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17th of August, 2012, 23:35
BRR, could you give the other players moderator rights on this forum?

To Do List

Update Timeline ASAP.
Create master index.
Begin updating legacy articles.
Create new continental map (I'm using this reboot as an opportunity to retcon some basic geography and make the region much more interesting).

18th of August, 2012, 03:19
I like the XP simplification but I'd take it further.

As we're all moving at the same rate, there's no need for single XP granularity. There's also no need for uneven xp intervals. An idea, which I can understand rubbing some people the wrong way, is just to make it require 10XP to gain a level. Every level. 10XP.

An objective or battle might yield one or two. Story awards can be as large as required.

And I'll mod the others now, I'm not sure why I didn't do it when I made the forum.

18th of August, 2012, 03:27
just to make it require 10XP to gain a level. Every level. 10XP.

It's odd you'd mention that. I contemplated doing exactly that while writing up the posted system. I wussed out at the last minute because I thought it was too much of a change, with all of the other things I'm changing.

But since someone else mentioned it, how does everyone else feel?

18th of August, 2012, 03:46
I like it. I haven't been explicit about that in XCrawl, but that's essentially what I'm doing (well, it's even less granular than that - +1 level per half dungeon level is my plan, but that's because it's less open.)

18th of August, 2012, 04:01
I generally don't like that kind of system, because it prevents awarding xp for certain things if it's less than 1 xp, unless you'll give out fractions, in which case there was no point to the change in the first place. Numbers can be tweaked of course though =p.

That said, I'm okay with it, and frankly it doesn't really matter to me that much if I'm not the one running the game, so go for it.

As for making the xp to gain a level constant across all levels, it doesn't really matter: if you do that you'll just be adjusting how much xp you give out on the fly based on the relative difficulty of challenges taking character level into account. It just makes the decision to grant a certain amount of xp based on a challenge more difficult because you have to account for the party being of a different level, but the end result is the same as long as the DM makes good decisions.

I generally do the same thing you do with keeping the entire group on the same xp gained, seems good to me.

18th of August, 2012, 04:24
It's definitely not the sort of system I would use in a non-play-by-post, because it wouldn't handle trivial encounters very well. I agree with you that awarding fractions would make the change largely pointless.

I've made myself a promise for this game, though - no trivial encounters and no side quests. Whatever the PCs are currently doing is the most important thing in the story, and if I cannot justify giving the minimum amount of experience for an encounter we probably don't need to roll initiative at all. We'll see if I can stick to that promise over time. If I can't, a system like this would be terrible.

22nd of August, 2012, 11:19
Alrighty, tonight I'm beginning serious work on this project. You'll notice that I've created a 'Campaign Index' sticky. Here's what I'm envisioning:

When someone has an idea for new content, they don't worry about anything except jotting it down in a fresh, non-stickied thread in this forum. Once that's done, they bring it up in this thread for discussion if they want feedback. Otherwise, they go to the Campaign Index thread, determine what heading or subheading their article belongs under (obviously we'll have to create more subheadings), and add a link.

I feel like the way we were doing things in Inceptum (where I put out calls for certain topics to be fleshed out) was not an optimal way to channel creativity. In a shared world-building exercise, pretty much all ideas are at least worthy of putting down on paper. We can resolve inconsistencies and bring the material in each article into the cohesive story later, if that's necessary. And tell me if I'm wrong, but I think it would be much more efficient to do all of the organization 'logically' in one thread, and let individual articles float freely in the subforum.

I'll periodically create a backup of the Index in case it is accidentally deleted.

Now, on to the first order of business. I'm going to flesh out the timeline. My previous attempt at this (http://online-roleplaying.com/forums/showthread.php?t=5823) was pitiful and incomplete, but I'll still use whatever doesn't suck from that as a baseline for the permanent one.

Keep an eye on that thread for changes. There will be massive holes in it which I'm hoping everyone will help me fill. If you think of an event that sounds cool, don't even worry about when it happened or who precisely was involved if those details are hangups, just post what comes to you here and we'll integrate it.

My process for now will be to flesh out the 104 year gap between the end of Inceptum and the beginning of Mediorum. That is the most important time period to detail before the campaign starts, so please get involved if you have the wherewithal.

One more thing - someone asked me about gunpowder. My initial thought was no just because it's controversial and potentially fucks with siege warfare scenarios, but I thought I should put it up for a vote because it also has some advantages, particularly if this campaign has extended nautical adventures. Please explain your vote in your response and rate how strongly your opinion is.

