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Author Topic: [Destiny] Splitting the difference.  (Read 1421 times)

TheOldDragoon

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[Destiny] Splitting the difference.
« on: 23 May 2021, 19:10:18 »
OK, so, AToW was not what our group was looking for.  Destiny has some good ideas, but it's a bit too far of a pendulum swing in the other direction.  What we're looking for is something with the complexity level of 2e, without the math issues.

So, I'm hard at work sort of "filling in the blanks."  Like, we want to have money flowing, and have stores of repair parts, etc.  So spending XP to repair 'mechs etc. as suggested in Destiny is a bit too fuzzy for our group's taste.  We may basically replace the character gen system of 1e or 2e with Destiny, and use the solid target numbers rather than randomized 2d6, 3d6, 4d6.  We're definitely playing like a standard RPG rather than "narrations."

Why use Destiny, then?  Well, because characters can be created in 10 minutes or less, and don't take a spreadsheet to track.  The core is solid, but it's more narrative than we'd like for the kind of story we're gonna tell, which involves a merc company in the FWL around the time of Anton's Rebellion.  Beans & Bullets, sort of like the Battletech game from HBS.  So it's not that we won't have complexity, it will just be other places.  The emphasis will be on the drama and roleplay, with the maps and minis coming out about one session in four, if that.

So, Destiny is the bones upon which the characters will be built- but there are a couple of things I can't seem to find.  How does one know when a character has moved from one Experience Level to another?  This is important to know since Pilot Special Abilities may only be purchased at a given Experience Level.  And on that note- how much does a character pay for a Pilot Special Ability?  Do you track Battle XP separately from regular XP, and spend only Battle XP on it?  Would it be fair to price PSAs using regular XP at the 5xPSA Cost figure quoted in the book?

It feels like Destiny is the closest to the compromise between complexity and smooth-running, and doesn't look as prone to min-maxing as 2e, and nowhere near as overdone for character gen as 3e or AToW.  As much as I love 1e, 1e alone can be limited in character gen, and the Battletechnology article from 0101 while cool is definitely 80s game design in that many of the types of training change the costs of skills and things entirely.

So... right now I'm thinking the easiest thing to do is hack Destiny.  The two issues above are the first things that occurred to me after some of us made some sample Green characters.

The next issue is dealing with target numbers.  Part of me wants to use the charts for integrating skills into BTech to convert everything to roll over TN on 2d6, like MW1e, 2e, and AToW.  Another approach would be to just play Battletech with Destiny's 2d6+RFL+Skill vs a stock target number+Mods.  If my math is correct, that stock TN would be 7 or 8.

In other words - I'd prefer if there was no "conversion" once we get started.  Either everything rolls 2d6 vs. TN, or everything rolls 2d6+ATT+Skill versus TN, not 'Mechs doing one thing and personal stuff doing another.  MW2e was so close to this ideal, but it's also pretty damn breakable at character gen, which Destiny isn't.

That's just some thoughts I've had while trying to figure this out.
JEFFREY A. WEBB
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Mendou

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Re: [Destiny] Splitting the difference.
« Reply #1 on: 24 May 2021, 08:03:16 »
Quote
So, Destiny is the bones upon which the characters will be built- but there are a couple of things I can't seem to find.  How does one know when a character has moved from one Experience Level to another?  This is important to know since Pilot Special Abilities may only be purchased at a given Experience Level.  And on that note- how much does a character pay for a Pilot Special Ability?  Do you track Battle XP separately from regular XP, and spend only Battle XP on it?  Would it be fair to price PSAs using regular XP at the 5xPSA Cost figure quoted in the book?

I'd be tempted to say that when a character has leveled his attributes and skills enough to be at the next experience level, he moves to that level; for example, if a Regular character gains two more stat points and four more skill points, that character is now a Veteran and has access to more SPAs. I think picking SPAs up at the cost you quote should be okay.

Quote
In other words - I'd prefer if there was no "conversion" once we get started.  Either everything rolls 2d6 vs. TN, or everything rolls 2d6+ATT+Skill versus TN, not 'Mechs doing one thing and personal stuff doing another.  MW2e was so close to this ideal, but it's also pretty damn breakable at character gen, which Destiny isn't.

