Tweaks and clarifications to the new AFF rulebook

Advanced Fighting Fantasy discussion
User avatar
SkinnyOrc
Hero
Posts: 682
Joined: Wed Dec 03, 2014 10:53 am
Contact:

Re: Tweaks and clarifications to the new AFF rulebook

Post by SkinnyOrc » Sun Sep 08, 2019 6:38 am

Correct the Weapon stats from the "Out of the Pit monsters - special abilities" section to match the Combat section, BtP and RttP. So Medium becomes Large, and Large becomes Very Large.

Slloyd14 wrote:
Fri Sep 06, 2019 6:09 pm
Swimming without the swim skill
viewtopic.php?f=13&t=962
It would be helpful to have a more detailed walk through of how to apply special skills and difficulty adjustments to tests. In particular deciding the possible range of results of a test for characters with and without the relevant special skill. That swimming thread is a good example.

Dawndeath wrote:
Sun Sep 08, 2019 5:00 am
My one thought on this is that I've never really like the idea of imposed limits on character improvement. I understand the necessity sometimes from a game balance perspective, but it just doesn't sit right with me that there is a specified maximum ability that all characters can reach, and then improvement just stops.
Well my opinion is it's the relatively cheap WSS bonuses to AS that are the problem. If that was fixed it'd be fine not having a maximum SKILL, because that gets very slow to advance as it is.

Adjusting weapon special skill bonuses probably needs more discussion than this is the place for, so I suggest we talk about it in another thread here.

Slloyd14
Site Admin
Posts: 656
Joined: Tue Feb 22, 2011 3:39 pm
Contact:

Re: Tweaks and clarifications to the new AFF rulebook

Post by Slloyd14 » Sun Sep 08, 2019 11:16 am

On the topic of limiting improvement to stop invincible warriors, I have a few points:

1) Anything suggested would probably be too great a rules change for just a reprint.

2) A director could get around it with some ingenuity. First of all, a warrior with SKILL 7 and 2 points in a weapon skill needs 180xp to get it up to 6. That's 4 adventures worth of xp if all adventures are successful. 3 if they go amazingly well. This also means that the warrior is completely neglecting their other skills and they only have an AS of 13 with one weapon. So they will still need help spotting and disarming traps, interacting, knowing how to get food and anything to do with magic. There are plenty of scenarios where fighting is useless. Also there can be a few situations where the warrior doesn't have their chosen weapon. Of course doing it too much can be frustrating in the same way that putting an anti magic field around areas so the wizard can't just cast a spell and solve the problem is frustrating.
http://virtualfantasies.blogspot.com/

A blog about writing gamebooks. My musings on how to write a gamebook and what makes a good gamebook.

User avatar
SkinnyOrc
Hero
Posts: 682
Joined: Wed Dec 03, 2014 10:53 am
Contact:

Re: Tweaks and clarifications to the new AFF rulebook

Post by SkinnyOrc » Sun Sep 08, 2019 11:37 am

Slloyd14 wrote:
Sun Sep 08, 2019 11:16 am
On the topic of limiting improvement to stop invincible warriors, I have a few points:

1) Anything suggested would probably be too great a rules change for just a reprint.
In terms of how much text in the rulebook would need to change to implement a fix it'd just need a few lines. So it's only potentially too great a change in terms of what Graham is willing to go with.

