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jfood

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  1. resolve is fine where it is, constitution could use a small chance to completely resisting an affliction, say one or two percent per point invested over ten. malus if used as a dump stat.
  2. The Tactics system. Really well thought out system for priorities and ability queue for combat, based on enemy type, range or who they were attacking. Flexible and configured in relatively plain english, as far as menus went in the game it was also easy to use and not hideous. Like most pc/console games, it had uninspired menu and inventory systems. The Tactics part was really brilliant. The fact there were actual abilities melee classes could plug into those tactics slots was just icing on the cake. The fact the tactics system became useless when mages could combo ice and lightning aoes at the licky bits of visual range and kill everything is more a comment on overall balance, than the smart thinking behind the Tactics system. Not really 'gameplay & mechanics' oriented, but I also liked the not Scottish dwarves. Sometimes it's the little things. Looking at the concept art for Sagani, it'd be really interesting to see dwarves more as Inuit type people or near 60 aboriginal group, like the Han in the Yukon or Yupiks in Russia.
  3. One mechanic I have always thought favoured the rogue class was the gambit and advantage system, a series of abilities that in combination unlock attack variants to a coup de grace then reset. Some of these would be +damage type abilities, others much more akin to your tanglefoot bag and choking dust. They could be resource based, but I think making a rogue character carry around inventory to unlock 'fun **** to do' compared to a whizzard who just needs to rest, isn't really a great mechanic. I can see limited number of uses per encounter being a useful balance mechanism however, cooldowns too. There could also be a chance for critical failure chances, which fits since I have refered to them as 'gambits', like Paradox in Mage or the slapstick comedy of the Jinxed trait in Fallout, but I'm more of a fan of simple dc checks as rtwp doesn't really track or allow recovery from critical errors very well. There's a similar mechanic in 3.5, Feint, where a combt action opens up secondary attack effects on target. It's limited, tied to a particular skill and only opens the enemy npc to attack multipliers. Positional based abilities, while an interesting aspect and adding depth mechanically, often involves playing 'ring around the pixels' 'til you hit the sweet spot, then parking. It's not very active, yet tedious and something you probably can't rely on ai for. Even if you could, it was the poor spot in IE/Aurora games, for non-spell based classes the only real combination of abilities you could string together were 'click on character' and 'click on mob'. The gameplay expanded in the nwn series to include um... knockdown and taunt mebbe? Not much to be honest and kotor offered up some basic melee attack moves. Extremely limited in interactivity compared to spell making mages and priestly power conduits. What I would like to see is a set of secondary, then tertiary abilities open up for rogue characters based on character build and effect status applied by their opening 'gambit' or ability. I'll give a brief combat scenario to explain. We have a melee build rogue in our party and combat initiates with four heavily armored fighter baddies on the half-step towards the party, backed up by a enemy mage. Our maximum ranged and spell combat distance is thirty feet, thrown weapons and abilities about fifiteen and melee five feet. Rounds, just to keep it in a IE/Aurora framework, are six seconds, one 'gambit' can be chosen per round but are instant with no cast time, only animation required. I don't care for 'rounds', not sure how instant abilities fly in a round based system and the numbers are also entirely arbitrary. Pause Combat. As we assign standard combat actions to mage types, ie. assay resistance into spell breach into charm person, we do the same for our melee rogue. Where a wizard and all ranged characters would have extreme distance abilities or attacks at least, and the fighter types a more minimal melee focused range, we assign the rogue the middle distance for opening abilities. Throw