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Author Topic: Wishes for ATOW 2.0  (Read 3459 times)

Akalabeth

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Wishes for ATOW 2.0
« on: 19 November 2013, 04:17:36 »
Creating a character,

I am finding that it would benefit me immensely if some short history or story could be laid out to define the various subfactions within each affiliation. Creating a House Steiner character for example, there are 5 different provinces available, yet no map is provided which shows the location of these provinces nor is any short paragraph provided that gives new or less knowledgeable players insight into the broadest definition of what these territories are.

As it stands they are simply game mechanics, which is fine in a construction system purely about stats but a roleplaying game is about story. Perhaps in future iterations of the game, a full page could be devoted to each faction with a faction specific map divided upon internal political lines. A basic overview can be given for the main faction, and shorter paragraphs provided for each subfaction.

This would enable new players to quickly get a small sense of the area or group from which their player character will originate.

It is particularly important for the clans, who are defined much more by their individual clan's ideaologies rather than their crusader/warden leanings.


Anyway thought that was some useful feedback potentially and since no such forum exists, this is as good a place as any.
If anyone has other thoughts feel free to contribute here.
« Last Edit: 19 November 2013, 04:19:18 by Akalabeth »

nonex

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Re: Wishes for ATOW 2.0
« Reply #1 on: 19 November 2013, 12:09:10 »
More equipment fluff (and indeed a character creation system that is more coherent).

bytedruid

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Re: Wishes for ATOW 2.0
« Reply #2 on: 19 November 2013, 13:23:33 »
Creating a character,

I am finding that it would benefit me immensely if some short history or story could be laid out to define the various subfactions within each affiliation. Creating a House Steiner character for example, there are 5 different provinces available, yet no map is provided which shows the location of these provinces nor is any short paragraph provided that gives new or less knowledgeable players insight into the broadest definition of what these territories are.

I imagine it had to be tough for the authors to figure out what to cut from a book like AToW.  It's already quite hefty and with so much background information already written it must have been tempting to make it quite larger.   Maybe sub-affiliations should have been dropped from the main title and placed in the AToW companion.  Then they could have been described properly when introduced in that book.

I'd like a future version of the companion to be expanded quite a bit with information on playing in the Age of War, the early succession wars and the Dark Ages (along with well as good affiliation, and sub-affiliation descriptions for each age)  But I don't see a reason to add much more information to the primary role playing title, AToW, in fact I think it should be judiciously slimmed down.  By that I mean, less options in general, but with better descriptions of those that remain.

« Last Edit: 19 November 2013, 13:45:07 by bytedruid »

monbvol

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Re: Wishes for ATOW 2.0
« Reply #3 on: 19 November 2013, 14:14:21 »
Considering how much time and effort I have put into my AU and house rules to support it, in particular giving short descriptions of affiliations and their sub affiliations, I would tend to agree some information about affiliations and sub affiliations should be present in AToW itself or divorce the rules from the fluff.

Akalabeth

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Re: Wishes for ATOW 2.0
« Reply #4 on: 19 November 2013, 15:17:54 »
I imagine it had to be tough for the authors to figure out what to cut from a book like AToW.  It's already quite hefty and with so much background information already written it must have been tempting to make it quite larger.   Maybe sub-affiliations should have been dropped from the main title and placed in the AToW companion.  Then they could have been described properly when introduced in that book.

Well, I would cut the short stories myself to make room. I understand that this might be one of the few books that would actually benefit from short stories, however I think that in a rulebook information that should be include is that which will be referenced multiple times. Thus I would rather have these sub affiliation briefings which I would reference every time I create a character rather than a short story which I would read and enjoy once.

Maybe if the rulebook wants a sample adventure they could put the one story in that section to help set the tone.

Frabby

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Re: Wishes for ATOW 2.0
« Reply #5 on: 19 November 2013, 17:17:15 »
As I understand it, the Field Reports and (newer) House Books are meant to cover the niche.

