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Author Topic: What's the draw? Why Destiny over AToW?  (Read 3081 times)

ANS Kamas P81

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What's the draw? Why Destiny over AToW?
« on: 30 August 2021, 01:19:55 »
So here's a way to kick off the board.  ATOW is very crunch heavy, while Destiny's lighter and more narrative focus gives it a sort of Alpha Strike version of the RPG.  I haven't played with the Destiny system, just looked it over, but I'm wondering - what draws people to play in Destiny instead of the RPG?  What's been your experience in Destiny games?
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Mendou

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Re: What's the draw? Why Destiny over AToW?
« Reply #1 on: 30 August 2021, 06:49:37 »
I just like the lighter crunch load than AToW (not that I've had a chance to play either--my last BT RPG experience was Third Edition)--I've built dozens of AToW characters, and have got it down to about two hours per character (doing the math by hand/calculator rather than using a spreadsheet). In that amount of time I can build four Destiny characters complete with a full complement of cues! Destiny characters also tend to feel a bit more heroic than the green-to-regular characters that come from a standard AToW build--they start out better at what they do, with better equipment and 'Mechs. It looks like a lot less work on the GM's side when it comes to building OpFors/challenges as well. Plus, I'm a storyteller by inclination; more narrative games just suit my mindset better (and yes, I do realize that I'm a BattleTech player of roughly three decades; the irony is not lost on me).

FenderSaxbey

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Re: What's the draw? Why Destiny over AToW?
« Reply #2 on: 30 August 2021, 17:34:26 »
Well, Destiny is an RPG, so it is just a matter of flavor, not "to RPG or not RPG". I do like the comparison to Alpha Strike because as it turns out, if you tack the movement phase and ranges from Alpha Strike on to Destiny, you wind up with a nice structured system for mech scale combat that isn't as abstract as the default system, but not as crunchy as full-blown BattleTech.

And I guess it works too because I'm very much an Alpha Strike player. In the end, I just prefer something more narrative driven and (a lot) less crunch. Not saying I wouldn't ever play AToW, but I look forward to Destiny games before the campaign starts.

rogueranger1993

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Re: What's the draw? Why Destiny over AToW?
« Reply #3 on: 31 August 2021, 16:00:46 »
I can see several good points for Destiny when compared to AToW, though neither system is perfect (especially as written), and neither system is going to be the right way of playing for everybody.

I personally think Destiny might be a good system to use for PbP/PbE games because of its simplicity and narrative focus, which is a major part of those games when compared to more traditional face-to-face games, which AToW seems more specialized for. Also, people who like systems like Pathfinder/D&D3.x will probably prefer AToW, while players of many systems like FATE/7th Sea/Savage Worlds/etc. will probably be more comfortable with Destiny, so as a way to bring in new players who are used to these system-light franchises it works very well. Additionally, it has the advantage of being easier for some players to grasp than AToW, and character creation can be accomplished much, much faster, which is very nice for pickup games or when a PC gets killed and a replacement character is needed.

Destiny also has several good rules options included in it's pages. The new vehicular-scale combat system is a nice middle-ground between Alpha Strike and Total Warfare, and the Tags system is a nice and easy way to give missions, characters, factions, and vehicles a sense of flavor that can be grasped easily and quickly without needing a full description taking up several paragraphs. The inclusion of quite a number of mission frameworks is also very useful, as a GM can use them to quickly flesh out an adventure for their players when they need one in a hurry - not as good as the old adventure modules in some ways, but far better than nothing, and it's nice to have so many in one place.


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Dahmin_Toran

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Re: What's the draw? Why Destiny over AToW?
« Reply #4 on: 31 August 2021, 18:06:33 »
Very simply less crunch. more narrative style.

Giovanni Blasini

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Re: What's the draw? Why Destiny over AToW?
« Reply #5 on: 02 September 2021, 04:25:40 »
So here's a way to kick off the board.  ATOW is very crunch heavy, while Destiny's lighter and more narrative focus gives it a sort of Alpha Strike version of the RPG.  I haven't played with the Destiny system, just looked it over, but I'm wondering - what draws people to play in Destiny instead of the RPG?  What's been your experience in Destiny games?

