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Author Topic: A Solid AToW Review?  (Read 3277 times)

Mulsiphix

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A Solid AToW Review?
« on: 10 March 2014, 19:40:32 »
I'm googling and I can't seem to come up with a single AToW review that goes over the system, how it works, what play might look like examples, etc... I can't seem to find any Playtests either. Can anybody point me to a solid review or maybe even to some helpful forum threads that discuss the system? I'm trying to figure out if AToW is for me or if I should handle RPing in the BT universe (outside of the cockpit) to a different system altogether. Thanks  O0

Tai Dai Cultist

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Re: A Solid AToW Review?
« Reply #1 on: 10 March 2014, 20:04:24 »
Personally, I don't think BattleTech has ever had a decent roleplaying game engine.  Not when compared to other RPGs out there.  So, definately keep the idea of porting the BattleTech Universe into a more familiar rulesset in your back pocket.

What ATOW offers is compatibility with the boardgame.  If you plan on integrating alot of mecha action into your RPG, it's probably worth putting up with learning ATOW for avoiding the headache of converting TW into your RPG of choice. 

Character generation is a major bitch the first couple of times you try to make a character going through the suggested life path system.  It's far simpler to just do the optional point buy method instead.  But, the upside to the life path system is that every character comes with a background story already made!

The rest of the mechanics focus a great bit on combat.  One very awkward problem any BattleTech RPG has is BattleArmor.  It's basically unreconcilable to have armor that can make you shrug off a PPC blast yet still vulnerable to a lucky SMG burst.  ATOW's attempt to force that square peg into a round hole is instituting numerous scales of combat, complete with special rules that apply only to each scale.  Can be very frustrating to keep everything straight.

If you're going to run a campaign where noone suits up in battlearmor or climbs into a battlemech's cockpit, my personal opinion is to just adapt the setting to a better rules system.

OTOH, what's the point in playing in the BattleTech universe if you never see BattleMechs?  ATOW is workable enough that it's worth saving yourself the bother of adapting TW rules into your RPG of choice.




ds9guy

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Re: A Solid AToW Review?
« Reply #2 on: 10 March 2014, 20:45:47 »
Of the Sc-Fi role-playing games I have played, I think the Mongoose version of Traveller would be the easiest to utilize for Battletech.
Although you could probably take just about any sc-fi RPG and make it work with some effort.  All the Star Trek and Star Wars games I have played would all work with some fiddling.  Heck, Shadowrun could be made to work without too much effort.

Some other options:

the d20 Stargate rpg, based on Spycraft.  If you can't find that you can get the actual Spycraft rpg books still.  Great game and an easy transition for D&D players if you have some in your group. 
Another d20 option, but more expensive to get together, would be d20 modern+d20 future+d20 mecha.  That would cover what you need to play but that's 3 books to buy.  This unfortunately is out of print so will have to track this down. 
This may seem a little out of left field but you could do soemthing with Rogue Trader, one of the books for the Warhammer 40k rpg. 
If you want soemthing really simple, Savage Worlds is a very easy-to-play generic system that has several sci-fi setting books you could adapt rules from to play Battletech. 

I hope that helps...

Monty

Acolyte

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Re: A Solid AToW Review?
« Reply #3 on: 10 March 2014, 21:15:09 »
Well, seeing as how the OP was not asking for alternatives....

I find the AToW system to be great for just about any Sci-Fi setting. Just change the die rolls back to the board game format and you're gold.

Game play is a bell curve 2d6 system, the combat is decidedly deadly and armor doesn't help all that much (but can make the difference) against the more potent small arms, let alone support weapons - but those are support weapons. Modern body armor doesn't do much against an ATM either. I'm a fan of the optional hit locations out of the Companion.

Speaking of those optional rules, if you find combat too deadly, change them. There are options within the game to adjust combat to your liking, tweaking everything from armor effectiveness to making characters tougher to injury recovery to adding in equipment not in the standard game the heals you right there. Quite flexible.

Beyond combat, the skill system is pretty easy. Standard is just 2d6 + skill + modifiers vs a Target Number. It's like a lot of games that way. Just look at margin of success or failure (how much more/less than the Target Number the adjusted roll was) to determine how well the character did.