But I do think that it might make sense to publish a AToW extension PDF with additional background fluff on the BT universe in the key eras. Something like a player's handbook to the BT universe of 2750, 3025, 3050, etc. that doesn't go into as much detail as a House Book but does produce a concise picture.
Worktroll's army reports are a good template for this - they provide a great overview of the Houses without burdening the picture with too much detail.
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bytedruid

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Re: Wishes for ATOW 2.0
« Reply #6 on: 19 November 2013, 18:01:06 »
Well, I would cut the short stories myself to make room. I understand that this might be one of the few books that would actually benefit from short stories, however I think that in a rulebook information that should be include is that which will be referenced multiple times. Thus I would rather have these sub affiliation briefings which I would reference every time I create a character rather than a short story which I would read and enjoy once.

Maybe if the rulebook wants a sample adventure they could put the one story in that section to help set the tone.

I'd be real careful about cutting too much of the fiction, it's the non-rules text that lets a casual browser decide if they care enough about the game world to learn the rules.  My trip to BattleTech fandom started with the "How not to Board a Grav-Deck" fluff text in a Strat-Ops book I leafed through at my local game store.  That small side bar cracked me up and turned the book into an instant buy.  Later I found out that I needed to go get Total Warfare in order to make sense of what I'd bought.  And now I've been running a home campaign for a couple years as well as a couple local convention events.

Illiani Dourana

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Re: Wishes for ATOW 2.0
« Reply #7 on: 20 November 2013, 13:12:08 »
There is going to be a ATOW 2.0?  Awesome!

From my corner, I'd like to see more support for generating characters from other time periods.  Specifically, 3025.  Hell any extra support for 3025 would be appreciated.  Currently I'm pulling my hair out trying to determine what equipment should be available pre-4th Succession War (as opposed to pre-Clan Invasion).  As a new player (I only started BattleTech a few months ago with MechWarrior: Online) 3025 seemed a logical starting point as it allows GMs to build on the established narrative leading up to, and including, the Clan Invasion - or so I thought, lol.

guardiandashi

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Re: Wishes for ATOW 2.0
« Reply #8 on: 20 November 2013, 14:09:39 »
There is going to be a ATOW 2.0?  Awesome!

From my corner, I'd like to see more support for generating characters from other time periods.  Specifically, 3025.  Hell any extra support for 3025 would be appreciated.  Currently I'm pulling my hair out trying to determine what equipment should be available pre-4th Succession War (as opposed to pre-Clan Invasion).  As a new player (I only started BattleTech a few months ago with MechWarrior: Online) 3025 seemed a logical starting point as it allows GMs to build on the established narrative leading up to, and including, the Clan Invasion - or so I thought, lol.
char level gear or mech level gear?  if its char gear the availability codes err equipment ratings actually tell you that pretty much
all gear is given a 5 char availability code in the format of a / b - c - d / e the era codes in the middle b - c - d represent age of war/star league, - succession wars - clan invasion through jahad (and beyond)
example you are looking at a laser pistol its code is D/B-A-A/D meaning its a D legality (controlled item, illegal on many "civilized worlds except to authorized government, police, or military personel / common (star league) - very common succession wars - very common after the clan invasion / D this is a product of high tech worlds

where as the mauser 960 assault system is a e/ c- f -d / d is restricted aka highly illegal was uncommon in the star league (even though it was pretty much a standard rifle for the sldf infantry ) unique this thing is super rare in the succession wars era, even in the clan invasion era its rare / again its high tech

monbvol

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Re: Wishes for ATOW 2.0
« Reply #9 on: 20 November 2013, 15:10:49 »
While I doubt we'll see an AToW 2.0 anytime soon this thread is a bit of a wish list for when it eventually does happen(which it will eventually).

AToW did miss a few marks and there are a few things I would do differently(I have a whole thread about just that of my own) but it is still an incredible step up from MW3ed/CBT:RPG for my money.

Akalabeth

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Re: Wishes for ATOW 2.0
« Reply #10 on: 20 November 2013, 15:14:20 »
There is going to be a ATOW 2.0?  Awesome!

