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treehouse 13th of September, 2009 11:18

Containment OOC Thread

So far my players are zachol, Mercutio and Treemansion. We can do this easily with just the three of you if no one else bites from RHD/Inceptum.

z is probably rolling a Martial Artist from the World on Fire supplement, and Becca (too confusing to call her tree) is rolling an Intruder who will most likely head into Raptor ASAP.

Starting level is 6.

We'll use the campaign qualities Blockbuster (much bigger explosions but all player characters get evasion), Fast Feats (one feat per 2 levels), Fast Growth (XP requirements to level halved across the board), and Wire-Fu (players and special characters can move in any direction, even along walls and directly up. They must end on a solid surface or they are subjected to falling rules [half damage]). Normally Fast Feats and Wire-Fu would give you an XP penalty but I'm waiving that. Blockbuster and Wire-Fu give the GC (me) a total of 3 extra action dice per session, however.

Spycraft has tons of 'per session' rules for class abilities, and you have a certain number of action dice per session. I will need to figure out how to determine the end of a 'session' in a play-by-post. Maybe I'll change all instances of 'per session' to 'per scene'. Thoughts?

treehouse 13th of September, 2009 11:22

Oh and I'm holding off on the 'two characters, one for each team' concept until I see if anyone else is interested, and what this game turns into.

Edit 2: Allowed sources are Spycraft 2.0 and World on Fire. Please create a character who can function well in a 'Chop Sockey' campaign with over the top martial arts action / two-fisted gun play.

Edit 3: removed original point buy scheme, too weak

zachol 13th of September, 2009 16:21

We could say that "per session" means "per chapter/thread," but that still means you'd have to determine when they end.

Samuel will be up later today, probably.

Also, are we actually using the World on Fire setting, or just character options?
How are characters going to be organized, factions, alliances, all that sort of thing?

Edit: draft is up

treehouse 14th of September, 2009 00:43

Probably will use elements of the World on Fire setting, I really need to review it more thoroughly, all I've done so far is flip through it and make sure I could green light the martial artist and some of the martial arts feats I figured you might be taking.

The player characters will all work for a semi-benevolent faction, perhaps as a 'plausible deniability'-grade black ops cell. I haven't really thought this through all that much yet. :paranoid:

Those abilities for Samuel aren't all that impressive, I'm aiming for heroes who are complete badasses so I can stack the odds against you (think scenes like the showdown with the Crazy 88s in Kill Bill v. 1 as the norm).

Let's try the following instead. 36 point buy using the following purchase method for all scores:

9 - 1, 10 - 2, 11 - 3, 12 - 4, 13 - 5, 14 - 6, 15 - 8, 16 - 10, 17 - 13, 18 - 16.

zachol 14th of September, 2009 01:43

That's not all that much better, honestly.

Personally, I'd go with the following.

34 point buy
10 - 0, 11 - 1, 12 - 2, 13 - 3, 14 - 4, 15 - 6, 16 - 8, 17 - 11, 18 - 14
One score starts at 8, 2 points to raise it to 10, continues as above

Allows, for example,
18, 18, 15, 10, 10, 8 or
18, 16, 16, 12, 10, 8 or
17, 15, 15, 14, 13, 12 or
16, 16, 16, 14, 12, 12 or
16, 16, 14, 14, 14, 14 or whatever.

Also, I'd really like to do something about skills. It feels like they took 3e, doubled the number of skills, and forgot to increase skill points or something.

treehouse 14th of September, 2009 01:51

Hmmm yeah I think that one is better. Everyone, use the ability generation method in z's post.

Skills should be okay...martial artists have 9 class skills, can max out 4 without an Int bonus. Seems about normal for a combat oriented class, eh?

treehouse 14th of September, 2009 02:00

You should check out the feat Talented (p. 201). Might be worthwhile if you are trying to expand your skill base. For instance with your current build you could take Talented (Burglar) and you would automatically get 9 ranks in sneak (piggybacking off your ranks in acrobatics).

zachol 14th of September, 2009 02:06

Yay for abilities. Little z strikes again.

Also, skills: mmmrgh. Still feels like not enough for an international superspy.
The five skills I have now would be reasonable for any other martial arts game, but as an agent it feels like there's a bunch of not-really-combat skills I oddly lack.
Like the ability to speak a dozen random languages, or verbally glide past lesser mooks, or whatever.

Bureaucracy, Cultures, Impress, Networking, Profession, I guess.
Although it makes sense that certain characters would be specifically adept at those.

How about, replace the usual stupid skill rank system (arrgh skill rank dance), replace with this:

Choose a number of skills equal to the ranks you'd gain at a level, from your class list. You can choose a non-class skill by spending two skill choices. These are "trained" skills, and have a rank equal to your level+3.
All other skills (class or not) are "untrained," and have a rank equal to half your level (not half of your level+3).
If you multiclass into a class with more skill points, you can gain an additional trained skill from their list for every 3 levels you gain in the new class, up to a maximum of that class's skill points. Similarly, you can add a trained skill 3 levels after an increase in your intelligence modifier.
Then I'm not sure what to do about multiclassing into a class with fewer skill points.