Biggest problem people seem to have is the character creation. In reality, try making a couple of NPC's for practice and you'll be fine. I just use a piece of scrap paper divided down the middle. On one side you've got attributes with traits below that, the other you've got skills. Makes character creation much easier. In terms of making the character, it's actually fairly simple. You have your points, each stage costs a certain amount and gives certain attributes, traits, and skills. Rinse, repeat for every stage. At the end, spend your remaining points.

Hope that helps!
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Wrangler

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Re: A Solid AToW Review?
« Reply #4 on: 10 March 2014, 22:01:37 »
I'm googling and I can't seem to come up with a single AToW review that goes over the system, how it works, what play might look like examples, etc... I can't seem to find any Playtests either. Can anybody point me to a solid review or maybe even to some helpful forum threads that discuss the system? I'm trying to figure out if AToW is for me or if I should handle RPing in the BT universe (outside of the cockpit) to a different system altogether. Thanks  O0
There is one, it was done by person name Iron Liz.  Here
"Men, fetch the Urbanmechs.  We have an interrogation to attend to." - jklantern
"How do you defeat a Dragau? Shoot the damn thing. Lots." - Jellico 
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"It's 200 LY to Sian, we got a full load of shells, a half a platoon of Grenadiers, it's exploding outside, and we're wearing flak jackets." VoTW Destrier - Misterpants

Mulsiphix

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Re: A Solid AToW Review?
« Reply #5 on: 11 March 2014, 14:16:45 »
Thank you very much for the feedback guys  O0. The review from Iron Liz was quite helpful. I think I will probably be going with a different system to handle the RP aspects of our play. I don't think interfacing with the wargame is a goal for us and the system seems a bit on the complicated side in regards to what it aims at accomplishing. I might be more comfortable with something like GURPS if I wanted a heavy-ish mechanics approach.

I am quite intrigued you suggested Rogue Trader though ds9guy. I've always wanted to play that but the wife wasn't really on board. I'll have to take another look at it and see if I think I could make it work. Thank you for all of the alternate system tips!  :D

Frabby

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Re: A Solid AToW Review?
« Reply #6 on: 11 March 2014, 16:18:27 »
To me, the AToW rules look very good - but I haven't actually played the game so I don't know if or where they might fall apart. I cannot comment on the difficult character creation process either that some people complained about (but hey, you're not going through that again every week).
I was kinda hoping you'd give AToW a try and provide us with a solid review feedback...  ;)
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Mulsiphix

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Re: A Solid AToW Review?
« Reply #7 on: 11 March 2014, 16:36:17 »
I was kinda hoping you'd give AToW a try and provide us with a solid review feedback...  ;)
The reason I think I'll be giving AToW, and probably most RPG system that have lots of mechanics, is because I'm not sure how in depth our roleplaying is going to be. We're currently playing Dungeon World and have really enjoyed the simplistic approach to cinematic gaming. We both yearn for more depth than DW can provide though which is why we are moving back to wargaming.

The real question for us will be if we miss roleplaying once we get back to a wargaming only play schedule. How we choose to progress will depend heavily on our specific needs. While AToW seems like a great system, our primary focus is on having a system that allows us to create characters in the universe that are mechwarriors. We don't need support for anything else. Sure our PCs may go on missions and spy and investigate the occasional mystery, but having strong mechanical support for such play isn't a big priority.

For all I know we may take a light collaborative storytelling game that allows us to create a narrative between battles. On the other hand we may decide to focus on space exploration and mapping uncharted space. The wife may request a heavy investigative style campaign where battles are fought here and there, but solving the mystery at hand is the big point of focus. It is hard to say what we will need but AToW seems aimed at a very specific style of support for sandbox play.

I found many reviewers who said that the system is great for meshing with the wargame but not so strong in the roleplaying department. It also has a very broad focus for playing any type of character in the universe. Only time will tell if it makes sense for what we ultimately decide we're up for  :-\.

Wrangler

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Re: A Solid AToW Review?
« Reply #8 on: 11 March 2014, 18:09:46 »
Well, I've played ATOW in a campaign.   Mechanics wise is fine.  Character creation...is different story.    The ATOW Companion PDF suppliment is effective enhancing the game.  Its damn shame an official electronic character creator can't be santitioned.  Its a real stumbling block in getting people to get into making characters for the game.

