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Saturday, June 17, 2017

The Anatomy of An AAIE Ability (real game stuff!!)

The series includes:



The AAIE update Part: As I promised this is mostly an AAIE blog now Sooooooo....Everything with AAIE is plugging along outside of my direct view. (EEEK) I'm waiting to see what the guys have done. I threw away more than half the drawings I had done for the  game over last weekend in a flurry of self hate. I do that.... I'll start over.


The Anatomy of  An AAIE Ability:

Abilities in AAIE  are granted each time a charter levels up, are based on the character class, and are just like everything else determined completely at random.
Abilities allow characters to perform special actions, create situations and bring changes to the  world around the,. combat abilities generally allow the character access to additional Perks if the player rolls well enough. 

Often the use of abilities will cost the character points from their focus or Myst pools. This bit of resource management means that some characters are able to use some abilities more frequently than others. Some characters are better suited to certain types of abilities than others. This being AAIE the player doesn't have much control over what abilities they get so what a character is good at and what they actually end up doing might not line up exactly *** 
Perks (for the record) are a set of three bonuses, If a player rolls a successful action and a high enough effect (More on how the dice work in a future post) the player may score up to two perks on the action. The player may pick which perk or perks to use and describe how they occur in play. perks may be gained by Abilities and equipment,any single action may have no more than 5 perks available, no more than two perks are ever triggered on any singe roll. (Unless the GM sees some reason why their should be more than two perks triggered, naturally... Gm's can do that sort of thing**)



Lets look at the  most basic of all the abilities a character might end up with.
Below you will find the  text block for  Warriors strike a possible warrior class ability. The original text is in default black, I will comment each line in text Looking like this.

This will be a bit of a deep dive on one ability. How I see it working, and why it is what it is.
Warrior Strike. 
This is the warriors go-to strike, It is the rarest of abilities in that it's free in every way, and only provides a way for fighters to get perks on almost every strike. 
Attribute: Brawn
Difficulty: Vs opponent Armor Score

Costs: none
Common: You do normal damage.
Perk 1: Stun opponent
Perk 2: Push opponent back (1)
Perk 3: Add 1d10 damage.
Critical: X 2 damage.
Fumble: Use the combat fumble chart.

Warrior Strike. 
This is the warriors go-to strike, It is the rarest of abilities in that it's free in every way, and only provides a way for fighters to get perks on almost every strike. 
This is a brief mechanical description a bit devoid of flavor , it tells the player exactly what the ability is intended to do.

Attribute: Brawn
Every  ability is linked to an attribute, if the  player is using this  ability then the GM subtracts he  linked attributes value from the rolls target difficulty. The sneaky part of this is that weapons are also linked to attributes such as "flail" being linked to athleticism. Having this ability allows the player to  choose to use the  ability and modify their attack roll difficulty by their characters brawn, or to not use the ability and use what ever attribute the weapon originally called for. In D&D terms it makes every weapon "Versatile."

Difficulty: Vs opponent Armor Score
When using an ability the player and the GM need to know what the roll will be against. In this case the difficulty of the  roll is determined  by the targets armor score. The GM might modify that difficulty based on  the given situation, however for this ability  (and most combat abilities honestly) the starting point is the  targets armor.)

Costs: none
This section would usually contain text like (Focus 1d6) or (myst 1d6 per spell level) or  similar. Those costs would be rolled when the ability is used and subtracted from the  applicable pool (myst, focus, or both.) However this ability is the rarest of things in that it has no attached costs. Representing a warriors advanced arms training and  ability to  land solid blows in combat. Warriors strike is the  equivalent of an innate ability. Having no cost makes this the  most prized of the  warrior abilities even if it is one of the most basic.

Common: You do normal damage.
This is the result if the  player rolls a successful attack but does not  roll any kind of extraordinary success. In this case the  character domes their normal damage by weapon type.

Perk 1: Stun opponent
Perk 2: Push opponent back (1)
Perk 3: Add 1d10 damage.

Here are the three possible perks a character can score using this ability. If the attack roll is a success and the  effect of the  roll is high enough (remember, hi-jink dice stuff) The player may choose to inflict up to two of the perks on their target. 
The first perk is a stun which gives the target "disadvantage on their rolls next round" While this sounds ripped right out o' 5th ed, it works a bit differently in  AAIE **** This  can be a significant advantage to the character attacking.