22nd of August, 2012, 11:27
I have no real feeling on gunpowder. Certainly if it exists and it didn't 104 years ago, it wouldn't be anywhere near as refined as it was even in, say, 1000 CE. You might have explosive arrows and primitive bombs, but not much more.

22nd of August, 2012, 11:34
I'm the one that brought it up. I was thinking that it might be a relative trade secret held by the dwarves. Given that I was thinking that an exiled clan may be responsible for Valeria's sudden advancements in stonework, my feeling was that they might have brought more than just how to cut stone in new and interesting ways.

22nd of August, 2012, 11:42
I'm going to vote no on gunpowder, I generally dislike it in most of the games I play, unless I'm specifically playing a setting where having it is one of the big attractions.

It it does exist, it should be exceedingly rare and not particularly useful in military applications.

22nd of August, 2012, 11:46
I think the worry here is that gunpowder had such a monumental effect on the way war is waged that there is a fundamental divide in warfare. Everything about combat changed with the advent and widespread usage of gunpowder weaponry. It really was a logarithmic change in the balance of medieval Europe (even though its curve was more linear in the east).

22nd of August, 2012, 11:48
More or less. The canon in particular really changed the dynamics of warfare, and politics and relationships between countries as a result, and that was before people actually had guns.

22nd of August, 2012, 11:57
I think the worry here is that gunpowder had such a monumental effect on the way war is waged that there is a fundamental divide in warfare. Everything about combat changed with the advent and widespread usage of gunpowder weaponry. It really was a logarithmic change in the balance of medieval Europe (even though its curve was more linear in the east).

That's kind of my feeling on the matter. I really like what gunpowder does for naval warfare, but I'm looking for a solid medieval (not necessarily historical medieval) feel for land warfare, i.e. knights on horseback, catapults, costly sieges and all the rest.

I'm not sure how to reconcile the two. We could insert a fictitious stone-like material that hardens castle walls significantly against canon (it's cheesy but if it was a viable solution I'd be open to it), but that doesn't explain away the advent of line infantry tactics and so forth.

22nd of August, 2012, 13:02
Maybe dwarves have gunpowder but zealously guard it? They're keeping it as a secret. If they found out some humans had gotten a hold on it, or were developing it, they would stop at nothing to eliminate the problem.
They're giving out stoneworking secrets because it's a way to establish good relations and trade and they feel it's unlikely to give humans much of a military advantage.
They have cannons, and used them to great effect in wars before, but they've never had pressure to develop muskets for widespread use. In the current era, the idea of some random dwarves running around with handcannons is a horrifying offense on secrecy. There are muskets, but all of like five anywhere, and very old, from when the old masters were developing the weapons, and they had to be made of unusual metals to not just explode (adamantium? we have that, right?).

e: Clarified "for widespread use" on muskets. It's really just to leave open the possibility of some random asshole dwarf showing up with one.
e2: Also, if the heavy secrecy stuff conflicts with Darius' ideas for the dwarves (they might not have the sort of centralized organized society this would imply) then nevermind.

29th of August, 2012, 07:04
I've begun revamping the Timeline (http://online-roleplaying.com/forums/showthread.php?t=5823) thread. It now consists of two posts. 'Inceptum' covers everything that happened from the Age of Antiquity up through an event commonly known as the Calamity (the end of the previous campaign, as I envisioned it). 'Mediorum' will hopefully be much more expansive even though it only covers the last hundred years or so.

I know we have a Campaign Index as a reference hub for all of the different articles in this forum, but I think the Timeline should be a separate index for all of the history articles. I'll sticky it after I'm done with it.

In other words, most articles that you create should be linked in the Index, but if you create an article about a historical event, reference it via the Timeline instead. The format for all Timeline entries should be:

Title - Year: 1-3 sentence description.

If the event has an expanded article, turn 'Title - Year' into a a hyperlink.

Inceptum has about four more entries before I'm done with it. Medeorum is next and I hope to have a fairly robust post by the end of the week or possibly early next week. After that, I'll declare it fair game for others to add to.

