see I also would like to know where the cut off is. for stanrick I think he has a greater across the bored understanding of ulven culture, as a longfang he has spent a great deal of time in other clans and packs for any number of reasons. he also knows his pack history. but i feel Im close to the point that I need the skill to justify everything I know.
Stanrick Longfang, Chieftain of Pack Longfang - Ulven
The Lore skill would represent things that are "above the norm" of knowledge. Stanrick would not need to have Lore: Ulven Culture because he knows more about the Ulven, but he would have to have Lore: Ulven Culture in order to know what customs or titles might be used in different packs and clas, or greetings that may be useful in certain role play circumstances. For example, Shana asked me if Selena would know anything about the delegates going to the recent dinner. I sent her a small summary of those delegates and who they were representing and some info about this, which is something that someone with Lore: Ulven Culture could get in the future.
These Lore skills would be used in-game under certain circumstances (Needing to know Lore: Ritual Magic in order to decipher a mysterious ritual) or pre-game as an info gathering skill (Needing to know Lore: Ulven Culture to know more about the detialed history of the Ulven) or in-between skills like Cerys pointed out (Lore: Woodscraft to survive hostile lands and travel easier, identify plants etc)
We playtested a few things last night and here is my summary...
Cleave I know we have playtested this a lot recently, but we made another update to it and it worked out really well. With the change to "wind up, then announce cleave, then attack" it has slowed cleaving players down a bit. To help offset this, we added in a change last night that if a cleave hits a person and does damage, it also staggers them. So a cleave then did either A) Damage to the shield during a block B) a knockback if parried or C) a stagger if you hit someone with damage. This made the generalized oomph of cleave more substantial and I really liked it. I was never able to lock someone down in a cleave-a-copter and kill them, but it really made people take more notice to cleave players because if it lands, it is going to do something. I loved this mechanic, as I felt the trade off of "vulnerability while winding up a cleave" and "the consequences of blocking/parrying/getting hit by a cleave" worked quite nicely. If we do not do the stagger for cleave hitting you, I would like to see a knockback effect just like parrying.
Flare - Hardly used it again, but everyone agrees it is a balanced, works, and is a great defensive spell for clerics.
Knockback This has to be altered a bit. In order to make sure players don't just place their backs against a wall and parry cleaves all day, there will be a clause in cleave that states that if you cannot be knock backed at all during a parried cleave, it damages your arm... need to tweak this because I don't want the knockback ability to have damage tied to it simply because it could make the new Flare spell really lethal, as clerics could pummel opponents up against walls do to a lot of damage to them.
Pierce The update to pierce allowing two handed thrusting/stabbing weapons like spears to pierce on unarmored limbs seems to balance out. It is very very rarely attempted simply because landing a solid stab on a moving limb is very difficult, but the threat of it I think makes a spearmen more lethal (since they can't cleave or do additional damage)
Spell Weaving Everyone seems to agree that having some sort of motion or mechanic for delaying a spellcaster so it takes them a bit of time to cast a mage armor or protection spell is balanced and fair. It forces the caster to spend time and concentrate on it.
Bow Restring We tried a new mechanic that worked really well so far and everyone at practice liked it. It was an ability to allow archers to "restring" their bows if they are broken in combat. If someone swings and hits a bow with a sword, instead of being broken it is considered to have its string cut. An archer with a physical representation of another bow string could protend to unstring and then restring the bow, giving them their bow back without the need for mending. This can happen once and then the bow must be mended or repaired... we are not sure about having a small piece of cloth that must be tied to the bow to represent this or if you just need a phys-rep bow string and that is it.
Cleave: As a avid cleaver I am exited over the resent changes to the mechanic. I really liked the STAGGERED if parried idea but it seems that I might be in a small group on that one. Ryan I do like the possible Staggered if hit idea. My main point I would like to make is I have rarely cleaved a shield down in combat. The opponent always seems to parry the blow get knocked back and is back on me by the time I can recover witch is why I liked the staggered if parried idea. Cleave is a pretty balanced mechanic as it sits so I don’t want to miss too much with a good thing. The ideas that are floating around are as I see it a good thing.
New magic: I think the Magic that is in play right now is well balanced and just the right mix of power and usage. But who doesn’t like new spells. Perce Bolt: Hell No! that’s what arrows are for. Mages already have a great thrown spell in arcane bolt. “new” Ice bolt: the ability to lock down an enemy I think has been lacking in our magic. Changing Ice bolt to a 30sec freeze type spell is a nice addition. Double stacking mage armor: I think this could be seen as overpowered. Being that mage armor blocks ALL attacks this can be very powerful. And should be looked at more closely. Close wound: I like this idea. This can really give Clerics some versatility in the field. Just need to work out how it works. Is it like first aid with 1 min for wound lvl or just mana cost. Flare/Flash/ cleric stun: This seems to work rather well and give the Cleric a defensive spell.