Only other problem I found was, i disliked the way damage with personal weapons works, i miss dice rolling.  Also, GM needs be careful about how lethal personal combat can be using the system.   PDF suppliment helps great deal in balancing problem of highly lethal personal combat.
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"How do you defeat a Dragau? Shoot the damn thing. Lots." - Jellico 
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Col Toda

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Re: A Solid AToW Review?
« Reply #9 on: 11 March 2014, 18:31:05 »
The answer is how much work you wish to put in it ?  Any RPG system will do fine if you put enough work in it .  ATOW is the system to play for the least amount of pregame time expended as it is intended for the universe and it is compatible to the miniature's game . If you use a variable point buy character creation with from the ATOW Companion and you have the characters make individuals as opposed to roughly the same one within the points given . You do not all have to be elite pilots out of the camp you only need one who is best at a skill set with the instructor skill . So in flight between contracts the characters are in simulators and class rooms aboard the jump ship. They can increase the skill even if the do not spend on fast learner to get a different advantage should they want . Also the time in which you take to travel will impact the ages of the characters to the extent that they have to spend experience to keep the DEX and RFL to where they are . Do not keep them in one theater of combat too long as it allows too much accumulation of experience in too short a time . Use the life paths as guidelines of what skills the characters should have even if it is at level o skill .  A mercenary company should be diverse with demobbed mech warriors for a military to mech jock from Solaris VII with his personal mech whos is the only one of 2 surviving pilots from  your stable and the Clan ; faction ; or Company is going take the better part of 3 years to refinance and rebuild it properly so in the meantime the sign up as mercenaries . So one or two characters puts his points into a tricked out ride ; another becomes the best pilot another the best gunner yet another the best negotiator . Suggest every take a TAG skill and or role beyond riding a mech .
« Last Edit: 11 March 2014, 18:34:24 by Col Toda »

Mulsiphix

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Re: A Solid AToW Review?
« Reply #10 on: 12 March 2014, 14:10:11 »
One thing I hear a lot of in these reviews is that this RPG is designed to interface with the wargame. But nobody really goes into what that means or why this is an important or otherwise impressive feature. Could someone explain this to me?

Tai Dai Cultist

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Re: A Solid AToW Review?
« Reply #11 on: 12 March 2014, 14:19:59 »
One thing I hear a lot of in these reviews is that this RPG is designed to interface with the wargame. But nobody really goes into what that means or why this is an important or otherwise impressive feature. Could someone explain this to me?

Well, if you plan on integrating the mechs, tanks, and battlearmor of the BattleTech boardgame into your RPG, the advantage is the rules provide you a way to do so.  The ATOW skill resolution system dovetails neatly into Piloting and Gunnery checks of BattleTech.

If you want to convert your game to some other RPG, then for example when your character hops into the controls of his Phoenix Hawk to shoot something up, you'll have to find a way to represent the Phoenix Hawk into that RPG.

Maelwys

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Re: A Solid AToW Review?
« Reply #12 on: 12 March 2014, 17:04:37 »
One thing I hear a lot of in these reviews is that this RPG is designed to interface with the wargame. But nobody really goes into what that means or why this is an important or otherwise impressive feature. Could someone explain this to me?

Basically what it means in this case, is that you can take the piloting and gunnery stats of your RPG character, and quickly and easily change them into the piloting and gunnery stats for the boardgame.

Why this is important...probably because most people come at Battletech as a boardgame first, and a RPG second, so anything that lets you easily jump between the two systems is a good thing. If you want to throw your character into a lance or company sized battle and don't feel like using the more detailed RPG rules, you don't have to worry about a messy conversion (though to be honest, I seem to recall MW3 having a simple chart for the conversion, so its not like it was hard).

People just like the idea that the two games have some sort of connection (sort of like how they both use 2d6).

Mulsiphix

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Re: A Solid AToW Review?
« Reply #13 on: 12 March 2014, 17:28:21 »
Is it as simple as Piloting and Gunnery skills? I've heard many people say the depth and complexity of the rules has a lot to do with the two games compatibility. Seems like a lot of hassle when the skills could probably be easily abstracted into an RPG game.

