Loswaith wrote:I suspect that the intent behind AGE is that most things are competent when they start out and increase in power alot less over the course of development than for other systems.
The first part I agree to (I both share in your "suspicion" and agree to the intent), but the second part I don't understand: the game has levels; I don't see how this game could have smaller increase in power than common fantasy games (take RuneQuest as a single example). Sure you still get hit quite often (unless you max out Dexterity) but you have scores of hit points.
The big design issues, as I see them, is
1) how attack and defense values doesn't keep pace
2) how defense values are so tightly tied to Dexterity that you either maximise that Stat, or you get a hopeless Defense value (even vs entry-level monsters).
Combined with the propensity for high Armor Ratings to drag combat down to a crawl, something needs to be tweaked.
The ultimate issue is that combat rolls doesn't seem to fall with in the sweet range (of, say, 40% ~ 70% hit chance) very often: either you almost automatically hit, or you almost automatically miss.
In a level-based game (where the range of values; from starting to min-maxxed; is comparatively great), as a game designer you do need to design in checks and balances to ensure the values keep in step of each other. I see no such design here.
Especially as the game uses 3d6 rolls: this means that the 40% to 70% range is represented by far fewer target values than for, say, d20 games: instead of this range covering seven values (8-14, inclusive) you only get three values at worst (rolling 9-11 or 10-12 accounts for 36.6% of all rolls). This means a 3d6 game needs to be even more well-oiled, balanced, and well-tested than a d20 one, since even a single +1 or -1 modifier could much more easily push us out of our desired "sweet range" (and into boring hit-fests and miss-fests).
Is there something I have missed, or is the game simply wide open in this regard?
To be clear: it would seem a game such as this would need to clamp down attack and defense values to dole them out in strictly controlled doses, to lessen or avoid cases where a character either lacks the 3 or 4 points needed to display a competitive defense, or where the character doubles down on the same bonuses, since even lying 3 or 4 points "ahead of the curve" will mean nearly automatic (> 80%) hits (if attack) or misses (if defense).