The monumental task of updating all of our legacy articles certainly won't be done before we start the campaign. If I can get the Timeline done and redo Corinport, I'll be happy enough, but that leaves a lot of work undone so please don't be shy if you have some good ideas. Even if you don't want to actually write or rewrite an article, if you think of something interesting post it here so someone else can implement it. The actual writing is easy, but coming up with ideas that aren't tired takes time.

I'm getting the Campaign Cartographer suite for my birthday next month, so I will be generating a city map for Corinport and a campaign map for Valeria as quickly as I can, but don't expect either of those until mid-October.

29th of August, 2012, 07:18
Good luck with that program. I had a hard time dealing with the trial version. I'm sure I'd figure it out eventually (just like GIMP and other such programs), but I didn't have the necessary dedication for CC3.

What comes with the suite besides the base program?

29th of August, 2012, 08:37
There is a learning curve but it isn't too bad. I think it will be easier for me than GIMP because it has mapping specific tools.

The specific suite I'm getting has the base software (cc3), dungeon designer 3, city designer 3 and fractal terrains. Hoping to use all of them!

29th of August, 2012, 08:38
Ah, the fractal terrains is the one that has me most interested in the product, but CC3 and CD3 sound good, too.

3rd of September, 2012, 05:17
I ended up not getting Fractal Terrains - I substituted it for the Tome of Ultimate Mapping v3. Downloading the suite now.


3rd of September, 2012, 05:20
What's in the Tome? The reason I liked FT was the idea of randomized world creation.

3rd of September, 2012, 05:23
For sure - FT is a planned purchase for me now that I've got the base software and I'm 'committed'. But I got the software specifically for this game, and FT is much more useful for creating worlds from scratch.

3rd of September, 2012, 06:04
Good point. Do you have the whole world mapped, or just the continent we're on?

3rd of September, 2012, 10:17
The continent that you guys are on is sketched out. I'm revising it somewhat as the original geography wasn't very interesting.

3rd of September, 2012, 14:46
Hmm. Uh, parts of the story of Callevus depend a bit on there being those three river connections on that lake its on. Like, basically three counts who had their economy based on trade with people going by those points on boats. Its economy in general also depends on it being at that spot (between Iscatha and other places, sort of central, etc).
I should really post what I have so far.

24th of September, 2012, 03:01
I was wondering if we could perhaps talk about rapid shot a little bit. The hack author seems to have arbitrarily decided to nerf it, and gave no reason other than the fact that he thought he should nerf it.

As it stands now, rapid shot (and the rapid shot mastery, cumulatively) give every attack a -4 penalty. I can reduce this penalty by using up one of my shots for the round and 2 tokens to bring it back to the normal -2 penalty it used to have. Since I have access to deadeye and sniper shots, I can use both rapid shot and it's mastery for 2 extra attacks, with a -8 to all attacks for the round, and can spend 4 aim tokens and both of my shots for the round to reduce it to a -4 penalty. That's the best it can do, since you can't spend more tokens on the shot to increase the effects. It also means they all have to be focused on one target, because aim tokens applied to reduce the penalty only reduce it for that single target.

This is a pretty HUGE nerf to rapid shot, and heavily harms shot uses. If I use rapid shot, I pretty much have to use these shots to reduce the penalty to non-absurd levels, but this means I can't use any other shots, and I can't really spread the shots around. Seems really silly to me.

24th of September, 2012, 03:13
I read through that after my own complaints for the nerf to feinting, and yeah, I agree with you completely. I don't know if the author had some really munchkiny players or something, but both of those seem to be so nerfy as to make the tactics practically useless. I can't find a good reason to take either rapid shot as an archer or feinting for denying dex to AC. If you don't give up a shot and two tokens, your Rapid Shots are worse than not using Rapid Shot and just relying on iterative attacks instead.

On the same token, the nerf to feinting in combat means that I can only gain sneak attack on an attack effectively once per combat, which makes giving up a move and a full attack for one and only one attack a worthless tactic. Frankly, like I said, it obviates an entire method of sword-fighting. Fencing, which really is completely built on feints and counter-feints, becomes a tactic that is worse than simply standing still and hacking.

While I do like a lot of the changes to the classes, I'm finding that his thoughts on feats seem to be poorly designed.

24th of September, 2012, 04:50
Looking over both of these chains now. Neither of them sounds right.

24th of September, 2012, 04:58
Right, so I've invented this old historical mercenary company that people no longer believe in. I haven't referred to any specific places or anything though.