range, more or less, but I only use it for the sake of diversity and as an example. I think it's a nice distance for rogues to carve out a niche in, with useful goodies for both stabby types and ranged rogue builds. Our rogue opens up with one of the following: - 'Childs Play' tossing marbles and tripping up one target for one round, no action possible when in downed state. - 'Get Stuck In' throwing a glue grenade, medium sized aoe. Sustained five round snare for all npcs affected. Friendly fire on. - 'About yer Mum...' a series of insults, which not only showcase your learned vernacular vocabulary, but place a -1 to attack debuff on all enemy npcs in a 15 foot range. Two rounds. Can be talented/skilled/feated for better results. - 'Dirt in Your Eye' one round blind, double cast time increase for two rounds. Affected character still has control of movement, can cast at penalty and suffers attack/defense rating reduction. Through feat/trait selection our rogue has also opened up an additional ability: - 'Flash Git', a short-distance sprint like ability that charges them directly to a target and applies a two round snare. Regardless of where the character is in the combo system, this ability is always available. Three round cooldown Other chosen 'gambits' can be open use or only during a certain stage, at different distances, with or without damage components or multipliers for said damage, against the same target, against a new target, against multiple targets et al. then balanced accordingly, allowing for character build diversity. There does need to be a limit and I think ten to fifteen(?) different abilities in a build is more than sufficient for both fun and having options during combat without being overwhelming. Armor debuffs, snap agro management, snares, silences... a whole host of choices, but a limited playbook at anytime, with less overall options than casters. In this instance our rogue chooses 'Childs Play', tripping up one of the four platemail mooks who fails his 'reflex' save or whatever. This opens up our secondary attack abilities, that work side by side with and are balanced against continual auto-attack damage. We have a few options open to us and those abilities could be: - 'Kick in the Jibblies' a longer-term duration stun, four rounds, that breaks on damage. Disables auto-attack against selected target. - 'OUCH!' a high damage attack, does double damage against targets affected by the 'downed' or 'stunned' state. Stackable 2 round bleed effect. 1 round cooldown. Can be used at both ranged and in melee. This replaces our usual 'backstab', requires a bit of forethough to use but still allows for the meatblender high damage rogue builds we all know and love. Could also be the default action the ai assigns automatically to the rogue character when no ability or action sequence has been specified. - 'Pistol Whip', stun enemy for two rounds. Great for a single target disables but really excellent against casters, as it inhibits spell casting too. Requires neither pistol, nor whip. Three round cooldown, can be talented/traited/feated down to two for gooby stunlock goodness. Contrasts nicely against 'Dirty In Your Eye', which while not as strong can be used at range. - 'Quick Fingers' the rogue attempts to steal the enemy's equipped weapon. Only useable on 'downed or 'stunned' enemies. Five round cooldown. - and our chosen open use feat 'Flash Git', a dash like ability that closes the distance between the rogue and any target, not just the one we've disabled. As the rogue levels they could of course unlock additional abilities per action tier, but there does need to be a limit. Our rogue, given the situation chooses 'Kick in the Jibblies', disabling the enemy fighter for an additional period of time and so he can go after the real target, that mage in the back. Booting the downed enemy npc in the junk opens up our tertiary abilities, again a mix of chosen and given abilities, but more limited in scope and not as powerful as the mage, priest, druid or cipher. In this stage our options are: - 'OUCH!', the high damage move again, giving us options for building towards high damage, high critical chance rogues and quickly dispatching lower hp enemies. - 'Nimble FIngers' and... - 'Flash Git'... which seems a bit limited, doesn't it? However, if we had chosen 'OUCH!' at stage two in the combo sequence, we would have opened up another choice as well: - 'Fatal Wound', does 1.5x damage compared to 'OUCH!', multipliers allowed, all stacked bleed damage becomes instant. Can only be used after 'OUCH!'