Sunday, November 11, 2018

3 Days and $4,000 to Go!




Kickstarter Adventure Edition

We are only $4,000 away from the last stretch goal! 3 more days to go!

Can we do it? (Of course we can!)

Sunday, November 4, 2018

Chase Rules version 3 review

Well..that was a thing. It is surprising that instead of tweaking what they had, Pinnacle did a drastic rewrite of the Chase Rules the way they did.

So, I don’t like the Chase cards. The idea that if you get a club for an action card, the chase card you occupy determines what happens seems to add an unnecessary level of complexity that slows things down.

Then there is the Complications themselves. If you are unlucky enough to be on a club when you get a complication, you are at a -4 to your maneuver roll. That’s a heavy penalty and if you fail it gets worse. Failure results in a point of Fatigue and you are still stuck on a club card. If your next action card is another club, you are trying to get off that club card with a -5! And since “Heroes never die” is in effect and the chase doesn’t end until all the players reach the ninth card...

Sigh.

I was actually fine with v2 of the rules except for the chase tokens. Lose those, put it on a segmented map, and everything worked. Beyond that it just needed some better explanations.

Saturday, November 3, 2018

Return to Sleepy Hollow Chase Rules Preview Updated Again!



Updated Linkies!

I'm a little surprised this didn't make their front page news feed on their site. Anyway...

I haven't play-tested it yet but have given it a read through and I have to say that it looks like my previous issues were all addressed! I don't know if my review had anything to do with it or if there was a general outcry but I do like where things have turned.

Changes:


  • Good: The tokens are gone. Instead GMs deal out 9 cards for the Chase "Track".
  • Bad: Well not really "Bad", per se. But since the number and suit of the Track cards have no bearing on the chase, I would just use blank index cards so any character tokens are easier to read. You can see some visual chaos in their picture example in the adventure.
  • Good: Using cards for the track opens the possibility of creating set obstacles cards like in Pathfinder's Chase Cards if the GM wants.
  • Good: Using cards lets you add more cards to the track if you want the chase to go on longer. Or you can just resolve it at the ninth card.
  • Good: The women have weapons! Everybody has something they can use.
  • Meh: The way that action cards are handled is different. It's good but I didn't have any issues with the other way. Still, it's more in line with character combat in that everyone only gets one action card regardless of vehicle speed, but if your vehicle is faster, you get a bonus to your maneuver roll for changing position.
  • Good: Changing position is a free action, but if you use an actual action you get a bonus to your maneuver roll.
  • Good: They've added complications if a character critically fails their maneuver roll.
  • Bad: Or maybe not so much. Pinnacle included some previews of vehicle combat rules, but they seem to be glossed over as if we are only seeing about half of what is really written. It's not relevant to the chase in the adventure and I'm not certain if they are in a state to play-test (see below).


and finally...


  • Big Bad: The wording on some of these new rules changes/additions is hard to follow. I hope this is just because it's a free adventure that has been reworked in only a few days and that the dialogue in the core book is a lot cleaner and clearer. Still, the Core rules release is only a few weeks away...

ADDENDUM!


I misread how chase complications worked! The suit of the Chase card does matter.
If a character’s ACTION card is a club, then the CHASE card he occupies determines the modifier and the failure result of his maneuver roll. At least that’s what it sounds like from the description. Thanks to Richard Woolcock for pointing that out to me.

Thursday, October 25, 2018

Thoughts on Return to Sleepy Hollow and the new Chase Rules



I ran the scenario 3 times. The first time with the rules as written. The second time using the Explorer's Edition of the Chase Rules since it seemed very close to the new rules. And the Third time, well you'll have to read on.

The first time through:

I had a problem with the "0 Barrier". Players and villains start with Chase tokens representing their distance from each other with an abstract 0 point. In other words, if you want the chase to start at a range of two increments, the players get one Chase Token and the Villain gets one Chase token. The "0 barrier" is reached when one side or the other has 0 Chase tokens.

When you race forward to try and catch your prey, you make a riding/driving roll. If you are chasing, you remove one Chase token for a success and another for a Raise until you have no tokens left. You can't go into negative tokens. The only way to catch up to your prey is to drop them backwards with an Opposed riding check.

Now it makes sense that dropping your prey backwards would be harder since he drops backwards relative to everyone chasing him. But it means that you create a rule change once you hit this artificial barrier and I don't know if Pinnacle really intended for that. By the way, if you are at 0 Tokens and your prey is at 5 tokens, you can still force him backward, SOMEHOW.

It felt artificial and gamey to me.

Second time through with Explorer's Edition:

I used markers for each player and villain on a sheet of paper with 10 range increments. I started everyone in the middle, two range increments apart and just moved everyone left according to their rolls. when I ran out of room, I just shifted everyone to the right in relative positions.

We had to drop the rule of "Shaken characters immediately lose two range increments" because they kept shaking the Headless Horseman to drop him off the chart. But there was one thing that worked really well and we applied it on our third run.

Third time through:

I used the markers and the range increment sheet again, but with the new rules. The only thing I changed was I got rid of the Chase tokens and just used the sheet, and there was no 0 barrier.