Looking at it again, limiting the special skill to half SKILL would be a lot better than not addressing it all. I'd just want to see it apply only to special skills in the Combat category so those NPCs with high special skills are still possible. It doesn't stop PCs theoretically being able to reach invincible AS, but it'd take so long to get there that in most campaigns no one will. So maybe it doesn't matter.
Slloyd14 wrote:
Sun Sep 08, 2019 11:16 am
2) A director could get around it with some ingenuity. First of all, a warrior with SKILL 7 and 2 points in a weapon skill needs 180xp to get it up to 6. That's 4 adventures worth of xp if all adventures are successful. 3 if they go amazingly well. This also means that the warrior is completely neglecting their other skills and they only have an AS of 13 with one weapon.
Four adventures is very few to be getting an AS that can take on most of what's in the Pit books single handedly. Add to that the creatures that'd still be a challenge pretty much all have number appearing 1 and there's a whole party of adventurers. The Director can find ways to make things harder but too much of that just looks to players like cheating. Sure, there are plenty of other advances to tempt them, but maybe only after getting those 4 easy WSS points. You want the party to spend most of their careers with an AS that's a good match for the creatures in the books. So I believe it's important something is done for this.

Nuvole!
Archmage
Posts: 1139
Joined: Sat Jan 26, 2013 6:06 pm

Re: Tweaks and clarifications to the new AFF rulebook

Post by Nuvole! » Mon Sep 09, 2019 6:01 am

In general the section of AFF core rulebook that explains how to manage Out of the Pit is pretty poor. I understood that there are some reasons linked to rights etc. for doing that poor thing, ut it doesn't change the fact that it makes players think that the job was done unprofessionally and in an untidy manner.
There may be many ways of dealing with the issue, but, please, pick one option and do it.
I'm the real Nowhere man, sitting in my Nowhere land, making all my Nowhere plans for Nobody.

Slloyd14
Site Admin
Posts: 656
Joined: Tue Feb 22, 2011 3:39 pm
Contact:

Re: Tweaks and clarifications to the new AFF rulebook

Post by Slloyd14 » Mon Sep 09, 2019 9:38 pm

If we can't get an AFF OOTP made, how about the rulebook has the rules for 50 common monsters - orcs, goblins, trolls, ogres, red dragons, animals, dinosaurs, zombies, skeletons etc. - and even a few NPCs so that directors can extrapolate from that. As fun as a Vlobad is, it's not going to come up most of the time if at all.
http://virtualfantasies.blogspot.com/

A blog about writing gamebooks. My musings on how to write a gamebook and what makes a good gamebook.

User avatar
SkinnyOrc
Hero
Posts: 682
Joined: Wed Dec 03, 2014 10:53 am
Contact:

Re: Tweaks and clarifications to the new AFF rulebook

Post by SkinnyOrc » Tue Sep 10, 2019 12:53 am

Yeah you can't take that section out of the rulebook until an updated OotP is done. Including a set of common monsters in the rulebook is a pretty good idea, and 20 might be enough. But as long as OotP isn't able to be reworked you still need the AFF2 stats for all the OotP creatures in the rulebook somewhere. It would look better as an appendix and with that typo fixed I mentioned above. But I agree that the whole OotP situation is messy and doesn't make a great impression.

darksoul
Knight
Posts: 318
Joined: Fri Aug 16, 2013 8:15 am

Re: Tweaks and clarifications to the new AFF rulebook

Post by darksoul » Tue Sep 10, 2019 4:57 am

Slloyd14 wrote:
Fri Sep 06, 2019 6:09 pm
Page 11- 6
...
Disease
viewtopic.php?f=13&t=2186
lol, yeah, I guess I ask a lot of questions. :D
I think more than 1/2 were asked by me. Amazed you found all those, Sllpyd14.

Nuvole!
Archmage
Posts: 1139
Joined: Sat Jan 26, 2013 6:06 pm

Re: Tweaks and clarifications to the new AFF rulebook

Post by Nuvole! » Tue Sep 10, 2019 6:26 am

SkinnyOrc wrote:
Tue Sep 10, 2019 12:53 am
Yeah you can't take that section out of the rulebook until an updated OotP is done. Including a set of common monsters in the rulebook is a pretty good idea, and 20 might be enough. But as long as OotP isn't able to be reworked you still need the AFF2 stats for all the OotP creatures in the rulebook somewhere. It would look better as an appendix and with that typo fixed I mentioned above. But I agree that the whole OotP situation is messy and doesn't make a great impression.
Maybe OotP can be published in a single book together with the Corebook... so many options may be available to deal with the issue in a tidier way.
I'm the real Nowhere man, sitting in my Nowhere land, making all my Nowhere plans for Nobody.

