldn't mind if it was more like a Hero Point mechanic. On the other, I wouldn't mind if it remained a stat. But I think a couple of things should happen if it remains a stat. First, the rules need more things for Luck to do. akb108 gives some great examples of more things Luck can do here. Second, I think the payout for a permanent burn of Luck needs to be better OR burning Luck shouldn't be permanent. Maybe a character can recover 1/2 their new level in Luck when they gain a level (rounded down). It would allow higher level characters to spend more Luck and be more heroic. It wouldn't intrude on the Halfling and Thief's schtick. And it wouldn't require a change to how Luck is used.

As it stands, Luck is just odd. Not bad. Just odd.

bholmes4 wrote:
Player C wanted an Attack Die for the Cleric. He felt left behind by the characters that got two action dice and by the Wizard's mojo.

Speaking of action dice, does it slow the pace much with these extra actions? Probably not an issue with these guys since they enjoy 4e but from your perspective..


No, not at all. I rolled up the Ape's attacks (2d20) easily enough. It was quite fast. I didn't break up the actions into "your first action is a d20 and your second is a d14" though. I let the players assign the die they wanted to an action. Then they rolled them both at the same time. It was very streamlined. Not a problem at all.

bholmes4 wrote:
Player B pointed out that the way the spells scaled was insane. When I told him they were all "1st level" spells he about choked on his beer. He used several spells and the effects he got from them were pretty out there. Like slaying 4 creatures with one shot. Or putting a squad of hobgoblins to sleep for a day.

Thanks for confirming this. I had similar issues in my play test with a lucky elf and his Invoke Patron spell and a wizard with Magic Missile. Some spells are really, really out of whack and with so many ways to get bonuses (mercurial, luck, spell burn, halflings, levels, etc.) it needs some adjustments or limitations.


Yeah. The spells are one of those things where I saw the charts and was skeptical. Because the math was so obviously off. Especially considering the Scorching Ray (a 2nd level spell) we were able to see. But I was willing to give it the benefit of the doubt because, you know, it's random. I was skeptical but wasn't sure if it would be all that bad.

This was the one thing that was far, far worse than I'd imagined. It's pretty crazy. Broken even.

bholmes4 wrote:
Monsters by-the-book are really boring. Very AD&D swing-hit/miss, swing-hit/miss. I'm a good DM and even I had a hard time spicing up the encounters. Combats were a bit of a slog, especially the Ape. I think DCC could benefit by borrowing some 4e-isms for their monsters.

What do you mean by 4e-isms? I suspect you mean something like in WFRP 3rd edition where monsters all have at least one or two cool powers/effects. Maybe Goblins have a bonus to hit if they outnumber their foes and have a "latch and bite" attack where they cling to your leg reducing AC by 2, the zombie might cause disease on a crit, on a fumble his arm falls off and can spew blinding bile once every 5 turns. There's more to it than that but you get the point.


Exactly. That sort of thing. Nothing whacky. Just a small little blurb of something to help each monster feel more unique. It doesn't have to be an exhaustive sort of thing. But given the small monster list, it should be pretty easy to throw something together. I like that "latch and bite" thing for Goblins. Classic.

That's the kind of thing I'm talking about. To make the Ape more interesting, I gave him a bonus to hit and increased his damage die to d14 when he was "bloodied". That helped some. Gave him kind of a "frenzy". But prior to that, some of the players seemed like they were nodding off.

bholmes4 wrote:
Spells need to be audited by spell level. As it stands, I can't see any arcane spellcaster casting anything except Magic Missile until it is lost. The scaling of spell effects is way out of whack.

Agree 100%. I simple can't believe this is the intention (how boring) but that is exactly what will happen in most games.


Yeah. This is the most broken thing in the Beta rules, IMO.

bholmes4 wrote:
Mercurial Magic is hard to keep track of. We forgot about it more than once.

I think it needs a much greater % chance to have "no change, cast as normal". I intend to make it at least 50% that their is no change. That way they are that much more special and hopefully easier to remember.


This was just an observation. The Elf player had his spell charts all printed out. And then Mercurial Magic on a separate sheet. So he forgot about Mercurial Magic 50% of the time. Just keeping those effects on the same page as the spell chart would help. Also, it should be easier to get a "casts normally" result on the table. I think the Mercurial Magic chart goes a little overboard on some things. I think it should be more "special" and cool. Not as much silly (as in "toadstools pop up all around you") or crazy overpowering (as in "casts with a d30").

bholmes4 wrote:
DCC at 5th level felt odd at times. It was like it's this really cool kinda-old-school game. And then you call out for a Fortitude save. The dissonance was palpable.

The 3e base for this game pokes its head out way too much. I really wish they had of use Basic as their base and modernized some things. That said, about the saves specifically, is it just the names reminding you of d20 that seemed odd, or do you think they lose their "mystery" when presented as Reflex/Fortitude/Will? For me it's a bit of both. Having come from older editions I kind of liked them at first but now I want something that meets half-way.


I agree on all points. I wish DCC would've "modernized" Labyrinth Lord instead of tossing 3e into the wayback machine. The Reflex/Fortitude/Will saves seemed odd when they came up. Like I had somehow tacked those onto a really cool old-school fantasy game just because.