The second Perk is Push opponent back (1) range category. This is great if the  warrior has a weapon with  reach, or even better is some other party member does. A bit of a tactical choice. Depending on situation using this perk may cost the  target it's next round moving back into melee range. For example if the target is fighting with only claws and bites.

The third perk is a pure shot of extra damage. A solid hit that does 1d10 more resolve damage then the base weapon. No need to explain why that might be useful.

The first thing to remember is this, if the  player rolls well enough to earn one perk  he or she may  choose to inflict any one of those three perks. If they roll well enough to earn two perks then the player can  pick any two of the three perks to inflict on the target. 

The second thing to remember is the player gets to describe how the perk is inflicted. A solid shot to the side of the head, the  creature trips backwards, a blow to he groin, a well placed rapier thrust to the solar plexus, however the player describes it happening is how it is.


Critical: X 2 damage.
If the player rolls EXCEPTIONALLY well they will get a critical success! in this case the player may Pick two perks to inflict on the the target and  do double damage. This all stacks. So a player might do 1d6 damage (Base weapon damage) + 1d10 damage (PERK 3) Which is then Doubled (because of the critical hit,) and furthermore stuns the  opponent (PERK 1) As you can see rolling a critical with warriors strike can ruin the day for whatever foe you just swung a dead fish at.


Fumble: Use the combat fumble chart.
On the other side of the coin if the  player rolls colossally bad, then they  get to look at this fumble section. Some skills (Priest skills  are big on this)  have skill specific fumble results. In the case of warrior's strike the player refers to the combat fumble chart which  is 100 entries of wacky results that generally kill you. Keeping in mind fumbles happen very rarely. (I used Anydice to figure to about  0.073 percent of the time.)  

The end result is Warrior's strike is a versatile, free ability. If a warrior is lucky enough to have rolled it as an ability then they should remember to use it. (on every attack). It's useful if only used to provide the player the freedom to pick  brawn as their attacking attribute regardless of the weapons originally linked attribute.  The three perks which can be earned on good rolls offer a warrior a range of combat options. These options range from de-buffing their target with a stun,  strategically moving their target farther away, or purely laying down extra hurt with bonus damage. While other abilities might offer these perks no other ability allows offers them in this combination or for free.
Further the critical hit and fumbles are unexceptional. Meaning that if a player rolls a critical hit without using any ability they  will still do double damage, and if they fumble in combat they will likely still roll on the combat fumble chart. So the risks and rewards of this ability are weighted heavily in the middle (the chance to earn perks) and flatten out at the extreme ends of the result spectrum. In short there's far more to be gained than lost by using the Warriors strike ability.

So that's the anatomy of one of AAIE's  abilities.


The rest of gaming life:

I haven't been able to run anything lately. Schedules have been bad, and honestly I have not had all that much personal interest. Anyone who has followed this blog* will know I go through these doldrums fairly regularly.

As I always say: "this will pass," "summer is a tough season for gaming,"and so on...



 I have been reading back issues of Dragon Magazines trying to spark some inspiration and not having much luck. Old dragon mags are fun tough, that used to be such a great resource. I can't imagine we will ever see it's like again. That's a digression I could make a whole blog post out of..


I jumped on a chance to try a few sessions of Fate with some twitter contacts. Fate is a game which I only played once and have wanted to have another go at. Considering this Fate game is an online game with people I have never met before, the scheduling will require a fair amount of time between meetings, character building, and playing. That is on the shadowy horizon. I'm looking forward to it.

Observations so far.
  • As a person, I don't translate well over  The computer... At least I don't think I do. 
  • I'm not good at making up Fate Aspects.. There is a knack to it which I have not picked up yet.. I will, but I haven't. The Fate Core text isn't super helpful in this regard. Again I think it's up to the  group to determine what works, so it would be asking a great deal of a book to be all that specific for a particular game situation.
  • The people in the group all seem  very creative and  very nice.
  • Tiny Marshmallows may end the world.

Lets see where it goes.



*If you follow this blog, I'm sorry.
**Gm's are freaks
*** What the character should be and what the character is will rarely line up.... That's the  point... trying to work with what you got.

**** I had my disadvantage mechanic, first way back in the  block game soooooooooooooo I'm keeping it :)