Tweaks and clarifications to the new AFF rulebook

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Tweaks and clarifications to the new AFF rulebook

Post by Slloyd14 » Fri Sep 06, 2019 1:43 pm

Hi all! As you may know, there is a new AFF rulebook on the way and whilst it won't be a new edition, it will clear up mistakes, problems, typos and also clarify some rules.

Here's one to start:

Minor spells cost 10xp.
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Re: Tweaks and clarifications to the new AFF rulebook

Post by Nuvole! » Fri Sep 06, 2019 1:53 pm

-At character generation, new players get regularly confused when it is time to "buy" Special Skills: how many they can buy, which level and which ones are available for their race.
-Rolling opposed rolls when using ranged weapons is quite counterintuitive as an arrow doesn't help you to both attack and defend yourself from an arrow in the same way that a sword helps you both attacking and defending from a sword. New players usually understand better rolling vs. a specific target (for example 15 plus or minus bonuses/penalties).
-Make clearer how you calculate MAGIC POINTS at character creation. People often messes this up.
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Re: Tweaks and clarifications to the new AFF rulebook

Post by Slloyd14 » Fri Sep 06, 2019 2:15 pm

Nuvole! wrote:
Fri Sep 06, 2019 1:53 pm
-At character generation, new players get regularly confused when it is time to "buy" Special Skills: how many they can buy, which level and which ones are available for their race.
-Rolling opposed rolls when using ranged weapons is quite counterintuitive as an arrow doesn't help you to both attack and defend yourself from an arrow in the same way that a sword helps you both attacking and defending from a sword. New players usually understand better rolling vs. a specific target (for example 15 plus or minus bonuses/penalties).
-Make clearer how you calculate MAGIC POINTS at character creation. People often messes this up.
Great points.

I've just been reminded that a lot of points are in other threads too as I remember reading about one.

Also, the book says to roll for 15, but if rolling to hit a number is equivalent to rolling equal to or less than skill, then you need to aim for 14 instead (SKILL 7 person then either rolls 7 or less or 7 or more which have the same probabilities).
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Re: Tweaks and clarifications to the new AFF rulebook

Post by HedgeWizard » Fri Sep 06, 2019 2:15 pm

How about formalising the convention that special skills can only be half of Skill?

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Re: Tweaks and clarifications to the new AFF rulebook

Post by Slloyd14 » Fri Sep 06, 2019 2:17 pm

Dodge automatically gives armour rolls and Swashbuckler gives +1 bonus - not my idea, but isn't that the case in Stellar Adventures and did I read that it should be in AFF?

Also, Sword of Sharpness gives +1 to damage and not damage rolls?
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Re: Tweaks and clarifications to the new AFF rulebook

Post by Slloyd14 » Fri Sep 06, 2019 2:18 pm

I think we need to clarify if we are simply making existing rules clearer and spotting mistakes or adding anything else as some suggestions might cross a line.

Maybe some things could go in suggested house rules?
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Re: Tweaks and clarifications to the new AFF rulebook

