Alpha v0.087 - THE SORCERY UPDATE


Hotfix 13/06-19

  • Fixed a WIP table (IV-II: Damage) that I left unfinished.
  • Reverted the v0.09 version numbering to v0.087 because the update wasn't as significant as I thought and it scrambled up my own update roadmap.
  • Reverted the v0.086 cover style change. I'll reuse it once an actual cover is done, and save myself the hassle for future updates by keeping the original google docs cover.

No Dev's Thoughts this time

Let's just get this over with, I'm very tired. It's been like three months.

Changelog

The Big One: Magic

  • Rewrote Chapter V: Witchcraft from scratch. 
  • Added new Magic Artifacts and Resources. 
  • Updated the rules and paths of Theurgy, and the way Spirits work. 

Okay so basically what happened here is that while magic itself worked fine, the presentation was pretty bad. This one introduces a few Artifacts in the same vein as the Technology chapter does, some basic Resources so you can learn how each works, and some extra bits and pieces of thematic knowledge so you know what the role of magic in the game is intended to be. Regarding Theurgy: it's a bit more engaging now. Is magic DONE with this updates? Absolutely not, nothing really is. But it's getting there, and it's a much better foundation than what I had before.

The Other Big One But This One Is Slightly Smaller Because It's Not Done

  • Added an introductory draft of the new Journey rules to accomodate a new dynamic: Landmarks and Trails. 

I was gonna do both Magic and Journey on the same update, but I think I'll hold off from making the new Journey rules until the next update and get this one out of the way in the meantime. Landmarks and Trails is a pointcrawl-based journey dynamic that is currently being worked on. To avoid leaving a gigantic gap where the past rules were supposed to be, the legacy Hexcrawl rules are still in there. I'll decide whether to remove them entirely or to leave them as optional rules later down the line.

Damage Rework

  • Reworked the way Damage is calculated, alongside Armor, Critical Hits, Weakness, Resistance, Immunity, and Exertion damage. 

This one's actually a small change at face value, but a pretty significant one during actual play. Damage remains largely the same, but instead of working based on the difference between the exact value of your rolll and an arbitrarily chosen Armor type that involves a confusing little chart, it's been streamlined to work through Hits. Instead of adding your whole pool, you check out how many rolls above a certain threshold you got throughout your pool, and compare it to a smaller scale of armor. Critical Hits work based on your Attack Roll and then deal an Injury based on how much damage you actually dealt.
Another important change to Damage is that Minor Wounds are now tracked in their own sub-track instead of using the old marks and half-marks system. So, hooray for optimization!

Skills Rework

  • Reworked the presentation and usage of Skills to streamline the process surrounding them. 
  • Changed the definition of Special Styles. 
  • Tweaked the way Combat Styles and Magic Paths are learned during Character Creation. 
  • Changed the way Skill Training works. 
  • Tweaked Moment of Clarity. 

Skills were kind of a mess, and now fall into the general design philosophy of the rest of the game, by using a total of 9 defined Skill Categories and having the actual Skills be wholly freeform. Special Styles costing extra sounded good at first but as time went on I realized that it was an arbitrary thing, and it ties into the next change: Combat Styles and Magic Paths are special Skills learned for free during character creation, in any combination. This also gets rid of any concern of too much magic out of the gate, and also the bullshit calculation that preceded learning more than one Magic Path during chargen.

The way Skill Training works now is wholly passive, you don't have to make a check to advance. This was actually a suggestion given to me by an external playtester on the development discord, which you should join, that I decided to add because he was completely right. Moment of Clarity now gives you a temporary extra step as a bonus.

Equipment Changes

  • Tweaked the power level and amount of starting weapons and returned Upgrades to three. 

You now start with one free weapon, and you can buy more with your IP as normal. The last change to starting and upgrade traits (starting with three, upgrades down to two) was unnecessary, and it created a very steep progression curve. I had done the last change because I was compensating for the Burden property removal, but what I actually achieved was getting crazy weapons out of the gate and completely removed any notion of mundane equipment with it. I obviously want crazy weapons to happen, just not during character creation.

  • Reworded Range properties to be consistent and clear. 

They're still vague, but at least all of them use a certain amount of distance instead of being based on perception.

  • Changed the Returning, Heavy, Shield and Indirect weapon traits.

Heavy now reduces Exertion damage instead of making it mandatory, Returning now has two types (Vector and Blink), Shield gives you a Trait Bonus instead of Advantage (more on that in a second), and Indirect now gives you a clearer description of how each Type works.

  • Increased the price of Expensive vehicles from 12 to 18. 

Let's just say that I did the math for once.

  • Added Item Repair rules and the Repair Kit resource. 

Hey! This is a good one. Remember when I added Conditions and I also stated that Constructs needed repairs instead of healing, but there wasn't anything that would back it up or complement it? Well there you have it.

General Tweaks and Additions

  • Tweaked the way Blocking works.

In effect of the damage formula changing, I decided to review other stuff that was affected, namely Shields! Weapons with the Shield property now give you a Trait Bonus instead of Advantage. Why? Because now, Shield weapons that have been upgraded with a Resistance gain Advantage when blocking against attacks that have the chosen damage type(s). Cool, huh?

  • Multiple instances of Advantage and Disadvantage now stack.

Meaning that if you have 3 Advantages and 1 Disadvantage, you still gain Advantage instead of losing everything. Simple, but fair.

  • Changed Difficulty names.

Minor-Simple-Complex is now Simple-Moderate-Complex. This was another good playtester suggestion to improve clarity.

  • All traits can now cause Disadvantage.

Who knows, maybe people DON'T like soldiers or mages in this settlement, and taking an interest towards something peculiar among the wrong crowd makes you a dork.

  • Added Sprites to the Inner Workings section.

A.k.a. Machine Spirits have a handful of uses now.

  • Added “Measuring Space” to the Skirmish chapter.

The game assumes that you use Theatre of the Mind, but what if you don't want that? Here are some rules for Zones and Grids.

  • Added Archetypes to the Vagrants chapter.

Flavor and guidance, no rules here.

  • Added an explanation of the different Bonus types in Narrative Tools.

Look! Clarity!

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