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Author Topic: The future of "A Time of War"  (Read 10185 times)

monbvol

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Re: The future of "A Time of War"
« Reply #120 on: 14 January 2021, 18:46:22 »
For me it just makes more sense that if you need to make sure you get all 48 hours of air from a suit that it'd be a straight up Will attribute check rather than Survival.  Vacuum isn't even listed as a suggested environment in the book either.

Likewise to me it'd probably be more appropriate to make identifying local plants and if they are safe or not to eat Interest/Xenobotany(planet in question here) because even the authors call out going to a different planet can invalidate your survival skill completely even if it is an environment you have via subskill.

Daryk

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Re: The future of "A Time of War"
« Reply #121 on: 14 January 2021, 19:05:07 »
I'll buy 48 hours on a WIL check, but anything past that requires knowledge of tricks (like, say, electrolyzing your water supply WHILE you're wearing the suit without electrocuting yourself).

Talen5000

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Re: The future of "A Time of War"
« Reply #122 on: 14 January 2021, 19:39:28 »
I'll buy 48 hours on a WIL check, but anything past that requires knowledge of tricks (like, say, electrolyzing your water supply WHILE you're wearing the suit without electrocuting yourself).

In this specific case...

What does the Survival skill do?
It allows you to survive.

There are three usual criteria....
Find shelter. This would mostly be find somewhere covered, out of the elements, dry, secure and away from animals. There'd be various techniques to improve a shelter, or assist in finding one, but the most environment specific feature would probably be in constructing a shelter. Building an igloo would require different techniques than building a treehouse or using bamboo and leaves to create a tent. Different environments also have different dangers...floods aren't likely in arctic areas, but blizzards are and building off the floor to escape insects and snakes is often more a concern in jungle regions.

Finding water and recognising that is safe, or treating it to make it so, would also be ubiquitous. Building a solar still, construction of a filter, the desirability of boiling and avoiding areas where water and life don't mix.

While there are environmental concerns with water and shelter, the most applicable justification for specialisation in the survival skill would be finding food. There would be a huge amount of variety between environments as looking for food in a jungle is very different from a desert is very different from a tundra, etc

Two parts would be locating food and making sure it is safe to eat.

Overall....it strikes me that specialisation is both justified - someone trained to survive in a desert environment would have an advantage - and yet there is a huge degree of overlap in the skillsets. Even with food, basic rules for testing foods for safety could be applied to most regardless of specific environment and, even on Earth, the Sahara and Gobi are very different, as are the Arctic and Antarctic.

Specialisation feels right but is arguably unnecessary....unless you also assume that it affects the ability of the player to survive exposure. Survival (vacuum) trains you how to increase survival when exposed to vacuum whereas Survival (Jungle) teaches you how to survive the heat and humidity of a Jungle, Survival (Desert) teaches you to move at night and water conservation tricks, etc

The skill represents more than knowledge, but your ability to tolerate the conditions as well as the general tricks to ensure water is clean and food is safe.
"So let me get this straight. You want to fly on a magic carpet to see the King of the Potato People and plead with him for your freedom, and you're telling me you're completely sane?" -- Uncle Arnie

monbvol

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Re: The future of "A Time of War"
« Reply #123 on: 14 January 2021, 20:12:21 »
I'll buy 48 hours on a WIL check, but anything past that requires knowledge of tricks (like, say, electrolyzing your water supply WHILE you're wearing the suit without electrocuting yourself).

I'd call that Technician/Electronics with a penalty not Survival/Vacuum.

Daryk

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Re: The future of "A Time of War"
« Reply #124 on: 14 January 2021, 20:21:21 »
My point being there would be a number of tricks like that, and the only thing linking them is Survival.

monbvol

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Re: The future of "A Time of War"
« Reply #125 on: 14 January 2021, 20:31:27 »
My point being there would be a number of tricks like that, and the only thing linking them is Survival.

