Tweaks and clarifications to the new AFF rulebook

Nuvole!
Archmage
Posts: 1036
Joined: Sat Jan 26, 2013 6:06 pm

Re: Tweaks and clarifications to the new AFF rulebook

Post by Nuvole! » Wed Oct 02, 2019 9:43 am

It would be good to clarify which weapons are one-hand and which are two-handed weapons (this impacts Ambidextrous talent and the possibility of using a shield).
He's a real Nowhere man, sitting in his Nowhere land, making all his Nowhere plans for Nobody.

Eddie
Posts: 88
Joined: Sun Oct 09, 2016 8:46 pm
Location: Northamptonshire UK

Re: Tweaks and clarifications to the new AFF rulebook

Post by Eddie » Wed Oct 02, 2019 6:01 pm

lowering base skill to 4 and then maxing a special skill to 2 means you need to roll a 6 or less to be successful.

meaning you lose the "start competent and improve from there" which i love about AFF.

back to D&D style "rubbish when you start" level grinding and fighting giant rats to make some XP up.

that latter part isn't a huge negative in my opinion, i like scaling quests as players feel like they're getting somewhere, but the inability of a starting thief to be able to sneak, pick locks or similar would be an issue.

wizards or sorcerers would be even worse off potentially

User avatar
SkinnyOrc
Hero
Posts: 626
Joined: Wed Dec 03, 2014 10:53 am
Contact:

Re: Tweaks and clarifications to the new AFF rulebook

Post by SkinnyOrc » Thu Oct 03, 2019 1:10 am

Yeah I always thought the incompetence of starting D&D PCs was plain silly. But as one option for starting PCs it can be fun. The way Slloyd14 was using it in his game they weren't adventurers, just locals who got involved in something. Or in D&D terms "normal men" or "zero level".

For me the ideal default starting point for PCs is between those untrained characters and the quite experienced ones you get now.

Slloyd14
Site Admin
Posts: 603
Joined: Tue Feb 22, 2011 3:39 pm
Contact:

Re: Tweaks and clarifications to the new AFF rulebook

Post by Slloyd14 » Thu Oct 03, 2019 11:10 pm

It would be good to sort out claw sizes and which creatures have which claw sizes- the demon book has 4 different claw sizes and the old book had different sizes to this one.
http://virtualfantasies.blogspot.com/

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

Slloyd14
Site Admin
Posts: 603
Joined: Tue Feb 22, 2011 3:39 pm
Contact:

Re: Tweaks and clarifications to the new AFF rulebook

Post by Slloyd14 » Sat Oct 05, 2019 9:49 pm

Eddie wrote:
Wed Oct 02, 2019 6:01 pm
lowering base skill to 4 and then maxing a special skill to 2 means you need to roll a 6 or less to be successful.

meaning you lose the "start competent and improve from there" which i love about AFF.

back to D&D style "rubbish when you start" level grinding and fighting giant rats to make some XP up.

that latter part isn't a huge negative in my opinion, i like scaling quests as players feel like they're getting somewhere, but the inability of a starting thief to be able to sneak, pick locks or similar would be an issue.

wizards or sorcerers would be even worse off potentially
Absolutely, the skill rolls would have a 42% chance of success at best, but we can get around this.

Some tasks can have automatic success if someone has x or more points in a skill.

Spellcasters can delay a round to get a +2 bonus per round. In non-lethal cases this means that a spellcaster can just spend 6 rounds to cast a spell and succeed on anything other than a 12, but even in combat dealing 1d6 damage would be devastating to the sort of opponents they fight at this level so casting spells every other round might be ok.

Opposed tests (including combat) should still be ok as opponents will have similar skill values to the heroes.

It is possible.

In the other hand, you could play the Dungeon Crawl Classics version where everyone has 2-4 characters and most of them die because they are so incompetent. The survivors get enough experience to become more heroic.
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: 626
Joined: Wed Dec 03, 2014 10:53 am
Contact:

Re: Tweaks and clarifications to the new AFF rulebook

Post by SkinnyOrc » Sun Oct 06, 2019 3:45 am

Slloyd14 wrote:
Sat Oct 05, 2019 9:49 pm
Absolutely, the skill rolls would have a 42% chance of success at best, but we can get around this.

Some tasks can have automatic success if someone has x or more points in a skill.
Also if they're attempting something easy that you don't want to automatically succeed just give them +2 or +3 to the roll.
Slloyd14 wrote:
Sat Oct 05, 2019 9:49 pm
Spellcasters can delay a round to get a +2 bonus per round
At that experience level spellcasters should probably only have minor magic anyway and that's +6 to the roll. A young villager or city guttersnipe is at best going to have picked up a little hedge magic.

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

Re: Tweaks and clarifications to the new AFF rulebook

Post by darksoul » Sat Oct 12, 2019 7:33 am

I know I posted a lot of questions because I was unsure how to resolve them but as someone else pointed out, the more rules we put in the less this becomes like AFF. My feeling now, after GMing so much, is that the rules are there to help me resolve situations, so most calls are up to me.

The only tweak I would consider right now would be the Sorcery Magic. The Sorcery series didn't exactly give players every spell in the book. Players had to memorize spell codes then use them at the right time but they were confronted with a list of other spell codes, some real some not, to confuse the player. Doing it this way in AFF would be more in spirit with the original series, rather then telling the sorcerer player that he gets all spells and letting the player look them up in a book he needs to memorize the codes. This might be listed as a gaming option instead though. It can be easily accomplished by any game master and group.

I would recommend a section for alternate rules for using stats like FEAR, WILLPOWER or PRESENCE from other gamebooks and STAMINA checks or combined stat checks (A STAMINA/LUCK check) as I listed in another post.