. Again, by exploiting advantages, either created by the rogue or through class and companion synergy, the rogue class can access higher damage output through smart, reactive play, not just relying on position. Not wanting to break the stun that's taken one of the enemy mooks out of the fight and given that no other player character/companion is going to break the soft cc on the enemy fighter, our rogue switches up to the mage and hits 'Flash Git'. This closes the distance between the rogue and his target almost instantly, and resets our character back to stage one of the combo chain, which now looks slightly different as our character begins this sequence in melee range. Our characters ability bars now looks as follows: - In slot one, 'Childs Play' is now greyed out and unuseable. Maybe it's on cooldown, maybe we've used it the maximum number of times we can per encounter. Perhaps we can trait for additional uses or a shorter cooldown as we level. - In slot two, 'Dirt In Your Eye'. Maybe this is on cooldown? Maybe it shares a per encounter limit with 'Childs Play'? Maybe it doesn't but does provoke an 'attack of opportunity' like reaction when used in melee range and that doesn't matter since our rogue is tusslin' with a mage? Just giving avenues to balance these small, spell-like abilities against one another and the larger framework of the system as a whole. - In slot three, 'Pistol Whip'. Still doesn't need a pistol or a whip to use and possibly the best choice considering the target. It will keep the mage from casting and moving all in one go. Enemy npc gets some sort of save against or course. Hard crowd control on melee classes does a great deal to combat the dumb as **** 'day at the race track' style shenanigans rtwp combat can look like. - In slot four, 'OUCH!'. We can pair this with a stun from another class, say a ranger ability called 'Blunted Arrow'. If we do so, we access both the damage multiplier in addition to regular critical hit tables and opens up 'Fatal Wound' for the third step as well. With our ranger companion supplying the disable effect as well as both auto-attack and ability damage, perhaps 'OUCH!' into 'Fatal Wound' will be enough to kill the mage outright? It's an option and a calculated risk, if you don't kill him outright he could bubble up or turn invisible. - In slot five, 'Flash Git', now greyed out and on cooldown. If we follow the example of a cross class stun being applied, by the ranger, 'Nimble Fingers' could also be up for use as well. Etc. And we head into combo sequence two for the rogue character. A brief example of how the sytem could play out. It offers up more variety and activity than standard IE/Aurora games have allowed melee classes. It's reactive, requires some forethought and generally has options that extended beyond 'stealth up and stab'. I also like the idea of either creating advantages in combat, or exploiting the actions of the party as a whole in combat. It actually borrows a bit from more reactive, mmo systems to be honest, particularly the Black Orc and Swordmaster from WAR, compared to the whole 'click on and ride the auto-attack' lameness that's been so prominent in Black Isle/Obsidian rtwp games and their melee classes. Having access to a tactics and scripting system, as in Dragon Age, could allow the player to set these action sequences in advance based on type of class, enemy hp et al. keeping it from being too hectic while still giving options to change it up on the fly.
  4. I think it's been stated that companions are more or less one per class, so the only way to go about a five chanter or paladin party would be through the adventurer's hall. Sharing a character class with one shouldn't be a redundant exercise or really prohibit their part in the narrative due to game mechanics and that's really an issue that needs to be addressed. Where companions of similar class really open up hooks and dialogue, there's more often than not a real, screaming in your face gameplay reason not to bring them along. I think that's an important issue, whether or not a five cleric godsquad of undying care of the adventurer's hall have their abilities stack is less pressing.