My point being if there is that much of a link(because breaking down water for air is a neat trick to know not just if you're in space waiting for rescue) then at best making the environments specializations rather than distinct subskills makes enough logical sense that for the sake of gameplay and not dumping dozens of skills on a character just to make them actually able to do their job is a compromise I'm absolutely willing to make.

Daryk

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Re: The future of "A Time of War"
« Reply #126 on: 14 January 2021, 20:32:54 »
Right, and I think TPTB had a camp advocating completely separate skills, and subskills were the compromise that resulted.

monbvol

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Re: The future of "A Time of War"
« Reply #127 on: 14 January 2021, 21:57:20 »
Right, and I think TPTB had a camp advocating completely separate skills, and subskills were the compromise that resulted.

The end mechanical result of that decision is the subskill approach may as well be distinct skills.

Daryk

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Re: The future of "A Time of War"
« Reply #128 on: 14 January 2021, 22:01:14 »
Then we know which camp "won".

Carbon Elasmobranch

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Re: The future of "A Time of War"
« Reply #129 on: 14 January 2021, 22:58:41 »
MW2 was unarguably simpler.  But it had a horrible power creep problem partially as a result.  Complication in the skill list is one way to fight power creep.  I think MW3 went too far in that direction, and AToW was a step back from it.  With the limited number of tiered skills in AToW, I don't see it as a problem for the vast majoirty of players.

MW2's problems were definitely not from having a comparatively svelte skill list. They almost certainly involved the interaction of Attributes and Skills, how some Attributes really should have been broken up, and an Attribute that limited skill ratings even though it didn't even make sense in-genre to make that kind of linkage (learning things is complex, and having one Attribute for it is about as bad as having one labeled "Intelligence").

monbvol

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Re: The future of "A Time of War"
« Reply #130 on: 14 January 2021, 23:01:45 »
Then we know which camp "won".

Which is a shame and something that can be fixed for a future revision.

Daryk

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Re: The future of "A Time of War"
« Reply #131 on: 15 January 2021, 05:21:38 »
Attributes were absolutely king in MW2.  If you didn't take at least two 6s, you were unnecessarily crippling yourself.

monbvol: We can agree on that.

victor_shaw

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Re: The future of "A Time of War"
« Reply #132 on: 15 January 2021, 17:07:17 »
Attributes were absolutely king in MW2.  If you didn't take at least two 6s, you were unnecessarily crippling yourself.

monbvol: We can agree on that.

Unless you are taking priority 4 in attributes it is hard to justify two 6's. in the normal priority system.
The issues is the x2 cost of INT.
From experience, Players who do this tend not to last long as they have neither the skills nor the survivability to last long outside their mechs.
And even with the Flexible Priority option you are limiting your choses quite a bit by doing so.
 

Daryk

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Re: The future of "A Time of War"
« Reply #133 on: 15 January 2021, 20:35:44 »
Going 4 priortity for Attributes was never a problem for me back in the day.  I was always able to get sufficient out of 'mech skills (if not what I really wanted, which is why I prefer AToW).  High enough Attributes made unskilled rolls less scary.  And 6 INT was mandatory in any case.  It contributed to too many skills.

Carbon Elasmobranch

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Re: The future of "A Time of War"
« Reply #134 on: 15 January 2021, 22:01:23 »
The only characters that could get by without massive investments into Intuition were, perhaps, armored infantry, on account of how Piloting/Battlesuit became an Athletic skill in the Companion. Which you could get at low base TNs pretty readily if you were an elemental, or a puny freebirth with merely Exceptional BLD and/or REF. And even then, you'd be sacrificing a great deal of your ability to shoot and function in other capacities.

