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Sunday, July 9, 2017

The Anatomy of a Perk: (AAIE Game stuff)

Game Update: Neal still editing, Game is being run twice at Dexcon This weekend: July 8tyh and 9th I think, once by Neal and once by one of his friends..



The second part in my "The Anatomy of" posts. This series is about  the parts of AAIE and what the heck I was thinking about when I slapped them together. *
The first part about Abilities can be found here. **

Perks, how to get them, and what they do for you:
Perks are an in-line reward mechanism. What I mean by "inline" is that the rewards happen during play, not as part of the level up system.
When a player rolls They first check to see if the action they are attempting is a success. If the action is successful and the  players effect die is high enough *** the player earns a perk. (or triggers a perk if that's how you want to say it.)

Perks are special effects that Player abilities , equipment, and even the  environment provide access to. It's most common to have three Perk options when using an ability. As it is the maximum number of  optional perks that can be attached to any one action is  five. While the maximum that can be triggered at one time is two. What this means is that most of the time when triggering perks the player will have options and will get to pick what works best for their character or the part as a whole. While ti takes a bit of luck to trigger a perk, it gives the games combat some depth beyond a simple decision to attack, or not to attack.
Combat perks include such classics as stunning a target, doing extra damage, pushing the opponent away, knocking the target down and  some others. Perks tied to abilities may be the same as the combat perks or  may  include perks specific to the  ability being used. Many priest abilities work on this principle. For example, the  priest ability "cure poison" has the following three perks associated with it.
  • Perk 1: heals 1d6 resolve to the target
  • Perk 2: Extracts the poison so it may be kept.
  • Perk 3: Restores 1d6 of the targets focus in the process
Remember the perks are only available on a successful roll. The perks above assume the poison has already been cured, these are results above and beyond the common successful result when using an ability. in this case the Player could choose the first perk, and grant a small amount of healing to the recipients resolve pool. I mean the  poison must have had some vector to get into the target and must have left some effect, so chances are the recipient is hurt at least a small amount. 

The second perk allows the retrieval of the poison for the priests own use, whether it be benign or  nefarious. This perk is completely unique to this ability. It not only allows for some cool description of how poison might be collected from a target, but also allows for the  creative use of the poison down the road. 

Lastly the third Perk allows the  player the option to  restore a bit of the  recipients Focus pool. Am AAIE  priest exclusive, the restoration of focus is a representation of a priest's abilities calming and mind clearing effects.

A very strong roll will allow a player to trigger two perks. In which case a players using the ability above Could choose to use perk one and two  making themselves an all around healer or  any other combination of the three available perks. 


In the event a perk is triggered the player describes how it happens. While there are mechanical effects when a player triggers a perk, for example character hits with a hammer and the player chooses "knock down" as the triggered perk. It is more important that the player gets to say how the enemy was knocked down. That player gets to decide what that looks like in the heat of battle. This  bit of focus on the player and their character, as brief as it might be, is a bit of reward in it's own right.


Furthermore, when ever the  Gm gives up control for a second and says "tell me how it happens" to a player there is  a chance that things will veer off into totally unexpected direction. In AAIE those hard curves into totally  unexpected directions are the goal posts by which the success of the  game will be measured. The  intentional inclusion of unpredictability built into the game is what makes it not to everyone's taste but also what makes it what it is.


Thanks for reading.
Mark.





* hint: I was thinking about food.
**Public service message: Warriors strike is the exception to the rule, if a warrior starts with it, it's super useful. 

***How the dice work will have to be some other, equally dry post.