I'm sure this is something I'll get used to. Reflex/Fort/Will are not a deal-breaker for me. But it is a little bit of an immersion killer for me. I'd almost rather see saves based on ability modifiers, like in C&C. It's kind of a downer to see these cool new attributes like Personality and Luck and then discover that the traditional triad of Strength, Agility and Stamina/Constitution matter a little more because they're tied to saving throws.

After these playtests, I'd classify my concerns with the ruleset as such in order of importance (for me).

  • Getting the spell charts back in line with their level
  • Giving Divine Aid a chart
  • Giving Luck more stuff to do, like akb108 suggests. And making Lucky Roll a straight +1
  • Making the monsters more unique and less of a bland stat block
  • Tweaking Mercurial Magic
  • Having a faster recovery of hit points post-encounter. Either 50% of hit points lost in encounter or mtnjeff's Dutch Courage.
  • Using your stat increase per level
  • Giving Spells a "fail effect" besides "you fail". I've called these "fizzle effects" in my communications to Joseph.
  • Getting rid of % Thief skills
  • Finding more applications of Attack/Class die for different classes
  • Using jmuchiello's "d10 for non-class/occupation 'skill' roll"
  • Allowing some classes (The Cleric and Thief come to mind) the ability to do more damage with one specific weapon. Or maybe a situation where they can add their Class Die to damage but not to hit.
  • Making saves a per stat thing. Like in C&C.
  • Getting a d18 in the game

That's not a bad list, IMO. As I've said, DCC seems almost there. It's close to being a home-run, IMO. So, so close.


Last edited by smathis on Wed Jun 29, 2011 7:56 am, edited 4 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Infernal Crucible of Sezrekan the Mad - Austin, Texas (6
PostPosted: Wed Jun 29, 2011 7:35 am 
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bholmes4 wrote:
Maybe make the chart d30 and make this 10-23 or something.

Actually as long as their were more effects which were just flavour I'd be fine too (ie. the room chills, sparks fly, smoke comes out of your ears etc.). That might make more sense than just "no changes".


This would be a great improvement, IMO.


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 Post subject: Re: Infernal Crucible of Sezrekan the Mad - Austin, Texas (6
PostPosted: Wed Jun 29, 2011 7:42 am 
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nanstreet wrote:
Smathis, great post . I haven't had the opportunity to playtest yet :cry: so I've been hoping for playtest reports like this that detail how the mechanics work out in actual play, especially at higher level.


Thanks, nanstreet. It's a good game. Just shy of being a great game. And, to me, the only truly great games are FASERIP, Call of Cthulhu, Mountain Witch and B/X D&D. So to say that it's "just shy" is actually a huge compliment.

My regular group is kind of done with DCC right now. I might squeeze in another playtest. Maybe Palace of the Silver Princess at 3rd level. It's difficult to resist "fixing" some of the things I've listed though. (Except for the spells, they're all such minor changes). I may do some solo playtesting, though I don't get much value out of that. I get a lot out of watching people try to figure things out and then listening to their accounts of their experience.

But I may do some solo play or maybe a small, small group. I like DCC a lot. I can't wait until I get through the playtest and can start sharing my DCC supplement with the rest of the community. The magic alone could be the most awesome thing since the Attack die. I could see a future where DCC groups use this magic over the one in DCC. Turning Unholy too. And, needless to say, what DCC doesn't "fix", this will.


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 Post subject: Re: Infernal Crucible of Sezrekan the Mad - Austin, Texas (6
PostPosted: Wed Jun 29, 2011 9:28 am 
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Excellent, excellent bullet list of priorities to be addressed. I agree 100%.

I'm similarly torn about how to continue my playtests. I'm trying to test the game as currently presented, but so dearly want to try out various pet ideas or cool notions from the forums. I'm standing (mostly) strong for now, in the hopes of providing real campaign play feedback.


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 Post subject: Re: Infernal Crucible of Sezrekan the Mad - Austin, Texas (6
PostPosted: Wed Jun 29, 2011 9:58 am 
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Hmmmm, the game has to be done and dusted by what, August, so it can be sent off to printers and get back for a November release? That's not much time for GG to radically change (and then test) the game. I'm beginning to feel happy about a 2012 release if it means more beta testing time and subsequent polish to the system.

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 Post subject: Re: Infernal Crucible of Sezrekan the Mad - Austin, Texas (6
PostPosted: Wed Jun 29, 2011 10:33 am 
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Stainless, I actually think this listing gives a lot of optimism for things being ready right on schedule, particularly as Joseph has been aware of many of these issues and indeed my understanding is some were already being address practically in parallel with the Beta public release.

And, certainly if Joseph wants help from the community vetting the spells list, it is clear he has a lot of good folks with a grasp of both the math and the concept ready to give him feedback. I'm sure I'm not the only one who'd be glad to sign an NDA and help "math-out" the spells list, which is clearly the primo current concern.


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 Post subject: Re: Infernal Crucible of Sezrekan the Mad - Austin, Texas (6
PostPosted: Wed Jun 29, 2011 10:44 am 
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Stainless wrote:
Hmmmm, the game has to be done and dusted by what, August, so it can be sent off to printers and get back for a November release? That's not much time for GG to radically change (and then test) the game. I'm beginning to feel happy about a 2012 release if it means more beta testing time and subsequent polish to the system.


Yup. But I think it's worth noting that there are only a couple of issues on that bullet list that would require serious playtesting.