From my corner, I'd like to see more support for generating characters from other time periods.  Specifically, 3025.  Hell any extra support for 3025 would be appreciated.  Currently I'm pulling my hair out trying to determine what equipment should be available pre-4th Succession War (as opposed to pre-Clan Invasion).  As a new player (I only started BattleTech a few months ago with MechWarrior: Online) 3025 seemed a logical starting point as it allows GMs to build on the established narrative leading up to, and including, the Clan Invasion - or so I thought, lol.

Eh, well no I'm not saying that anything is announced.
I'm just saying what I would like to see in the next version of the rules, if such rules ever get made.

But I thought that it would be good to have a thread with a wishlist, rather than one that rags on the old book. Look forward to what can be changed instead of backwards to what cannot be.

While I doubt we'll see an AToW 2.0 anytime soon this thread is a bit of a wish list for when it eventually does happen(which it will eventually).

AToW did miss a few marks and there are a few things I would do differently(I have a whole thread about just that of my own) but it is still an incredible step up from MW3ed/CBT:RPG for my money.

Oh sorry where's your thread? Maybe I should link it in the top post.

monbvol

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Re: Wishes for ATOW 2.0
« Reply #11 on: 20 November 2013, 15:40:22 »
The first link in my sig is for my House Rule/AU thread.

Akalabeth

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Re: Wishes for ATOW 2.0
« Reply #12 on: 20 November 2013, 15:52:05 »
The first link in my sig is for my House Rule/AU thread.

Oh okay, I'll check it out when I'm logged out. I have sigs and avatars disabled.

bytedruid

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Re: Wishes for ATOW 2.0
« Reply #13 on: 21 November 2013, 01:28:31 »
More equipment fluff...

The number one book that my players wish for is an arms and equipment guide and I have to admit, the BattleTech universe has reams of vehicles with generous fluff descriptions, but not near as much information on equipment for the individual soldier, spy or doctor. 

Heck, you could even drive alternate era sales from the ground up when players bug their GM's to run in the dark age or star league era's just to get the good stuff.

nonex

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Re: Wishes for ATOW 2.0
« Reply #14 on: 21 November 2013, 07:29:40 »
The number one book that my players wish for is an arms and equipment guide and I have to admit, the BattleTech universe has reams of vehicles with generous fluff descriptions, but not near as much information on equipment for the individual soldier, spy or doctor. 

Heck, you could even drive alternate era sales from the ground up when players bug their GM's to run in the dark age or star league era's just to get the good stuff.
It's understandable since BattleTech is all about the vehicles instead of the common soldier, but it gets a bit annoying in a non-vehicular RP campaign. I had to turn to 1st edition for certain pieces of fluff.

guardiandashi

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Re: Wishes for ATOW 2.0
« Reply #15 on: 21 November 2013, 10:54:49 »
this doesn't have to be in the core atow book but I think it should be.

an edit on the char creation rules, and a (few) simplified link notes, where in the examples they make a char both ways.
IE the current char creation is mostly scattered through the char creation chapter.
I would also love a summarized char creation example IE where its all together from beginning to end, and has outtakes (or footnotes) referencing the page that the full information is on.

example start with 4000 xp to make this char, spend basic points 850 * get blah
pick faction /subfaction ** the one chosen provides ...
etc
and then * refer to page x
** refer to pages x -y

another thing I didn't see but would like (altho it may beling in a "gm reference" book or section) is something like the old random encounter tables from 2nd edition basically it was a series of d6 percentile tables that gave broad guidelines for times when the gm wants to just throw something together or when they are stumped for plot hooks
example events are new supplies, new recruits, news of an event, a vip comes to visit, rumors of lost tech cache or similar  etc basically a series of do it yourself encounters, events, etc that can be used for a scenario, or a plot hook starting point.

Illiani Dourana

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Re: Wishes for ATOW 2.0
« Reply #16 on: 21 November 2013, 11:04:21 »
char level gear or mech level gear?  if its char gear the availability codes err equipment ratings actually tell you that pretty much...