The game ran smoothly. Nothing felt to off and everyone liked seeing everyone else's relative position during the chase.

Oh, and I made "changing the opponent's position" into a Force Maneuver, meaning you had to be within one Range Increment to attempt it.


Return to Sleepy Hollow has been updated!

Get the latest version. It fixes a few things.

Things that are still a problem:

Father Munroe has no Riding/ Driving skill.

Father Munroe has no Chase Tokens?

The rules don't say if the you have to turn around in the second chase segment and make up any distance your players gained in the first segment. In other words, if you increased your lead against the horseman by 5 Chase Tokens trying to get away in the first segment, are you now 5 Chase tokens behind in the second segment?

And my biggest question on the new Chase rules in general:

To close the distance, I just need to succeed a riding check.
To push the enemy backward, I need to be at 0 Chase tokens and succeed an opposed check.

So if I am at 1 Chase token, and my prey is at 1 Chase token, and I want to close the distance and roll a Raise on my Riding check, do I just move up to 0 and my prey remains at 1 Chase token until the next turn when I make an opposed check? Or does my Raise bring me up one and him back one? It seems like my raise should do something.

Savage Worlds Edition Wars?



The sneak peaks of Savage Worlds Adventure Edition have me cautiously enthused. But I drank the Kool-Aid and bought into the Kickstarter. I love Savage Worlds, but that doesn't mean I think it can do no wrong.

I am very under-excited about the skill changes. I have a homebrew skill list and I will likely continue to use it, but the problems I had with the Deluxe skill list are not fixed with the new one. It's just that Adventure Edition is now more of a departure from my list than Deluxe Edition.

I'm on the fence about dropping Charisma. Since it is now based on Edges and we haven't seen those yet, I will wait until I have my copy to review.

As for the new Suppressive Fire rules: Am I the only one that thought the old rule was fine? I think the new rule adds more unnecessary complication than before.

I do like the new Status rules as well as the flat 3 action limit. That, imho, has actually made the game more F!F!F!

And the new Chase rules? Hmmm. I was quite a bit confused on my read through. Granted, it's only a snippet of the rules and I plan on running it a few times just to see how it feels but my first impression is that it's just like the Explorer's Edition Chase rules although there is a layer of complication that seems unnecessary with the "chase center point".

I am definitely eager to read through the "Behind the Scenes" add-on to get a better understanding of why they did what they did. Hopefully it may change my mind.

But here's the thing. With my mindset right now, it is easier for me to mod Deluxe Edition with the new rules I know I like than it would be to mod Adventure Edition. There is enough of a shift in how Savage Worlds appears to play between the two that for the first time I feel like I have to pick a favorite. Is this the beginning of Savage Worlds Edition Wars.

For those who don't know what Edition Wars are:
When a new Edition of a game system comes out and if it radically changes the gameplay, the fanbase of that game will become sub-divided. A perfect Example of this is Dungeons and Dragons where you find groups that only play specific editions of the game. There are people who prefer the very first Basic Edition of D&D over any of the newer editions.

While that seems "meh, there's no badwrongfun in that", it does mean that the publisher is selling to a smaller market (the fans willing to buy into a new edition). D&D has a fanbase split between 6 different editions of the game and WOTC only continues to support the current version. They became acutely aware of the issue and did their best to design 5E to be appealing to all groups in an attempt to re-consolidate their market.

Well, here I am. I've just dumped Pathfinder Society because of the second Edition. Not that it's a bad game, it's just that I don't have the time or energy to learn yet another complicated d20 system. And more than a few of my Pathfinder friends are of a similar opinion (although mostly their decision is based on the financial cost of buying into a whole new Pathfinder system). And now I am wondering if I am about to become an Edition Grognard, saying things like "Pah, Savage Worlds Deluxe was the best version!"

Time will tell. I am trying to keep an open mind on this because Savage Worlds has trumped my tweaker-gene before. Here's hoping I'll continue to be the same Grognard I've always been.

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Holy Moley Adventure Edition Kickstarter!

Savage Worlds Adventure Edition Kickstarter has gone live, and... uh... they are going to need more stretch goals. Their highest stretch goal is $210,000 unlock and they are already at $203,000!

Link to Kickstarter



So what are my first impressions? I am cautiously excited. Some of the new changes sound unnecessary or strange to me BUT when I first picked up Savage Worlds I had the same issues. The thing is, it may not make a lot of sense but it works. Hopefully that’s what will happen with these rules changes.

I am also excited to read the new chase rules when they come out.

Then there is the World Builders Guide. That is a great addition to this toolkit game system, and Iwantitnow! Then, there is the Essential Boxed Set. Someone must have read my nostalgia article from a while back. I am sorely tempted to drop the money for this.

So what are you waiting for? Get over thar!

Update: I told my wife I wasn't sure about pledging the $150 to get the Essentials Box Set. She told me she spent $150 on a first edition first printing of Outlander by Gabaldon. So I guess that answers that question. BOXED SET!