Author Topic: AP + Comments: Back for More!  (Read 3888 times)

wightbred

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AP + Comments: Back for More!
« on: May 13, 2012, 10:17:49 AM »
Been a fan of DW since I first saw it, but I haven’t played DW since before the Basic Set. I've been waiting for a definitive version to be finished so I could hack on non escalating HP (http://apocalypse-world.com/forums/index.php?topic=661.0) and a couple of other things I wanted. When I discovered while listening to the Podge Cast that escalating HP was gone, I rushed out and joined the Guild and we excitedly jumped into a game using Beta 2.2.

SHORT AP

Dambrath (GT, Elven Ranger) and his wolf Elouise escort Rat (Jim, Human Thief) to Flet’s Landing on the edge of the wild in search of “opportunities”. Rat finds his pickpocketing attempts get him into trouble, but he handily slips out of Flet’s Inn and leaves Dambrath to deal with the ensuing brawl. Early the next morning they embark on an adventure across the river into the ruined Necromancer’s Tower, an adventure from which no-one has ever returned. Their first encounter with a Carrion Crawler* hidden under the collapsed doors leaves Rat heavily wounded. They tried to slip in via one of the towers, but the goblins peppered them with arrows. Dambrath and Elouise took the bit between their teeth and charged in slaying goblins in the guard room and the roof. Rat followed cautiously after and ensured that appropriate looting was achieved. Both sorely wounded now they decided to live to fight another day and became the first “heroes” to return from (almost entering) the Tower.

* Used Choker with some mods to give Carrion Crawler flavour. The Tower is based on what I remember from the original Red Box Set starter adventure I last played as a kid.

COMMENTS

Overall the rules seem much tighter now. In particular the main things I was planning to hack are fixed:
- No escalating HP makes the character moves and monster stat blocks simpler and more focussed.
- Monsters also have a lot more character in their writeups and monster moves.
- I found the current rules (or perhaps more AW play in the interim) made non-initiative combat work simply and easily for us.

There were a couple of questions we had, which were pretty minor and I’m sure Sage and Adam are already working on. For example:
- Damage equal to level in the Defend and the Cleric Penitent moves seems like a hangover from escalating HP. It makes Defend instead of Hack and Slash seem a great option for Wizards from level 2.
- Aid or interfere: why do you need a bond with someone to do this? How do you aid or interfere with someone you don't have a bond with?
- Level Up: so you lose additional XP you gained beyond what you need when you level up?
- Some typos, like the Bard move Vicious Blast should be +2d4.

Loving the cover (?) art from the site. I was going to hit some suggestions on some artwork for monsters and artless characters sheets (so I can drop in something that for my game that fits my ideal better, like the Red Box Set art). But then I found the tweet about coming monster art and an artless character sheet I can work with.

Overall we were very impressed and the only three suggestions I have are:
- Adding damage dice in combat: we did a lot of this for first level characters and it slowed things down a little. I wonder if a scale like 3:16 would be easier: 1d4 increases via a move to 1d6 then by another to 1d8 to 1d10 to 1d12 to 1d12+1 to 1d12+2 etc. So moves say “increase your die one size” or something. You could keep Animal Companions (and Backstab) as additional dice, but do we really need +2d4 for them? Wouldn’t single die like +1d4, +1d6 and +1d8 be easier?
- Maybe add some additional classes to cover more bases. The Thief poison rules are truly excellent. But I wonder if it isn’t worth giving these to an Assassin class instead as there are plenty of other ways to make a Thief shine. The Fighter is also great, but I think there is room for a raging Berserker (or Barbarian) as well.
- Definitely update the Villager and put it into the mix, as this adds a whole new set of options to the game.

I’m very pleased my favourite version of D&D has got even better and that I will need to do virtually no house ruling to make it exactly what I want. It is a testament to Sage’s and Adam’s ability and willingness to actually listen to others as part of their open design.

Glitch

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Re: AP + Comments: Back for More!
« Reply #1 on: May 13, 2012, 02:31:54 PM »
I had the same reservation about Defend.  Doing your Level in damage seems to make it too easy to abuse.  I considered house ruling that to half damage next time we play.

skinnyghost

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Re: AP + Comments: Back for More!
« Reply #2 on: May 14, 2012, 05:06:45 AM »
Assassins, Barbarians, Druids, Monks, Gunslingers, Acrobats, Cavaliers, Swordsingers, Shieldmaidens, Adepts, Warlocks, Alchemists and on and on and on are all definitely potential future guild-releases or the like but part of why we made DW a CCBY licensed game is so that people could show us their own take on the classes that make up their vision of the game!  Trust me, though, we have a few of our favourites and more than one way of presenting them.

The Villager was kind of a one-off deal.  We probably won't update him until after the game is done, but again, if it's something that you want to use, I'm sure Jason wouldn't be opposed to a fan-update!

Could you give me a more specific example of where adding damage dice in combat caused you a slowdown?  Was it merely the act of rolling extra dice or was there something else?

wightbred

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Re: AP + Comments: Back for More!
« Reply #3 on: May 14, 2012, 10:24:24 AM »
Adding fan made play books works great for AW. It just struck us that the poison rules seem so perfect for an Assassin, but the classes you have do cover the core needs. (CCBY is also a great call to get this going.)

I am very tempted to check with Jason and rewrite the Villager, but I'll probably wait for the final version or someone else as I'm pretty limited on time right now.

The slowdown with the dice was really just for the Ranger, but with Fighter Merciless etc I could see this occurring with othe classes at higher levels. He had a +2d4 ferocity animal companion, so he had to roll three dice and add them each time he did damage (and he only had one d4 so it took longer than it should have). Combat started to feel like this:
- Awesome fiction
- Did you succeed? Roll two dice and add three numbers together and compare.
- How much damage? Roll three dice and add three numbers.
- Almost as awesome fiction.
The two maths steps broke the flow for slightly too long, but I accept YMMV on this.

