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From Monte Cook Games:




We’re holding an ENnies sale on the Numenera corebook. If you’re thinking of giving Numenera a try, now’s the time to pick it up! We’re running the sale for 10 days in honor of 10 ENnies, and knocking 10% off the cover price while it runs. Nope, that’s not celebratory enough: Let’s make it 25%! That’s right: 25% off the Numenera corebook for the next 10 days.



It’s a great time to give Numenera a try, or if you’re already playing, to introduce it to a friend. But don’t dawdle: This sale ends September 19th!


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So I ended up getting the three 5E D&D books for Christmas this and surprise, surprise I am now the proud DM of a new 5E group. I've purused the rules and run one game so far, but my initial impression is that I really, really like 5E. It brings back some things I liked about AD&D but it retains the customization of 3E and Pathfinder without going overboard. Yes, I do miss the options and choices of PF and 3E, but I certainly don't miss the stacking bonuses of doom that were inherent to those systems. No longer will characters sheathe themselves in layers of buffs or calculate innumerable +1's from spells, feats, skills, items, and special abilities and that's a good thing because creating challenges for a group and remembering to use all of those abilities was far beyond the simple processes that my brain was capable of. I'll go over a bit of what I like, what I don't and what I'm unsure of below:



What I like:


1) Advantage/Disadvantage - A Very simple but elegant mechanic and a huge replacement for the stacking bonuses of doom that was endemic to PF and 3E.


2) The Classes all look very interesting with enough options to differentiate each one while still keeping them viable. They aren't as varied as the PF classes (which were, in general, pretty awesome in how many options they offered) but the PF classes all started to suffer from immense amounts of power creep.


3) The fact that attack bonuses, Armor Class, and saving throws increase slowly and flatten out sooner rather than later. This means lower challenge enemies are still threats to higher level characters. In 3E and PF, AC's could easily skyrocket to stratospheric numbers that even armies of hobgoblins were nothing more than an inconvenience to characters that were mid-level and beyond.


4) Magic is rare and generally not as required as it was in 3E and PF or even 2E.


5) Electrum is back! I don't know why I care about this, but I do. My players are going to end up hauling a ton of this shit around.


6) Feats are much more powerful and have evolved beyond giving boring static or mere situational bonuses. They now feel like a big, important choice.


7) Backgrounds - An excellent addition to the game


8) The new spell system - It combines the old-style Vancian system with a bit of the flexibility of the psionics system. I, for one, heartily approve.


9) Buffing is much less important now - In fact, it's pretty much impossible to buff characters to stratospheric levels, teleport in, and nuke the enemy before the buffs all wear off.



What I don't like:


1) Monsters generally aren't as interesting as in 3E or PF. They lack a lot of the out-of-combat or roleplaying abilities that made me want to use them or made them interesting to read about. They are certainly not as bad as 4E monsters, but goddamn if Paizo wasn't great at making some cool monsters, even if those monsters were a bitch to run properly.


2) Lair abilities and legendary actions seem like they will make tough monsters interesting to run but they are very 'gamist' in a 4E way. Maybe they will prove to make for very cool encounters when I eventually get around to using some monsters with these abilities, but just looking at them gives me a very video gamey vibe.


3) Some rules are very concrete with little leeway in interpretation and others are more... handwavey. I don't need a rule for everything but I'd prefer one approach or the other, not the mixed one that's in the books.


4) Lack of options - Some classes come with three or four different paths to choose from, others are limited to a mere two. I would've preferred a bit more variety. A few more backgrounds wouldn't hurt as well.


5) No example of play in the PHB - Not only are the examples of play a good introduction to just how tabletop RPG's are played, they're usually fun to read as well.



What I'm unsure about:


1) Saving Throws - I like the idea of every stat being important but it really doesn't seem that way in practice. Any class that's proficient in either Charisma or Intelligence saves just seems like they're getting one worthless save seeing as very few abilities or situations call for those saves.


2) The skills - Rolling skills into simple ability checks is a brilliant idea, unfortunately the progression of proficiency is so flat that I wonder if the feeling of getting better at your skills is going to go away. That's one thing I really liked about 3E and PF, as you gained levels there was a real feeling of progress, you were getting better at certain things or you were choosing to broaden your skill set by focusing on other things. That's largely gone as you're now locked into what skills you're good at for the rest of your career, barring the choice of a feat or multiclassing.