Actually that looks like a bunch of trouble for little to no improvement.
How about everyone gets 1/2 their level free skill ranks in all skills, spends the rest normally, with the normal maximum ranks?


Um... crud...

Edit: Argh and there aren't enough feats for all my nifty unarmed techniques argh! More feats! More!

treehouse 14th of September, 2009 02:10

A house rule like that would encroach a lot on a more skill-based class. Most classes with tons of skill points and options have average or poor base attack/saves/etc, and the reverse is true. Fast Feats should help you 'cross train' into the more crafty skill trees without gaining an advantage over skill-based classes.

zachol 14th of September, 2009 02:11

Yeah I guess.

Revised Samuel should be up.

treehouse 14th of September, 2009 02:26

If it makes you feel any better, I would be shocked if anyone in this game makes a Bureaucracy check at any point. It simply won't be that kind of Spycraft adventure, at least for the 'Tactical' team. Sneak would be nice for you to pick up, or Talented (Advisor). Profession and Resolve are both very well-rounded skills that you will almost certainly make on a semi-regular basis.

Mercutio 14th of September, 2009 11:16

Thought I had the book. Don't. Will try to rectify this week.

zachol 14th of September, 2009 22:02

I've revised Samuel a bit. Took the Talented (Burglar) feat.

Feels relatively more impressive, although I think a lot of that depends on what the DCs for various tasks are, and what sorts of defense and hp pools enemies have. Focused his feats more on having a giant bag of tricks than on improving numbers.

treehouse 14th of September, 2009 23:55

I like the bio. Did you revise Samuel offline? I don't see the changes.

I will be working a little bit more on the specifics of this game's backdrop soon, but I'm getting ready to begin IC posts in Inceptum again either today or tomorrow (probably tomorrow, our car is boinked and I need to take it to a mechanic tonight). So it will have to wait until Inceptum actually has some momentum again.

zachol 14th of September, 2009 23:59

I just realized we get more proficiencies as we level.
So, tactical and explosives. Flamethrower good. :D

The changes should be online. Not sure why you're not seeing them.

Edit: nvm

treehouse 15th of September, 2009 00:24

Odd, I must have been looking at a cached version. I see the changes now. Starting to look good!

Deadly encounters will typically fall into the following categories:

1) Overwhelming number of standard NPCs. In Spycraft, standard NPCs don't have hit points, they have damage saves, meaning every time they take damage they make a save or die (fall unconscious if the damage was non-lethal). Even if they make their first save, the damage is cumulative, so if you hit a standard NPC three times, his second save is more difficult than the first, and the third is more difficult than the third (assuming he makes it that far).

2) A few standard NPCs and one or two special NPCs. Special NPCs have vitality and wound points, are tougher to kill and I can load them up with more qualities so they are more dangerous as well. They represent main villains and henchmen of said villains.

3) A couple special NPCs and one really tough special NPC. This would typically be the last fight of a mission, when you fight the mastermind (or whatever).

It's Spycraft, so sometimes these encounters will take place in the form of a car chase. And a standard NPC is still pretty fucking dangerous if he's following you around Hong Kong in an attack helicopter firing stinger missiles. Make sure your character isn't so 'one-trick' that they can't find something to do in those situations. If we don't get a dedicated Wheelman I think Becca is putting full points in Drive, and she gets a bonus Chase feat at some point, so you will have at least one semi-competent driver.

With the wire-fu rules, one thing you could potentially do is make an Acrobatics check to jump into an NPC vehicle and pummel the shit out of the people in it.

zachol 15th of September, 2009 00:26

I ninja-edited this bit in. Making it a separate post.

I want to be size large.
I was wondering if I could do some sort of compromise between the Burly and Corn-Fed talents.
Corn-fed grants +2 str, -2 wis, can increase the disposition of 1 npc by 1 grade 1/session, size large (1x1, reach 1 sq), +1 insight to fort +1 /4 levels
Burly grants +2 str, -2 dex, +1 defense, unarmed weapon prof, +1 wound point +1 /4 levels

The compromise ("oversized") would be +2 str, -2 dex, +1 defense, size large (1x1, reach 1 sq), and unarmed proficiency.
Large size would inflict a -1 penalty to defense and attack, -4 to stealth/hide, wound points equal to 1.5xcon, and encumbrance 2x standard.
Numerically, from my current scores, I'd take a -1 penalty to defense and attack (the benefit from "oversized" would cancel out the penalty, but I've already calculated that in), a +6 bonus to wound points (+.5 con score, 8, -2 for losing the benefit from burly), and then the -4 to hide and double encumbrance.

If that's no good, I could lose the +1 to defense (total drop of -2 from my current score), but I think the drop of both defense and attack from his current scores are already enough of a trade.
Honestly though I really just want him to be large, but don't like the flavor or other abilties of corn-fed at all.

treehouse 15th of September, 2009 00:31

Okay, we'll figure out something to make it work. As long as you only take up 1x1 square though. I don't have books in front of me so it will have to wait until I can look at the existing origins/talents.

zachol 15th of September, 2009 01:42

Well I'd thought I described it alright?

