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Messages - Faskal

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Uncharted Worlds / Re: Questions and Answers
« on: September 14, 2014, 07:40:34 AM »
So we did another playtest, v0.83 this time. Gameplay is really getting more and more smooth.

We especially liked change in the Assessment standard move and Data Points. It worked nicely, players were actively trying to get some data points and used them occasionally.

Removal of gadgets was accepted with enthusiasm (I liked them, though).

I really appreciate rewriting of common moves. I had an argument with my friend if it's better to link a specific stat to a move (like cool => acting under fire in AW) or to allow player to pick which stat is he or she going to use (like Defy Danger in DW or your Face adversity). I think it dramatically changes tone of the game; in space opera I prefer your Face-Adversity-style-moves. But anyway, why have you decided to use this "roll+stat" instead of having a stat like "Cool" in AW and using it to Face adversity?

What I didn't like in the new version was the "barter" move and current "cargo" rule. I think it complicates things too much, and "barter" seems to me to be a perpetuum mobile. To gain new cargo my players were required to become either hardholders or exploit resources on uncharted worlds.
Original commercial's trade worked better, I guess, as player had more interesting options:
On a 10+, choose 2. On a 7-9, choose 1, or suffer significant delays and choose 2. On a 6-, something prevents you from selling your good here (legal issues, market saturation, etc)
* Gain 1 Favor with an appropriate faction
* Gain 1 Favor with an appropriate faction again
* Buy enough local trade goods to fill a cargo hold
* Make an automatically successful Acquisition

- with this move they could either refill cargo or gain another nice thing, but they had to find cargo elsewhere. Now cargo has rating, but nice point of original normal/valuable cargo was that at different place different cargo type is normal/valuable.

A few notes:
"Full character creation" is not updated from 0.82 to 0.83. Therefore it is not clear how many upgrades should a gear in newly defined gear-packages have.
New character sheets are cool. Though my players would prefer more space for "faction standing" and "weapons, gear, vehicles & crew" and less for skills, as they have skills on separate cards and they have written down only their names.
Concerning advancement, I think it is too slow and I allow players to put two points into careers. Currently it is too easy to get a point in a career you want, maybe it would be better to be able to get 2-3 points, but only if you accomplish more (three?) milestones in a career you would like to improve.

Uncharted Worlds / Re: Assessment and Codex Entries
« on: August 21, 2014, 07:15:28 AM »
I like it, and I'm going to use it next time.

Last time I understood as a "hold +1, if you are lucky (in fiction) you can reuse it again"; I guess new way how to handle it would work.
I think there is no need to dismiss idea of limited codex entries, as it says that some person can use more strategic informations then others.
What I forgot last time - we found a minor problem with this though - if two characters have same/similar Codex entry and one of them finds his Codex entry outdated, second one still keeps it and in fiction it may be hard to describe how it is possible.

A friend of mine noted that it was cool to make assessment by seducing someone and now "using hard work or strenuous activity, Roll+Physique" doesn't mention it :-)

Uncharted Worlds / Re: Questions and Answers
« on: August 19, 2014, 01:02:36 PM »
Thanks for your response!
So after another game, this time using v0.82...
I really liked previous game, and this one was even better.

Well, start of another game was quite slow again, almost three hours with four players, but again - I guess it was worth its while.

I asked my players to pick the Origin and the Careers before session. At the table, we started with character creation, and then continued with rough description of fractions and their connections to players and possible ongoing conflicts. As it took too much time, I decided to start with dramatic flashback, in which they bought their ship from space pirates (well, they stole it and successfully leveraged the fraction to let them go with a huge "debt") and then connected characters more strongly with fractions and then we finally started. Some of my guys had problems to describe their "iconic gadget" so I let them to do it later and I wanted my players to describe their quarters only when appropriate (it was usually during "cramped quarters"). So, it was like 3 hour setting stuff up and 6 hours of game itself. And it was AWESOME.