I'm sure as I play more, I'll come across more for each category (or maybe some will change) but that's all I have after one session and a single readthrough. I will say that anyone who's tired of the number crunch of 3E and PF, give 5E a look. It basically combines the better parts of 2E and 3E while not having the incredibly idiotic rules of the former and none of the minutiae of the latter.


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Ah I missed that last post - Durckad are you still running 5e? How do you feel about it now? It's funny I haven't really looked at the new 5e stuff aside from flipping pages at a store. A friend of mine is a Pathfinder super subscriber or whatever you call it so I've been able to better keep up with what's going on there.

 

Also been tracking some the of the stuff coming out of Onyx Publishing - I like that the Kickstarters often allow you to check out the game text of an entire book they are looking for $$ to fund art/layout/printing. For example the new game Beast: The Primordial where you play some kind of lineage of monstrous creature is rather interesting as it sorta mixes in some aspects of The Dreaming and Geist.

 

Also the 2nd WoD lines are getting new books, one bonus from that is the corny-ass "city of dragons" from Mage: The Awakening has been replaced with a much looser and cooler idea of a civilization out of time that nobody knows much about:

 

The Fate of Atlantis

 

 

The evidence from these ruins and artifacts can’t be shaped into a single, consistent history. Tales of glorious cities and empires that existed in the time before time are sprinkled throughout world mythology. The Aztecs referred to Aztlán; the Mahabharata opens with the history of the Naga Kingdom; ancient Buddhist texts mention Shambhala. Call it Hyperborea or Brittia or Paititi. Name its people Pelasgians or inhabitants of the Dreamtime. “Atlantis” is a catch-all term, suggested for its familiarity to the Diamond Orders whose origins lay in ancient Greece.

 

Over the last four millennia, the Awakened have chased these conflicting-yet-similar stories to tease out one larger truth: a world existed before this one. Little and less is known about the inhabitants of the Time Before, but the Orders do agree on a few key points.

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Ah I missed that last post - Durckad are you still running 5e? How do you feel about it now? It's funny I haven't really looked at the new 5e stuff aside from flipping pages at a store. A friend of mine is a Pathfinder super subscriber or whatever you call it so I've been able to better keep up with what's going on there.

 

Yeah, I'm still running my game. The players are all level 4 right now (we only get to play once a month) but I have a feeling they'll hit level 5 after next session as that should hopefully finish up the current storyline they've spent the last 3 or 4 sessions working towards. That'll be a perfect opportunity for a level up.

 

Most of my issues with the game are gone. They seem to evaporate when actual play starts. I miss the plethora of options from 3e and PF, but, if this game ever gets to around 10th or so level, I have a feeling it's going to be much easier to run, both for the players and me. I've run several games up to around level 13-15 to know how often those options are both a huge blessing (in making the game interesting and unpredictable) and a huge curse. I don't think I'll even miss them by then.

 

Overall, I think it's pretty fantastic. It's not the huge clusterfuck of clashing rules that 2e was but it retains a semblance of its freewheeling nature while keeping around many of the positive changes from 3e, PF, and yes even 4e. Obviously, if you're not a fan of D&D or its style of game, then 5e probably won't excite you much, but I get exactly what I want out of it: a game I can play with some friends once every so often and one where most of my prep time isn't devoted to statting up opponents. ;)

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After months of not being able to get together and play, we'll be playing this evening.

We run a 3e campaign set in alternate history Earth. Our DM likes that kind of stuff, being somewhat of a history buff.

At the moment, our story is set in Arthurian England, or whatever it was called back then (as I said, we haven't played for months so my memory is a bit hazy ;) ).

My character is a neutral Christian cleric, accompanied by another Christian cleric, a rogue and a fighter.

Missing a wizard/sorcerer but I guess having two clerics helps mostly make up for it.

Can't wait to roll the dice!

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I'd like to think that this is one of my favorite threads ever.

 

I'm not the DM at the moment - I don't have the time. But I'll run an one shot for "Unknown Armies" in the future which will be about those surprise eggs. :smug: So looking forward to it.

 

I play "[url=http://www.lodland.de]LodlanD"[/url] and "The Dark Eye" at the moment.

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5th is my favorite edition so far. I can't put a quantitative reason behind why it feels like old AD&D without all the rules clunk, but it just does. Its like someone took a time machine and made 3e all over again with the lessons of modern RPG design we have now.