Here's my attempt at figuring out how Talents work.

First you get +2/-2 to a pair of abilities (or +1 to one)

Then you get... well, it's tricky, but let's say you get 4.5 "points" to spend on any of the following:
2 points: +1 +1 /4 levels to a "medium"-level "thing" (one save, wound points, initiative, action die results, skill checks to determine surprise)
2 points: 1 additional action die per session
1 point: base Defense +1
2 points: base Defense +2
1.5 points: increase the threat range of one skill by 1 +1 /5 levels
2 points: increase the threat range of any one skill by 1 +1 /5 levels (you choose)
2 points: +1 to wealth, +1 /5 levels
1 point: have one skill be a class skill and increase its result cap by 5
1.5 points: any one skill to be a class skill, +5 level cap (you choose)
1 point: a (specific) weapon proficiency
1.5 points: any weapon proficiency (you choose) or two specific weapon proficiencies
1 point: choose which attributes to have as your +2/-2
.5 point: no ability modifiers
.5 point: apply +2 to highest and -2 to lowest (or vice-versa)
1 point: additional focus or forte to a specific skill
1.5 points: additional focus to any skill (you choose)
1 point: 1 acquaintance-grade contact +1 grade /6 levels
2 points: 2 contacts
1 point: once per session, improve disposition of any 1 non-villain NPC by 1 grade without a skill check
1 points: +5' speed
1 point: 1 additional interest at levels 0, 2, 4, etc.
2 points: 4 additional skill points at level 1, +1 /level

Most other abilities are unique to each talent and arbitrarily worth 1 point (Caustic's Cheap Shot thing, Persistent's retry ability, Privileged's immunity request, Retired's hint). Veteran's request seems to be worth 1.5 or 2.
This seems to work with all the base traits, they range from 3.5 to 4.5. Mostly.
Gifted would have 5 points. Blargh.

Anyway, here are the WoF ones:

Ambitious 4 (1+1+2), Creative 4.5 (1+1+2.5), Determined 4 (1+1+2), Lithe 4 (1+1+2), Ominous 3.5 (.5+1+1+1), Savvy 4 (2+2), Shifty 4 (1+1+2), Single-Minded, Sleek 4 (1+1+2), Striking (1+1+2), Zealous 4 (2+2)

Ambitious, Determined, Ominous, Single-Minded, Striking have 1-point unique abilities.
Savvy, Shifty, Striking, have a 2-point unique abilities.
These are all pretty arbitrary numbers, but they seem to range from 1 to 2.5, so still within range.

The following are added:
1 point: once per session, can request a hint from GC free of action dice, if refused gain one action dice]
2 points: 2 vitality points at level 1, + 1 /level
1 point: always considered armed with deadly weapon for purposes of intimidate or Stand Off

The six "ability talents" each follow the same pattern (three find and replace abilities plus one minor flavor one), and I'm not going to deal with them or include them in the options for some mix-and-match way of figuring talents.
The three faction talents, Eternal, Franchise, and Pitfall, are also ignored, although they seem slightly overpowered compared to this method.

Anyway, here's Corn-fed.
+2 Str, -2 Wis (0 points)
Once per session blah blah blah (1 point)
Size Large (? points? 1.5?)
+1 insight bonus to Fortitude +1 /4 levels (2 points)

Going by all this mumbo-jumbo, the size large (1x1) thing is worth 1 to 1.5 points.

Oversized would be as such.
+2 Str, -2 Dex (0 points)
+1 defense (1 point)
Size Large (1x1) (1 point to 1.5 points)
Unarmed proficiency (1 point)

Which would be 3 to 3.5 points. Or 4 points if the Size Large is worth 2.



God why am I not doing my homework right now... or at least sleeping... argghblurgle...

Mercutio 15th of September, 2009 01:48

It's going to take some time for me to get the book and read through it to see what's different between it in d20. If you can and feel comfortable doing so, go ahead and start without me while I get it figured out.

zachol 15th of September, 2009 01:52

There're actually a lot of differences.

However, most of them have to do with the way combat happens. Just creating a character is relatively easy, as long as you just follow the steps, and if you take what "sounds right" you should be able to function fine in combat.
The core mechanics are the same, and differences can just be explained in play. First "session" or so can be all happy and forgiving, assuming tree doesn't act like a big jerk.

treehouse 15th of September, 2009 02:06

Don't worry Cameron, this game won't be starting for a while. Becca's almost uninitiated in tabletop gaming and I haven't had practical experience with Spycraft, so we are all kind of starting from scratch one way or another.

treehouse 16th of September, 2009 06:39

Would it be lame or cool if I used some platform fighting conventions for the combat in this game? For example, when Sam roundhouse kicks a hapless minion to death, I would punctuate the description with


Yes? No? I go away now?

LeadPal 16th of September, 2009 08:53

That might do bad things to the roleplaying.

treehouse 16th of September, 2009 09:00

I fail to see the downside...


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