Any plan for à third édition ?

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Martigan
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Any plan for à third édition ?

Post by Martigan » Tue Mar 12, 2019 7:40 am

Maybe Graham Botley will make à third edition of aff. With the second édition of aff, i think he have better comercial success than the previous édition.

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Re: Any plan for à third édition ?

Post by Dawndeath » Tue Mar 12, 2019 2:10 pm

Even though I've been buying everything available for 2e, if he did bring out a 3e, I'd still buy it. :lol:

Martigan
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Re: Any plan for à third édition ?

Post by Martigan » Tue Mar 12, 2019 6:35 pm

The game is house ruled pretty heavily for many very good reasons of gameplay balance by the community. The core of the rules is good. But some changes must become official if a third edition is published. The community of fans of AFF knows where the second edition is weak, principaly, even if they are divided on some minor things. It can be simply fix in a third edition of the game. After 8 years, why not begin to think about that ?

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LordArioch
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Re: Any plan for à third édition ?

Post by LordArioch » Tue Mar 12, 2019 6:49 pm

The rules, being remarkably simple, have as their strength the property of being open to interpretation and alteration -- if the GM sees fit. That is in no way a flaw, but an asset. Instead of a "3E", a better idea would be to have a "houserule contest" where the winning concepts are chosen by the Publisher and released as a supplement of optional "add-ons" which are not mandatory for the RAW/BtB. 8)

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Re: Any plan for à third édition ?

Post by Martigan » Tue Mar 12, 2019 10:24 pm

I think the game need some major changes. Why a giant have 9 stamina and only the heroes can have up to 24. It is possible to update that without hurting the people who want to keep the value of the monsters in a second edition of monsters manual, compiling out of the pit and beyond the pit. The thing to do is to not to asign precise value for monsters skill and stamina and leave the director choose by his own like the guide line i suggested in the house rules suggestions section of this forum. Go look at what i have posted. I played a lot. And i think there is no challenge by playing the game like he is made to play. Skill + special skill can't go up to 18, it can't. We must keep it to 12, like in the gamebooks. And it must cost much more experience points to raise special skill and stamina. I think every director raise the characteristics of the monsters by many points in a serions campaign, not only one or two points like it is said to do. Every director knows that 18 is far overpowered in skill and special skills in a serions campaign. I run a campaign since four years and no one have reached 6 in special skills and 24 in stamina. One big monster is often enough for my party of five adventurers. But the monster have sometime 35 or 40 in stamina because the magic attacks can do 15 to 20 damage in a turn with the wizard and the sorcerer i have in my group.

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LordArioch
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Re: Any plan for à third édition ?

Post by LordArioch » Wed Mar 13, 2019 6:41 am

If a given giant has only 9 STA, then, to make him more durable, give him significant damage reduction (=armour, like thick, leathery skin, plus many layers of heavy, shaggy hides), and/or the ability to regenerate STA points after a number of combat rounds (due to some weird natural ability or a magic item on his person). As I said above, it is a flexible set of rules which encourages experimentation. Otherwise, you could rule that only magic weapons or spells do any damage.

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Re: Any plan for à third édition ?

Post by Catweazle » Wed Mar 13, 2019 1:49 pm

I think LordArioch is making a good point. Unfortunately, the word "Edition" has a bit of an unpleasant flavour in the role-playing world, given the upheavals it can create in the players' community. There are still only a handful of rulebooks available for the game, and that makes it quick to pick up for a new player, which I think is a great strength.

It would be interesting to see a "Toolkit for Long Campaigns" accessory though, with observations, suggestions and the distilled wisdom of long term directors and players, suggesting where potential pitfalls may lie (with the understanding that Peter's bug is often Paul's feature), with suggestions on how to address the issue if desired.

Some games have a nasty habit of flooding the community with product, announcing a new edition, then flooding that same market again with updated re-iterations of old books. Not all popular games do it, though. Consider Castles & Crusades, a popular OSR game; fifteen years in print and still on the first edition. Despite this the game has grown naturally and lends itself readily to being hacked. Indeed, it encourages it and published a book that was essentially a tome of advice for hacking the core game engine.

Anyway, I think I've waffled on long enough.

Cheers!

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Re: Any plan for à third édition ?