Post by Slloyd14 » Fri Sep 06, 2019 4:10 pm

<r>Here are some threads which discuss clarifications or things to clear up. These are the posts from pages 20-15. Here are two notes:<br/>
<br/>
This is purely clarifications and corrections. Not suggestions for new/different rules.<br/>
<br/>
Some of the questions may have already been answered in the rule book, but it's always useful to know what people ask questions about as you can make the answers more explicit in the rulebook.<br/>
<br/>
Can't cast minor spells with 0 magic points?<br/>
<URL url="viewtopic.php?f=13&t=281"><s>[url]</s><LINK_TEXT text="viewtopic.php?f=13&t=281">viewtopic.php?f=13&t=281</LINK_TEXT><e>[/url]</e></URL><br/>
<br/>
Order in combat<br/>
<URL url="viewtopic.php?f=13&t=331"><s>[url]</s><LINK_TEXT text="viewtopic.php?f=13&t=331">viewtopic.php?f=13&t=331</LINK_TEXT><e>[/url]</e></URL><br/>
<br/>
Wizard combat opposed roll<br/>
<URL url="viewtopic.php?f=13&t=332"><s>[url]</s><LINK_TEXT text="viewtopic.php?f=13&t=332">viewtopic.php?f=13&t=332</LINK_TEXT><e>[/url]</e></URL><br/>
<br/>
<br/>
Order of combat - misc options<br/>
<URL url="viewtopic.php?%0Af=13&t=303"><s>[url]</s><LINK_TEXT text="viewtopic.php?
f=13&t=303">viewtopic.php?
f=13&t=303</LINK_TEXT><e>[/url]</e></URL><br/>
<br/>
Magic Points question<br/>
<URL url="viewtopic.php?f=13&t=282"><s>[url]</s><LINK_TEXT text="viewtopic.php?f=13&t=282">viewtopic.php?f=13&t=282</LINK_TEXT><e>[/url]</e></URL><br/>
<br/>
Pregens have different spell names<br/>
<URL url="viewtopic.php?f=13&t=465"><s>[url]</s><LINK_TEXT text="viewtopic.php?f=13&t=465">viewtopic.php?f=13&t=465</LINK_TEXT><e>[/url]</e></URL><br/>
<br/>
Arrow component costs<br/>
<URL url="viewtopic.php?f=13&t=447"><s>[url]</s><LINK_TEXT text="viewtopic.php?f=13&t=447">viewtopic.php?f=13&t=447</LINK_TEXT><e>[/url]</e></URL><br/>
<br/>
Can spellcasters cast spells in combat?<br/>
<URL url="viewtopic.php?f=13&t=393"><s>[url]</s><LINK_TEXT text="viewtopic.php?f=13&t=393">viewtopic.php?f=13&t=393</LINK_TEXT><e>[/url]</e></URL></r>

Ambidextrous talent clear up
viewtopic.php?f=13&t=496

Sorcerer duel situation
viewtopic.php?f=13&t=607

Skill stat question
viewtopic.php?f=13&t=600

Luck, fumbles, magic
viewtopic.php?f=13&t=601

How does smite work
viewtopic.php?f=13&t=587

Dodge clarification
viewtopic.php?f=13&t=589

Unarmed combat penalty
viewtopic.php?f=13&t=563

Dodge and Defensive option
viewtopic.php?f=13&t=513&p=3229#p3229

Bite size - I know this is for BtP but it might apply to AFF
viewtopic.php?f=13&t=670

Javelin discussion
viewtopic.php?f=13&t=664

HOW spell
viewtopic.php?f=13&t=627

Newbie questions
viewtopic.php?f=13&t=578
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Re: Tweaks and clarifications to the new AFF rulebook

Post by Slloyd14 » Fri Sep 06, 2019 4:23 pm

Page 14 - there was a lot on this page...

Darkseeing and hide
viewtopic.php?f=13&t=723&p=4391#p4391

MUD spell
viewtopic.php?f=13&t=722

Character movement in combat
viewtopic.php?f=13&t=716

DOC spell
viewtopic.php?f=13&t=551

Dodge, fight defensively
viewtopic.php?f=13&t=703

Combat questions
viewtopic.php?f=13&t=697

Limit to magic points?
viewtopic.php?f=13&t=684

Opposed rolls
viewtopic.php?f=13&t=680

Encumbrance and bites
viewtopic.php?f=13&t=677

Bargain vs con
viewtopic.php?f=13&t=671
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Re: Tweaks and clarifications to the new AFF rulebook