Getting the spell charts back in line with their level
This is basically a rewrite of the spell charts and would be a huge undertaking. It's also the biggest, most glaringly broken, part of the game. Joseph could pass it off on a 3PP to "fix" the spells. But I don't see how the game would be anything but broken in the most extravagant fashion if he did.

Giving Divine Aid a chart
This isn't broken so much as lame in the Beta rules. I sent Joseph a chart. He could copy-paste it or tweak it to his vision for deities in DCC and be done with it. Maybe adds a page total to the Judge's section.

Giving Luck more stuff to do, like akb108 suggests. And making Lucky Roll a straight +1
This is more like a brief paragraph or two in the Judge's section, with a small change to what a Lucky Roll is -- probably reducing word count on the latter. Joseph probably has something on the former in the Judge's section already. So it would likely be more of a polishing of what's there. Might consider playtesting if the "recover 1/2 level (rounded down) in Luck spent when gaining a new Level" is adopted. But I'd expect it would be fine.

Making the monsters more unique and less of a bland stat block
Might increase the monster section by 1/3. But no more than 1/2. Could be ignored, honestly. But I think it would impact adoption somewhat.

Tweaking Mercurial Magic
Just readjusting a table that's already there. Lessening some of the most glaringly gonzo effects. Expanding the range for "normal spell" just a bit.

Having a faster recovery of hit points post-encounter. Either 50% of hit points lost in encounter or mtnjeff's Dutch Courage.
This one would require playtesting. But both rules have been in the D&D lexicon since at least the '70s. Could bypass extensive playtesting by noting it as a variant rule.

Using stat increase per level
I don't think bholmes' stat increases need much work at all. The biggest decision would be whether to do it every level or every other level. That could use some playtesting. But it is really a treadmill mechanic. Not a crazy stat inflation one.

Giving Spells a "fail effect" besides "you fail". I've called these "fizzle effects" in my communications to Joseph.
If the spells are being re-written anyway, might as well include these on the charts. Time to get an intern or enlist an eager helper for the task of getting the spell section together.

Getting rid of % Thief skills
Joseph's already working on this AFAIK.

Finding more applications of Attack/Class die for different classes
This would require playtesting. Serious playtesting. As such, it's not a likely candidate for inclusion sadly. The Attack die was one of the most well-received mechanics. By far. Extending it to the rest of the table in various permutations would be a huge win for DCC, IMO.

Using jmuchiello's "d10 for non-class/occupation 'skill' roll"
Works fine. Doesn't come up much. But it's nice to have when it does. Requires one or two lines of text in the skills section.

Allowing some classes (The Cleric and Thief come to mind) the ability to do more damage with one specific weapon. Or maybe a situation where they can add their Class Die to damage but not to hit.

Roll this up with the Attack/Class die. Probably won't be ready for prime-time. But gives an idea of some things that a "Class Die" could be useful for -- not just to-hit, damage or MDoAs.

Making saves a per stat thing. Like in C&C.

Yup. Won't happen. I'd like it to. But it's too big a change to address an issue that doesn't deserve it. Would require a good deal of playtesting too, IMO.

Getting a d18 in the game

Lol. Probably the easiest change of the bunch. Would cause a firestorm because it would require players roll a d20 and ignore 19 and 20. I can see it now. "IGNORE A 20!!!! RAGE!!!"

Besides the Spells and the Class Die, Joseph or Harley could probably implement all these changes in a weekend or two. They aren't earth-shattering. And build on what's there (most of them) instead of swinging stuff around to make a deep, system-wide change.

I too would be fine with a delayed release for a better final product. That's Joseph's call though. When making suggestions I've tried my best to stay true to DCC as it is and expand/clarify on what's cool about it. And what can make it cooler in that same spirit. I don't hit the mark always. But I don't want to water the game down. Open playtests can sometimes wring everything out of a game and leave behind tapioca pudding. Can't please everybody.

I try to offer suggestions that build up DCC and don't intrude on what's there. And I lend my support to suggestions from others that I see as addressing needs in an unobtrusive way.

In the end, I want Joseph to stay true to his vision. If there's something in that vision with which I strongly disagree, I feel confident I can fix them on my own. Maybe even offering something along the lines of an Advanced Player's Guide while I'm at it with changes that I wish would've been included but weren't for any number of reasons.


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 Post subject: Re: Infernal Crucible of Sezrekan the Mad - Austin, Texas (6
PostPosted: Wed Jun 29, 2011 2:04 pm 
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smathis wrote:
That's not a bad list, IMO. As I've said, DCC seems almost there. It's close to being a home-run, IMO. So, so close.
Having played three games now (two at 5th level, one at 3rd), this is how I feel about it too. I agree with your list of bullet points, there's stuff to iron out but it's not insurmountable. :)

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 Post subject: Re: Infernal Crucible of Sezrekan the Mad - Austin, Texas (6
PostPosted: Wed Jun 29, 2011 2:10 pm 
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smathis wrote:
The Elf player had his spell charts all printed out. And then Mercurial Magic on a separate sheet.

I'm still not getting this. Why didn't he just write each spell's Mercurial Magic effect right on the spell chart (along with circling his standard manifestation right on the chart)?

Quote:
Finding more applications of Attack/Class die for different classes
This would require playtesting. Serious playtesting. As such, it's not a likely candidate for inclusion sadly. The Attack die was one of the most well-received mechanics. By far. Extending it to the rest of the table in various permutations would be a huge win for DCC, IMO.