 

That said, we've been playing L5R, Shadowrun, Savage Worlds, and Apocalypse World in addition to the standard d20 stuff for the past few years, and it's all really good stuff.

Edited by Brandon Stark

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5th is my favorite edition so far. I can't put a quantitative reason behind why it feels like old AD&D without all the rules clunk, but it just does. Its like someone took a time machine and made 3e all over again with the lessons of modern RPG design we have now.
 
That said, we've been playing L5R, Shadowrun, Savage Worlds, and Apocalypse World in addition to the standard d20 stuff for the past few years, and it's all really good stuff.


I'm glad to hear the positive reviews about 5e. I really liked my warlord class in 4e but i hated the game itself. I've been on a 5 year hiatus from table topping and I'm finally starting to look for a group to play with around here.

So what's going on with L5R lately? I havent played it since just after they killed off Hantei 38th.

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They wisely advanced then divorced the RPG from the card game timeline, presenting each clan in its most iconic form and giving some reference stiff for running in the various popular periods. We have a few guys in our group that found the setting too rigid for their style, otherwise I've always loved it. Couldn't tell you what's going on in the living world.

 

On a side note, damn that first Clan War novel was amazing.

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I'm DM'ing for a local The Dark Eye group atm. Loving every minute of my group :)

 

I gathered none of my players has played Shadowrun or CoC so far, so once the current campaign is over, I'll propose a few 'runs or Lovecraftian adventures. Preferably with me not being DM for once :P

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I'm DM'ing for a local The Dark Eye group atm. Loving every minute of my group :)

 

I gathered none of my players has played Shadowrun or CoC so far, so once the current campaign is over, I'll propose a few 'runs or Lovecraftian adventures. Preferably with me not being DM for once :P

 

Hehe.

 

CoC is cool. Especially when set in 1920.

 

And I think the supplement "London - Im Nebel der Themse" is even better than the one for Victorian Age "Vampire".

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Has anyone tried Fate Core or Fate Accelerated? How does it play? Strengths? Weaknesses? It looks interesting but I'm still trying to get a grasp of how play would feel. 

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Has anyone tried Fate Core or Fate Accelerated? How does it play? Strengths? Weaknesses? It looks interesting but I'm still trying to get a grasp of how play would feel. 

 

I currently play Fate Core. Although we didn't get past the character creation last time. Will keep you posted. And I'm finally able to use my Fudge dice. :smug:

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Has anyone tried Fate Core or Fate Accelerated? How does it play? Strengths? Weaknesses? It looks interesting but I'm still trying to get a grasp of how play would feel. 

I have played it for a while.  If you are in to narrative play it works well.  If you like more crunch it gets hard.  Your players really have to get a hang of the compels for FATE points and compelling NPCs to get the most out of the system.  Our group felt it worked well with kind of a pulp/comic type style of absurdity.  

 

Advancement also is more narrative and less crunch, you should be changing aspects.  We had a table rule that after each Scenario, several sessions, you should be changing an aspect to reflect what your character went through.

Edited by Guy Kilmore

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I have played it for a while.  If you are in to narrative play it works well.  If you like more crunch it gets hard.  Your players really have to get a hang of the compels for FATE points and compelling NPCs to get the most out of the system.  Our group felt it worked well with kind of a pulp/comic type style of absurdity.  

 

Advancement also is more narrative and less crunch, you should be changing aspects.  We had a table rule that after each Scenario, several sessions, you should be changing an aspect to reflect what your character went through.

Great to hear. I saw your posts earlier in this thread, but I was not sure whether or not that experience regarding FATE had changed any since then. I have increasingly moved to more narrative play with rules lite-to-medium systems (e.g. Monte Cook Games' Cypher System, Green Ronin's Fantasy AGE, etc.), so FATE seems like a good fit. The aspects, in particular, sound like an incredibly fun and creative method of character creation. I like the idea of character advancement through aspect changing. Is that standard advancement practice? 

 

I am also curious about magic systems in FATE. There is not really a set one from the looks of things. I get that it's supposed to be hackable so you can create and adjust as needed, but it still seems like a lot of additional effort to go in and hacking away blindly. Are there are any magic systems for FATE that work well for you or that you have come across? Thanks. 