Post by Slloyd14 » Fri Sep 06, 2019 5:01 pm

Pages 13-12

What does a combat round look like?
viewtopic.php?f=13&t=779

Number of terrain lores
viewtopic.php?f=13&t=790

Meals per day and provisions
viewtopic.php?f=13&t=787

Automatic success for certain special skill values
viewtopic.php?f=13&t=743

Can you test luck to reduce a crit?
viewtopic.php?f=13&t=747

Penalties for firing vs throwing into combat - why?
viewtopic.php?f=13&t=752

Ambidextrous talent
viewtopic.php?f=13&t=846

Effect of GOD on heroes
viewtopic.php?f=13&t=845

How much do grenades cost?
viewtopic.php?f=13&t=831

Bound + gagged spellcasters?
viewtopic.php?f=13&t=810

Shields/weapons with longer reach
viewtopic.php?f=13&t=802

Number of spells for a starter wizard?
viewtopic.php?f=13&t=801
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Re: Tweaks and clarifications to the new AFF rulebook

Post by Slloyd14 » Fri Sep 06, 2019 6:09 pm

Page 11- 6

Sizes of bites/claws
viewtopic.php?f=13&t=923

Combat flowchart? - include one in book?
viewtopic.php?f=13&t=957

Swimming without the swim skill
viewtopic.php?f=13&t=962

Cantrip limit?
viewtopic.php?f=13&t=762

Templar talent
viewtopic.php?f=13&t=1079

Spellcasting in combat
viewtopic.php?f=13&t=1074

How does the concentrate spell work?
viewtopic.php?f=13&t=1063

Size definitions
viewtopic.php?f=13&t=1054

Does stamina affect sprinting?
viewtopic.php?f=13&t=1040

How do multiple attacks work?
viewtopic.php?f=13&t=1031

Shield bashing
viewtopic.php?f=13&t=2097

Morale question
viewtopic.php?f=13&t=2162

Movement rules
viewtopic.php?f=13&t=2208

Disease
viewtopic.php?f=13&t=2186
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Re: Tweaks and clarifications to the new AFF rulebook

Post by Slloyd14 » Fri Sep 06, 2019 6:51 pm

Page 5-1

Holdings
viewtopic.php?f=13&t=2256

Smite
viewtopic.php?f=13&t=2240

Arrow snake spell
viewtopic.php?f=13&t=2325

How to manage tracking?
viewtopic.php?f=13&t=2324

Monster damage modifiers
viewtopic.php?f=13&t=2322

Missile combat modifiers
viewtopic.php?f=13&t=2313

No penalty to sneak in chain and plate?
viewtopic.php?f=13&t=2376

Does magic - minor contribute to magic points? (No)
viewtopic.php?f=13&t=2366

Outnumbered combat rules
viewtopic.php?f=13&t=2297

Item obviously stolen
viewtopic.php?f=13&t=2334

Does minor magic count towards magic points?
viewtopic.php?f=13&t=2411

Backstab and combat order?
viewtopic.php?f=13&t=2395

Priestly Ward spell
viewtopic.php?f=13&t=2558
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Re: Tweaks and clarifications to the new AFF rulebook

Post by Slloyd14 » Fri Sep 06, 2019 6:58 pm

There are a few common themes from the list. Some might already be answered in the book, but people might not be able to find them easily.

They seem to be:
What order are actions in combat?
Movement rules in combat
How do you calculate magic points?
Missile weapon penalties - why is firing -5 and throwing -3?
The claw/bite sizes
Multiple opponents and multiple attacks rules
How does ambidextrous work?
How does dodging work
How does fighting defensively work
How does minor magic work
How does spellcasting work in combat?
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Re: Tweaks and clarifications to the new AFF rulebook

Post by Nuvole! » Sat Sep 07, 2019 4:23 am

Doubts about the spell Ward viewtopic.php?f=13&t=2558
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Re: Tweaks and clarifications to the new AFF rulebook

Post by SkinnyOrc » Sat Sep 07, 2019 11:38 am

Natural Mage talent (http://arion-games.com/bb/viewtopic.php?f=13&t=880) changed to:
A Hero must have at least one point in the Magic-Wizardry or Magic-Sorcery Special Skill in order to choose this Talent. If chosen, the Hero has an instinctive understanding of the less demanding spells in their repertoire. The Hero has a +4 bonus to the spellcasting roll for all 1 and 2 MP Wizardry spells or 1 STAMINA point Sorcery spells.