Using jmuchiello's "d10 for non-class/occupation 'skill' roll"
Works fine. Doesn't come up much. But it's nice to have when it does. Requires one or two lines of text in the skills section.

Woot! Another convert. The class die thing is becoming make or break for me with DCCRPG. I've said it before: It is the coolest innovation in DCCRPG and should be exploited more.


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 Post subject: Re: Infernal Crucible of Sezrekan the Mad - Austin, Texas (6
PostPosted: Wed Jun 29, 2011 2:15 pm 
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jmucchiello wrote:
I'm still not getting this. Why didn't he just write each spell's Mercurial Magic effect right on the spell chart (along with circling his standard manifestation right on the chart)?


I think I was pretty clear that I thought better organization would've alleviated some of the issues. Part of that is my fault. These were pre-gens.

I still think there should be more "just cast it" results and maybe a toning down of some of the entries. Some of them come across as more parody than cool.

jmucchiello wrote:
Woot! Another convert. The class die thing is becoming make or break for me with DCCRPG. I've said it before: It is the coolest innovation in DCCRPG and should be exploited more.


The Class Die wouldn't be a deal-breaker for me. But I would house rule it. Very simple math to do so. And it would be available in my own release as well. It deserves wider applicability. But I'd be pretty moderate in its application. Not all classes would roll a Class Die instead of getting a to-hit bonus. Some of them would just have a to-hit bonus. But all of them would get a Class Die for some set of "things they could do in-game".


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 Post subject: Re: Infernal Crucible of Sezrekan the Mad - Austin, Texas (6
PostPosted: Wed Jun 29, 2011 2:47 pm 
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smathis wrote:
The Class Die wouldn't be a deal-breaker for me. But I would house rule it. Very simple math to do so. And it would be available in my own release as well. It deserves wider applicability. But I'd be pretty moderate in its application. Not all classes would roll a Class Die instead of getting a to-hit bonus. Some of them would just have a to-hit bonus. But all of them would get a Class Die for some set of "things they could do in-game".

In my proposal for the No Skills Chapter I also discussed the Class Die concept: I only allowed Warriors and Dwarves add it to the attack rolls.


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 Post subject: Re: Infernal Crucible of Sezrekan the Mad - Austin, Texas (6
PostPosted: Thu Jun 30, 2011 5:49 pm 
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Interesting ideas...

I remember Goodman posting that fighters were really outshined and boring comparied to all the cool spellcasting that mages and clerics were doing. They got to roll on random spell charts and spell burn for awsome power, could even invoke dark patorns for favors, and they were even more flashy with their micrual magic. Even all the reports on early play tests seemed to leav out the other classes and focused mostly on mage and cleric spells. The solution was to give fighters the attack bonus die and mighty dead of arms to make them more exciting and attractive to play. We should be a bit careful about extending this mechanic to other classes, but perhaps it would be ok as long as the other classes did not pick up MDoA along with their bonus die. I just think its interesting how the pendulam has swung the other way.

As for the cleric not being alot of fun, true, if you roll bad and don't get any spells off, it can be a downer, just like with the mage. Of course at 5th level, you should have a +5, maybe +6 or +7 if you got lucky with the stats, so it should not be to much trouble to cast lay on hands, level one spells, or turn unholy (well, turn holy depends on what your turning I guess). The cleric in my group has played her cleric at leve 0, 1, and 2 and so far has had a blast with her. She did have one session where the rolls were totally aganst her, but she had another session where she rolled decent and it was fun, at least for her.

As for mage spells being broken, I don't have alot of experince. Onle had an elf with one level one spell, sleep, and that elf died early in my mini-campaign. The onlything that I think might redeem the unbalance of spells is that spells are learned and gained randomly expect for what the GM puts in the game as treasure. Also, even if you have a really awsome magic missile, you might not want to allways cast it, all the time, since one failed casting means you lose it. Plus the ever looming risk of coruption....

I don't think the thief (and other classes) needs to be dishing out as much damage as the fighter. The thief should bring skills and a sense of utility to the game, not melee fighting ability, thats for the fighters. I hate the idea that a thief is supposed to be a "striker" dishing out more damage with a short sword then a fighter with a two handed great sword. The percentages for the thief skills remind me of the old days when a thief sucked at being a thief untill they were about 5th level. But one thing that is different is that if a thief wants to hide, they can make their hide in shadows check and if they are succesfful, they are undetectible, if they fail, then they can do an apposed check to hide. At least, thats how I read the rules. Something else that might just need to be included are modifiers for those rolls based on situations. The rules said modifiers can apply but none were given. But, if a thief with only a 20 percent hide in shadows skill gets a +30 bonus becuse of dim light, or have every trap give a modifier based on how complex and well made a trap is so that thievs have a decent chanch of disarming and finding simple traps when they are low level might be the way to go. Otherwise, playing a thief with only a 20-30 chanct to achive most of its skills at low level will come off as pretty frusterating if you are more used to 3.x or 4th ed.

As for sing-miss/hit swing -miss/hit, I ran into that a little bit too. As the gm i tried to keep it interesting by adding flavor and detail, describing the combant and how it was unfolding, but even that only worked for so long. I even noticed that alot of the same results were showing up on the crit and fumble tables, making me think those tables need to be larger. But, I have ran into this problem in every rpg I have ever played. 4th ed probably is one of the best at dealing with this problem but even in that game there have been sessions where monsters just do the same thing over and over and, if your not careful can sound more lame then just swinging at each other over and over (I still remember these skeletal steed and their riders that attacked us once, "the steed pounces on you for pounch attack, then pounces away, rider throws fierball, then steed pounces and attacks, then pounces away, rider throws fierball," repeat 7 more times and you have an incredibly lame encounter playing out. Of course, those monster did not have to be ran that way and I wouldnt ahve ran them that way).

