Gamma Actual Play Feedback

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agony

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Gamma Actual Play Feedback
« on: May 04, 2011, 09:31:48 AM »
We played last night with the new rules.  For Hack and Slash - we said no Damage on a 10+ but we also didn't use the +1 armor/damage options.  We also gave the Wizard 5+Strength encumberance which worked ok.

Thoughts:

-This was pointed out by Ben in my other thread, but there's no easy way for low strength characters to gain XP.  Our group typically highlights the low-stats to keep XP in check (otherwise we get like 20xp a session) and there are no moves for strength besides Hack and Slash.  The Wizard is too soft to hack and slash (until he gets mage armor) so he often finishes with less XP than the Fighter who can Spout Lore and Discern Realities nearly always (Fighter's Int/Wis is routinely marked).  We could think of no easy fix for this.

-Groups seem a little weak to me.  A zombie warband - the largest sized group of zombies possible by the rules - only deals 12 damage.  That seems a bit underwhelming.  I don't think the group rules are terrible - they just feel a little underwhelming.  I think the issue is that HP scales much more than Group damage (From level 4-5 a group of monsters will do 1 more point of damage but a Fighter will gain around 10HP).

-Bard is way too good at healing.  He multiclassed and took the Paladin's +4 when healing an ally and he heals 16 damage when singing at level 4.  Some of us also think the Bard is way too good at casting spells.  At most he will be 1 level behind the Wizard if he takes Spellcasting at level 2.  We thought a fair compromise would be that you can't take the spellcasting move until level 3. 

-Even though it's a bit clunky, we almost think that certain abilities should not be able to be taken with Multiclassing.  Maybe have abilities marked with an X if they can be or something.  The two bard abilities above are an example - also the Ranger's dual wield is a bit overpowered in the hands of a Fighter.

-The new equipment rocks.  You asked me why in my other thread Sage - I like the new items, I like the simplification of weapon categories, I like the new armor stats, I'm glad to finally see ammo available, I also like the suggested prices. 

-We love that carousing is free, that seems to bring the economy back in line.

-I'm not especially convinced that the Fighter is balanced with the new monster stats but our session was a bit wacky.  We will need to playtest this more.  My hang-up, which may be a non-issue admittedly, is that the Fighter has too much HP and the disparity between him and other classes causes problems when creating monsters.  The issue is that the fighter will only get hit roughly half the time he attacks (Say he rolls a 7 on average and has a +3 strength).  So if a monster is balanced to be killed in 3 attacks (I remember you stating this as a rough design goal eslewhere), the Fighter will nearly always kill it before he dies.   If you up the monster damage too much, nearly every other class will explode if they try and get in the fight (Thief, Ranger, whoever else).  I think this disparity will grow with level as we're currently level 4 and seeing this creep in a little bit.  Like I said though - we need more playtesting.

-This kind of leads into my last issue.  I'm having some personal problems with making moves as a GM.  Last night we had a Dracolich fighting the group.  The Fighter is meleeing the beast and doing this thing.  The Fighter rolls a 10 and htis without taking damage.  If I want the Dragon to fly and grab him and take him away can I have the Fighter roll defy danger?  HE already negated a hit with his Hack and Slash roll?  We ended up allowing it (mostly because the player was cool with it), but I felt bad allowing it to threaten him twice.  It could ahve killed him.  If the answer is no, the Hack and SLash included the Dracolich's attack, then I felt like the fight was realy kind of boring as half the time it was doing nothing but taking damage from the Fighter.  Not sure how to handle this situation and be fair to the players.

Thanks.

Re: Gamma Actual Play Feedback
« Reply #1 on: May 04, 2011, 10:22:56 AM »
the bard doesnt heal 16, he heals 12, he could heal 14 if he took the bard healing music ability as well but even if he did not multiclass into the paladins healing ability he would be healing 10. this is good, but i think it has its shining moments and then falls off. at level 5 at cleric can heal crit wouldnt for 4d8 while the bard sings for 10(+2)(+4).

on fighter hp. the fighter only gets 2 more hp a level base than a thief. the difference is made on the con mod, which is controllable by the player. this not only gives you more hp per level but also increases your chance of passing the roll for even more. (and i only have 13 more hp than the thief)

i think how you handled the dracolich situation was very good. (and you should have posted how you handled it! you didnt so i will) to handle the tackle or whatever you want to call it, agony told me that the dracolich was pouncing on me and was going to grab me and this was going to require a defy danger roll. i was allowed to hack and slash it as it came at me and the penalty for rolling a partial (which i did) was a -1 to the defy danger roll (which i promptly failed!)

i agree with agony that group damage seems a bit low. one of our players stated it like this (and it made sense to me). a group is a way to upgrade an individual monster to make it more challanging. if you want 5 guys you have 5 guys, dont make them a group of 5. if you want some of those 5 guys to be more challenging make it 3 guys and 2 crowds. etc.
is this the way you see it sage?

weight in general is kinda rough. i think it is very neat to force people to decide what they really really want to bring, but even at the highest carry capacity that a fighter can have, you get about 4 free weight. i guess that kind of makes the tough hide move better because it saves you 2 weight! (our thief get a bow, arrows, and two weight... lucky he has magic armor but he also has a 8 str...)

oooo, this is kind of funny... the human bard gets access to complex weapons that are piercing... basically a dueling rapier. should just say this flat out, its more simple. also on rapiers, why do they weigh 2? a spear weighs 1! i also think that their higher cost and, in the dueling rapiers case, more constraints make up for their advantages. (also it seems like a double whammy on anyone that would want to take one of these... i mean you wouldnt take it if you had a high str mod to begin with. so people with low str mods are being hit with higher weights!)

arcane armor and heavy arcane armor kind of makes me cry. maybe its my bias as a fighter but a wizard can get as much armor as a fighter can with both of these! and at only one weight. a fighter needs to spend 5 weight (at at least 3 with a move) to get the same effect! oh well, i guess it does take 2 moves to get this and fighters still have a far superior hp pool.

thats all i can think of for now... maybe more later

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agony

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Re: Gamma Actual Play Feedback
« Reply #2 on: May 06, 2011, 02:10:52 PM »
You're right about the HP, not sure why I was thinking otherwise - maybe because jeremy kept gaping at the amount of damage the Dracolich was doing.

I also think it's weird that the Bard gets 6 HP base while the Cleric/Thief get 5.