prerelease comments / observations

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Re: prerelease comments / observations
« Reply #15 on: August 12, 2012, 06:39:23 PM »
The Bard move "It Goes to Eleven" is hard to interpret.  The 10+ effect seems like it could be tactically useful to use on either allies or enemies.  However the written consequence for rolling a 7-9 "but then takes +1d4 damage ongoing as the music invigorates it" is extremely unclear.  Who is being invigorated, and taking more damage because of this invigoration?  If this means your enemies are taking more damage, why is rolling in the 7-9 range a more desirable outcome than rolling higher?

"Takes" in Dungeon*World has a specific definition.  Like in "Take 1 Hold" or "Take 1 Forward", when someone Takes something, they gain an invisible, metaphorical game token which is then used.  In this instance the author's intentions seem to be that on a 7-9, when you target and confuse one of your foes, that foe is then invigorated, supercharged, and gains a +1d4 damage Ongoing.  They do not "take" a certain a mount of damage in the usual RPG parlance, incurring 1d4 hp worth of wounds wounds; instead, they get to add +1d4 to their damage Ongoing.  Your Hit succeeds and confuses your foe, but the trade off is that your foe is now more powerful.

Now, honestly, the application of this power to Allies seems to have been outside of the authors' expected actions and it's not exactly clear if this is supposed to be an intentional buff when used on your friends.

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zmook

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Re: prerelease comments / observations
« Reply #16 on: August 12, 2012, 06:49:12 PM »
A few comments on first reading, from someone who hasn't played these rules yet.

Just (Level+1) of spells prepared, really?  So when you finally get to level 5, you can either memorize 6 level 1 spells, 2 level 3 spells, or just one level 5 plus a level 1?  ie, if you want your exciting new level 5 spell, you can't memorize any level 3s at all?  That seems a little harsh.

On the flip side, a Ranger can take God Amidst the Wastes at level 2, and thereafter be only one level behind a dedicated Cleric, for no extra experience?  That seems like a lot to get for just one advancement move.

The rules on the Ranger's animal companion seem thin, unless there's more somewhere I haven't found.  What if a companion gets killed?  Some guidelines would seem appropriate.  Also, what does Unnatural Ally, "Your companion is a monster, not an animal", mean?  Are you expected to get a new companion at that point?   Or is it more of an "explain how your companion got enhanced" kind of deal?   

Are there any guidelines for what the companion's tricks should or shouldn't allow?  I don't see much.

The Cleric spell Animate Dead seems to be the only ongoing spell that does not say "While this spell is ongoing take -1 to Cast a Spell".  Is that an oversight?

The Cleric spell Sanctuary gives no guidance that I can see about area of effect.  Would anything prevent a cleric from walking the bounds of an entire castle, or town?  And then it lasts for as long as they stay inside.  The wizard spell Alarm has a similar issue.

The Cleric spell Repair seems too vague to play as is.  For instance, should it allow "I repair all the effects of when Vlad Dracul was made a vampire"?   Which would result in killing Dracula himself and also his entire brood.  And who knows what else.  If not, why not?   Presumably there must be a limit of some kind on how old an event can be Repaired, to avoid time paradoxes.

Plague should be tagged Ongoing and is not.  Possibly Storm of Vengeance should be also;  or if not, I'm not sure why it's different.

Is the Wizard spell Telepathy meant to be ongoing?  If not, it seems its value is severely curtailed, being able to communicate silently with someone you could just talk to.  Or is the idea that it lasts indefinitely, but doesn't count as "ongoing" because it doesn't give a penalty to casting?  Also, it only says that the wizard can speak to the target of the telepathy;  I would assume vice versa also?

There should be some guidance as to what counts as a "lesser spell" and what is "powerful magic" for the purposes of Dispel Magic.   Is it relative to the level of the caster, or fixed relative to the 3rd level of Dispel Magic itself?  Are permanent magic items different from ongoing spell effects?

How nearby is "nearby", for Fireball?

Contingency says "a 5th level or lower spell that you know", rather than "have prepared".  Is that intended?   If so, it seems like you could thereby use Contingency to indirectly cast any lower-level spell in your spellbook without worrying about what you prepare.

It seems like Cloudkill would be powerful against an army, if you have a company of archers on your side.  But tricky to make much use of in a dungeon (and this is Dungeon World) -- likely to harm your allies as much as your enemies.   Maybe I'm missing something.