Everyone else absolutely needs it as high as possible. You don't get nearly enough skill points to compensate with higher skill ratings, which are capped at LRN at chargen, anyway (not that you'll ever be able to scrounge enough points together to get even close to that maximum if you get it at 5 or 6).

victor_shaw

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Re: The future of "A Time of War"
« Reply #135 on: 16 January 2021, 08:21:50 »
Going 4 priortity for Attributes was never a problem for me back in the day.  I was always able to get sufficient out of 'mech skills (if not what I really wanted, which is why I prefer AToW).  High enough Attributes made unskilled rolls less scary.  And 6 INT was mandatory in any case.  It contributed to too many skills.

Sorry the math on this doesn't hold up in the system.
Lets take the standard spread using Priority 4 (30) and the tactic you are presenting.
BLD 4, REF 6, INT 6, LRN 4, CHA 4. With this your max starting Skill level is 4 and base skills and attribute saves are.
Athletic 4/8, Physical 2/6, Mental 4/8, Social 4/8 

With an even build you get
BLD 5, REF 5, INT 5, LRN 5, CHA 5. With this your max starting Skill level is 5 and base skills and attribute saves are.
Athletic 3/8, Physical 3/8, Mental 3/8, Social 3/8 

The only thing you are getting from this max-out is a one Point advantage in Physical Skills, but are losing one point in all other skills.

The only characters that could get by without massive investments into Intuition were, perhaps, armored infantry, on account of how Piloting/Battlesuit became an Athletic skill in the Companion. Which you could get at low base TNs pretty readily if you were an elemental, or a puny freebirth with merely Exceptional BLD and/or REF. And even then, you'd be sacrificing a great deal of your ability to shoot and function in other capacities.

Everyone else absolutely needs it as high as possible. You don't get nearly enough skill points to compensate with higher skill ratings, which are capped at LRN at chargen, anyway (not that you'll ever be able to scrounge enough points together to get even close to that maximum if you get it at 5 or 6).

Never stated that INT was not an (Most) important attribute. Was just pointing out that you did not have to sacrifice other attributes to always max out just two.

Daryk

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Re: The future of "A Time of War"
« Reply #136 on: 16 January 2021, 08:37:51 »
It's been a while, but I think I went for 3 CHA and 5 LRN.  I may have even dropped BLD to 3.  Like I said, not great out of 'mech sklls.

victor_shaw

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Re: The future of "A Time of War"
« Reply #137 on: 16 January 2021, 08:47:35 »
It's been a while, but I think I went for 3 CHA and 5 LRN.  I may have even dropped BLD to 3.  Like I said, not great out of 'mech sklls.

And there lies another issue with this type of build in and out of the cockpit.
My build has 10 hit boxes per level
The Max-out build I showed has 8 hit boxes per level
And the build you just showed has 6 hit boxes per level
So it has a lot shorter lifespan in out of mech combat.
And using the Battletech Integration rules in Mechwarrior Companion your character is more likely to be knocked out of the fighting by pilot damage.
Is just as likely to fail to avoid shutdowns (Computer Skill).
So they are not even truly better in their mech.
« Last Edit: 16 January 2021, 09:09:29 by victor_shaw »

victor_shaw

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Re: The future of "A Time of War"
« Reply #138 on: 16 January 2021, 09:04:26 »
As Talen5000 is fond of pointing out, Mechwarrior is a RPG not a boardgame.
This is the Trap that most GM/Players fall into when making characters.
While nice, it is not necessary for all your combat skills to be maxed out.
And unlike a boardgame (AGoAC) Social and Mental skills are just as if not more important. 

Daryk

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Re: The future of "A Time of War"
« Reply #139 on: 16 January 2021, 10:17:07 »
That depends quite a lot on skill selection and play style.  I always took Computer skill, and preferred fast, hard to hit 'mechs.

Carbon Elasmobranch

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Re: The future of "A Time of War"
« Reply #140 on: 16 January 2021, 23:00:14 »
As Talen5000 is fond of pointing out, Mechwarrior is a RPG not a boardgame.
This is the Trap that most GM/Players fall into when making characters.
While nice, it is not necessary for all your combat skills to be maxed out.
And unlike a boardgame (AGoAC) Social and Mental skills are just as if not more important.