Finally, any word of halflings or dwarves? I have not heard much about them in play tests yet nor have I gotten to play test them.


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 Post subject: Re: Infernal Crucible of Sezrekan the Mad - Austin, Texas (6
PostPosted: Fri Jul 01, 2011 7:05 am 
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moes1980 wrote:
We should be a bit careful about extending this mechanic to other classes, but perhaps it would be ok as long as the other classes did not pick up MDoA along with their bonus die. I just think its interesting how the pendulam has swung the other way.


I agree. The idea of extending a Class Die to other classes doesn't necessitate offering them all MDoAs. I think the Cleric might benefit from them. But at a reduced efficacy. Like giving the Cleric a bona-fide Attack Die at 1d3-1 (note the minus one) at levels 1 and 2. Increasing that to 1d4-1 at Level 3, etc.

moes1980 wrote:
As for the cleric not being alot of fun, true, if you roll bad and don't get any spells off, it can be a downer, just like with the mage. Of course at 5th level, you should have a +5, maybe +6 or +7 if you got lucky with the stats, so it should not be to much trouble to cast lay on hands, level one spells, or turn unholy (well, turn holy depends on what your turning I guess). The cleric in my group has played her cleric at leve 0, 1, and 2 and so far has had a blast with her. She did have one session where the rolls were totally aganst her, but she had another session where she rolled decent and it was fun, at least for her.


That's good to know. The player's problem with the Cleric was that he wasn't good in combat, he was penalized for every casting attempt and his spells lacked the boom factor of the Wizard spells. I tried to explain how he was spared the whammys of Corruption and Spell Fumble. But that didn't matter. From where he was sitting and from what he could see, the Wizard was "better" in almost every way. As was the Fighter.

That was his opinion. I don't agree with it completely. But I think the Cleric could benefit from a little more combat ability.

moes1980 wrote:
As for mage spells being broken, I don't have alot of experince. Onle had an elf with one level one spell, sleep, and that elf died early in my mini-campaign. The onlything that I think might redeem the unbalance of spells is that spells are learned and gained randomly expect for what the GM puts in the game as treasure. Also, even if you have a really awsome magic missile, you might not want to allways cast it, all the time, since one failed casting means you lose it. Plus the ever looming risk of coruption....


The problem with Wizard spells is that if you roll a 30 on Magic Missile you get the same or better result than if you roll a 30 on Scorching Ray. This is something that needs to be fixed. If you've got Fireball and Magic Missile, you should never have a question as to which one you'd use. Yet with DCC, as it is today, you'd actually be dumb to cast Fireball -- in most circumstances.

moes1980 wrote:
I don't think the thief (and other classes) needs to be dishing out as much damage as the fighter.


I don't think I was proposing that the Thief dish out as much damage as the Fighter. I merely feel the Thief should deal out MORE damage than it currently does.

moes1980 wrote:
As for sing-miss/hit swing -miss/hit, I ran into that a little bit too. As the gm i tried to keep it interesting by adding flavor and detail, describing the combant and how it was unfolding, but even that only worked for so long. I even noticed that alot of the same results were showing up on the crit and fumble tables, making me think those tables need to be larger. But, I have ran into this problem in every rpg I have ever played. 4th ed probably is one of the best at dealing with this problem but even in that game there have been sessions where monsters just do the same thing over and over and, if your not careful can sound more lame then just swinging at each other over and over (I still remember these skeletal steed and their riders that attacked us once, "the steed pounces on you for pounch attack, then pounces away, rider throws fierball, then steed pounces and attacks, then pounces away, rider throws fierball," repeat 7 more times and you have an incredibly lame encounter playing out. Of course, those monster did not have to be ran that way and I wouldnt ahve ran them that way).


I think this is an area where DCC can learn (and or "borrow") some ideas from 4e. Not a lot. I mean, I'm not talking about encounter, daily, whatever powers. If you just take the monster "features" from 4e, you can make the monsters in DCC have the sort of flavor that some of the Wizard spells do. Make them a little different from each other. There should also be some viable rules for making a monster a "solo" or "elite" version of itself. Trailblazer does a good job of explaining how to do that. I can't see why DCC could make such improvements in so many areas of the game and yet still present monsters like it's 1978.

moes1980 wrote:
Finally, any word of halflings or dwarves? I have not heard much about them in play tests yet nor have I gotten to play test them.


Haven't playtested a Dwarf. They read a bit like Fighters with a couple of schticks. Not sure if I like the Dwarf getting MDoAs. Seems like maybe he should just stick to his Attack Die being applicable to hit rolls and damage. But what do I know?

Player E played a Halfling. He had a pretty dreadful time of it. But in the game's defense, he wasn't into it at all. I was surprised how little he connected rolling 2d16. At first I didn't like the Halflings having a two-weapon thing. But I do now. It really works.

As far as the demihumans, I like the Halfling the best. The Elf seems a little too powerful, to me. Even with the XP difference, the 4th level Elf routinely outclassed almost everyone at the table. The drawbacks of being an Elf did not outweigh the benefits. If that's a feature, fine. But I'm more likely to change the Iron Allergy thing around so it's actually something that will come up in play from time to time. The Dwarf I have no experience with, so can't really comment. He looks fine on paper...