Not entirely so, but yes, mostly so.  The problem with the Middle availability code is that it incorporates the advancements to weapons tech that came about after the discovering of the Helm Core Database.  That said, you raise a valid point.

ntin

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Re: Wishes for ATOW 2.0
« Reply #17 on: 21 November 2013, 11:28:04 »
One thing I got from my players is that they wish the traits: rank and equipped, were handled differently as they feel they dump too much of their xp starting out into those.

I personally dislike the fast learner trait, all my players take it because it pays for it self. Some traits like exceptional attribute, unless you have a Clan phenotype are very iffy for the xp considering how positive link bonuses scale and how only certain attribute scores have a direct impact in game.

 

monbvol

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Re: Wishes for ATOW 2.0
« Reply #18 on: 21 November 2013, 12:15:22 »
*nod*

One of the things I determined is that Equipped should not be a stand alone trait and should be incorporated into what I wound up calling Status.  I also decided Status should have sub-categories like Status/Civilian to represent being anything from a slave, beat cop, government official, or the owner of a megacorporation.  To give it some versatility I gave Status a point pool(as well as converting Connections to a similar standard) to divide between People, Info, Wealth, and Equipped as the player wished to the limits of the pool.  Further details can be found in my thread.

Akalabeth

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Re: Wishes for ATOW 2.0
« Reply #19 on: 21 November 2013, 15:37:34 »
I would second the call for more personal gear.

Like what about mechwarrior suits? There's one vest and one neuro helmet type (not counting the advanced and super rare star league stuff).
Why not like 3 variations of neuro helmets, maybe one has less protection but with less perception penalty for example. And 3-4 vest or whatnot.

There is a lot of detail for some things, but I think a lot of that detail is in the wrong place, or it's the rating is so high that you're forced to get the same thing you normally get anyway. People need to spend money on equipped not necessarily to get something more effective, but just to get something different.


What I'm trying to say is that there's a lot of gear, but not necessarily a lot of interesting choices.



Maybe for example there should be more rules for customizing your guns (sorry I come from the Call of Duty era of video games). Like for example there's two shot guns which have an entirely different sawed-off version. Why not simply list those two shotguns and then have rules for modifying the guns to become that (ie "if sawed off, reduce range by this ratio, add concealable trait to the weapon) or somesuch. Like there are a few modifications already but there could be more. Or maybe other things like extended magazines, etcetera.
« Last Edit: 21 November 2013, 15:41:55 by Akalabeth »

monbvol

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Re: Wishes for ATOW 2.0
« Reply #20 on: 21 November 2013, 16:35:50 »
*nod*

To me a RPG needs to decide which way it is going to go much more then any other game type.  Is it going to be like D&D/Pathfinder where what little fluff there is about the default setting is minimal or generic enough that you can create your own setting while still having a decent frame work of rules or do you intertwine the rules and setting so much that the RPG needs to have more of these personal/small scale details to stand on it's own.

CGL has decided to go closer to the later but not really done that great of a job at it because as noted there are a lot of missing pieces to let AToW stand on it's own, which it needs to do as an RPG.  Which is a bit of a shame because for my money it is easily the best mechanically and easiest for me to understand of the Battletech RPGs I've played.

Nikas_Zekeval

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Re: Wishes for ATOW 2.0
« Reply #21 on: 22 November 2013, 01:59:51 »
*nod*

One of the things I determined is that Equipped should not be a stand alone trait and should be incorporated into what I wound up calling Status.  I also decided Status should have sub-categories like Status/Civilian to represent being anything from a slave, beat cop, government official, or the owner of a megacorporation.  To give it some versatility I gave Status a point pool(as well as converting Connections to a similar standard) to divide between People, Info, Wealth, and Equipped as the player wished to the limits of the pool.  Further details can be found in my thread.