Social and Mental Skill also rely on Intuition. You aren't likely to hurt yourself very much in most capacities by buying it up to max, which is the essential problem; in order to make it hurt, you'd need to really crank things by getting it at 7 with an Exceptional Attribute advantage, and even then, your other characteristics are still actually a lot better than most characters that have middling Attributes but noble standing, an Assault 'Mech or the like.

victor_shaw

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Re: The future of "A Time of War"
« Reply #141 on: 18 January 2021, 15:54:12 »
Social and Mental Skill also rely on Intuition. You aren't likely to hurt yourself very much in most capacities by buying it up to max, which is the essential problem; in order to make it hurt, you'd need to really crank things by getting it at 7 with an Exceptional Attribute advantage, and even then, your other characteristics are still actually a lot better than most characters that have middling Attributes but noble standing, an Assault 'Mech or the like.

Again I never said investing in INT was a bad idea, not sure how you got that from anything I said.
My point was on Investing max points in INT and REF, which seems to be a standard practices.
If you truly want to invest 6 in INT and another attribute I would go for LRN over REF.
While REF is great for a Mechwarrior right out of the gate, LRN not only provides higher Skill levels at character creation but higher skill rewards after every mission.
You get skill points equal to LRN (training) on top of the one gained during play.
Being that 10 Skill points are needed to raise any skill this would be a good investment.
That said, I have never been one to go for the powergaming route and prefer that my characters are stated for roleplaying not what gets me the best of the best stats.
If my character is a bumbling professor, I'm not going to give them maxed-out BLD just to get more HP.
If they are a muscle-bound thug, I'm not going to give them max-out LRN just for the skill points.

That said play it the way you want.

victor_shaw

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Re: The future of "A Time of War"
« Reply #142 on: 18 January 2021, 16:08:17 »
You aren't likely to hurt yourself very much in most capacities by buying it up to max, which is the essential problem; in order to make it hurt, you'd need to really crank things by getting it at 7 with an Exceptional Attribute advantage, and even then, your other characteristics are still actually a lot better than most characters that have middling Attributes but noble standing, an Assault 'Mech or the like.

If you stats where stagnant after character creation then yes you would be better, but they are not.
One of the major flaws in this thinking is that Race/Battlemech/Advantages are also part of this equation.
And outside of roleplaying and a really nice GM, don't change during play.
You can increase you Attributes and skills by spending points, but you don't get a Title or an Assault mech just by spending some skill points/AP.
You don't gain Combat Sense or Toughness by spending some skill points/AP
The items that you are dismissing outright are hard or impossible to get outside of character creation.
You may have a 6 INT but I can spend points later to get there to, but you will never get my Combat Sense during play.

Carbon Elasmobranch

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Re: The future of "A Time of War"
« Reply #143 on: 20 January 2021, 17:49:06 »
Again I never said investing in INT was a bad idea, not sure how you got that from anything I said.

My point being that the character with maxed-out ITN and REF wasn't nearly as hurting in other areas as you presented. With a base Social of 8+, you're in pretty safe territory for being able to make a social secondary character.

Quote
My point was on Investing max points in INT and REF, which seems to be a standard practices.
If you truly want to invest 6 in INT and another attribute I would go for LRN over REF.
While REF is great for a Mechwarrior right out of the gate, LRN not only provides higher Skill levels at character creation but higher skill rewards after every mission.
You get skill points equal to LRN (training) on top of the one gained during play.
Being that 10 Skill points are needed to raise any skill this would be a good investment.
That said, I have never been one to go for the powergaming route and prefer that my characters are stated for roleplaying not what gets me the best of the best stats.

Don't try to dodge this by claiming "but I like rp more". It's a bad look.

Quote
If my character is a bumbling professor, I'm not going to give them maxed-out BLD just to get more HP.
If they are a muscle-bound thug, I'm not going to give them max-out LRN just for the skill points.