User avatar
SkinnyOrc
Hero
Posts: 682
Joined: Wed Dec 03, 2014 10:53 am
Contact:

Re: Tweaks and clarifications to the new AFF rulebook

Post by SkinnyOrc » Tue Sep 10, 2019 6:44 am

Nuvole! wrote:
Tue Sep 10, 2019 6:26 am
Maybe OotP can be published in a single book together with the Corebook... so many options may be available to deal with the issue in a tidier way.
They got combined in the AFF Deluxe book but as the text of OotP wasn't able to be changed it didn't fix what you're talking about. However it gets published, Graham would need permission to alter the OotP text.

Nuvole!
Archmage
Posts: 1139
Joined: Sat Jan 26, 2013 6:06 pm

Re: Tweaks and clarifications to the new AFF rulebook

Post by Nuvole! » Tue Sep 10, 2019 8:06 am

One way or the other, I hope this will be improved as it is an obvious weakness.
I'm the real Nowhere man, sitting in my Nowhere land, making all my Nowhere plans for Nobody.

User avatar
bottg
Site Admin
Posts: 1361
Joined: Thu Jul 24, 2003 10:53 pm

Re: Tweaks and clarifications to the new AFF rulebook

Post by bottg » Tue Sep 10, 2019 10:36 am

SkinnyOrc wrote:
Tue Sep 10, 2019 6:44 am
Nuvole! wrote:
Tue Sep 10, 2019 6:26 am
Maybe OotP can be published in a single book together with the Corebook... so many options may be available to deal with the issue in a tidier way.
They got combined in the AFF Deluxe book but as the text of OotP wasn't able to be changed it didn't fix what you're talking about. However it gets published, Graham would need permission to alter the OotP text.
I don't think I would get permission to alter the OotP text, but another issue is that if the text is altered, it becomes a new book. At which point art royalties are repayable, meaning another £3-4K. This in itself would not necessarily be a proble, but it is not a big seller due to their being so many extant copies out there. What might be possible though is to add an appendix to OotP with those details.

The other option would be to do a new, colour version of OotP with new art as a follow up to the colour AFF. This would be horrendously expensive as far as art goes, but a KS may cover that if the AFF book did very, very well indeed. I would say it is a possible option rather than a likely one, but one to keep in mind.

User avatar
SkinnyOrc
Hero
Posts: 682
Joined: Wed Dec 03, 2014 10:53 am
Contact:

Re: Tweaks and clarifications to the new AFF rulebook

Post by SkinnyOrc » Wed Sep 11, 2019 5:14 am

It's good to understand the full problem with changing OotP, thanks for the openness on that.

It seems like the Pit books should be at the bottom of the list for the full colour treatment because it's going from having art from the gamebooks for every creature to needing art for every creature. Plus I like the current creature art.

If there was a Kickstarter for a rework of the existing black and white OotP I'd put in for that, and I'd be happy to go high tier to help make it happen. But I can see there might not be enough interest to reach the target needed for it to succeed. If you went down the route of adding the stats as an appendix to OotP that wouldn't count as a new book? If so that might be the best option that's easily doable.