The other parts of this that I guess we didn't like were:
- The artificiality of +1d4 or +2d4 for ferocity. It felt like the design didn't use the more finely tuned +1d4, +1d6 and +1d8 simply to line up with the Fighter damage advances. We felt like we could see the petticoats on the design, like the obvious hardcoding of math into 4e.
- That rolling 2d4 seemed a bit pointless, it gives a more average result than a flat 1d8, and we started to think: why not just add +5 and save some effort? To be fair we used to make damage an open rolls in 1e to 3e because we liked swingy results where a single hit could change the combat, so I guess again YMMV. But the change as you advance in DW seems to be less swingy / random damage, and for us that would get boring.

Anyway, that's probably enough intel on a fairly minor hiccup in flow. The other thing we loved I forgot to mention was the revised XP, which makes it simpler and "failure" even more fun.

I also forgot to mention another question: Loved the Fighter signature weapon optios, especially the fists. But is there a reason the Fighter weapon is only one-handed? Also what about a two wielder option? Maybe two additional enhancement options:
- Matched weapons (+1 weight, +1 damage, +1 armor)
- Huge (Two-handed, +1 damage, etc...)

skinnyghost

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Re: AP + Comments: Back for More!
« Reply #4 on: May 15, 2012, 04:38:33 AM »
Along with XP, damage is among the easiest things to tweak, adjust and "play as you like" in DW. 

I mean, sure, it's a grand cop-out for me to just say DON'T LIKE IT GET HACKING but honestly, so long as you're sticking to the primary stuff and still playing the game, there are flavour knobs you can adjust to get just the right amount of whatever out of the game.

The way damage works is the best math we could put on it to get the kind of fiction we wanted the game to spit out and to make playing DW feel and _be_ a certain way.  Adjusting damage in any direction will change that, but that's okay, you know?

wightbred

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Re: AP + Comments: Back for More!
« Reply #5 on: May 15, 2012, 08:41:49 AM »
Oh I fully intend to hack. As I've done with every edition of D&D so far... except the cursed 4th ;). And yeah, hacking damage is even easier now HP doesn't escalate, so given I was ready to remove HP escalation from the previous version I doubt I'll balk at hacking in more variability and simplicity to damage.

Considering our suggestions, explaining why you are not choosing that path and telling us to hack is not a cop out for me: 'hackabilty' is a key feature I want baked into the design.

stras

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Re: AP + Comments: Back for More!
« Reply #6 on: May 15, 2012, 11:28:54 PM »
Assassins, Barbarians, Druids, Monks, Gunslingers, Acrobats, Cavaliers, Swordsingers, Shieldmaidens, Adepts, Warlocks, Alchemists and on and on and on are all definitely potential future guild-releases or the like but part of why we made DW a CCBY licensed game is so that people could show us their own take on the classes that make up their vision of the game!  Trust me, though, we have a few of our favourites and more than one way of presenting them.

Woohoo! HE SAID DRUID! (Also Barbarian, Assassin, Shieldmaiden, Warlock and Alchemist!) :)

So are you guys planning on doing like a monthly/quarterly release thing?  Maybe have submissions, and include the best fan playbooks/fiction/campaign-dangers or whatnot? (or if I use a fancy game-design term 'continuing content')

skinnyghost

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Re: AP + Comments: Back for More!
« Reply #7 on: May 16, 2012, 04:04:08 PM »

Woohoo! HE SAID DRUID! (Also Barbarian, Assassin, Shieldmaiden, Warlock and Alchemist!) :)

So are you guys planning on doing like a monthly/quarterly release thing?  Maybe have submissions, and include the best fan playbooks/fiction/campaign-dangers or whatnot? (or if I use a fancy game-design term 'continuing content')

We have literally no idea beyond the kickstarter right now.  I suspect we're going to be designed-out for a bit, but I know Sage and I both have lots of ideas about other stuff we can create.  Plus, I am absolutely certain we'll continue (if not TOTALLY RAMP UP) showcasing cool stuff the community creates.

wightbred

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Re: AP + Comments: Back for More!
« Reply #8 on: May 27, 2012, 01:47:18 AM »
So Ferocity is fixed for me by Beta 2.3. And I found the Maggot-Squid which I could have used for the Carrion Crawler: wow, my PCs suffered for that. That leaves the only only issue I have outstanding as the damage per level in Defend and a couple of Cleric rules. So here is my house rule:

Where the rules say you do damage equal to your level, do half your class damage instead.

The other thing that came up in our game was trying to attack multiple monsters. When we first played DW last year we made a mistake and used the previous Defend equivalent to kill 10 goblins in one hit, and it was cool! It won't suit every DW campaign, but we liked it so much I even wrote and playtested a monty haul version of 3:16. I also remember we used to play 1e with a (house?) rule that a Fighter could kill as many 1HD monsters as his level.

I read somewhere that there are rules for handwaving the killing of easy monsters, but I can't find it. Often you get this sorted from the fiction and other moves, but where it comes down to a Hack and Slash I was thinking of the using following rules to make this more integral when it suited the campaign:

When your level is equal to twice a monster's HP or more, treat the monster as having only a single HP.

When you Hack and Slash and your level is equal to or more than the monster's HP and the fiction is appropriate, excess damage beyond what is required to kill one monster can be applied to another monster.

So at 3rd level you can cleave goblins with Hack and Slash, and at 6th level the damage you rolled is how many minions you killed.
« Last Edit: May 27, 2012, 01:52:13 AM by wightbred »