The Fleet Footed talent corrected to say (this has come up a few times):
The Hero can move 15 metres in combat rather than the usual 10

Have a single set of casting modifiers instead of separate (but almost identical) modifiers for Minor Magic, Wizard and Sorcerer. Use the more complete list from Minor Magic.

Slloyd14 wrote:
Fri Sep 06, 2019 2:17 pm
Minor spells cost 10xp
Dodge automatically gives armour rolls and Swashbuckler gives +1 bonus - not my idea, but isn't that the case in Stellar Adventures and did I read that it should be in AFF?
Also, Sword of Sharpness gives +1 to damage and not damage rolls?
These are really good ones that I hope are a no brainer to include. Dodge as it is in SA is probably already on the list seeing as Graham's mentioned it before. The Sword of Sharpness at +1 damage is more in line with the other enchanted items (but still less powerful than a Sword of Skill) and it leaves room for exceptional quality non-magical weapons having the rather modest +1 to damage roll (it's only +17% avg. dmg).

Nuvole! wrote:
Fri Sep 06, 2019 1:53 pm
Rolling opposed rolls when using ranged weapons is quite counterintuitive as an arrow doesn't help you to both attack and defend yourself from an arrow in the same way that a sword helps you both attacking and defending from a sword. New players usually understand better rolling vs. a specific target (for example 15 plus or minus bonuses/penalties).
There's a genuine issue here in that this confuses new players, but making AFF more like the game they're used to isn't the answer in my opinion. The misunderstanding comes from being used to rolling to hit. With melee they can think of it as both sides rolling to hit, but when attacked with a missile they think "I'm not attacking, why am I rolling?".

The crucial point is it's not a to-hit roll, it's a combat roll and it's for attack and defense (instead of rapidly increasing Hp). Even if you're not attacking you're still defending so you still roll. The new rules should just explain it in a way that keeps in mind what most players are used to these days from D&D based RPGs. The same goes for the simultaneous round with no initiative roll.

HedgeWizard wrote:
Fri Sep 06, 2019 2:15 pm
How about formalising the convention that special skills can only be half of Skill?
Sorry to disagree mate, but I really hope a better solution than this makes it in. For these reasons:

1. It was an idea for limiting AS bonus a PC can get from a Weapon Special Skill. But it only makes it take longer to get a high AS, it doesn't change how high it can go. The game works fine at low PC XP anyway, the issue is at mid to high XP their AS gets too high compared to the monsters in the Pitt books. This doesn't address that, it just delays it. In practice it means the PCs can't go past SKILL 10, WSS 5 without becoming god-like, and the options for opponents become too limited well before that.

2. A side effect is non-weapon special skills are also limited to half SKILL. This means NPCs can't have a high special skill without having high SKILL, but SKILL is general adventuring/combat experience and NPCs may have very little of that. So a rich merchant might have SKILL 5, but great Bargain, Con and Evaluate. You don't want to lose being able to have an NPC like that for a fix that doesn't really fix the problem (although you could say it only applies to WSS).

An effective AS fix would need to not only slow how quickly it increases with XP, but also lower maximum AS from the current 18 to 15 or less. If it meant the maximum starting AS went down from the current 9 by a point or two that wouldn't be a bad thing but isn't essential. Something to rebalance AS levels is the one significant tweak I would like to see, mostly it's just explaining the current rules better and corrections.

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Re: Tweaks and clarifications to the new AFF rulebook

Post by Dawndeath » Sun Sep 08, 2019 5:00 am

SkinnyOrc wrote:
Sat Sep 07, 2019 11:38 am
Nuvole! wrote:
Fri Sep 06, 2019 1:53 pm
Rolling opposed rolls when using ranged weapons is quite counterintuitive as an arrow doesn't help you to both attack and defend yourself from an arrow in the same way that a sword helps you both attacking and defending from a sword. New players usually understand better rolling vs. a specific target (for example 15 plus or minus bonuses/penalties).
There's a genuine issue here in that this confuses new players, but making AFF more like the game they're used to isn't the answer in my opinion. The misunderstanding comes from being used to rolling to hit. With melee they can think of it as both sides rolling to hit, but when attacked with a missile they think "I'm not attacking, why am I rolling?".

