Set 3 Open Playtest

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Re: Set 3 Open Playtest

Postby Estoirtoh » Fri Mar 02, 2012 1:12 am

Even IF Lightning Attack could create stunt points in this certain case (which can be argued) those SP couldn't be used to fuel another Lightning Attack, since you can't use the LA stunt more than once in a round. So no, Death Hex is not really broken.
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Re: Set 3 Open Playtest

Postby shonuff » Fri Mar 02, 2012 4:45 am

Teryn wrote:
shonuff wrote:One of the problems is that mounts are (as of now) undefined. You can finagle stats for a war horse using a riding horse, but it IMO feels thrown-together. If nothing else, how much does a war horse cost?


War horses are trained to go into combat. It's not cheap to train them either. And currently there is only one nation that will have them, Orlais. They are the only ones who use mounted units.


As said above, other nations have war horses, and I would assume that Ferelden would have used them, too, if only it had been easy to depict the use of horses in a CRPG where you also deny them to the PCs.

A second point is that I know they are expensive. How much? As I have complained before, there isn't enough of an inventory list to get a true sense of the economy. Furthermore, there is so little to actually spend money on that money is actually kind of worthless.
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Re: Set 3 Open Playtest

Postby empyrien » Fri Mar 02, 2012 8:03 am

One thing occurred to me:

The playtest list some examples of mage staves with superior benefits. What is the weapon style that corresponds to wielding a mage staff? There is no talent that covers Arcane Lance. As far as I can tell, there is no melee talent that corresponds to wielding a quarterstaff either (I thought maybe the two-hander style but the requirements don't match).
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Re: Set 3 Open Playtest

Postby Pytorb » Fri Mar 02, 2012 10:04 am

shonuff wrote:A second point is that I know they are expensive. How much? As I have complained before, there isn't enough of an inventory list to get a true sense of the economy. Furthermore, there is so little to actually spend money on that money is actually kind of worthless.


I very much agree on that but it is probably something were never going to see in a main rulebook, unless Green Ronin decide that from level 11 onwards that characters have enough cash to make a larger inventory list more worthwhile...

You could always take my price list (viewtopic.php?f=29&t=9894&p=95514&hilit=Updated+price#p95514) and adjust the prices for a Thedas economy and coinage rather than a Westerosi one.
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Re: Set 3 Open Playtest

Postby Pytorb » Fri Mar 02, 2012 10:14 am

empyrien wrote:One thing occurred to me:

The playtest list some examples of mage staves with superior benefits. What is the weapon style that corresponds to wielding a mage staff? There is no talent that covers Arcane Lance. As far as I can tell, there is no melee talent that corresponds to wielding a quarterstaff either (I thought maybe the two-hander style but the requirements don't match).


I'd go with Single Weapon myself, it fits the highly defensive nature of a Quarterstaff.
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Re: Set 3 Open Playtest

Postby shonuff » Fri Mar 02, 2012 12:27 pm

Pytorb wrote:
shonuff wrote:A second point is that I know they are expensive. How much? As I have complained before, there isn't enough of an inventory list to get a true sense of the economy. Furthermore, there is so little to actually spend money on that money is actually kind of worthless.


I very much agree on that but it is probably something were never going to see in a main rulebook, unless Green Ronin decide that from level 11 onwards that characters have enough cash to make a larger inventory list more worthwhile...

You could always take my price list (viewtopic.php?f=29&t=9894&p=95514&hilit=Updated+price#p95514) and adjust the prices for a Thedas economy and coinage rather than a Westerosi one.


That's a thorough list. If I ever actually play ASIF, I'll definitely steal it. A while back, I put together a list of common items: viewtopic.php?f=33&t=10282

One thing about GR that I dislike is the sets of clothing. IMO, I feel itemized clothing allows for more customization and flair.
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Re: Set 3 Open Playtest

Postby shonuff » Fri Mar 02, 2012 12:29 pm

Pytorb wrote:
empyrien wrote:One thing occurred to me:

The playtest list some examples of mage staves with superior benefits. What is the weapon style that corresponds to wielding a mage staff? There is no talent that covers Arcane Lance. As far as I can tell, there is no melee talent that corresponds to wielding a quarterstaff either (I thought maybe the two-hander style but the requirements don't match).


I'd go with Single Weapon myself, it fits the highly defensive nature of a Quarterstaff.