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Great to hear. I saw your posts earlier in this thread, but I was not sure whether or not that experience regarding FATE had changed any since then. I have increasingly moved to more narrative play with rules lite-to-medium systems (e.g. Monte Cook Games' Cypher System, Green Ronin's Fantasy AGE, etc.), so FATE seems like a good fit. The aspects, in particular, sound like an incredibly fun and creative method of character creation. I like the idea of character advancement through aspect changing. Is that standard advancement practice? 

 

I am also curious about magic systems in FATE. There is not really a set one from the looks of things. I get that it's supposed to be hackable so you can create and adjust as needed, but it still seems like a lot of additional effort to go in and hacking away blindly. Are there are any magic systems for FATE that work well for you or that you have come across? Thanks. 

The Dresden System was overburdened with Aspects....and the magic system got REALLY mathy, to be honest, and a little too crunchy.  A lot more than at first blush.  They slimmed it down for FATE Core which is better.  I believe the Core Rule Book has some example magic systems.  

 

In reality though, I think if I was doing a magic system, I would have a skill called Lore and maybe have a stunt or some such that lets you make manuevers or use it as an attacking skill.  FATE works better when you keep it simple.  While Spirit of the Century still has old FATE Core Rules, they have some fun stunt ideas to pull from for mystical stuff and science.  If you wanted something crunchier, I would go maybe with the Evocation System from Dresden.  It's more dynamic.  The Thaumaturgy (butchered the word) gets...complicated and kind of kept falling in our way.  It was better when we kind of let the GM narratively set it and pushed it forward.

 

FATE Core also did away with Companion Rules and Minion Rules, which are a shame, because I think those rules made things run a little faster, in someways, and kept the focus on the PC.  Luckily, they are pretty simple to add back into FATE Core.  (Like, if I did a game with magic and someone wanted to Summon devils, I would have them use the Minion Stunt from Spirit of the Century.  If someone wanted something more like a summon pet or a Golem, I would have them snag the Companion Stunt from Spirit of the Century.)

 

(Minions work in groups, when you do damage to them you tick off each stress box and damage carries through the group.  Companions, usually, need to be paired with a PC or they are just a glorified Minion.  They grant PCs bonus to certain kind of skills checks.)

 

Also, Fate Core dumping the Social Skill track was nice.  Social combat is better handled with consequences then with Stress Damage.

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The 7th Sea: Second Edition Kickstarter broke the record for the #1 tabletop Kickstarter of all time ($684,756). It is at ~$730K now, and it still has 17 days to go left. And for $40, you get pdfs for all the 1st edition rules ($350+ retail value), pdfs for the 2nd Edition Core Rulebook and New World book, as well as all the stretch goal pdfs. 

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3 hours ago, Matrim Fox Cauthon said:

The 7th Sea: Second Edition Kickstarter broke the record for the #1 tabletop Kickstarter of all time ($684,756). It is at ~$730K now, and it still has 17 days to go left. And for $40, you get pdfs for all the 1st edition rules ($350+ retail value), pdfs for the 2nd Edition Core Rulebook and New World book, as well as all the stretch goal pdfs. 

That looks kind of interesting.  I might actually sponsor it.  Do you have any thoughts on it?

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5 hours ago, Guy Kilmore said:

That looks kind of interesting.  I might actually sponsor it.  Do you have any thoughts on it?

I have only played a few sessions of 1st edition with my girlfriend GMing, who has far more experience with this setting/rules. The setting is somewhat shallow, given that it's barely a thinly-veiled real world Europe (and associated archetypes), but that also makes it fairly easy to pick up. More importantly, I enjoyed the flexible character customization. You have 100 points which you use to buy your abilities, skills, and such however you like. In my girlfriend's mini-adventure, her friend created a huge, muscle-bound viking warrior, while I made a weak, non-fighting, but silver-tongued "Dutch" spice merchant/smuggler. It was a combination we recognized in retrospect that was unintentionally akin to Chewbacca and Han Solo. But it was nice being able to make a non-fighting character for once and to deal with those limitations. The rules were fairly intuitive, though we never got into one of the more problematic aspects. One of the criticisms I heard my girlfriend raise was that duels sometimes lasted too long, leaving other players nothing to do in hour-long dice-rolling dueling matches. But apparently, if John Wick is to be believed, 2nd edition will attempt to streamline the action. 

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