Haven't played either yet, but one big difference to me is AToW is so crunchy and complicated, it put me off from ever wanting to even try, whereas I want to play MW Destiny.
"“Eternity is a long time, especially towards the end.” -- Stephen Hawking

Failure16

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Re: What's the draw? Why Destiny over AToW?
« Reply #6 on: 04 September 2021, 09:15:51 »

Destiny also has several good rules options included in it's pages. The new vehicular-scale combat system is a nice middle-ground between Alpha Strike and Total Warfare...

Not sharpshooting here, but it's lifted almost whole-cloth from the Renegade Legion Legionnaire system. Few things are really new under the sun, after all. And not many would even recognize the reference, admittedly.
Thought I might get a rocket ride when I was a child.          We are the wild youth, 
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When I needed something good.                                            One day we'll reveal the truth,
At 17, I had a better dream; now I'm 33, and it isn't me.        That one will die before he gets there.

But I'd think of something better if I could
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Dahmin_Toran

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Re: What's the draw? Why Destiny over AToW?
« Reply #7 on: 04 September 2021, 13:02:58 »
Not sharpshooting here, but it's lifted almost whole-cloth from the Renegade Legion Legionnaire system. Few things are really new under the sun, after all. And not many would even recognize the reference, admittedly.

Renegade Legion is old school FASA.

Failure16

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Re: What's the draw? Why Destiny over AToW?
« Reply #8 on: 04 September 2021, 21:38:13 »
That right...?
Thought I might get a rocket ride when I was a child.          We are the wild youth, 
But it was a lie, that I told myself                                          Chasing visions of our futures.
When I needed something good.                                            One day we'll reveal the truth,
At 17, I had a better dream; now I'm 33, and it isn't me.        That one will die before he gets there.

But I'd think of something better if I could
                           --E. Tonra
--A. Duritz

Grand_dm

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Re: What's the draw? Why Destiny over AToW?
« Reply #9 on: 30 January 2022, 10:08:53 »
I feel like Destiny was to extreme in the other direction. The book sits on the bottom of my shelf. I do like the idea of medals however.
Big ideas and gaming outside the box. #Gametavern proprietor. Plus Ultra.

Terminax

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Re: What's the draw? Why Destiny over AToW?
« Reply #10 on: 30 January 2022, 10:38:38 »
It's allot faster to make both a PC and a NPC in Destiny. I like having a compact version of integration between BT and the RPG right on the character sheets. I'm not much for the cue system, but the rest of it works and it's all in one book. I love me ATOW too, but it needs to be tightened up so character creation, particularly NPCs isn't a life sentence.

Chris24601

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Re: What's the draw? Why Destiny over AToW?
« Reply #11 on: 30 January 2022, 15:13:40 »
I love me ATOW too, but it needs to be tightened up so character creation, particularly NPCs isn't a life sentence.
So much this.

The biggest problem ATOW has is that it has two contradictory elements to its design. On the one hand it wants you to be able to create very detailed characters with full backstories and connections to the world. This requires it to have a character generation system that can take 30-60 minutes to actually churn out a finished PC.

And then it plugs that PC into the same wargame where life is cheap and there's a 1-in-36 chance per attack that the character takes a head shot and dies instantly. The odds of someone taking a headcap makes even old-school D&D seem tame (a PC has almost a 30% chance of taking a headshot to his Mech within the first 10 hits and a 45% chance within the first 20 hits).

If you want to keep the life is cheap aesthetic then you can't have character creation take as long as it does in ATOW... the risk of death is just too high to justify that effort. There's a reason why old-school D&D had such quick chargen.

Destiny overcorrects in both making character generation faster, but also in making it easier for your PC to actually survive the occasional bouts of random number generation wackiness (making emergency ejection something easy to achieve).

Another advantage of Destiny, despite its wonky numbers due to not incorporating the side torso values despite consolidating the numbers on the hit-location chart, is that it made faster and "theatre of the mind" Mech combat possible. I think that system needs work, but that style is a step in the right direction for what an RPG needs Mech combat to be vs. what it needs to be in a wargame.

Frankly, I think even using hit locations for Mechs in Destiny is a bit of a mistake. I think something closer to Alpha Strike's single Armor and Structure values with a specialized TAC table for really good hits (because opposed 2d6 checks can have variances of up to 10 points even with opponents of equal skill) reflecting the loss of limbs and their contents would be sufficient detail. Likewise, take advantage of those same potential wide swings and margins of success to better capture the battery/volley nature of Mech combat using fewer dice rolls.