  5. As we're talking about rogues being able to open up alternative narrative paths and quest solutions through skill use, there is something else to consider. Rogues, or sub-types, often become to the go to class for access to those quest branches and skill checks, while other classes get left behind to a great extent. I think this is going to be solved by pairing the party system with more open-ended skill development to a great deal but it's an issue in crpgs, to access game content or to have options while accessing said content, play a rogue or rogue sub-type. Want to get the most out of Fallout's narrative, chatty, intelligent sniper. Small guns, arrows, to plasma and lasers, minor spell like effects, toss in some lockpick and stealth if you want. Mask of the Betrayer, you need access to bluff, intimidate and diplomacy to have options available to you, so it means rogue, bard, mebbe a swashbuckler. You can have a path for character and npc interaction, facepunch, smoothtalk or lie with other classes but you do require a splash into a rogue archetype to make a go of it with dialogue. Kotor2 had the dual-pistol jedi cat. Nwn2 is pretty much the same, though I think there's some room to manouver with Warlock(?) and Kaedrin's prc pack offers the Hexblade. To reference the trial in Nwn2, as a paladin you could resolve it with diplomacy, a fighter through intimidation but to thrown it down many-handed Mike Thorton style, which is 'best style' and I'll brook no dissent on that, it's back to the source, rogues. If it's meant to be a 'class feature', it kinda blows to play other classes comparitively. I guess Torment bucks the trend by making you play a wizard but it's the same effective dead end. Rogues just have this tendency to become to the ideal base to lay down social skills on, either through high intelligence and lesser reliance on physical combat stats or more points to make up for lack of bab progression and spells. I can see how the Special system or 3.5 effectively paints people into the corner due to structure, I'm just not a huge fan of that pathing and don't want to see it repeated in another Obsidian et al. game. Then again, Mike Thorton (or Thornton if you're in the Darcy camp) was probably a rogue if anything... so mebbe I don't have a point at all. Haha, jokes on you for reading this far.
  6. I think they intend to go with more open-ended skill development, so mages and warriors and druids, oh my, will be able to lockpick and sneak around with the best of them. We don't really know much about feat, talent or perk development yet, or even what they'll be called, but the idea of being able to sub other classes development paths is interesting. I think it's safe to say we all consider the rogue something of a swiss army knife type class, a bit more liberal in development options and character concepts than most classes. Brawlers and thugs in heavy armor, sneakthieves with stealth and twin daggers, back-alley chemists or a charismatic street rat who's figured out how to use wands, read scrolls and is deadly with a crossbow. All are going to fit someone's definition of 'rogue'. People have brought up talked about other systems, pnp and crpgs, and it all leads back to rogues being a chef's special kind of class. They scout and lay traps like a ranger, get all up in people's **** like a fighter or don't and just stab folks in the kidneys, are handy at range with both weapon and spell or spell-like effect through item useage. As skills are going to be somewhat discreet from feats/perks et al. being able to minor in another classes feat progression and ability development is a neat way to make up for a traditional rogue role while still keeping that 'come as you are' approach to class development. I really have no idea how ability and perk progression is going to look but in broader terms I'd imagine that there would be the ability to develop your rogues combat style in a more brawler type fashion, ranged, advantage/flanking/stealth based or any combination of the three. To give them a bit of flair in other systems, like Pathfinder (3.5 too more or less) as someone mentioned, they get access to 'special skills' are certain level milestones. Most clerics call them domains and get a better choice at level one, but wutevs, how special they are isn't important, it's the idea behind it. I think expanding on that notion is a great idea, though it's contingent on whether or not there's multi or dual classing options, but being able to sub in a class development path from another archetype really opens up character options. The concepts and ideas do of course bleed over into other, more core classes. How do you make a rogue who minors in magic different from a mage with access to stealth, lockpicking etc? How do you make that a discreet and unique character path if there is the option to multi-class? Obviously you make one more cunnin' than fighty and the other more fighty than cunnin' but the exact math on that is hazy at best. A sneakthief with her lynx animal companion, the street hustler who can actually read your thoughts or that bar-room brawler who's truly mastered the drunken fist... I really like the idea of being to roll with the concept right from level one and making it a core class feature. I think for all the debate back and forth there's one thing we can all really agree on, the one thing rogues do well is steal.
  7. My favourite D&D spell is 'Summon Bag of Angry Cats'. I think it's a cantrip but may be a level one spell and it's purpose is fairly simple. You summon the bag and throw it at someone. Good fun and possibly lethal for the low level mage who fails their toss check, as your common D&D housecat is capable of damage in excess of level one wizard hit dice. And you just fumbled a bag of them. I also like the cliche of whimsical cursed objects. Nothing terribly damaging or disadvantageous to the player and fun, with a sense of self-aware humour. Most fantasy games have 'bags of holding' or whatever. I would like to see a cursed object that can't be dropped or removed from inventory, where some jackenape of a wizard, or whizzard if you will, has sewn a never-ending bag of cats into a bag of holding. You can still put stuff in the bag and take stuff out, it's still a fully functional dimesional pocket capable of holding many things. It's just full of cats, an absolute infinite number of them and every time you go to take something out a bunch make that bold leap for freedom. You're stunned for one round, however, your Aumuau chanter was an absolute hit at the New Yarma Orphanage since you showed up with free kittens and that rat-hunter quest in Road's End was just cake.