The Companion rules have optional rules for Equipped.  Basically the better you are, the easier it is to find things.  Not to mention one of the parts of equipped is the permits to legally carry some gear.  Without Equipped level 2 you don't have the ability to legally carry a (slug throwing) pistol (legality code C).  3 is the threshold for SMGs, lasers, and rifles. (legality code of at least D)  Even for lesser stuff, the better your equipped stat, the more likely it is you'll find one.

So sort of a combination of having the legal paperwork for certain restricted or controlled items, and "I know a guy" when it comes time to go shopping?

monbvol

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Re: Wishes for ATOW 2.0
« Reply #22 on: 22 November 2013, 02:23:44 »
Either model does a fairly decent job of representing such a thing but I side with mine simply because I think it does a better job of making sure some unknown schlep who'll never be more then a cashier at a 7-11 isn't exactly going to be able to pull out a Mauser 960, obtained legally or otherwise, when some punk with an autopistol tries to rob his store.

Though this has sparked some thought about something I've been conflicted on.  Going to put it in my thread where it belongs.

Acolyte

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Re: Wishes for ATOW 2.0
« Reply #23 on: 24 November 2013, 02:40:28 »
I'd say getting things like the Barrier rules fixed would be nice.

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monbvol

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Re: Wishes for ATOW 2.0
« Reply #24 on: 24 November 2013, 12:00:09 »
*nod*

I'm not sure how to fix it but some of the optional increased durability rules for PCs probably should be default if you want your PCs to survive a firefight.

ntin

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Re: Wishes for ATOW 2.0
« Reply #25 on: 24 November 2013, 12:55:43 »
My players only were in a fire fight once on foot. Everyone's pistol and smg, AP was higher than any worn armor. We stopped to double check the AP rules because it seemed their ablative/flak armor was not going to stop much. With the average ballistic or energy, AP being 3 or 4 any barrier armor less than 5 is basically worthless.

monbvol

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Re: Wishes for ATOW 2.0
« Reply #26 on: 24 November 2013, 14:44:48 »
5 is pretty worthless against anything capable of firing bursts.

bytedruid

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Re: Wishes for ATOW 2.0
« Reply #27 on: 25 November 2013, 01:14:46 »
My players only were in a fire fight once on foot. Everyone's pistol and smg, AP was higher than any worn armor. We stopped to double check the AP rules because it seemed their ablative/flak armor was not going to stop much. With the average ballistic or energy, AP being 3 or 4 any barrier armor less than 5 is basically worthless.

Amen.  We had to write house rules to cover AP verses BAR because by default armor is worthless, and all the upgrade options made armor too powerful.  Though there are quite a few house rules on this topic floating around the boards already, I can post our campaign's compromise if it's of interest.

Acolyte

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Re: Wishes for ATOW 2.0
« Reply #28 on: 25 November 2013, 07:38:59 »
Well, for barriers we use a simple rule. Adjust the AP and BD as per normal, damage the Barrier integrity as per normal. If the adjusted BD is greater than the current Barrier Integrity then the shot goes through as the rules stated. If the BI is equal to or higher, the shot stops there.

For armor, we use the secondary hit locations out of companion. The armor adjustment is changed (normally it gives a flat -2 if the BAR is greater than the AP). It now gives a -1 plus the difference between the AP and BAR. IE a BAR of 1 greater results in a -2, or an AP 1 greater results in 0. This adjustment never goes above 0. If the adjusted roll is less than 1, re-roll on the fatigue effects table and all damage is fatigue.

A simpler way might be to have the armor convert standard damage to fatigue but only up to it's BAR. IE an ablative/flak vest taking a 4B/5 hit would change 4 points of standard damage to Fatigue (due to it's BAR of 4 vs Ballistic) and leave the last point still standard. In such cases there would be no extra point of Fatigue from standard damage. Also if the AP exceeds the BAR, no adjustment is made and all damage is standard.

One other house rule: Burst weapons do not do 1 extra point of damage per MOS. They hit with one extra bullet every 4.

But these are house rules. I don't expect TPTB to change any rules that they don't think need fixing, but the rules for barriers do.

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It is by caffeine alone that I set my mind in motion
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