Maybe Pole Weapon? Single weapon is more for one-handed weapons.
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Re: Set 3 Open Playtest

Postby Pytorb » Fri Mar 02, 2012 3:39 pm

shonuff wrote:Maybe Pole Weapon? Single weapon is more for one-handed weapons.


True, but Pole Weapons are much more for something with a bladed and/or pointy business end to it.

I would go either way depending on how someone was planning to use the Quarterstaff. Mainly offensively, holding the staff wth one end facing forward, thrusting and jabbing with it like a tipless spear, then Pole Weapons would be the one to go for. Mainly defensively, holding the quarterstaff across their body to deflect uncoming blows, flicking in with occasional blows to the upper body and shins, then single weapon is the kind of effect they are generating.
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Re: Set 3 Open Playtest

Postby empyrien » Fri Mar 02, 2012 4:31 pm

I agree with Pytorb that Single Weapon Style benefits fit the best with the quarterstaff fighting style, so maybe we just have to fudge the "single-handed weapon" requirement.

Polearm style doesn't really fit in my mind -- most polearms are probably a good two feet longer than a quarterstaff (or more in the case of a pike for example), and fighting with a quarterstaff is about mobility and speed rather than reach and "setting yourself for a charge" so the Polearm Style benefits don't seem to match up.

I'd almost be tempted to have a house rule that the improvements that mages get to Arcane Lance correspond to a "fighting style" for the purpose of talent level benefits, i.e.

Novice -> Long Lance (range goes to 24 yards)
Journeyman -> Power Lance (2 MP for +1d6 damage)
Master -> Stunt Bonus (Lightning Attack for 2 SP)

Mainly because in the computer game the base damage a mage staff did improved with material quality.
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Re: Set 3 Open Playtest

Postby Vaelorn » Fri Mar 02, 2012 4:50 pm

empyrien wrote:I agree with Pytorb that Single Weapon Style benefits fit the best with the quarterstaff fighting style, so maybe we just have to fudge the "single-handed weapon" requirement.


I'm sure this came up before on these forums, and the official GR response (if I remember correctly!) was that quarterstaves should use the Single Weapon Style.
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Re: Set 3 Open Playtest

Postby empyrien » Fri Mar 02, 2012 5:00 pm

Vaelorn wrote:I'm sure this came up before on these forums, and the official GR response (if I remember correctly!) was that quarterstaves should use the Single Weapon Style.


Thanks for pointing that out. You are correct, I found the thread here.

Seems a bit sloppy that the developers themselves realised the issue but haven't mentioned it in any errata. I know DA is supposed to be a light weight system and hence relies heavily on the GM to fill in the gaps, but in some instances it would be better just to have an official rule.
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Re: Set 3 Open Playtest

Postby Lynata » Fri Mar 02, 2012 5:25 pm

shonuff wrote:A second point is that I know they are expensive. How much? As I have complained before, there isn't enough of an inventory list to get a true sense of the economy. Furthermore, there is so little to actually spend money on that money is actually kind of worthless.
Did a bit of research on Wikipedia, and apparently a destrier - the most expensive warhorse you could get - was valued at least at 4 times the price of a normal horse. It goes up from there to several hundred times this price (depending on the era), but given the nature of this game, I would think that a price of 500 sp sounds like a good start for the lower spectrum. Depending on the reputation of the trainer, it could go as high as several Sovereigns.

There are other types of warhorses that were far more common and much cheaper than destriers, though. For a courser, I'd say maybe 250 sp? And to keep things simple, I'm going to assume the standard DA riding horse is a rouncey.

Of course, this is just the price of the horse. Barding would come extra, and here I suggest a price from 200 sp for light armour to 300 for heavy, just off the top of my head.

That being said, I'd be surprised if Set 3 would not include at least one type of charger with stats and price - after all, mounted combat does seem to be one of its selling points.
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Re: Set 3 Open Playtest

Postby shonuff » Fri Mar 02, 2012 6:09 pm

Seems about right. You could also use the quality modifiers from Set 2 to raise the quality of the horse.

IMO, though, it should have been out sooner. I know DA is a rules-light game, but it's possible to be too rules-light.
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Re: Set 3 Open Playtest

Postby Loswaith » Sat Mar 03, 2012 12:19 am

Nice find Lynata, and a great bit of info.
I'd typically say a good typical warhorse for DA (given the info Lynata links too) is the courser, while likely for Banns and other nobles are more likely to use the destrier as they are a bit more befitting their stature and wealth.
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Re: Set 3 Open Playtest

Postby Zapp » Sat Mar 03, 2012 12:54 am

zanwot wrote:Let me remind you one of the first rules of RPGs: Players tell you what kind of adventure they want with their PCs. So if they get Horseriding skills... guess what: they don't want a dungeon!