  8. As far as 'realism' goes, some people 'really' like playing light-fighters that stab people in the back for bonus damage. They like the playstyle and it's just a damage bonus modifier to regular combat rolls, so it's not complex or time consuming to add. If the character system allows for that as well as standing off to the side with some acid bombs and bags of glue for the rogue archetype, then it's a good system and both deserve to be there. If it also allows for a sword and board type rogue who yells nasty words at people to manage soft agro game mechanics, which add another level of complexity and interactivity to fights, then it's a great system.
  9. As a background feat, it could be pretty cool. Say -5% chance to hit, since weapons aren't weighted for left-handed people, but gives a 2% to cause a random status effect (blind, bleed, cripple, knockdown etc) because people just aren't used to fighting southpaws.
  10. One of the ways to keep more archaic armors on a level playing field is through assigning damage reduction types to various materials, then raised or lowered based on cultural type. You can initially gate choices behind quest hubs for various cultures, allowing for item tier progression and storyline interaction. As an example, our human, pistols and sword skirmishing cipher uses a chain shirt at level one. It's slightly heavier than hide or leather, reducing stamina regeneration and movement speed somewhat, but offers another 5 points of damage reduction against slashing and piercing damage, but has no real resistance to bashing. Leather being slightly more well-rounded against damage types with hide offering a bonus against bashing, cuz there's fur on the inside... it's not as form-fitting as leather... reason the magic balance fairy gave me, wutever... As the player progresses through the storyline and begins playing through the dwarven area, armor types that were locked behind size and cultural typing, begin to unlock through quest progression. For dwarven and orlan players, these types of armor were always available, but there are similar reward and progress milestones for them amongst other cultural quest hubs. These needn't be involved quests, but can be if warranted by narrative, and can be tagged onto others. Where an early quest in the dwarven hub that usually give only xp or minor items can now unlock a lower tier cultural armor from the local smith/leatherworker/shopowner. There would still be a monetary cost to the player to obtain said armor, which to give an example of might be 'Dwarven War Hides*', made from the Ironfur Yak, which are almost comprable to Human chainshirts in terms of slashing and piercing but offers greater protection against bashing, as well as being lighter. You can have both story and item progression while keeping more primative types of armor (and fashion!) in play. If the crafting system were to be as robust as to offer salvaging of loot for raw materials, it could be another avenue of progression for smiths and leatherworkers as well. As opposed to helping the dwarves and Sagani with our human cipher this time around we're playing an orlan rogue-tinkerer who's more crafting oriented and wears medium scale type armor. While the generic orlan made ones do the trick for close up fighting and alchemy bomb tossing, the human made ones offer a slightly higher chance to resist acid damage, perfect for our orlan grenadier. Only problem is, they're twice her size. Since she doesn't particularly 'like' humans, she kills them and takes their sweet loot as opposed to the human cipher, who was doing more of a 'United Armors of Benetton' style progression. If the crafting system allows for salvage you can give every salvage attempt a chance to unlock a blueprint or schematic for that armor type for the specifc item/paperdoll slot. The higher your crafting skill the higher your chance. As the character's crafting skills progress they can also improve on these cultural armors as well, as say 'mastercraft' and 'perfected' gradients. Multiple avenues to achieve the same rewards hopefully benefitting a few different playstyles. *you don't actually wear 'dwarf hide', just hide armor made by, you know, dwarves.
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