The crucial point is it's not a to-hit roll, it's a combat roll and it's for attack and defense (instead of rapidly increasing Hp). Even if you're not attacking you're still defending so you still roll. The new rules should just explain it in a way that keeps in mind what most players are used to these days from D&D based RPGs. The same goes for the simultaneous round with no initiative roll.
Completely agree - this is exactly how I explain AFF combat. I also wouldn't want to see AFF combat become more like D&D combat. Issues with balance that we're still working out notwithstanding, I think the concept behind AFF combat is superior to D&D, because it acknowledges that in any particular round, not only will the effectiveness of your attack vary, but how well you defend yourself will also change.

Using the same opposed roll mechanic for ranged combat is still appropriate, I feel. The combat roll doesn't just represent how on-target your shot is, but how well you are able to position yourself so as to be safe from the enemy's shot. It can also be thought of as representing other factors, such as who is able to get their shot in first, thereby hindering the other combatant from making an effective shot of their own. It still allows for the possibility of both combatants hitting each other in the same round (if both score a critical hit), but rightly makes the probability of that occurring significantly small.

Stick with the same combat system, just explain the rationale behind it a little more clearly.
SkinnyOrc wrote:
Sat Sep 07, 2019 11:38 am
HedgeWizard wrote:
Fri Sep 06, 2019 2:15 pm
How about formalising the convention that special skills can only be half of Skill?
Sorry to disagree mate, but I really hope a better solution than this makes it in. For these reasons:

1. It was an idea for limiting AS bonus a PC can get from a Weapon Special Skill. But it only makes it take longer to get a high AS, it doesn't change how high it can go. The game works fine at low PC XP anyway, the issue is at mid to high XP their AS gets too high compared to the monsters in the Pitt books. This doesn't address that, it just delays it. In practice it means the PCs can't go past SKILL 10, WSS 5 without becoming god-like, and the options for opponents become too limited well before that.

2. A side effect is non-weapon special skills are also limited to half SKILL. This means NPCs can't have a high special skill without having high SKILL, but SKILL is general adventuring/combat experience and NPCs may have very little of that. So a rich merchant might have SKILL 5, but great Bargain, Con and Evaluate. You don't want to lose being able to have an NPC like that for a fix that doesn't really fix the problem (although you could say it only applies to WSS).

An effective AS fix would need to not only slow how quickly it increases with XP, but also lower maximum AS from the current 18 to 15 or less. If it meant the maximum starting AS went down from the current 9 by a point or two that wouldn't be a bad thing but isn't essential. Something to rebalance AS levels is the one significant tweak I would like to see, mostly it's just explaining the current rules better and corrections.
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. This is especially problematic for me if it means that all 'high-level' characters will be at exactly the same ability level: SKILL 12 + Special Skill 6.

My preferred idea - and the house rule I use in my games - is that even after SKILL 12, Special Skill 6, improvement is still possible, but it becomes exponentially more expensive.

In terms of maintaining game balance, there are various solutions. Most obviously, NPC/monster stats (such as those given in the Pit books) can be adjusted so that they can keep up with the Heroes. However, there is only so much that can be done with this option without turning the game into something like Dragonball Z, where it's just a constant escalation of power on both sides. There is also the problem that the higher SKILL and Special Skills go, the less significant in determining the combat total the 2d6 roll will become.

More preferable is an increasing use of tactics by enemies, whether it's simply attacking the Heroes in greater numbers, using ambushes or guerilla strategies in place of face-to-face fighting, or otherwise working to skew the odds in their favour. Of course, this approach doesn't apply with all enemies - zombies, for example, are unlikely to use intelligent strategies. But it gives another option for keeping the Heroes cautious, even when they are starting to outclass most of the opponents they encounter. Even an experienced character can be taken down by a well-placed volley of arrows to the back. A despicable approach, to be sure; but these are the bad guys we're talking about.

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