In general The Steel Legion was the best private army money could buy. Their trademark involved keeping an air of mystery as to whether they were human (keeping flesh covered, not leaving bodies of their own on the field, spreading rumours, nifty helmets with flat diffuse visors). They were good to the extent where an intelligent observer would question how they could be turning a profit or why they were mercenaries at all when they could clearly take themselves a nice city. Mysterious motives aside, something happened and they vanished overnight. In the process they welched on a contract and a lord's men got massacred by orcs.

That was twenty years ago. Whatever caused their disappearance and abandonment of their students might well be over now.

24th of September, 2012, 15:03
Updated Callevus. Whole lot of words, not really happy with them but whatever.
It's more stuff to reference than anything else. Might come up in the opening scene

I should probably take the time to figure out what Anhalde is like, seems more relevant.

25th of September, 2012, 09:54
Okay, I've looked over both the Rapid Shot feat chain and the revised negate defense challenge rules, and I came to the same conclusion as you guys. I don't think the hacked versions are very well thought out. The author clearly has had some issues with archer builds in his own campaigns that might be influencing the redesign.

I really like the Iron Heroes Hack overall, but this is making me question the wisdom of adopting the entire thing. Did you guys notice anything else that was questionable while you were building your characters? Should we scale back to merely cherry picking the things we like from the Hack and ignoring the rest?

25th of September, 2012, 09:56
I didn't notice anything else, but I also didn't read much that wasn't related to my character class and the feats. I read through Rapid Shot after Link posted his concerns, but I didn't spend a whole lot of time outside of that.

25th of September, 2012, 11:08
I only saw rapid shot and the stuff merc pointed out.

I think we should go with "Implement the whole thing, and change or revert specific things that seem bad".

That would mean reverting to the previous negate defense challenge and rapid shot, at least with regards to the penalty stuff. Make it so Rapid shot is a -2 penalty (and the 2 at once is a -4 penalty), just unnerf it. You could keep the special rapid shot shots too, as that wasn't an awful idea, just that the nerf was unnecessary.

27th of September, 2012, 03:23
I didn't notice any bits of the Hack that applied to my character (could well be I've missed things).

I'm happy to take a stance where we default to the Hack but remove/tweak specifics as we highlight them here.

27th of September, 2012, 08:42
There's a kind of silly nerf to Combat Reflexes 3 that makes it weirdly complex but otherwise I'm fine with the Hack. I've got other feats in mind anyway.

1st of October, 2012, 11:16
I'm happy to take a stance where we default to the Hack but remove/tweak specifics as we highlight them here.

I think this is probably the best way to handle it. I would like to say I will take the time to vet every single entry but we all know that's not happening anytime soon.

8th of October, 2012, 13:41
Any definite decision on a change to rapid shot and the feinting stuff?

15th of October, 2012, 08:05
Yes, we will go with the defaults on these rules rather than what is in the Hack.

15th of October, 2012, 10:46
To be fair, I prefer the hack changes to rapid shot with the exception of the -4 penalty part, which seems like a silly nerf. The other changes to the mastery (the change of the 4 mastery) seems like an interesting change.

16th of October, 2012, 12:08
I got back to work on the new map of Kryth - specifically, the as-yet-unnamed continent that Valeria is on. Here is what I have so far:


The next step will be to begin defining elevations and waterways, but here is a very crude division of the continent by race/theme:


Blue - Valeria (humans)
Red - Dho'gresh Empire (orcs)
Purple - the Caelmathoni Lands (elves)
Yellow - the Lawless South (warmer lands once ruled by the janni)
Gray - a series of islands overrun by undead
Orange - an unexplored, wild jungle island

The black dot is Corinport, for current reference.

16th of October, 2012, 12:18
Looks good. Based on your measurements, the Orange island is about 500 miles long by 90 miles wide (roughly Cuba), and the main continent is about 2000 miles at its widest and 2600 miles at its longest, which makes it roughly the size of Australia. Is that about what you were shooting for?

EDIT - you did a good job with the coastline. Was this done in CC3? How'd you fractalize the coast?

16th of October, 2012, 12:21
Looks good. Based on your measurements, the Orange island is about 500 miles long by 90 miles wide (roughly Cuba), and the main continent is about 2000 miles at its widest and 2600 miles at its longest, which makes it roughly the size of Australia. Is that about what you were shooting for?

Surprisingly yes. It took me eight takes to get it to something close to the right size.