And, of course, the corollary of that is:

If you the GM have prepared a dungeon-heavy adventure, don't offer horse-based career choices/talents/etc to your adventurers!

Just as easily as a good GM warns her players not to play a mermaid in a land-based adventure, or take a Desert Dervish type of background for an adventure in the Frostback Mountains...

Of course, there is a middle ground. I can easily see a Dragon Age campaign that features most of its set pieces in terrain unsuitable for mounted combat (indoors, underground, inside cities etc), but still offer plenty of overland traveling allowing the mounted character to shine on occasion. To make this work, two things need to be in place:
1) the player must understand his character is a regular adventurer first, mounted horseman second. In other words, "fighting on horseback" can't and shouldn't be the defining characteristic of the PC.
2) the rules must allow for mounted combat to shine on those (rare) occasions when it does happen. Que my earlier suggestion to significantly upgrade the damage potential of a successful mounted charge.

And equally given is the case in the other extreme; in a "Horse Nomads of the Mongolian Steppes" kind of campaign, where almost all combat can be assumed to be mounted, the rules (and its modest bonuses) for mounted combat is fine as-is; since otherwise players would never choose to play characters that doesn't fight on horseback...


The real question, thus, is: what kind of campaign does Dragon Age assume as the default?

My answer is clear: I believe the default Dragon Age campaign will offer relatively limited opportunities for mounted combat. Thus, I feel its mounted combat benefits aren't strong enough to justify specializing.


That doesn't mean I can't acknowledge the designers' dilemma here. As always, the only way to accomplish game balance is to design for the extreme case (to look at the optimized build, that is). In this case, the "optimized build" includes the condition "only choosing mounted combat bonuses in a mounted combat heavy campaign". Thus I understand the modest bonuses given.

However, that doesn't mean I agree with the design decision made. I would have preferred stronger mounted bonuses and the inclusion of a "behind the scenes" sidebar explaining the assumption that they aren't supposed to come into effect very often (since in all honesty, fantasy adventurers often find themselves in terrain where horses can't run).
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Re: Set 3 Open Playtest

Postby Zapp » Sat Mar 03, 2012 1:09 am

Regarding the subtopic of war horses, I think that for a campaign that doesn't put any particular focus on mounted combat, the distinction between "combat trained" and "not combat trained" is enough.

That is, the stats remain the same, only that
1) regular horses will continuously panic and try to flee when in combat (forcing the rider to spend his major action each round on controlling his steed, essentially making it impossible to fight on horseback)
2) war trained horses only require one control test (a minor action) plus additional tests (minor actions) when the steed is damaged, exposed to sudden changes (explosions nearby etc) etc...
3) a war trained horse cost ten times as much as the same type of untrained horse
(The same rules apply for all steeds: horses, ponies, lizards, eagles etc... Of course, some types of steeds are always considered war trained)
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Re: Set 3 Open Playtest

Postby Elfie » Sat Mar 03, 2012 3:39 pm

empyrien wrote:Also noticed that the at level 17 the Mage progression seems to be missing a New Talent. I'm assuming its an error.


They're also missing a talent at level 13.

And "You gain one new spell" got shifted from every even level to every odd level. It just feels off, particularly at level 12 which is entirely underwhelming.
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Re: Set 3 Open Playtest

Postby si1vergecko » Sun Mar 04, 2012 11:22 pm

empyrien wrote:Novice -> Long Lance (range goes to 24 yards)
Journeyman -> Power Lance (2 MP for +1d6 damage)
Master -> Stunt Bonus (Lightning Attack for 2 SP)


Problem with the Power Lance is it is useless since you can already use the Mighty Blow stunt with the Arcane Lance. Also the range of Arcane Lance also increases at level 7 to 24 yards anyway. Also the Lightening Attack discount is currently achieved at level 12 in the playtest.
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Re: Set 3 Open Playtest

Postby empyrien » Mon Mar 05, 2012 2:37 am

si1vergecko wrote:Problem with the Power Lance is it is useless since you can already use the Mighty Blow stunt with the Arcane Lance. Also the range of Arcane Lance also increases at level 7 to 24 yards anyway. Also the Lightening Attack discount is currently achieved at level 12 in the playtest.