That said play it the way you want.

Maybe the professor is bumbling because he's huge and unwieldy, maybe a muscle-bound thug is really curious about the world. Character concepts can be multi-dimensional, as expressed in the stats; accordingly, a set of stats with high ITN can be perhaps too multifaceted.

As for other advantages that might be more difficult to gain after chargen, that's really up in the air, but high stats probably won't hurt. You're more likely to survive to success if you have better Piloting and Gunnery numbers for your 'Mech, though you might also want to get Extra Edge to turn a head shot into something hopefully less lethal. Advantages other than a title, land grand, or dropship might not be had in play, but what you can get in play, you can certainly capitalize on. More 'Mechs aren't necessarily out of the question, either; collect enough salvage, and you might see an assault someday even if you started with a light or medium, even during the succession wars.

Daryk

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Re: The future of "A Time of War"
« Reply #144 on: 20 January 2021, 17:52:08 »
Intuition was always cheaper than the multitude of skills dependent on it in 2E... that was the fundamential problem.

victor_shaw

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Re: The future of "A Time of War"
« Reply #145 on: 20 January 2021, 20:35:06 »
My point being that the character with maxed-out ITN and REF wasn't nearly as hurting in other areas as you presented. With a base Social of 8+, you're in pretty safe territory for being able to make a social secondary character.

Don't try to dodge this by claiming "but I like rp more". It's a bad look.

Maybe the professor is bumbling because he's huge and unwieldy, maybe a muscle-bound thug is really curious about the world. Character concepts can be multi-dimensional, as expressed in the stats; accordingly, a set of stats with high ITN can be perhaps too multifaceted.

As for other advantages that might be more difficult to gain after chargen, that's really up in the air, but high stats probably won't hurt. You're more likely to survive to success if you have better Piloting and Gunnery numbers for your 'Mech, though you might also want to get Extra Edge to turn a head shot into something hopefully less lethal. Advantages other than a title, land grand, or dropship might not be had in play, but what you can get in play, you can certainly capitalize on. More 'Mechs aren't necessarily out of the question, either; collect enough salvage, and you might see an assault someday even if you started with a light or medium, even during the succession wars.

Like you dodged the LRN comment? I was not dodging anything.
Any game can be power gamed was my point.
If you build to Powergame that's up to you.
You don't have to have the most optimized stats to have fun was my point


Bedwyr

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Re: The future of "A Time of War"
« Reply #146 on: 20 January 2021, 20:46:32 »
***MOD NOTICE***

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Col Toda

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Re: The future of "A Time of War"
« Reply #147 on: 23 January 2021, 11:24:48 »
Checked out Destiny RPG . Hated it even the adoption of using any universal rpg system seems better . Just going to a point buy system in ATOW eliminating the Vehicle trait as rides are assigned rather than owned makes the most sense.  Do not agree that Destiny was the correct direction to go .

I heard from store owners people are buying after market ATOW  core books for 200 dollars online used.  That told me a new a more  streamlined edition for ATOW made far more sense than doing Destiny which I already have buyers remorse over . Say point buy system say 6500 point split up by priorities  ablities , skills and  Traits plus upto 500 points in negative traits to get you XP to put anywhere.  Say 3000, 2000 , 1000. Priorities with 500 flexible plus upto another 500 flexible XP bought by negative negative traits.   Make affiliation and  MOS / profession templates and you are done .
« Last Edit: 23 January 2021, 11:44:27 by Col Toda »

Daryk

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Re: The future of "A Time of War"
« Reply #148 on: 23 January 2021, 12:07:36 »
$200??  The pdf is available for MUCH less than that...  ???

victor_shaw

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Re: The future of "A Time of War"
« Reply #149 on: 23 January 2021, 15:08:32 »
$200??  The pdf is available for MUCH less than that...  ???

A lot of people (Myself Included) Don't like running a game out of a PDF.
One of the issues with AToW right now.