I pitched to Joseph that I thought it might make things easier to split out the races and classes in DCC. Let me qualify that by saying it's not my preferred way of doing DCC. But when you think about things like giving 0-level demihumans some of their abilities at the start of the game, I think there's a risk of over-complicating things just to keep demihumans as their own class. I think DCC could benefit from splitting races and classes, even though it pains me to say that.

At that point, a Halfling would pay some percentage of extra experience for a few of his "halfling" features in the current class. And the remainder of the current class could become a "Ranger" of sorts. Same with the Dwarf. He can smell gold, gets a die increase on hit points or something and pays +10% or whatever extra to level. The remainder of the class becomes a Knight (sword and board) or something. The Elf gets split between Elfy stuff and a "Swordmage" or "Warlock" or something.

And then there's no question around what class powers a 0-level character gets and how that affects the game and such.

But that's just my take on it.


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 Post subject: Re: Infernal Crucible of Sezrekan the Mad - Austin, Texas (6
PostPosted: Fri Jul 01, 2011 8:01 am 
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smathis wrote:
That's good to know. The player's problem with the Cleric was that he wasn't good in combat, he was penalized for every casting attempt and his spells lacked the boom factor of the Wizard spells. I tried to explain how he was spared the whammys of Corruption and Spell Fumble. But that didn't matter. From where he was sitting and from what he could see, the Wizard was "better" in almost every way. As was the Fighter.

That was his opinion. I don't agree with it completely. But I think the Cleric could benefit from a little more combat ability.


Warhammer FRP 3rd Edition is the first game I've played that actually seemed to make Clerics fun. You could have three priests in a party, say a Great Hammer wielding priest of Sigmar, a secretive priest of Morr (god of death), and a wild priest of Taal (god of nature) and because of their unique flavourful spells you would all have a different play experience (almost like playing different classes). If you wanted to be healer-focused there was a god for that, if you wanted to be melee oriented you would go with Sigmar or Ulric, and if you want to be almost druidic you chose Taal. I realize that creating individual spells and lists is different for DCC than for a game like Warhammer, where you are expected to play in that particular world whether you like it or not. That said I think something like this is still somewhat feasible.

First I'd start by limiting clerics to something like 4-6 spells per level as chosen to be most appropriate by the DM for god. I would strongly encourage DMs to create some diety-specific spells for their campaign to place in these lists (like the Invoke Patron spell). Secondly I'd have them roll randomly from the 4-6 available each level and take a limited number. I figure I'd limit them to something like 1-3 spells per level (likely 2 so that a 10th level cleric has 20 spells to choose from). They could roll from any level list they are capable of casting (in case they really want a lower level spell that they missed) as long as it is for their god.

This helps makes cleric of different gods, and even within a faith, feel and play different.


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 Post subject: Re: Infernal Crucible of Sezrekan the Mad - Austin, Texas (6
PostPosted: Fri Jul 01, 2011 8:50 am 
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bholmes4 wrote:
Warhammer FRP 3rd Edition is the first game I've played that actually seemed to make Clerics fun. You could have three priests in a party, say a Great Hammer wielding priest of Sigmar, a secretive priest of Morr (god of death), and a wild priest of Taal (god of nature) and because of their unique flavourful spells you would all have a different play experience (almost like playing different classes). If you wanted to be healer-focused there was a god for that, if you wanted to be melee oriented you would go with Sigmar or Ulric, and if you want to be almost druidic you chose Taal. I realize that creating individual spells and lists is different for DCC than for a game like Warhammer, where you are expected to play in that particular world whether you like it or not. That said I think something like this is still somewhat feasible.


I agree completely on WFRP3 clerics. And I think with more flavorful Cleric spells this could be doable. I think one of the reasons the Cleric spells are so "bland" is because they try not to make prejudgements on effects because, well, Clerics of all different deities will be using the same spells.

So the Clerics kind of get shafted on the awesome that Wizards get. Because it's okay if the Wizards get crazy effects with their spells. But Cleric spells have to be one-size fits all...

bholmes4 wrote:
First I'd start by limiting clerics to something like 4-6 spells per level as chosen to be most appropriate by the DM for god. I would strongly encourage DMs to create some diety-specific spells for their campaign to place in these lists (like the Invoke Patron spell). Secondly I'd have them roll randomly from the 4-6 available each level and take a limited number. I figure I'd limit them to something like 1-3 spells per level (likely 2 so that a 10th level cleric has 20 spells to choose from). They could roll from any level list they are capable of casting (in case they really want a lower level spell that they missed) as long as it is for their god.

This helps makes cleric of different gods, and even within a faith, feel and play different.


I agree on limiting the spells. I think this is one of the reasons Cleric magic is slightly less awesome than Wizard magic. The idea of, at least, domains and pushing a Cleric into one or two of them would be huge, IMO. I think it could be done without too much imposition of a "default setting" but, on the other hand, we're talking Appendix N here. So it's not like there's this huge variation in "Cleric" magic all over the place.

A limit on Cleric spells will also help "analysis paralysis". The Cleric in my playtest didn't even have all the spells. I think I gave him something like 10. And even then it was too much page flipping. Too many charts and too many spells. So, yeah, a limit is good.