Perhaps I wasn't clear, but what I was proposing wouldn't be a real talent that players could take. It's just a mapping of the level-based bonuses that a mage gets to a "talent level" for the purposes of superior benefits. Hence it would just be a "fake talent" so that a lower-level mage who got their hands on a superior staff could enjoy some of the benefits to Arcane Lance that a high level mage enjoys.

In any case, after thinking about it some more, I think it's actually better just to give the mage the benefits of the SIngle Weapon Style. A bonus to defense, and for really high end items no penalty for being outnumbered, actually are quite useful to a mage.
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Re: Set 3 Open Playtest

Postby aris » Tue Mar 06, 2012 2:57 am

The new talents are very nice, especially the ones regarding mounted combat and polearms. It would be nice if we had more talents regarding other groups of weapons such as heavy blades, axes ...

I also liked the new stunts regarding specific schools of magic. I would like to also see new stunts regarding weapon groups. Maybe warfare stunts have to do with this.... although the name seems more fit for mass combat rules.

Regarding materials for weapons/armors I agree with Hellebore that they are not impressive at all...
I would like to see materials influencing different qualities of the weapon instead of only boosting the noob fighter... (this is a nice idea but it shouldn' t be the end of the story). I also think that the solution is not to generally boost damage or to hit but maybe provide different bonuses such as boosting a specific stunt or allow some rerolls or something else... Generally messing with the to hit chance is a bad idea for this game. But it is clear that since materials were addressed by set 2 things will not change (at least officially :-P)
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Re: Set 3 Open Playtest

Postby shonuff » Tue Mar 06, 2012 4:16 am

aris wrote:Regarding materials for weapons/armors I agree with Hellebore that they are not impressive at all...
I would like to see materials influencing different qualities of the weapon instead of only boosting the noob fighter... (this is a nice idea but it shouldn' t be the end of the story). I also think that the solution is not to generally boost damage or to hit but maybe provide different bonuses such as boosting a specific stunt or allow some rerolls or something else... Generally messing with the to hit chance is a bad idea for this game. But it is clear that since materials were addressed by set 2 things will not change (at least officially :-P)


IMO, there are too many different materials to adjust different stunts. The end would be a chaotic mess.
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Re: Set 3 Open Playtest

Postby aris » Tue Mar 06, 2012 4:28 am

I am not suggesting to link each material with one stunt. Stunts were just an example. One material could offer better armor piercing by linking it to the stunt and the other one could add an extra effect when performing an all-attack major action. It is not necessary all of them to provide something similar, variety is a good thing as long as it is not unbalanced.
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Re: Set 3 Open Playtest

Postby shonuff » Tue Mar 06, 2012 5:00 am

Right, and that's why it becomes, IMO, a mess. There are 8 different weapon metals, 9 different woods, 10 different armor materials. And Red Steel has been left out (whether on purpose or oversight, IDK).

I think that's too many materials to give out unique properties/material.
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Re: Set 3 Open Playtest

Postby Krylancelo » Tue Mar 06, 2012 12:45 pm

Hi guys,

I've two questions:

a) Ranger (novice degree):

"You can lure nearby animals to your location and make them fight for you. You start by
making a Communication (Animal Handling) test, which takes 2d6 minutes. The base TN is 13
but the GM may adjust it based on the area you’ve chosen and the orneriness of the animals. For
each degree of success, you reduce the time the test takes by 1 minute."


Does this mean, that if my 2d6 roll results in 6 minutes or less - while I roll a 6 on my dragon die - the luring-action becomes instant? I can't believe this to be correct. I'd suggest the Communication test takes 1d6+6 minutes instead of 2d6.


b) Languages and Backgrounds:
Tevinter Mages, Tevinter Commoners, Tevinter Nobles (and Escaped Elven Slaves) should be able to speak and read Arcanum (cf. Set 2 Player's Guide, "Liguistics (novice)", p. 41), shouldn't they?
"That's what I've heard on the road anyhow. Take it for what it is."
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Re: Set 3 Open Playtest

Postby Loswaith » Tue Mar 06, 2012 4:17 pm

I'd say it is instant in that an animal happens to be passing by at the time the ability is used. The ranger seeing it tries to lure it then and there as part of the ranger's action, so in reality its not quite instant because it will always take atleast that action (likely a major action for the Communication(Animal Handling) test) for the ranger to still lure it. It's just instant in the animals time to arrive because it is already nearby.
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