What about money, economy, repairs, maintenance, etc... Are any of these directly tied to BT rules by any chance? It just seems like the RPG's connection to the wargame are superficial at best.

NullVoid

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Re: A Solid AToW Review?
« Reply #14 on: 12 March 2014, 20:08:28 »
Is it as simple as Piloting and Gunnery skills? I've heard many people say the depth and complexity of the rules has a lot to do with the two games compatibility. Seems like a lot of hassle when the skills could probably be easily abstracted into an RPG game.
The boardgame's been around-ish since 1984 with Battledroids; eventually, people decided they wanted to describe better the pilots of the machines they played with, and thus in 1986 the first edition of the Mechwarrior Role-Playing Game.  This early version could describe mechwarriors and allow them to get older and wiser (and better at piloting), and now they could also climb out of their 'mechs and get into a firefight, but not much else; if you wanted to make a different archetype, you'd have to come up with your own rules.  Battletech evolved along the years, and so did the Mechwarrior RPG.  A Time of War is the fourth edition of the RPG rules; skills within the cockpit and outside of it have a 1:1 mapping, so there are (should be) no discontinuities between the personal and tactical scales. Furthermore, Conventional Infantry weapons in BT and personal weapons in ATOW also have an 1:1 mapping.  Not so with other systems.

Yes, you could play GURPS in the Battletech universe, but it'd be a royal pain translating the character's GURPS skills into Piloting and Gunnery and other auxiliary skills.  God forbid trying to translate battlemechs into GURPS mecha.

What about money, economy, repairs, maintenance, etc... Are any of these directly tied to BT rules by any chance? It just seems like the RPG's connection to the wargame are superficial at best.
Most of the rules for economy, repairs, maintenance, customization, interstellar travel, and other strategic/logistical concerns are described (for the current incarnation of the ruleset) in the Strategic Operations rulebook.  As a matter of fact, you can handle all of these aspects with respect to managing an ongoing wargame campaign without the RPG book.
« Last Edit: 12 March 2014, 20:13:13 by NullVoid »

RMDC

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Re: A Solid AToW Review?
« Reply #15 on: 12 March 2014, 20:50:00 »
I personally don't like a lot of vehicular combat in my RP sessions - not a lot of combat at all, in fact - but I still find ATOW to be a good system. I've spent most of my time in d20 and AD&D 2e, but MW3 / ATOW are a nice change because the 2dX bell curve evens out the wild results.

I also like how it imitates BT's roll against a static TN, with modifiers applying to the roll (and most modifiers being obvious or explicitly stated in the rules). It takes a lot of burden off me as GM. I no longer have to develop a basically arbitrary DC for a skill and feel like crap when it winds up turning into a festival of sucky rolls against a suddenly impossible-to-hit benchmark, which is what happens in d20. Sure, you can look up the tables for every specific skill (what's the recommended DC for a Notice check through a 2" wooden door for a group of whispering orcs located 12' from the door in an octagonal room?), but that's awfully tedious compared to ATOW's flat all-day-every-day TN. Yes, d20 works most of the time. So do MW3 / ATOW.

Personal combat looks simple enough, but I run combat much more rarely in a modern/sci-fi game than I do in fantasy. I have a feeling it'll feel clunky at first in ATOW (if it ever comes up in this campaign in the first place).

MW3 / ATOW also have reasonable expectations with regards to skill advancement. Characters start out great at a few things, good at several things, and acquainted with several things. The default is an achingly slow crawl toward advancement of anything but the earliest skill ranks (it's much simpler to increase the XP handout than to scale back what the book recommends - the latter makes for hurt feelings).

Creating a character isn't as onerous as it appears, especially since ATOW got rid of MW3's attribute thresholds. What I normally do is use one sheet of paper for chargen and another as the character sheet. I record attribute increases / decreases capitalized, traits underlined, and skills normally. When I've finished going through the paths, I draw a line under everything (or, more likely, flip over to the back of the sheet) to denote a space to start adding everything up. I pick the first item I recorded on the front (usually a BOD modifier or something) and note the XP. I go through every stage and cross out where that item appears in that stage, adding the XP to the running total. When I get to the end, I go to my add-up space and record the total. I use one column for attributes, another for traits, and a third for skills. Attributes and traits go pretty quickly. Skills are a little slower on your first character because of the chart which converts XP put into a skill to the actual skill bonus, but by the end of that first character you'll basically have the relevant portion of the chart memorized since basically every character has skills ranging from +0 to +4.

