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Anybody around? I just started playing some roll20 games with PA folk the last couple weeks and it made me miss you guys.

How are you all doing?

Re: Schismata OOC thread by Slinger RingoSlinger Ringo, 17 Jun 2018 20:09

I'm good, and wish everyone the best, here's to 2018 beating 2017!

I still haven't heard from Phil in a long time and this is what worries me about the internet, how easy it is for someone to vanish when you don't have any other way to stay in touch :/

Re: Schismata OOC thread by EdcrabEdcrab, 06 Jan 2018 17:23

Aw man, Ed. That sucks.

Wanted to say Happy New Year to everyone!

Hope you're all doing well

Re: Schismata OOC thread by Slinger RingoSlinger Ringo, 02 Jan 2018 12:38

Argh. It was a dodgy site and we left it for good reason but it seems that the forumer board is now gone completely, and I've only saved a tiny fraction of the content from it :/

I'm pretty upset about that: not just my writing lost, but effectively years of player time and effort too. Just to say I hope everyone else is doing okay while I kick myself

Re: Schismata OOC thread by EdcrabEdcrab, 29 Oct 2017 21:06

My roommate just got a new job (yay!) and will most likely be a bit too busy to join anytime soon (boo!)

I will hopefully be making my character creation posts tonight or tomorrow at gamersplane (yay!)

Re: Schismata OOC thread by Slinger RingoSlinger Ringo, 11 Apr 2017 21:34

Fantastic. I've applied to join.

Re: Schismata OOC thread by IriahIriah, 08 Apr 2017 17:03

Well if needs be we can start with three and see how things go. Game is up!

Re: Schismata OOC thread by EdcrabEdcrab, 07 Apr 2017 21:32

I posted a thing! Hopefully someone will feel motivated to respond!

Re: Schismata OOC thread by Slinger RingoSlinger Ringo, 05 Apr 2017 19:37

No one else has posted at the time of writing but I guess you could chime in and post a line about what kind of character you're interested in playing, yeah.

Also there's an "Introductions" sub-forum for newcomers but now you've got me thinking about etiquette. Maybe it's not the done thing to post there if you initially joined just to play one game? Although if you plan on sticking around and playing in other campaigns, maybe that works!

Re: Schismata OOC thread by EdcrabEdcrab, 05 Apr 2017 11:06

Great. Should we post a hello?

Re: Schismata OOC thread by IriahIriah, 05 Apr 2017 06:02

Yeah, producing a book is definitely a long-term goal. Rules first, then maybe even a sourcebook for the setting if I've got it in me.

Anyway I've put a tavern thread up! Rally, squad!

Next step is making a sub-forum and IC/OOC etc but I'll at least wait for responses from the other prospective players first.

Re: Schismata OOC thread by EdcrabEdcrab, 04 Apr 2017 21:25

Talents being soft emulations of classes is a really interesting thought and it clears a few things up for me! It reminds me of what I thought was the class system from earlier versions - selecting (or buying?) TK/mutant/Telempath/cyborg/batman (well-trained and equipped normal). I guess that's almost analogous to a racial choice. If you wanted to lean on it further, it might be interesting if they came parcelled with talent ranks. Picking TK gives you 1 Psionics: TK + 1 extra talent rank. Picking cyborg gives you 3 ranks wherever you choose … and so on.

And, yes, as much as I enjoy fiddling with builds, I'm here for the robots and spaceships and being a celebrity pirate. When you talk about wanting to make something of the system, do you mean packaging it and releasing it in as an rpg book? I may have asked this before and forgotten the answer. But that's a cool idea. And it reminds me, I need to download inDesign again.

Re: Schismata OOC thread by IriahIriah, 03 Apr 2017 14:46

I like reading people’s thoughts! And I don’t think they’re suspect: I think it helps to have a variety of views to consider. I’ve no illusions about pleasing every type of RPG player but I don’t want to actively alienate any, either. But speaking of alienation, LONG POST warning…

I’m feeling less and less good about Insight. I just feel like it’s stepping on FOC’s toes, and yet it also serves as analysis (MND) and intuition/lucky guesses (WIL). Once upon a time those were all separate skills! To say nothing of including the since-removed ranged skill.

I’ll remove its combat component for sure. It might still have combat applications in very specific situations, mostly if a target is using Stealth, but it won’t be the default “make a ranged attack” Talent anymore. I think “Insight” as a name too strongly correlates with Focus too but I’m not sure how to approach that. “Thinking” or “Cognition” are too broad, “Analysis” has the opposite problem. Hmm.

I might turn Melee into Combat. STR and AGI to make melee attacks using Combat, FOC for ranged. And MND for tactics, I guess. I don’t like that it makes it “the” fighting talent, but I’ve always thought talents are about approaches/styles as much as they are actual skills and capabilities.