There is one more thing I'd add and that would be a section for GM's on how to make an AFF story feel like Fighting Fantasy. Fighting Fantasy has a certain feel to it.

I am not worried about stat progression. That can easily be dealt with by the GM. If you know your running a long campaign then give less XP.

User avatar
SkinnyOrc
Hero
Posts: 626
Joined: Wed Dec 03, 2014 10:53 am
Contact:

Re: Tweaks and clarifications to the new AFF rulebook

Post by SkinnyOrc » Sat Oct 12, 2019 11:11 am

darksoul wrote:
Sat Oct 12, 2019 7:33 am
the more rules we put in the less this becomes like AFF
This might have got lost a bit with the talk about a training mechanic that goes past "To learn a new Special Skill requires a teacher with at least 3 points in that Special Skill" and multiple PC starting points, but I'm not strongly for adding anything. My suggestions amount to:

Increase Special Skill costs 20x new score in XP
Tweak the critical rule slightly
Max PC starting AS decreased from 9, to 8 or 7 (by whatever tweaks to char gen Graham prefers)
Adjust the Natural Mage Talent

Those are just corrections to what's there now. Others have also suggested corrections I like, such as for the Sword of Sharpness. I don't think there's anything extra that really needs adding.
darksoul wrote:
Sat Oct 12, 2019 7:33 am
My feeling now, after GMing so much, is that the rules are there to help me resolve situations, so most calls are up to me.
100% agree, but it's about how the rulebook could be improved to give GMs new to it the best impression of the game and the easiest start with it.
darksoul wrote:
Sat Oct 12, 2019 7:33 am
I am not worried about stat progression. That can easily be dealt with by the GM. If you know your running a long campaign then give less XP.
It's not really about long campaigns if you can get to AS 13 after 4 adventures. Personally I don't like reducing XP awards because that's slowing all PC advancement. As Graham said before, players like there to be a feeling of progression. The point of increasing the cost of special skill advances is because right now they're cheap relative to other advances, and yet WSS has a big effect on the game.

Slloyd14
Site Admin
Posts: 603
Joined: Tue Feb 22, 2011 3:39 pm
Contact:

Re: Tweaks and clarifications to the new AFF rulebook

Post by Slloyd14 » Sat Oct 12, 2019 7:59 pm

SkinnyOrc wrote:
Sat Oct 12, 2019 11:11 am
Adjust the Natural Mage Talent
I agree that it misses out on all the tension/danger/fun if you can never get a critical fail when you cast spells that cost 1. How would you change it? The focus talent gives a bonus to rolls and the arcane talent reduces the chance of an Oops! Table, both I think are made redundant by the natural mage talent.

Maybe it only works for 1 cost spells or 1 spell per day?
http://virtualfantasies.blogspot.com/

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

Slloyd14
Site Admin
Posts: 603
Joined: Tue Feb 22, 2011 3:39 pm
Contact:

Re: Tweaks and clarifications to the new AFF rulebook

Post by Slloyd14 » Sat Oct 12, 2019 8:53 pm

darksoul wrote:
Sat Oct 12, 2019 7:33 am
The only tweak I would consider right now would be the Sorcery Magic. The Sorcery series didn't exactly give players every spell in the book. Players had to memorize spell codes then use them at the right time but they were confronted with a list of other spell codes, some real some not, to confuse the player. Doing it this way in AFF would be more in spirit with the original series, rather then telling the sorcerer player that he gets all spells and letting the player look them up in a book he needs to memorize the codes. This might be listed as a gaming option instead though. It can be easily accomplished by any game master and group.
The Sorcery! spell book has an optional rule for that - I can't remember what it is off the top of my head and it's not to hand.

On a bigger note, supplements such as the Titan Herbal, Sorcery Spellbook and the demon books have added a few skills and items to the whole thing. Would it help to add these to the main rulebook - adding herb lore and demon lore to the list of skills for example.
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: 626
Joined: Wed Dec 03, 2014 10:53 am
Contact:

Re: Tweaks and clarifications to the new AFF rulebook

Post by SkinnyOrc » Sat Oct 12, 2019 11:43 pm

Slloyd14 wrote:
Sat Oct 12, 2019 7:59 pm
SkinnyOrc wrote:
Sat Oct 12, 2019 11:11 am
Adjust the Natural Mage Talent
I agree that it misses out on all the tension/danger/fun if you can never get a critical fail when you cast spells that cost 1. How would you change it?
As I had here. Yep a large bonus is simply better than automatic success. Also more strictly limiting it to "less demanding spells" tones it down a bit. Natural Mage is super popular because it's over powered.

Change Focus to a +2 casting bonus and it and Natural Mage become equally attractive choices, +4 on the easy spells or +2 all of them. It's also worthwhile having both, although they shouldn't be cumulative. Also neither should apply to cantrips as those already get +6.

Slloyd14 wrote:
Sat Oct 12, 2019 8:53 pm
On a bigger note, supplements such as the Titan Herbal, Sorcery Spellbook and the demon books have added a few skills and items to the whole thing. Would it help to add these to the main rulebook - adding herb lore and demon lore to the list of skills for example.
My opinion is you wouldn't want to move anything that ties in to the theme of the book it's in now. I'd need to check but probably the skills and talents in the books you mention there are all like that.

Heroes Companion though has a bit of both. You have skills and talents that relate to the new magic styles, hirelings, holdings and mass battles, so those I'd leave alone. But there's some that would definitely be nice additions to the core rulebook; Navigation, Templar, Dark Veil, Magical Resistance, Clearsight, Packhorse, Lightning Strike. Those wouldn't leave much of a hole in the HC and something else could be added to replace them. A system to generate character background, perhaps expanding on my Occupations system, would be a good fit for it.

Post Reply