Post by bottg » Fri Apr 19, 2019 2:08 pm

If i am honest, there are few things i would change for a new edition! A revised and updated maybe, bringing in houserules and clarifications, combining books etc, but i agree with the sentiments upthread about a new edition every few years simply to sell more books!

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Re: Any plan for à third édition ?

Post by SkinnyOrc » Sun Apr 21, 2019 3:02 pm

It seems like the problem with new editions of RPGs is they're often incompatible enough with the previous one they force you to buy a whole new set of books. A revision that corrects errata and adds a few house rules is all that's needed, more of an AFF 2.5. I agree it doesn't need much changed, AFF2 has my favourite mechanics of any RPG, seeing off everything else I've looked at in the years since I discovered it.

However there is a problem with how those great mechanics line up with monsters from the Pit books. Those came from the old Fighting Fantasy gamebooks where you had a base Attack Strength (AS) of your SKILL score of up to 12. AFF2 adds up to 6 points for Weapon Special Skills (WSS) giving a base AS of up to 18. Add in the fact the gamebooks have a lone adventurer while AFF2 has a whole party working together and you can see why there's a mismatch.

With the AFF2 combat system, the party having more than 2 AS points greater than their opponents usually makes the fight an easy one. The SKILL 6 to 10 range represents over 73% of all creatures in the rulebooks. So the longer PC Attack Strength is kept within a couple of points of this 6-10 range the better the game works.

It's not clear there's an issue when you play with starting characters because they can only have an AS of 9. However this already means the usefulness of the almost 25% of creatures with SKILL 6 or less is limited. Once characters gain a couple more relatively cheap WSS points in a weapon, 60% of creatures are too easy, and at WSS 6 over 85%! That's without even increasing SKILL. So ideally starting characters would have a slightly lower AS, and maximum AS would be significantly lower.

It's been suggested Special Skill progression can be limited to half SKILL. This does help by slowing down how quickly AS increases but doesn't fix the core issue. High level PCs still have an AS that's too high and starting PCs still aren't challenged much by 25% of the creatures available. Also you want to be able to have non-adventuring NPCs with a high special skill but low SKILL.

I believe the solution is bonuses for Weapon Special Skills coming from a table so they can be in a lower range. The Armour Special Skill already works like that so it's not a new idea, and you note it on your sheet so you don't need to look at the table in game. I've suggested this:

WSS .... AS. ... Critical
0 ....... -2 ....... 12
1 ....... +0 ..... 11-12
2 ....... +1 ..... 11-12
3 ....... +1 ..... 10-12
4 ....... +2 ..... 10-12
5 ....... +2 ...... 9-12
6 ....... +3 ...... 9-12

Other values could be used, but my opinion is if AS isn't going up each time you need to give something else, and expanded critical ranges seem like a simple alternative that won't unbalance play (far less than high AS).

I've written a fair bit here explaining the reasons, but in the rulebook this wouldn't be a lot of text changing. Apart from that the only ones I'd be really keen to see are the modified Dodge Special Skill from SA and an adjusted Natural Mage Talent.

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Re: Any plan for à third édition ?

Post by Slloyd14 » Sun Apr 21, 2019 8:51 pm

SkinnyOrc wrote:
Sun Apr 21, 2019 3:02 pm
It seems like the problem with new editions of RPGs is they're often incompatible enough with the previous one they force you to buy a whole new set of books. A revision that corrects errata and adds a few house rules is all that's needed, more of an AFF 2.5. I agree it doesn't need much changed, AFF2 has my favourite mechanics of any RPG, seeing off everything else I've looked at in the years since I discovered it.

However there is a problem with how those great mechanics line up with monsters from the Pit books. Those came from the old Fighting Fantasy gamebooks where you had a base Attack Strength (AS) of your SKILL score of up to 12. AFF2 adds up to 6 points for Weapon Special Skills (WSS) giving a base AS of up to 18. Add in the fact the gamebooks have a lone adventurer while AFF2 has a whole party working together and you can see why there's a mismatch.

With the AFF2 combat system, the party having more than 2 AS points greater than their opponents usually makes the fight an easy one. The SKILL 6 to 10 range represents over 73% of all creatures in the rulebooks. So the longer PC Attack Strength is kept within a couple of points of this 6-10 range the better the game works.