It actually goes much quicker than that explanation. In the time I took to type that up, i could have basically created a character - the biggest time drag would be me staring at the ceiling and stroking my chin as I decide on a character concept and match the concept to a path (or pick skills and traits arbitrarily to match the concept).

I would (and have) play MW3 for a non-BT modern game. ATOW only improves on that system.

Maelwys

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Re: A Solid AToW Review?
« Reply #16 on: 13 March 2014, 08:44:31 »
Is it as simple as Piloting and Gunnery skills? I've heard many people say the depth and complexity of the rules has a lot to do with the two games compatibility. Seems like a lot of hassle when the skills could probably be easily abstracted into an RPG game.

Well, theoretically the weapons are also to scale in terms of damage. So you can figure out what the SMG you're equipped with is going to do to the `Mech that's hunting you down.

Quote
What about money, economy, repairs, maintenance, etc... Are any of these directly tied to BT rules by any chance? It just seems like the RPG's connection to the wargame are superficial at best.

These are tied in mostly. Though they're not in the RPG. Repairs, maintenance, etc is from StratOps, and IIRC, the technician skill from an ATOW character can be used in the various rules from StratOps as well. Money is the same (c-bills obviously). Economy is sort of there, as everything in BT has the same rating system as before (tech rating and availability over 3-4 eras).

monbvol

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Re: A Solid AToW Review?
« Reply #17 on: 13 March 2014, 11:34:34 »
AToW is a system that I think does work fairly well for what it does but starts falling apart very easily in certain areas.

The complexity of going from AToW skill ranks to Total Warfare numbers is actually very simple.  Most of the time you'll only have to worry about carrying over two skills.

Actual game play is pretty fast and smooth once you get used to it.

But there are problems.  I have a whole thread(linked in my signature) dealing with making certain things more sensible.  An example I'll give real quick is the trait of Fast Learner.  The benefits it provides are so good that there is no reason not to start with it even if you don't have 1,500 XP in skills.  To explain a bit better if you have 1,500 XP invested in skills without Fast Learner you can pick up Fast Learner and the discount it gives on the XP to skill rank conversion will pay for itself.

Mulsiphix

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Re: A Solid AToW Review?
« Reply #18 on: 13 March 2014, 12:10:54 »
Thank you very much guys. You've given me a lot to think about and I'm interested enough in the RPG that I am going to try and track down a copy locally to flip through. If I can't, I may just end up buying it. At the very least, it would be nice to have on hand as a reference should I decide to try and run the RPG elements with a non-AToW system. Awesome  O0

Orion

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Re: A Solid AToW Review?
« Reply #19 on: 14 March 2014, 14:08:01 »
My plans for a future Battletech RPG (assuming I ever find players) is that all mech and vehicle combat is done using the Battletech rules.  I wouldn't dream of using a different system for that.  Everything else uses the Hero System, because that is what I've always used.  As a player I will use other systems, including AToW, but not as a GM.  My strength is in characters, setting, and scenarios, not using the rules, and so I stick with the system I know best as a GM. 

On the Hero character sheets all characters include two skills: pilot and gunnery, and both are the BT scores, not Hero scores.  I don't worry about translating skills between the systems, because I will just use the relevant system as needed.

As for using AToW, I recommend always using the point-buy system.  As far as I am concerned, all characters should have a written history, set of goals, and general skill list decided, if not written down, before the rules book is ever cracked.  Once this is done, just figure out what it takes to build that character, and add up the points when done.  In my experience, if a player can't come up with a character on their own and must rely on dice rolls to generate one, they never care enough about them to actually role-play the character.  It's okay for a basic character in a tactical game, but role-playing takes more.  I'm sure some have a different experience, but there's been no exceptions to this for me.
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Mulsiphix

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Re: A Solid AToW Review?
« Reply #20 on: 14 March 2014, 16:06:34 »
That is very much how I wish to approach the RP side of BattleTech. Pick the system that makes the most sense for realizing the characters and their stories outside of the battlefield. I don't have a lot of experience with different RPGs so my understanding of the different possibilities is rather limited. I really enjoy RPing characters made with GURPS just because I am such a big fan of the point-buy approach and the way (Dis)Advantages bring a person to life.