“Old” Magic: I personally think the magic system is just fine as it sits, arcane and divine. As I said above thou everyone likes new spells so finding a home for new spell is really the only roadblock here.
I’ve never really seen the revolving door aspect in combat before. The fighting that happens is usually so fast paced that really most of the healing I’ve seen on the field has happened after weapons have stopped swinging. Healing even first aid is very time consuming and dangerous in the heat of combat. Ive tried putting a bandage on someone when there’s a fight going on its not easy and ive taken a few hits in the process.
Okay, so I posted stuff on Facebook so I will try my best to make sure I got everything here in one post. A few people even liked my ideas and I hope you guys do as well.
For Resources and Lore, a lot of people like the ideas of having different categories. I do agree that we should have resources that would connect with the faction mechanic. As for lore there are a lot of categories that could go with that so I will list them.
List of Resource Mechanics:
Herbal- being able to get supplies that is required for healing and possibly even potions
Financial- getting a bump in check-in silver as well as being able to bank your silver rather than carry it all around during an event and losing a few pieces.
Military- works with the faction mechanic and possibly gives you a bump in resources per event and being able to draw from your military resources that you have within your faction in game. I never really understood how the faction mechanic works in game I only thought that it works out of game in between events and for monthly actions.
Mana- regaining mana out of game and possibly raising a persons mana by 10-20%
Hawks/Foxes- meaning more ways to communicate with a character in character but out of game. Also this would also be a way for people to send and receive resources such as money and/or potions within reason.
List of Lore categories:
Lore of Ulven History and culture- self explanatory (SE) Lore of Syndar History and culture (SE) Lore of Human History and Culture (SE) Lore of Ritual Magic (SE) Lore of Anatomy- basically this person would have a very in depth knowledge of the body whether Ulven, Syndar or Human. May possibly cut down on Healing process and lower the recovery rate.
I do not think we need to have a lore of military, financial, or political because they are more of a resource; however, they could be a possible addition to the lore if you choose. They could also be compiled with the faction mechanic.
Lore of geography and nature- giving bumps in survival chances while traveling. Also with nature, being able to identify a plant or a resource for healing supplies or even alchemic reagents.
Lastly, Lore of mordok: being able to identify what the mordok ritual sites are and possibly making it easier for a character to cleanse and idol with ease. Also being able to identify idols and what it will do if its not cleansed.
The previous discussion about exp costs to become a caster and exp costs to become a fighter was a great point, but I wanted to expand on it and try to explain a few things. I spent a lot of time crunching numbers and exp curves/skill progressions and such in the beginning of the LARP, so I hope this helps open up some more details to think about.
Cleric / Mage Magic 1: 5 Magic 2: 10 + 1 = 11 Magic 3: 10 + 2 = 12 Meditation 1: 0 + 3 = 3 Meditation 2: 5 + 4 = 9 Meditation 3: 10 + 5 =15 Mana Reserves 1: 5 + 6 = 11 Mana Reserves 2: 5 + 7 = 12 Mana Reserves 3: 10 + 8 = 18 Exp total is 96 mana to make a completely maxed out (except for Witch... that is a different animal) spellcaster. I did not include the Transfer/Return/etc skills since they are fairly niche. This means that for less than 100 exp a cleric or mage can perform all the spells in the game, meditate the fastest amount possible, and have as much mana allowed in the game.
Fighter Armor 1: 0 Armor 2: 0 + 1 = 1 Shield 1: 0 + 2 = 2 Shield 2: 0 + 3 = 3 Shield Expert: 5 + 4 = 9 Toughness 1: 5 + 5 = 10 Toughness 2: 10 + 6 = 16 Toughness 3: 10 + 7 = 17 True Grit: 5 + 8 = 13 Break Arrow: 10 + 9 = 19 Exp total is 90 to make an armored, shield using, tough warrior that can survive some rough fighting and pull arrows out of their bodies. This is a good build for a focused warrior (tough, armored, shield user). It is only a couple exp cheaper than a fully decked out mage. But here is the difference... this warrior can't throw, stab, cleave, dual wield, or shoot a bow. Since the mage/cleric build above gives them access to all of the spells and mana pools in the game, it would be fair to expand this warrior to encompass someone who can use all the weapons in the game except for specifics like improved dual wield or improved cleave. Throw: 0 + 10 = 10 Thrusting: 0 + 10 = 10 Two Handed: 0 + 10 = 10 Dual Wield: 0 + 10 = 10 Archery: 0 + 10 = 10 Exp total is now 140 (assuming we bring in the 10 cumulative penalty cap). It would cost an additional 50 mana to round out the "weapons list" of the warrior. We also haven't touched special skills like Rage, Sap, Pierce, Improved Dual Wield, Improved Cleave, etc.