It's not clear there's an issue when you play with starting characters because they can only have an AS of 9. However this already means the usefulness of the almost 25% of creatures with SKILL 6 or less is limited. Once characters gain a couple more relatively cheap WSS points in a weapon, 60% of creatures are too easy, and at WSS 6 over 85%! That's without even increasing SKILL. So ideally starting characters would have a slightly lower AS, and maximum AS would be significantly lower.

It's been suggested Special Skill progression can be limited to half SKILL. This does help by slowing down how quickly AS increases but doesn't fix the core issue. High level PCs still have an AS that's too high and starting PCs still aren't challenged much by 25% of the creatures available. Also you want to be able to have non-adventuring NPCs with a high special skill but low SKILL.

I believe the solution is bonuses for Weapon Special Skills coming from a table so they can be in a lower range. The Armour Special Skill already works like that so it's not a new idea, and you note it on your sheet so you don't need to look at the table in game. I've suggested this:

WSS .... AS. ... Critical
0 ....... -2 ....... 12
1 ....... +0 ..... 11-12
2 ....... +1 ..... 11-12
3 ....... +1 ..... 10-12
4 ....... +2 ..... 10-12
5 ....... +2 ...... 9-12
6 ....... +3 ...... 9-12

Other values could be used, but my opinion is if AS isn't going up each time you need to give something else, and expanded critical ranges seem like a simple alternative that won't unbalance play (far less than high AS).

I've written a fair bit here explaining the reasons, but in the rulebook this wouldn't be a lot of text changing. Apart from that the only ones I'd be really keen to see are the modified Dodge Special Skill from SA and an adjusted Natural Mage Talent.
This is a good point and I think some of AFF's problems stem from trying to make a consistent RPG system from the system designed for gamebooks and the inconsistent world building and monster stats that went on due to the series going on for over a decade with several different authors. I love Sorcery, but the only reason we have the sorcery spell list is because of the Sorcery! series. The combat system is a sticking point for reasons you have said.

I like restricting the attack strength bonus. I would change the critical ranges. 9-12 means a critical hit with a 10/36 chance (almost 1/3!) and since a critical hit reduces SKILL by 1, that could easily cause a vicious cycle where the person who scores the first critical hit wins. So either get rid of the SKILL reduction or make the critical range smaller, such as.

WSS...….Critical......Critical probablity
1......…...12...……... 1/36
2...……... 12...……... 1/36
3...…….. 12...……... 1/36
4...…….. 11-12...……... 3/36
5...……. 11-12...……….. 3/36
6...…... 10-12...………. 6/36
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Re: Any plan for à third édition ?

Post by SkinnyOrc » Mon Apr 22, 2019 12:00 am

Something I forgot to mention is I'd keep it that only a 12 automatically wins the round, expanded critical ranges shouldn't change that. It means you can roll a critical and not win the round, in which case it has no effect. The text about winning on a 12 could be moved out of the bit about critical hits to make it clearer.
Slloyd14 wrote:
Sun Apr 21, 2019 8:51 pm
I would change the critical ranges. 9-12 means a critical hit with a 10/36 chance (almost 1/3!) and since a critical hit reduces SKILL by 1, that could easily cause a vicious cycle where the person who scores the first critical hit wins.
It's 28% so you could look at it as a bit more than a quarter of the time, but yes it might be a step too far.
Slloyd14 wrote:
Sun Apr 21, 2019 8:51 pm
So either get rid of the SKILL reduction or make the critical range smaller
There should be some reward for each level of WSS. But if you have -2 for using a weapon without the WSS, 1 could just be not getting that penalty like this (crit probabilities from here):

WSS .... AS. ... Critical ... Crit %
0 ....... -2 ....... 12 ....... 2.77
1 ....... +0 ....... 12 ....... 2.77
2 ....... +1 ....... 12 ....... 2.77
3 ....... +1 ..... 11-12 ..... 8.32
4 ....... +2 ..... 11-12 ..... 8.32
5 ....... +2 ..... 10-12 .... 16.67
6 ....... +3 ..... 10-12 .... 16.67

By the way, the -2 for using a weapon without the WSS has the nice side-effect of encouraging players to put XP into a wider variety of weapon types to have at least basic competency beyond their main one.

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