If the Cleric wants to do something he doesn't have or get funky or something, that's what Divine Aid is for, IMO.

"I want to cast something like Blade Barrier."

"But your god is a pacifist, you don't have that spell."

"I know. So I'm calling up Divine Aid!"

That sort of thing.


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 Post subject: Re: Infernal Crucible of Sezrekan the Mad - Austin, Texas (6
PostPosted: Fri Jul 01, 2011 2:32 pm 
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Going along with the cleric thing, I can see how it might be frusterating that the cleric is not as good a spell caster as the mage, but also not as good a fighter as the, well, fighter. So it can come off as a not really good at anything kind of class. But something I would point out (and it is something I did not realize at first), that alot of the cleric spells last alot longer then I thought. For example, casting bless with a casting roll of 12 gives a +1 for one turn, and a turn lasts 10 minuets or, 100 combat rounds. (i would also rule that a bless would allow the character to hit creatures that usually need special or enchanted weapons in order to harm them). Same thing for holy sanctuary, its minimum casting gives enemies a -2 to attack for one turn/10 minuets/100 combat rounds and same for minimum casting of paralisis (which is actually 1d6 rounds). In fact, just about all the cleric spells I think last for an entier encounter. this means the cleric should not need to cast as often as a mage as long as he succeds on the spell. At least, thats my guess.

I think in terms of balance the cleric is pretty good, but I would agree that it could be more of an issue of is it fun to play. Maybe simply throwing in cooler spells is all it would take. Also, did the cleric every try to turn unholy against the demon? becuase turn unholy works against all kinds of stuff, even goblinoids if your the right allaignment. In fact, I didn't know it but the cleric in my game could have even tried to turn the basilisk I threw at them. In fact, they can even turn dragons potentially! Now that I think about it, one solution for the adventure would be for the cleric to stand guard at the exit, turning unholy to keep the demon from fleeing while the entire party exits.

As for the elf being over powered, my experince was compleatly different. The elf in my game stunk, stunk with magic, stunk with fighting, stunk with every thing and died a very inglorious death. I think there will be alot of swing in terms of power of classes from group to group with the nature of everything being so random. Something we should try to keep in mind as we review our play tests.

The mage spells do sound out of whack. I have not seen the fireball spell but it would seem odd that the lower level magic missle would be stronger. The only thing I can think of is, maybe the magic missle is better with a high casting then fireball, but is firball better with a low casting comapred to a low casting of magic missle? (this is also a tough question becuase it would also depend on the situation of the combat). I have heard it be suggested that spell "level" as a concept get droped, since its all based on casting rolls and gained spells are rolled for randomly any way, so why bother with levels. Right now, the only thing I see levels doing is acting as a cap so taht low level mages can't learn higher level spells. I am thinking if we lose the spell level aspect then maybe spells can't be out of whack sense they have no levels to compair too?

The only other thing I can think of with spell lelvels is that, a magic missle casted with a 30 check should be just as (or about the same level of) aswomeness as a fire ball casted at level 30, since they both require the same level check (again, you still might favor one spell of another dependig on the combat situation). The only real difference is that a fire ball as a minimum caster of 14, which means its just as flashy at that point as a magick missled casted with a check of 14, but magic missle can be casted with even lower checks for lower level abilities. I guess my point is, a level on spell casted with a 17 check should be on par with a level 2 or 3 spell that is casted with the same check of 17. The only real difference between spells of different levels is that some spells, in their most simplist casting, are more difficult then other spells casted in their most simple form, and so some spells require a 14 instead of a 12 as a minimum check.

I wish I had the fireball spell to look at :(


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 Post subject: Re: Infernal Crucible of Sezrekan the Mad - Austin, Texas (6
PostPosted: Fri Jul 01, 2011 3:32 pm 
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moes1980 wrote:
I wish I had the fireball spell to look at :(

Quote:
Fireball

Level = 3

Range = 100’ or more, exploding in a sphere of 20’ radius or more

Duration = Instantaneous

Casting time = 1 round

Save = Reflex vs. spell check

Manifestation: (1) a flaming ball that catapults into the target and explodes in a fireburst, (2) a stream of liquid flame that douses the target in a raining cloud of fire, (3) a singularity that appears at a point in space then explodes into a flowering burst of fire, (4) a collection of spinning, whirling, fiery seeds that bounce forth to the target point, where they explode in flames.

General: The caster points his finger at a target, speaks a magic Word, and throws a jet of flame that explodes at the designated point. A fireball fills a sphere of 20’ radius, affecting all creatures within the target point. All creatures take damage unless they succeed in a Reflex save against the spell check DC, in which case they take half damage. Objects take damage according to their nature, which flammable objects automatically catching fire.

1-15 Lost. Failure.

16-17 The wizard launches a fireball up to 100’, doing 3d6 damage.

18-21 The wizard launches a fireball up to 120’, doing 4d6 damage.

22-23 The wizard launches a fireball that skips 1d4+1 times. The first target must be within 50’, and that target takes 5d6 damage. The fireball then skips to a second target, which takes 1d6 damage in a small explosion that only affects that single target. The second target must be at least 20’ away from the first – that is the minimum “skip” distance. If there is a third target, it in turn must be another 20’ away, and it takes 1d6 damage. And so on. The fireball must skip the indicated number of times – if the wizard runs out of targets, he may be skipping it against inanimate objects.