Base attack bonuses in D&D always made me think: that’s cool for a fighter, but what if I wanted to do something else with those points. And in part that’s where talents came from: they’re a big deal! Even one point in a talent is a significant thing. It means you’re pretty good at the thing, with the potential to become an absolute master of that thing. I think of each talent as something that benefits an entire party, not just an individual: that it’s good to have the frontline Melee (or whatever) character, and the Tech character, and the face with Social. In a different setting, talents could easily have been called Thief and Cleric and Fighter instead. They’re very class-like.

Bringing up Shadowrun reminds me of etiquettes etc. I wonder if I should embrace specialities a bit more (as they are now, that is, not back when that was the name for skills). That +2 bonus to a very specific thing? Maybe every character gets a couple depending on their level, and they don’t need to spend aspects/resources on it. Unless they want more, of course. Perhaps it’s specific to every talent you the player pick: you picked Mobility? Okay, you get a speciality to go with it, just so your Mobility is a little different from your ally’s Mobility rank. Maybe you’re good at navigating urban environments and Bob over there is a really goddamn good swimmer, and so on.

(Specialities are supposed to be usable with any talent, but I don’t think that’s a problem. I think it’s reasonable that there are potentially situations where a very niche speciality could apply to an unusual talent use. Bob is fighting underwater? Well, I’d be an ass to disallow using his expert swimmer speciality with Melee. That kind of situation)

The points you make about social interactions have all been in the back of my mind. That is: for a system that ostensibly has a universal resolution mechanic, pretty much all the aspects speak in terms of combat and attacking. “Attacking” using Social is entirely mechanically possible but doesn’t quite gel, especially as it would be chipping away at the same Hit Points depleted by swords and grenades. I think some of the aspect abilities would work okay with Social mind: a statement that Slows a crowd by making them doubt themselves or fear you. That kind of thing.

Maybe from the GM's point of view there's some kind of background escalation or noise counter, and at certain stages Social becomes impossible, but it can decrease it. You just did a full attack with Combat and blew someone's head apart? Well, uh, maybe not. Looks like the counter's hit max.

Speaking of escalation, 13th Age has backgrounds in place of skill ranks: super broad, potentially applicable to every skill check. I think that system is cool but I went with preset named talents, not things you customise, just so there’s a shared pool for every character. Instead of 13th Age’s “Swamp Ranger +3” Exigency would present that as Insight (bluh at that name) +1, Mobility +2 (and a +2 speciality bonus in swamps), and so on. I think it makes things easier for both the GM and the party because there’d be a lot less wrangling over what’s applicable and less accusations of power gaming (“seriously? You’re arguing that your membership of a group called The Brotherhood of Every Skill means that you trained to be good with every skill?”)

And okay off the top of my head, how’s this for a potentially big shake-up: Talents as a type of aspect that you invest XP into, coming with a built-in speciality. It could open the door to all sorts of esoteric talents but would, of course, play havoc with the current balance. You’d need more aspect slots, potentially. But you could also have Talents that increase armour per rank, or critical damage per rank, and all sorts of weird and wonderful stuff.

This has been my long-term goal to be honest: a version of Exigency that doesn’t distinguish between aspects and resources etc, just treats them differently based on their source/theme. Picking and choosing everything and using them to fill a combined set of slots. Losing an aspect due to an injury, for example, is already a sort of baked-in Compromise. Except for an aspect instead of a resource. I don’t know, there’s a lot to think about, and even though I tell myself to stick with what I’ve got for a game that’s just around the corner I can’t help thinking: this is maybe the perfect time to tweak this stuff. Just before a fresh new playtest, rather than halfway through one as an afterthought. I’ll need to do a big ol’ write-up about all this.

But, eh, don’t want to forget that the main reason I’m doing all this is for the campaigns I get to run and the stories we get to tell. Mechanics are really important and I want to make something of this system, sure, but the setting and narrative are the main reason I got into all this shit in the first place. Exigency as a setting with a default system, rather than a system with a default setting.

Re: Schismata OOC thread by EdcrabEdcrab, 02 Apr 2017 19:04

I have a shameful love of multiple turns and combos, and also expansive skill lists. So my feelings are probably suspect; I love a shitload of points and options. When I look over some of my character builds I have to repeat to myself "the system assumes competency" until I can let go of not having a point in social or melee or whatever.

I think it's the tip of a really thorny iceberg, though, if that image stands. I've recently been struggling with the World of Darkness 2E where a whole buttload of Conditions and FATE-lite mechanics have been bolted onto what was a serviceable storygame system, especially in 'social encounters'. I find having to track incremental stuff like that a huge buzzkill for improv and drama in scenes, but the game's main feedback loop is really invested in it. Social encounters now give NPCs a certain number of 'Doors' that must be 'opened' for characters to get what they want. It's too mawkish and fiddly for me. It was an attempt to make social stuff not just a single roll and more granular, but it harshes my vibe.