Giovanni Blasini

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Re: What's the draw? Why Destiny over AToW?
« Reply #12 on: 31 January 2022, 01:52:30 »
Frankly, I think even using hit locations for Mechs in Destiny is a bit of a mistake. I think something closer to Alpha Strike's single Armor and Structure values with a specialized TAC table for really good hits (because opposed 2d6 checks can have variances of up to 10 points even with opponents of equal skill) reflecting the loss of limbs and their contents would be sufficient detail. Likewise, take advantage of those same potential wide swings and margins of success to better capture the battery/volley nature of Mech combat using fewer dice rolls.

I wonder if it might've been better to go with Alpha Strike cards in general for 'Mechs.
"“Eternity is a long time, especially towards the end.” -- Stephen Hawking

Chris24601

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Re: What's the draw? Why Destiny over AToW?
« Reply #13 on: 31 January 2022, 11:40:27 »
I wonder if it might've been better to go with Alpha Strike cards in general for 'Mechs.
It’s a balancing act.

I do think there’s merit to having the weapons be distinct instead of a general mass (especially since “all hit” or “all miss” really only works if you’re spreading it across at least a lance of similarly weighted Mechs during your attack phase), but past the medium-weights of the 3025 era the number of weapons does get too great to attack with individually in an RPG (the primary difference being that instead of two opposing players alternating between the dozen+ dice rolls the larger Mechs require, you’ve got four players with one Mech each and a GM running 4+ opposing Mechs of their own… that’s a lot of downtime between turns for players to lose engagement).

Also needed in the consideration is that PCs need to be able to keep their Mechs going or otherwise have a steady supply of them for when their first one gets trashed. It’s absolutely realistic to have a Mech’s leg blown off.. but if that makes the Mech unpilotable and they don’t have a replacement, you’ve just removed that player from any Mech combats until they can repair or replace it.

That’s not a big deal in a war game campaign where you control lances or companies and it’s just one faceless pilot among many who’s sitting out… but for an RPG that’s potentially a campaign ender for that PC if everyone else still has their rides.

That’s why I think a single armor location works well for the RPG… it generalizes the damage to mostly the easily replaceable armor (presuming standard or ferro) and, with the right sort of crit table, systems that can be relatively easy to fix or obtain salvage for


Terminax

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Re: What's the draw? Why Destiny over AToW?
« Reply #14 on: 05 February 2022, 23:26:34 »
The one advantage ATOW has over Destiny is that I can cover all eras with it out of the box with no kludging to cover what isn't covered in it. ATOW is wonderfully detailed, and I consider the ATOW Companion one of the best RPG supplements ever produced by CGL but, to use all that material is a miserable grind. Destiny isn't a ton easier but it is a ton faster, and the step-by-step explanations and examples make it far easier to pick up.

I complained when IO came out years ago, that they only included the rules for the 3025 era in the book and left the other eras hanging for future supplements that have no timetable to be filled. In the time since IO came out, I believe there has only been a single additional era added. Much the same thing has been done with Destiny. It focused on the 3025 era with the Clan Invasion Appendix tacked on for the last quarter of the book. There is no sign there will be any follow-up to Destiny that'll cover the FedCom civil war, Jihad, Dark Age, or IlClan eras. If it's going to be years for a follow-up, or never at all then... why make it in the first place?

If anyone at CGL bothers reading the feedback we give here and you take any single thing from us please take this: when you give us a core book or RPG, please include as much as you can to cover all the eras within the book itself or plan an extension to it that will complete it in a timely fashion. I understand that's a tall order but having only part of the material covered is cutting the core book or RPG off at the knees from the get-go.

Destiny is not ideal except for 3025 or 3050 play. For an RPG that came out in the slow winding down of the Dark Age towards the IlClan era, it leaves a lot to be desired when I can't dive right in and play in either of the current eras. I consider Destiny a dead-end unless it gets further support. That's coming from someone who's preparing a sandbox RPG campaign using Destiny in conjunction with Campaign Ops set in the 3057 Chaos March. I'm making do with Destiny, by kludging when I have to because I can't face the ATOW grind. By comparison, CO covers every era nicely, and its rules for creating lance/company-sized Forces and converting to other scales, AND easy Campaign construction is exactly what was advertised. Fantastic book. I only wish I could say the same about Destiny.

Dahmin_Toran

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Re: What's the draw? Why Destiny over AToW?
« Reply #15 on: 06 February 2022, 12:43:21 »
That is why I wanted to incorporate the Life Modules from ATOW into Destiny.