Having just come off a series of Dungeon World adventures I'm not sure I'm ready to give up the cinematic style of RPing that a "degrees of success" style of roll interpretation provides. I've done a few PBPs with GURPS and combat rarely came up. So my understanding of GURPS combat is extremely limited as well. From what I can tell it is a tactical approach (like D&D/Pathfinder) which can be fun and may sync well with the combatic nature of BT fights. At the same time, I find the stories I tell using a cinematic approach seem to feel more natural and fluid.

Given my extremely light understanding of the BT Universe's history, I'm just not quite sure what kinds of stories there are to RP, especially for characters who are MechWarriors that spend most of their time on the battlefield. My wife is new to RPing in general so this is another barrier I face in regards to telling a story that she will become invested in. Now that I plan to get into BT full time I'm stuck with either developing a BattleTech Apocalpyse World Hack (DW is an AW Hack) or finding a system that will best suit the style of play and adventure we end up ultimately wishing to play.

The biggest hurdle I think I face at this point in time is learning about the BT Universe. It is so huge I barely know where to start  :-\.

Acolyte

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Re: A Solid AToW Review?
« Reply #21 on: 14 March 2014, 21:42:56 »
As for using AToW, I recommend always using the point-buy system.  As far as I am concerned, all characters should have a written history, set of goals, and general skill list decided, if not written down, before the rules book is ever cracked.  Once this is done, just figure out what it takes to build that character, and add up the points when done.  In my experience, if a player can't come up with a character on their own and must rely on dice rolls to generate one, they never care enough about them to actually role-play the character.  It's okay for a basic character in a tactical game, but role-playing takes more.  I'm sure some have a different experience, but there's been no exceptions to this for me.

Huh? There's no die rolling when you make an AToW character at all, unless you use the optional +/- xp rules out of the companion, but even these don't determine backstory except as to whether it was a good or bad time. All those decisions are made by you. When making an AToW character using the lifepath system, you absolutely come up with a back story, then pick the modules that relate to that path. This gives you an excellent set of starting skills that can be rounded out with your remaining points - or the GM can tweak a module or two to give you better results. Some tweaking is inherent - you have a number of "Flexible XP" at every stage.

Very much how you describe wanting a character to be made. Using the points buy is far more likely to give a generic, skill limited character who's missing the "fluff" skills that bring them alive.

As too the role playing part of the game, system is actually irrelevant for the most part. You don't need to make die rolls for dialog, at least I hope not. If AW will work for you, then go for it.

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Re: A Solid AToW Review?
« Reply #22 on: 20 March 2014, 06:55:04 »
I'm actually use AToW for my RPG campaign, where the players have characters who can pilot Battlemechs, Battlearmor and some others vehicles. I think AToW is a good system, because it help to create a character with a consistent background. It's full of details and option, but when we are in game, the mechanic is simple and fast.

When we came to fight with vehicles, we use the Total Warfare rules, and the players like it very much :)

The only problem with AToW is the length of the character creation. But hey, we don't create characters every week for players, so I prefer a good and precise creation than a quick and flat one.
For the rules, when you buy a roleplaying game, you buy rules. You don't have to use them all, but if you need them, you have them. It's better than to pay a game and have to create the rules after that ^^

I just made one change in the creation rules : no character can possess more skills / advantages than the number of free lines in the character sheet. I don't like characters with hundred of skills and thousands of advantages/flaws.
Mechwarrior from France

Manchu

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Re: A Solid AToW Review?
« Reply #23 on: 26 March 2014, 13:12:46 »
A friend recently posted this video review:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-cqfnD2x42w
Refuse your what?

Mulsiphix

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Re: A Solid AToW Review?
« Reply #24 on: 26 March 2014, 16:46:16 »
A friend recently posted this video review:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-cqfnD2x42w
I am finding this extremely helpful. I'm about halfway through and I have a question. He mentions that the game uses "degrees" or "margins" of success. This is something I have really enjoyed in other systems but I find there are many different ways systems tend to handle this. How specifically does ATOW handle judging margins of success?