Soul Gem is puzzling.  I am not sure what it does that makes it a 9th level spell;  it seems only marginally more powerful than the 1st level Contact Spirits in terms of the described mechanical effects.

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noofy

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Re: prerelease comments / observations
« Reply #17 on: August 12, 2012, 07:50:39 PM »
A few comments on first reading, from someone who hasn't played these rules yet.

Hey Zmook,
I know your questions come from a need for mechanical qualification, but I would strongly recommend that you play a session of DW and see what questions come up in application of the rules.

Your questioning seems to hint at a particular 'balanced' style of play where ALL contingencies are catered for mechanically. The game does work as is for fantastic storygame play, but if you want to fiddle and give the wizard more spells or specify ranges in feet and inches, or detail what happens when a Ranger's companion dies or the depth of a cleric's sanctuary..... Then by all means, its your game after all.

Be a fan of the characters, fill their lives full of adventure, leave blanks. Once its authored into the fiction of your dungeon world its canon. Your questions make me dream imaginatively of hordes of undead that would require the cleric to invoke sanctuary over a whole town (and what hard move I could make on a miss!), encouraging discussion with the ranger's player on what sort of tricks they want their companion to be able to do, what happens when the orc the wizard has telepathy over talks back and requests aid for her infant son being held hostage by the kobolds?

Have a crack at telling a good story with the rules as is, they work. Fiddle later if you don't like it. Tell us all about in an AP! We love hearing great stories from actual play :)

Re: prerelease comments / observations
« Reply #18 on: August 12, 2012, 07:56:20 PM »
Thank you MrPrim, I like your interpretation of "It Goes to Eleven."  However, your definition of "takes" seems at odds with at least one other place in the rules, the "Penitent" and "Martyr" moves for the Cleric.  There, it is fairly clear that the Cleric must "take +1d4 damage," meaning that the Cleric actually suffers 1d4 hit points more damage than he would normally, not that he would deal 1d4 damage than he would normally.

Certainly the use of "ongoing" in the description of "It Goes to Eleven" makes your interpretation the sensible one.  But "take" appears to be inconsistently used.  Where in the text do you find the specific Dungeon World definition of "take"?

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zmook

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Re: prerelease comments / observations
« Reply #19 on: August 12, 2012, 11:09:26 PM »
I know your questions come from a need for mechanical qualification, but I would strongly recommend that you play a session of DW and see what questions come up in application of the rules.

Hiya, noofy.  A few responses:  1). I'd love to just play some, but that would require people to play with and also more hours in the day.  I don't really have either this month, though I do have time to read a set of beta rules (that I'm quite interested in) and write some feedback on what doesn't seem clear.  First-time players count too, right?  Hopefully my questions will be helpful to Sage & Adam.

2)  I am currently running an Apocalypse World game in what gaming time I do have, so I have some idea how the structure works, and what I was hoping to see in Dungeon World.  I've also played a lot of old-school D&D over 20+ years.  DW bills itself as a game with modern rules and "old-school style" -- I mean, it's a game with an encumbrance stat and it has a Make Camp roll. It doesn't seem unreasonable to me to expect the character rules to support a bit of gamism in my game.  Gamism is fun too.

3) Of course you can always houserule a broken or incomplete rule, but that doesn't mean it wasn't broken or incomplete to begin with.

I am still very much looking forward to giving this game a try someday.  DW seems as close to the game I want to play as anything I've seen lately.

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noofy

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Re: prerelease comments / observations
« Reply #20 on: August 13, 2012, 02:13:03 AM »
No worries Zmook! Of course ist time players can have questions and it helps to have answers. I wasn't trying to dissuade you from asking questions of Adam and Sage, far from it! I'm happy that you think DW will scratch that particular itch you are hoping it will. 

Its just that the rules have been developing over two years and many of the systems, procedures and tags are well versed in story game play, but don't act as intended when you 'game them up'. I've played several dozen sessions of DW (and a fair bit of AW too), and haven't really felt the need to 'houserule'. I've tinkered, but always seem to fall back on the base ruleset that Adam and Sage (and Tony) have developed and worked on.

I mean, did you query tags like 'messy' in AW, or have issues with 'Opening your brain'? These have similar counterparts in DW that may be at odds with more gamist attitudes. All this aside, I'll have a crack at your questions and try to be helpful from my (heavily biased) story games standpoint.