Quick-start possibility would be nice, but this type of game start makes really nice content and it’s quite common for apocalypse engine games to need a few sessions to really kick in. Your flashback mechanic may work, but I would have to try it to be sure. I had similar idea, but I set the premise of a scene myself and all characters got involved eventually.

Just a personal note, I didn't find 'bond/strings/hx' too mechanical and it usually worked nicely in fiction for me. Well, I'll definitely look forward to your implementation.

Concerning codex... For some reason it didn't work well. Players acquired some, but rarely used one. How do you explain that a new codex entry overwrites old one? I just said that the old entry is now outdated and irrelevant, as something changed, but this is somehow... non-trivial and not supported by rules.
I usually gave codex entry as a "reward" for something in fiction, as no one used assessment move on their own (I suggested it a few times, though). I guess a list of "good, example questions" would really help.
Well, should I generally understand codex more as "+1 ongoing on a topic" or something like "hold +1, and act quickly, as it may change any moment"?

"The Codex entry from Assessment basically unlocks 'advanced/intimate knowledge' about whatever the subject is." ... This was quite unclear for me and my players during last game. Only our scientist was quite able to get something really useful - she hacked a few systems to get layouts of a space station, and then successfully analyzed swarming signal of some primitive aliens, so she used this knowledge to disrupt their communication. At you say "Physique Assessments: Climbing/hiking through hostile terrain to make an Assessment about the terrain, wildlife, etc... Seducing/sleeping with someone to make an Assessment about them." It makes sense to me to make assessment roll, but I probably wouldn't give a codex entry for that, as I understood Codex entry as a quite specific piece of information and for me the assessment examples above are too broad.

While I like the idea of Codex mechanic, I think it yet needs some tweaking. I'm not sure if "old 'Ask a question' Move got used so often, I just removed it and made knowledge binary" is good idea, though. I think it may coexist.

I love the idea that careers and origin define what is in your living quarters. While I liked previous version more (the one where it was bound to your moves), a list of possible "rooms" you can have worked really well and we used a few of them nicely in fiction (mainly supercomputer for hacking/data storage and hydroponic plant for restoration of a life support station - on a side note, the most important part of a life support station seems to be a coffee machine)

Some notes...

CRAMPED QUARTERS! That move is awesome! I randomly picked one player for every week of space travel and ask him to pick another player, so it was one CQ during typical jump on an established route. And four CQs after a wild jump (House rule - we used hex-grid for a star map, one day/hex following an established route, one week/hex for a wild jump) following partially successful attempt to destruct an enemy frigate, after which they had to outrun the blast from prematurely activated three MIRV missiles (each containing four nuclear warheads) melted together for bigger blast, which they had to deliver to close proximity of the frigate. (Captain: "I knew I should not allow civilians to operate nuclear weapons!" Theoretical physicist: "Well, it did explode eventually, didn't it?")

While I miss Artificial origin, it was least preferred origin last time we played and now origins and careers seems to be nicely balanced. I am looking forward to "expanded rules", with artificials, cyborgs and aliens :-)

Simplified version of "run a program" worked better; more abstract "PROGRAM" really suited us.

"Gear" section seems for some reason to describe only (space)suits. Do you plan to broad scope of this section? Or is everything else going to be covered by "gadgets"?
- my players were able to make "clumsy&inconspicuous combo, as I found in a middle of a combat :-)

Patch up now works only on human and "repair" move is mentioned there, but you cannot use most of the available options.

Technobabble is really cool; I allowed my player to use it as a substitution for influence even during a face adversity move, I think it was appropriate. Stat substitution can be really powerful.
It used to be possible to "brace for impact" inside vehicle, I missed it this time. A ship with PCs finally got some beating :-)
- Brace for impact is fantastic, I like how abstract it is. However, I found it quite complicated to constantly invent new ways how to say to our soldier, that he is suffering from critical injury. :-)
-- As default, I used "severe injury" most of the time thinking that guy with armor +2 can easily soak some damage, but he failed all the time. It's fine you put there"extra costs/troubles" at fail, I'll probably use it more next time.