So while it may appear that fighters are easier and more cost effective than casters, it really depends on the character build. I can swing a sword a thousand times in a day but a mage can only do a certain number of striking bolts... but that same mage can explode a shield, melt armor, or inflict a mortal wound in a single spell. The fighter may be able to dish out immense damage simply from using weapons, but they cannot recover from combat without other skills or being helped by others. They sit there and watch their buddies bleed out and die where a cleric can protect people from arrows, keep people alive, close and heal wounds, etc.
The most important thing to keep in mind is that perfect balance was a goal when Last Hope was made. The classes have strengths and weaknesses. All the magic in the world means little when you can't keep a horde of mordok away from your caravan (where a couple fighters and even a basic shield wall would work wonders). All the weapons, armor, and shields in an army means little when greater undead are rampaging through your lines (where a couple clerics would be super useful). Protection spells and healing means little when an enemy mage can blow a hole into an enemy with a single spell or decimate a shield line by casting Push to blast people away. Even our weapons are this way... two handed weapon users hate archers, archers hate shields, and shields hate two handed weapon users. I was intrigued with Belegarth in how the shield/Archer/Red(cleaving) weapons worked out, so I tried to mimic this. In the game, the way that balanced teams and unique weapons and skills can alter the fight and make it very dynamic is what I wanted to capture.
So as for exp balancing, this is just another way to look at it to see how the exp costs can be spent and what they mean.
Post by mcerysjenks on Mar 15, 2014 12:26:15 GMT -5
I, too, love the Cleave-stagger idea. Frankly (and I had forgotten about this until you said something, or else I'd have mentioned it), I found the LACK of RPed reaction to a body hit when I was cleaving stuff at Old World to be insanely frustrating - if a hit is strong enough to break a shield or knock you back when you parry it, it should also knock you back/down when it hits your body - the incongruity was actually big enough that I felt it damaged immersion. It honestly hadn't occurred to me that cleaving hit *wouldn't* have some sort of knockback or stagger effect until I suddenly found myself trying to repel slow-moving unarmed zombie in a one-on-one fight and he didn't react to my hits... at which point I mentally reviewed the rules and went "aw, crap, it doesn't actually say anything about the force of a cleaving blow affecting PEOPLE, does it?" and realized that a small claymore was actually the WORST weapon to use against this opponent...
I think part of the perceived XP expenditure discrepancy is that Divine casters, especially pure-magic healer types, may feel like they are also obligated to take two ranks of First Aid and the Healer profession as part of the "basic package" as it were, bringing the cost for a maxed out caster up to... what, 146? And that's without using any armor or picking up a ranged weapon (a necessary accessory for a behind-the-line caster, in my opinion), bringing the perceived cost of a maxed out healer higher than the cost of a maxed out warrior again... especially when you consider the perception of most warriors as having *one* of maybe two melee specialties (ie, it's shield OR cleave OR two-weapon OR thrusting, not usually all four), and *one* ranged weapon for insurance (throwing OR bow).
Now, personally I don't think there's actually much of an imbalance - nobody is obligated to become a divine caster *and* a healer, and warriors want to take some skills that aren't "pure" fighter, too (mend, first aid, blacksmith), but I can definitely see where the perception comes from.
I also think there's a steeper "learning curve" for casters... a warrior or rogue can show up to their first game (assuming non-human without an approved bio), get all of their armor, a weapon specialty, and True Grit... although there are definitely more skills that they would *want* to get, they can pretty much do most of the things that a maxed-out melee character can, just not as well, and it will only take one more event before they pick up a ranged weapon. A caster comes in, and they can get one level of magic and mana reserves, or magic and meditation and armor & weapon, and it will take two or three events before they can get their next magic-related skill. Basically, it sucks to play a low-level magic user in Last Hope, just like it does in D&D.
In my opinion, this also balances out... assuming equal RL player skill, a maxed-out Arcane caster stands a decent chance of wiping the floor with a maxed-out warrior, and a maxed-out Divine caster can pretty much just STOP attrition during a siege. The suckage at early levels is like a downpayment on the awesome at high levels. But again... you can see where the grumbling comes from.
Thank you everyone for all of your ideas and hard work in helping us figure out changes for version 1.3! The updated rules are finished and ready for everyone to read, available at www.lasthopelarp.com as version 1.3.1