I've had a player who played through with a level 9 wizard (and three rulesets) and had no issues with his spells or associated moves. Its a limited resource sure, but he also could also remember his spells, cast rituals, have specialist magical knowledge. He could also 'change his menu of spells' whenever he sat down and prepared spells, not be limited by the daily vancian paradigm.

Taking God Amongst the Wastes is a heavily story affecting choice. Descriptive and Prescriptive remember? The Ranger's player is making a statement and raising a flag for you as GM to what sort of story they want to play with the group, not simply because that move choice is 'more effective' than the cleric at a similar level.

I dunno, what does happen when Strider, the ever vigilant wolf companion of Athos the Ranger (who also happens to be a God fearing man amongst the wastes) is taken down by their mortal enemy Gratch the Ogre? That's a great story question, particular to my Dungeon World, but at a pinch I would say that Athos will be Defying Danger for while, and mayhap take a disability until he can train a new wolf pup.

A companions tricks are tags, just like any other. There limitations are governed prescriptively and descriptively by the fiction and by the GM following their principles and agenda.

I don't believe that Animate Dead needs a -1 ongoing. The zombie, once animated, no longer needs so much 'prayer concentration'

I think that if you determine that the cleric could walk the perimeter of the town and apply sanctuary then go for it! That sounds like an awesome story in the making :)

Repair is a level 9 spell. Its meant to be powerful, I think that how you interpret its effects shapes your Dungeon World. What you suggest with Vlad and his brood seems reasonable (and fantastic!). Also, what would happen if you failed the prayer roll?!

Yup, we played that telepathy doesn't act as as a -1 ongoing to cast spells unless the wizard is actively talking to their target.

What do you need to know about lesser magics or powerful ones? As a GM your antagonism is just that, tagged as lesser or powerful.  All the questions you ask are gold for your game and the answers may be totally different to mine and that's great! So long as you follow the principles it'll work out fine. There is only one Wizard, and you are a fan of them :)

There are large open spaces in the deeps beneath the world.... Plus Tonks had learned cloudkill, and also had went on a wonderfully evocative adventure to a (hithererto unknown) ruined enchanter's tower to unearth the fabled crystal eye of Jirizzah (which he breathed life into being after a spout lore roll). The eye allowed him to scry places that he had already been and made cloudkill a spell he became renown for throughout the land, inspiring fear as he used it to curtail an invasion of bugbears -  garnering the moniker 'The myst robed mage of doom' and changed his alignment to evil as a result.

Nearby is closer than far away. Seriously.

Contingency is worded correctly methinks. At least the way we played. It is a high level spell after all, and it allows the wizard to do exactly as you describe, but remember: you can only have one spell under contingency at any given time. This is a very useful spell for 'increasing your repertoire' of limited prepared spells.

You are trapping a soul. That is powerful, both narratively and mechanically. What does that say about the wizard? What soul has he trapped? What happens to the body? What other uses can the gem be put to once a soul is trapped within? These a tremulous, world-defining questions...

Mate, if you can play for long enough with a group and get to ask these sorts of questions with high level clerics and wizards, that is so very satisfying and all part of the charm that is this brilliant game :)

Re: prerelease comments / observations
« Reply #21 on: August 13, 2012, 06:04:07 AM »
There are a couple of rule suggestions here on the forum (I'm mainly thinking of these two, about load and statistics: http://apocalypse-world.com/forums/index.php?topic=2770.0 and http://apocalypse-world.com/forums/index.php?topic=2799.0 ) that seemed to be well received, but that are not present in the document.

Is this intentional? Did you mumble over them and decided to leave them out, or were they simply passed over?

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zmook

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Re: prerelease comments / observations
« Reply #22 on: August 13, 2012, 11:26:54 AM »
Plus Tonks had learned cloudkill, and also had went on a wonderfully evocative adventure to a (hithererto unknown) ruined enchanter's tower to unearth the fabled crystal eye of Jirizzah (which he breathed life into being after a spout lore roll). The eye allowed him to scry places that he had already been and made cloudkill a spell he became renown for throughout the land, inspiring fear as he used it to curtail an invasion of bugbears -  garnering the moniker 'The myst robed mage of doom' and changed his alignment to evil as a result.