Here at the other end, though, one talent completely defines how your character is roleplayed mechanically when interacting with others, which is huge (edit: ooh this isn't true is it, it's tied to an attribute roll based on what kind of check now. But it's still hugely variable what 'Social' is saying about me versus what it allows me to do). And Insight being both Shooting Guns AND Perception? They're two of the most rolled checks in pretty much any game I've played. Insight could also conceivably include something like a Sense Motive (which is more than anything a lifeline for unsure roleplayers how to react, and something that's valuable to me as a GM and a player). But that not might be the real problem: truth is that each of the talents is incredibly good in terms of describing what you do and how well you do it, and your average action hero is probably going to have two or three points in at least three or four, right?

There's also the question of what the points in each rank are describing about my character. We're all going to be playing hardened elite mercenaries, yet at level 5 more than one or two talents is out of reach of most of the sample builds, because most points are going to attributes, which are probably the better investment anyway. I could conceivably play a military pilot with no Tech talent, because there's no room for it mechanically.

I think I'm starting to lose my train of thought here a little, so I'll finish by saying that Shadowrun has a nice touch of giving characters a small pool of Knowledge skills which basically flesh out who your character is and what they're interested in, which I think is really nice. I vaguely remember Hereward had an aspect or two which gave him straight talent bonuses. I guess what I'm trying to say is that going full Eclipse Phase and giving me 1000 points to splurge on bullshit obviously helps nobody, but I'd always welcome a little more wiggle room in the point distribution for talents, and more integration between aspects and noncombat stuff. For comparison, I think that Resources and Resource Aspects are a sweet spot. Every option is flavourful, and every option has just the right amount of choice to make my decisions feel meaningful. Taking Background: Ex-Military Officer and giving it two slots feels like a tangible addition to both RP and combat, and a tangible difference from an Advanced Implant.

And, y'know, there's no reason you can't add a few social encounter mechanics in there if you're not averse to them. Just as long as you don't call NPC hit points 'Doors'.

Re: Schismata OOC thread by IriahIriah, 02 Apr 2017 13:19

All right I (think?) the first GP game has come to a close! I'll wait a day or two and then put up an interest thread in the Gamersplane tavern forum (but don't feel like you all have to rush to join, I'll obviously wait for character submission). We'll see who tags along! I'm feeling fairly good about new blood. The last game was fun.

The stumbling block I've hit at the moment is my sudden unexpected doubts about the Talent system. It's been set up this way for ages but now I'm not sure how to approach it…


I feel like at the very least the names can/should be tweaked. A single talent rank for Social, and yet ranged (Insight) and melee (um, Melee) attacks get their own separate ones? Not to mention that Insight is much broader than Melee is. Perhaps Melee and Mobility could be combined? Or maybe Melee should be replaced with Combat, and the attack component of Insight could be removed. Ugh I don't know! I just don't know.

I'll start the game shortly but I'd like to know what the vets make of it all. I've no regrets about waving goodbye to the version 1 skill system (there were like… 15, if I recall. Completely unnecessary) but I do think it's possible to be too broad and that's giving me pause.

Re: Schismata OOC thread by EdcrabEdcrab, 01 Apr 2017 22:16

If you end up wanting more I can ask around with my friends! Although part of me is a little reluctant, cos Exigency has this 'i only know people on the internet' mystique around it for me. Like when we post here in this game world we're one or two spooky deaths away from a high tech thriller novel.

Re: Schismata OOC thread by IriahIriah, 30 Mar 2017 14:30

I had a fourth lined up but it's been a week since I heard from him so not sure what he's up to. But I'll make a recruitment/interest thread at GP very shortly! People will take a little while to submit their characters for acceptance, although rest assured I'll keep three places free. I suppose it might help for prospective players to chat about their plans/what they'll play

Re: Schismata OOC thread by EdcrabEdcrab, 29 Mar 2017 21:18

Excellent. How's it going with recruitment, by the way? Do you have a line on two more? I'm eager. Probably overeager.

Re: Schismata OOC thread by IriahIriah, 29 Mar 2017 14:15

Ah, good thinking. Changed that! At the moment it's [VIT+MND]/2 + 5 (character level). It used to be full VIT + full MND but in practice that seemed a bit high, especially with all the sources of Block and Inspiration out there.

I'll make a simple character guide post to go with it, but I think this is the fullest the Exigency rules have ever been, all gathered in one place:

Re: Schismata OOC thread by EdcrabEdcrab, 29 Mar 2017 13:31

Ooft. Seems like a walking one shot machine.

I guess this is why I need my spacefighter after all!

edit: oh the compact character sheet could probably use hit points too. for those of us who forget how to derive that from vit and mnd.

Re: Schismata OOC thread by IriahIriah, 29 Mar 2017 12:48
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