I've recently come from Dungeon World which operates this way. This is the primary game mechanic though so all rolls are judged by a margin. Essentially (a 2D6 mechanic):
2-6 (Failure, something bad will now happen)
7-9 (Partial Success, you may get what you want but something bad is now in motion as well)
10+ (Complete Success, you succeed at your attempt)
12+ (while not official, many GMs treat this as a Critical Success, though few ever recognize critical failures on a 2).

Paul

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Re: A Solid AToW Review?
« Reply #25 on: 26 March 2014, 18:16:59 »
I'm about halfway through and I have a question. He mentions that the game uses "degrees" or "margins" of success.

In several ways.
Let's say you've got a Skill Check, TN is 8. According to the GM, when all modifiers are taken in to account (that he considers relevant), you've got a roll modifier of -2.
You roll a 7. The modifier of -2 means it counts as a 5 vs. the TN of 8. You failed by 3; you have a Margin of Failure (MOF) of 3. This can have situational consequences based on what you were doing. Trying to impress a girl? Might be a slap and a beer in the face, not necessarily that order. Trying to swim? You've probably begun the process of drowning. Trying to snipe someone in the face? Bullet went elsewhere. Etc.

MOS can have beneficial effect. When using ranged weapons, every 4 Margin of Success (MOS) is +1 damage. Snipers can make good use of that rule, given that numerous weapons accessories provide bonuses. Along with Aiming and the optional hit location rules, the job becomes less about hitting the target, and more about causing damage.
When using Burst fire, every MOS = +1 damage, up to the total # of bullets you used.

In Melee combat, you compare your MOS/MOF against that of your opponent to determine who won, and how much it hurt; MOS is a damage bonus.

When making Opposed Skill Checks, it can make a big difference too, in the sense that you may have different roll modifiers based on Skill, Traits, Attribute bonuses (rare) and as well as situational modifiers due to gear or environment. It may not be enough to merely hit the TN, you have to hit it with enough of a margin to beat the other guy.

I may be forgetting a few instances where MOS/MOF matters, but those seem the most common to me.

Paul

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Re: A Solid AToW Review?
« Reply #26 on: 26 March 2014, 19:05:41 »
The biggest hurdle I think I face at this point in time is learning about the BT Universe. It is so huge I barely know where to start  :-\.

Start here: http://d15yciz5bluc83.cloudfront.net/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/BattleTechUniverseGuide.pdf

Here: http://bg.battletech.com/download/DarkAge_Touring_the_Stars.pdf?77386d

Here: http://bg.battletech.com/download/DarkAge_Republic_of_the_Sphere.pdf?77386d

And here: http://bg.battletech.com/download/DarkAge_Republic_Worlds.pdf?77386d

This is a good general introduction to the BattleTech Universe and the current Dark Age. For RP purposes there is a lot of material in these four PDFs.  O0
Look, dude, when you are a real mechwarrior you don't need to get all dressed up in cooling suits and cool helmets to work on your mech. You just strip down to your 1980s panties and crop top vest and start wrenchin' it.
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Mulsiphix

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Re: A Solid AToW Review?
« Reply #27 on: 27 March 2014, 11:33:07 »
That review has pretty much changed my mind on ATOW as a system. There are many aspects of it that remind me of GURPS, both in terms of crunch and similar types of mechanics. I really liked the idea of a Apocalypse World Hack for ATOW. The Playbooks (Character Sheets) would be easy to create characters with but the actual Hack (System) itself would be pretty huge. Why go through the trouble of compiling all of the GURPS information to cover a BT game when a relatively similar approach has already been done and by the official BT source?

Thank you all very much for helping me understand ATOW and what it has to offer. I'm officially a convert. I picked up a copy at my FLGS last night! Now, if I could just find the companion too ^-^.


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Re: A Solid AToW Review?
« Reply #28 on: 27 March 2014, 14:56:26 »
This forum needs a "Like" button....   O0

Thanks,

- Herb

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Re: A Solid AToW Review?
« Reply #29 on: 28 March 2014, 00:45:18 »
Glad to be of service~
 :)
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