That's a dramatic story, yes, but my question is with the Rules As Written, which say: "A cloud of fog drifts into this realm from beyond the Black Gates of Death, filling the immediate area. Whenever a creature in the area takes damage it takes an additional, separate 1d6 damage which ignores armor."   I happen to believe it's hard enough for every person around the table to get to a shared vision of what's possible in a fantastic story, so the written rules are important, and these say that cloudkill only does additional damage when a creature in the area first takes damage from some other source.  It also says "immediate area" so even line-of-sight is a stretch, though it certainly seems crazy to expect a spell called Cloudkill to summon something centered on the caster.  As a player, I would think that it would be somewhat difficult to contrive circumstances where this spell is worth casting; ie, where it would be more dangerous to the enemy than to my friend the fighter.  Every goblin attacking him gets +1d6 damage?  No thanks!  (Am I missing something?  That does seem to be what the rules say.)

As a GM, I can of course have a discussion with the player to figure out an interpretation that makes the spell as powerful as a L7 should be, but as a GM I just do *not* want to have to have discussions like this about every spell and special move.  I'd much rather spend my time describing cool monsters for them to fight.

If I'm missing something written elsewhere in the rules, that's fine.  If the response is, well that's vague on purpose, so you can figure it out with the players, that's fine too (though not really what I'm hoping to hear).  If it's an unintentional oversight that Sage or Adam want to clarify, great!  In any case, I understood the point of distributing pre-release rules to be looking for comments, so those were some of mine.

Re: prerelease comments / observations
« Reply #23 on: August 13, 2012, 11:52:30 AM »
Tons of typos. Are the github edits still being looked at?

Re: prerelease comments / observations
« Reply #24 on: August 13, 2012, 02:58:31 PM »
Everything is definitely still on the table, edits-wise.  Keep plugging stuff into the github if you were using it to report bugs before.

The stats and load are two things we're currently debating.

Re: prerelease comments / observations
« Reply #25 on: August 13, 2012, 04:30:08 PM »
Just (Level+1) of spells prepared, really?

For this, there are moves a wizard can take to reduce the memorization requirements of certain spells. So magic missile could take nothing to memorize leaving that spell as an always prepared spell. Or you could take fireball(3) and reduce it down to 2. But generally spells in the game are pretty powerful so you aren't meant to be running around with a lot of them memorized. Also you can swap them out without a huge amount of rest.

As for the lack of a lot of specific mechanics in the rules, this game doesn't run on specific mechanics. It's very Old School in that the GM is going to have to make a lot of calls(along with player input) in how things operate. Walking the perimeter of a city for sanctuary or alarm? Sure, why not?

Part of the rules say "be a fan of the players" which means let the players have fun with things. I think the game could probably get a little gonzo or over the top, but that's fine. The PC's, their classes, are very unique in the world. Just because they can do certain things doesn't mean that the world at large has those things happen all the time. Your cleric might be the only cleric in existence who knows the sanctuary spell. So you don't normally see towns with that spell cast around them.

Re: prerelease comments / observations
« Reply #26 on: August 16, 2012, 08:34:43 AM »
Cleric spell Detect Alignment lists only the alignments good, evil, and neutral. Is this deliberate or an oversight / holdover? 'Cause I'd think a lawful cleric would be able to detect law or chaos, too.

Re: prerelease comments / observations
« Reply #27 on: August 16, 2012, 11:46:10 AM »
P.204, "it suffers loses" should be "it suffers losses."

Is it made clear in the Wizard class description that they can learn new spells in play, besides the ones they get by leveling up (and by buying the Expanded Spellbook move)?  P.214's treasure chart, entry 15 implies that they can.

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zmook

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Re: prerelease comments / observations
« Reply #28 on: August 16, 2012, 12:04:34 PM »
On page 344, the "final" version of Hack & Slash is quoted offering an option for +2 dmg, which doesn't match the (presumably official) version of Hack & Slash on p 48 (+1d6 dmg).

The text occasionally uses the term "NPC" without ever defining it as "non-player character".  On pages 21 and 60 it also inconsistently uses the term "GM character".  Also, on p32, there's a whole section called "Monsters" (that says "sometimes it's just a guy in some armor") that never uses the terms NPC or GM character at all.  My expectation is that there's not supposed to be any real distinction between a "monster" and an "NPC", but it's not made completely clear.

Re: prerelease comments / observations
« Reply #29 on: August 17, 2012, 02:34:56 PM »
The Bard has the option of starting with a Dueling Rapier (close, precise, 2 weight). In the gear chapter, the Dueling Rapier has 1 piercing also, while the normal Rapier has no piercing and 1 weight. How much of a deal this is depends on the Load rules being used.

Also, the Paladin has a couple of advanced moves that give bonus to the Order Hirelings move, which isn't described anywhere in the book (only alluded to).