24-26 The wizard launches a fireball up to 160’, doing 6d6 damage. The fireball arcs up like a catapult to a point 40’ above ground at its peak. As such, it can curve around or over intermediate obstructions.

27-31 The wizard launches a spray of small fireballs. The wizard designates three targets, and 1d4 small fireballs flare out toward each target. The targets can be up to 200’ away. Each of the mini-fireballs does 1d6 damage.

32-33 The wizard launches a single fireball up to 200’, doing 10d6 damage. The wizard can choose an area of effect ranging from a single human-sized target up to the full sphere of 20’ radius. The fireball arcs to a height of 40’ at its peak, and as such can avoid intermediate objects.

34-35 The wizard launches a fireball up to 500’, doing 14d6 damage. The wizard can choose an area of effect ranging from a single human-sized target up to a sphere of 30’ radius. The fireball can arc as above. Additionally, the wizard can choose to call the fireball down from the heavens. Instead of projecting from his fingertip, it falls from above like a meteor strike, exploding in a fiery mass. The wizard must still have line-of-sight to his target, but he can cast around obstructions in this manner. For example, he may be able to view the target through a periscope, or via a crystal ball of some kind.

36+ The wizard launches a fireball at a target up to 1 mile away, doing 20d6 damage. The wizard can choose an area of effect ranging from a single human-sized target up to a sphere of 40’ radius. The wizard need not have line-of-sight to his target. He can choose a geographic point of which he has knowledge (such as a specific hill, tree, or room), or a target of whom he has a physical trace (such as a lock of hair or fingernail). The fireball explodes at the designated point.

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 Post subject: Re: Infernal Crucible of Sezrekan the Mad - Austin, Texas (6
PostPosted: Sat Jul 02, 2011 3:05 pm 
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Posts: 1084
moes1980 wrote:
I think in terms of balance the cleric is pretty good, but I would agree that it could be more of an issue of is it fun to play. Maybe simply throwing in cooler spells is all it would take.


I think "cooler" spells would help. It doesn't matter much that a Cleric's spell effects lasts 40 minutes if all his effects are so vanilla.

moes1980 wrote:
The only other thing I can think of with spell lelvels is that, a magic missle casted with a 30 check should be just as (or about the same level of) aswomeness as a fire ball casted at level 30, since they both require the same level check (again, you still might favor one spell of another dependig on the combat situation).


I disagree a lot with this. I think lower level spells' effects should scale more slowly than higher level spells' effects. They're safer to cast and, thus, some power is traded off with that safety. I've worked out some of the math for the thing I'm writing -- which may or may not be offering a completely separate selection of spells for both Wizards and Clerics. I don't have my notes alongside me at the moment but consider this...

A 1st level spell scales up along the lines of something like this...

DC 12... Bona-fide 1st level effect. This would mean that the Magic Missile spell's DC 12 result is too weak. My version would have a better effect here.

DC 14... A 1st level "plus" effect. To get the math to even out, I had to create "sub-levels" on the spell charts.

DC 16... A second level effect with a 1st level spell

DC 18... A second level "plus" effect, etc.


A third level spell, like Fireball, would be something along the lines of...

DC 16... Regular spell effect. As per the OGL Fireball.

DC 18... 3rd level "plus" effect, etc.


Now, I don't have the spells scaling at exactly that rate. Some spells scale faster or a little slower based on the math behind it all. So they don't all bump at the same rate (every +2). Note that the 1st level spell is equivalent to a 2nd level spell when the 3rd level spell kicks in at full.

In no instance would a lower-level spell be equal to a higher-level spell, given the same roll for each.


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 Post subject: Re: Infernal Crucible of Sezrekan the Mad - Austin, Texas (6
PostPosted: Sat Jul 02, 2011 3:12 pm 
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geordie racer wrote:
Quote:
Fireball

Level = 3...


Thanks, geordie. Barring some discrepancy at the lowest casting levels, it seems pretty straightforward (based on this chart) that Magic Missile is the equal (if not better on some results) than Fireball.

Before the fireballs start heading my way, consider that Fireball gets a reflex save for 1/2 damage, while magic missile does not.

So, yes, 1d6+2 missiles doing 1d8+5 damage each is better than up to 12 fireballs doing 1d6 damage each. And I'll stand by that, given that the max damage of the missiles (104) cannot be lowered, whereas the max damage of the fireballs (72) can be cut in half.

Sure, yes, it's random. I get that. But it's also pretty egregious that a 1st level spell is in the same ballpark as a 3rd level spell, IMO. And raises the question of why bother to learn Fireball at all? Unless you need a backup for Magic Missile.


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 Post subject: Re: Infernal Crucible of Sezrekan the Mad - Austin, Texas (6
PostPosted: Sat Jul 02, 2011 4:01 pm 
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smathis wrote:
And raises the question of why bother to learn Fireball at all? Unless you need a backup for Magic Missile.


Fireball as it stands is a compromise between a dungeon spell and an outdoor artillery spell. I would differentiate it from Magic Missile by emphasizing the arc and area effect, having it as ONLY an area-effect spell at higher levels instead of being able to affect a single human-sized target. Obviously any flammable treasures (scrolls, potions, tomes etc.) are lost in the blast too. But I suppose if XP is derived from killing foes the spellcaster would be rinsing that spell to level up. I still dislike having Fireball in the spell list, but if we must have it give it a greater area of BOOM!

'OMG, Gandalf just took out Tegal Manor!'

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