I'd say have everything roll 2d6+ATT+Skill vs. TN; this system is a bit more cinematic than crunchy, so let the check resolution play out that way even if you're using TW ranges.

This sounds like a pretty fun idea. I can't wait to hear how it goes!

Dahmin_Toran

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Re: [Destiny] Splitting the difference.
« Reply #2 on: 24 May 2021, 10:12:56 »
But what would the TNs be?

Mendou

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Re: [Destiny] Splitting the difference.
« Reply #3 on: 24 May 2021, 12:57:25 »
Check "Rolling Dice" starting on p. 32 of MWD. It uses number of opposing dice as the base TN for non-combat difficulties, whereas combat rolls are opposed rolls with the attack roll going against the target's 2d6 + RFL + RFL + Modifiers for Personal Scale Combat or 2d6 + Piloting Skill Bonus (Piloting Skill + RFL) + Modifiers for 'Mech-Scale Combat.

If you want a strict TN rather than a die roll, just take the average roll of the given dice and use that--an Easy (2d6) Difficulty would be 7, for example.

TheOldDragoon

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Re: [Destiny] Splitting the difference.
« Reply #4 on: 24 May 2021, 14:04:08 »
So, that's a great question.
 
  My instinct is to use the same table listed for Piloting in the section on integrating with tabletop Battletech.

  So, there's two issues here.  First, there are two tables.  The table for Alpha Strike is the same table for Total Warfare, so that's not an issue.  But the progression for Pilot and Gunner is slightly different- and not just by one point across the board.  They actually synch up at the top end.  So it's not a matter of Gunnery being one point more favorable than Pilot.  This reminds me slightly of the issue in AToW with four basic TNs based on Simple/Complex and Basic/Advanced.  But it's been a feature of Battletech since Battledroids.  Gunnery is typically one point better than piloting.  So the second issue is - just go with either the Piloting or Gunnery table and tweak one skill or the other, or adopt a "half AToW" stance where some skills use one and some skills use the other?

  My gut instinct is that it'd be easier to just use one table and assume 'Mech gunnery requires more practice and study (and therefore more Skill Levels) than Pilot to become fully proficient.  The novels seem to bear this out with trainees being able to con a 'Mech pretty quickly, and even technicians have been said to be able to move a 'Mech from point A to point B during maintenance, while accurate shooting is another matter entirely.  So maybe the answer here is just to use the Piloting table for everyone, and assume that gunnery is just harder to master.  But doing that means a total of 6 in REF+Gunnery, and that's a lot to ask of a "Regular"- or is it?  Regulars receive 5 Attribute Points and 12 Skill Points.  It's not out of the realm of possibility, but it would require 25% of the Skill Points and 40% of the Attribute Points just to have Regular gunnery, and another Skill Point to make sure Pilot is "Regular" as well.

  The other option is to make a blanket statement that weapon skills use the Gunnery chart, and everything else uses the Pilot chart.

Just a few thoughts.
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TheOldDragoon

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Re: [Destiny] Splitting the difference.
« Reply #5 on: 24 May 2021, 15:02:31 »
If you want a strict TN rather than a die roll, just take the average roll of the given dice and use that--an Easy (2d6) Difficulty would be 7, for example.

Right.  If I use Stat+Skill+2d6 across the board, then the base TNs would be 7, 11, and 14.  They could be massaged to a more Battletech progression of 8, 12, 14 since there is usually a +2 modifier between situations like easy, medium, hard, or short range, medium range, long range.

In that case, when doing GATOR for 'Mech combat, the G would always be 7 or 8, and the dice would add the bonus rather than factor it into the TN.

But my instinct is to invert the math to give the players a lower TN for higher skill, and keep the math factored in from the get-go, a'la MW1e and MW2e.  This could be done as described in my previous post.
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TheOldDragoon

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Re: [Destiny] Splitting the difference.
« Reply #6 on: 27 May 2021, 12:36:17 »
OK, the more I tinker with this, the more I am thinking that rather than converting everything to 2d6 vs. descending TN, just doing Battletech with Destiny's 2d6+Stat+Skill is the way to go.  It would mean players only really have to learn one die mechanic.

So, when doing GATOR, the "G" will always be 8.  So, add Attacker, Target, terrain, range, etc. to 8, and roll 2d6+Stat+Skill against it.
JEFFREY A. WEBB
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The Royal Dragoon Guards