I understand why it is not possible to get a level in your origin, but I still missed it. I will probably award some for fulfilling significant personal achievement. It has to be consistent for all players, though.

My friend who leads an independent UW game (yes, it's quite popular around here :-) noticed, that it is better to pick +1 move from your origin, as you can get some cool moves later in the game, but you would never get +1 to your stat, so 3 of his 4 players picked this move. In my group it was opposite though, and only one player picked +1 move; she also understood from its description that it's limited by fiction "(You’re good at making do with limited resources, and getting the most out of what you have, making you a bit of a hoarder." So she used it only when "resources were limited"; at least until I found out).

Physique stat was hardly used at all (mostly for face adversity) and I don't get why it is used for fighting using pistols and shotguns. Also, concerning LAUNCH ASSAULT and OPEN FIRE, I really like more abstract moves, but "The encounter creates a short-term complication." and "The encounter will have long-term ramifications." is maybe too abstract for me :-) The way how the move is described (pick one complication) enables to write more possibilities from which you pick one (like old "there are still lots of enemies" and such)

So, that's all I guess,
I must say I really like your game. Especially space combats are awesome.
I am quite busy right now, but I hope we are going to play another game in a few weeks.

Uncharted Worlds / Re: Questions and Answers
« on: August 02, 2014, 09:32:06 AM »
I rolled 2d6+0=6. Damn

while doing some open-gaming I offered a few AW hacks I found interesting. Uncharted Worlds was one of games we actually played.

First I must say you did really great job here!
The game was funny, we had really good action, space combat was especially amazing and players successfully manipulated some fractions against each other using the favour mechanic. They even asked me for another game, so I'm preparing it.
We had some problems with the rules, but then I found I had seriously outdated version (0.6 I guess) and you have already corrected most of it, so again - really good job here.

Probably major problem was slow start and preparing phase. We spent more than two hours setting up, which is more than in any other AW hack. It was mainly due to now outdated mechanics - one player describes a fraction, second one describes his link to this fraction and another says how he was involved. Resulting fractions were awesome though, and it somehow bonded characters together.

As GM I missed some kind of "bonds", "Hx" or "oaths" between characters at character creation, because resulting characters somehow "floated in a space". Are you going to implement something like that? It would probably get better in a long-term game, especially with players that know each other, and with help of the "cramped quarters" move. I quess that you can nicely fit something like that into the Origin.

I understand that you put "Seduce or manipulate" and similar social moves under generic Face adversity, but I am still missing something like that. What I miss even more is read person/read situation. Move like Deduction with a roll required would work perfectly.  Or it could be put into Assessment move as a way how to get Codex entry. I really liked abandoned idea of "Ask a question, on partial success I will answer you, on a full success you can ask me two following question."

Well, I yet have to play new version with leveling, but I have a few questions: would it be possible to gain xp in your origin somehow? There are some cool moves and it seems that you cannot get them.
It says "At the end of each session, if the player has achieved a milestone similar to one of those, the player earns 1xp in that Career" in Leveling section and "At the end of each session you can spend 1 XP in this career if you accomplished an appropriate milestone during the session" in each career description. I guess the first wording is better.
Also, does it mean that you automatically gain an xp in Commercial when you "Have a Great standing with a commercial or corporate faction" at the end of the session? So, if you are on good terms with merchants, you will eventually become an merchant yourself?

In case you are going to make a new class, lots of guys around me expected some kind of psyker class.

It seems that you were thinking about shields ("Shields: The person manning this Station can Patch Up depleted Shields and can Override to provide case-specific shielding."), but there is no description how shield works. Last time I resolved it according to fiction (It seams that they are targeting the engines, what are you doing, shield guy?). Frankly, I am not sure how it could interact with the Brace for impact move.

But anyway,
last UW session was really good and I am really looking forward to another one.

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