Eddie
Adventurer
Posts: 102
Joined: Sun Oct 09, 2016 8:46 pm
Location: Northamptonshire UK

Re: Tweaks and clarifications to the new AFF rulebook

Post by Eddie » Wed Sep 11, 2019 6:39 pm

the amount of work in converting the old black and white pictures into equivalent colour ones would be huge!

also

got to be honest

i prefer the B&W pictures!
People will definitely moan about them being changed to colour pictures :lol:

User avatar
Dawndeath
Adventurer
Posts: 141
Joined: Mon Sep 24, 2018 4:34 pm

Re: Tweaks and clarifications to the new AFF rulebook

Post by Dawndeath » Thu Sep 12, 2019 2:39 am

I'm also quite happy with retaining the black and white pictures - I think they are more in keeping with the whole atmosphere of FF. It's a shame updating OotP is a bit problematic; but honestly I think we can survive with it as it is. Looking up the extra details for monsters in another book is only a minor inconvenience. If there is a way to make the monster information in the core rulebook more accessible or neater to look at in the revised edition, that's great. But I'd rather see KS money for Pit books go on book 4 in the series when it's ready. Only speaking personally, of course, I'm much more interested in content than artwork. That's what I'm excited about waiting for the revised rulebook: the tweaks and clarifications we've been talking about. :mrgreen:

User avatar
SkinnyOrc
Hero
Posts: 682
Joined: Wed Dec 03, 2014 10:53 am
Contact:

Re: Tweaks and clarifications to the new AFF rulebook

Post by SkinnyOrc » Fri Sep 20, 2019 6:05 am

SkinnyOrc wrote:
Sun Sep 08, 2019 11:37 am
Looking at it again, limiting the special skill to half SKILL would be a lot better than not addressing it all.
So I still think that, and I get that going further is too much change for a simple revision of the rulebook. What I want to suggest is there's another even simpler way to get a similar result to limiting special skills to half SKILL. That is changing the cost of special skill advances from new score x 10, to new score x 20.

Because special skills cost new score x multiplier, and their new score only goes up to 6, at x10 they're cheap advances compared to everything else. STAM advances only cost new score x 5 but the lowest you can start with is 8. To go to 9 it's 45 XP (9x5), so it's more expensive than going from special skill 2 to 3 (30 XP) or even 3 to 4 (40 XP). But a more comparable STAM upgrade would be to 15, which costs 75 XP. SKILL advances are more expensive again, going from 7 to 8 costs 160 XP!

Making special skills x20 just offsets the range of scores for that being low compared to everything else. It means after the first adventure there won't be enough XP to take their main weapon from WSS 2 to 3 (a good thing), but they can still take a special skill from 1 to 2, or learn 2 new ones, or lots of other things. If you find the rate of advance is slower than the players like you can always give out more than 50 XP an adventure, but it's still best none of the advances stand out as cheap.

On this graph the lines are showing how many adventures the PCs need to complete at 50 XP each to reach that AS, against the blue bars of the numbers of creature types with that AS. The red line is the current rules, the yellow line is WSS limited to half SKILL, and the green line is increasing special skills to new score x 20.

You can see the green line follows a similar path to the yellow line. But it's a little better; the first PC AS increase from 9 to 10 takes 2 adventures rather than 1, it doesn't zig-zag so the advances are more evenly spaced out, and AS 18 takes a minimum of 28 adventures to reach instead of 24.


Image


This is the number of adventures to get to each AS level for the alternatives in the graph.

. . . . . . . . . Now . . SS ½ SKILL . SS x20
AS 10 . . . . . . 1 . . . . . . 1 . . . . . . 2
AS 11 . . . . . . 2 . . . . . . 4 . . . . . . 3
AS 12 . . . . . . 3 . . . . . . 5 . . . . . . 5
AS 13 . . . . . . 4 . . . . . . 9 . . . . . . 8
AS 14 . . . . . . 7 . . . . . . 13 . . . . . 11
AS 15 . . . . . . 11 . . . . . 14 . . . . . 14
AS 16 . . . . . . 15 . . . . . 18 . . . . . 18
AS 17 . . . . . . 19 . . . . . 23 . . . . . 23
AS 18 . . . . . . 24 . . . . . 24 . . . . . 28
Last edited by SkinnyOrc on Tue Sep 24, 2019 2:27 am, edited 3 times in total.

Post Reply