February 12, 2012

A Quick Fix

Or at least it was supposed to be a quick fix, this thing took about two weeks more than I originally wanted to get it out. You can get it in Mediafire and 4shared colors.

Here is a similarly-quick-except-not-really list of changes.

General Changes:
     -Multiple layout and redacting improvements throughout the entire book.
     -Slightly friendlier for IRL use.
    -Added distinction between Base Mechanics and Derived Mechanics to the Glossary.
Character Creation:
    -Switched Anything You Can Do, I Can Do Better with Come at Me Bro and modified them both accordingly.
    -Buffed Got your Back and Rally the Troops.
Gear Construction:
    -Base Mechanics lowered for all Chassis types.   
    -TRC buffed by fixing a typo.
    -Protective Barriers buffed with improved damage reduction.
    -Multiple Terrain Adaptability Upgrades can now be active during one Turn.
    -Anti-Gravity lost the defensive feature and now allows shooting through enemy defensive formations.
    -Battlefield Commander now provides the benefits of the new Cooperate Action.
    -Potential Upgrades buffed.
    -Telescopic Sights buffed for Missile use and adapted to new Range rules.
    -Challenger buffed substantially with a pair of replacement abilities to compensate for the changes to Engage.
    -Dogfighter buffed under new rules for Range.
    -Mobile Sniper replaced with Sharpshooter, which increases Range.
    -Clarified what happens regarding energy and threshold with transforming mecha.
    -Teamwork Upgrades buffed with additional functionality, but cannot be used during Duels.
    -Modified a ton of Weapons to work under the new rules for Range, and applied a general rebalance.
    -Fixed typos in the statistics for several premade Gears and updated them.
Playing the Game:
    -The way Ranges work has been changed from the ground up, as follows: All Weapons have a listed minimum and maximum Range in Zones, and can be used Post movement as normal if said Move is towards the target - circling a target in Range 1 is acceptable as well. Certain Weapons have the 'Mobile' special trait, enabling them to be used when moving in any direction.
    -Assist Action slightly buffed.
    -Boost lets you spend 1 Energy to move 1 additional Zone if you're moving forward.
    -Cooperate no longer allows free use of Genre Powers, instead it allows a selection of utility abilities and sometimes grants a temporary genre point.
    -Engage now adds Tension like all Offensive Actions.
    -Halt Action nerfed.
    -Genre Points are now resetted back to three at the end of every Episode Arc.
Running the Show:
    -Mooks no longer have reduced Evasion and Armor.
    -Fixed the wording of Beam Reflector and Damage Sponge.
    -Added 'All Become One' an Exceptional Aptitude-like Upgrade for Aberrant Weapons.
    -Fixed typos in the statistics for several premade Gears and updated them.

A quick aside, while it is friendlier for IRL use (There's a table of contents instead of reliance on bookmarks, for example) it is still not what I would call optimum for printing (The A5 size will make you want to kill me, and I'd rather you didn't do that) I know I promised something you can print properly but it honestly has proven slower than I'd like to admit for a variety of reasons, just hang in there for the time being.

Now back to business, while technically quite a bit has changed it mostly revolves around one or two key changes that just had a lot of reach, the game mostly plays the same... Key word being "Mostly". The changes written like this are the really big ones. Subtle isn't it? The game should flow a lot faster now, playing defensively is still viable but no longer grinds the game down to a halt.

A thing that maybe you were expecting but isn't there is the so called "Movement Stat" change, I know that people asked for this and I tried to incorporate it in various forms, but it never turned out in a way that I could be satisfied with. To be honest, I see it as inflating numbers for the sake of fluff and it is my personal choice not to sacrifice gameplay for that.

The way I see it, everyone having different movement speeds by default encourages kiting way more than I'm comfortable with. Other games can get away with that - conflict at a smaller scale does not take place in endless featureless plains and characters don't always have access to their mounts, Mecha don't really suffer either restriction. It is still easily controlled by a GM savvy with Terrain rules and you can just tell people not to try and abuse the system, but I'd rather not push more work on the GM by default nor have to make game balance hinge on the social contract.

As for why is the default movement speed still a lousy one... well, every Zone is meant to be meaningful, you don't need to rush past seven Zones to represent you're really fast, you only need two. That single patch of Difficult Terrain is not a puddle in the ground but a whole river, and so on. Maybe it encourages small-scale battles too much, but I'd rather not inflate numbers if it is not going to achieve much other than make the math in your head more complicated.

That said, I can be wrong, and I would really like to give people what they want without making a mess of the game in the process, so I will remain on the lookout for a way to do this. That brings me to the next point, which is that everything is on a trial basis - If the Short/Medium/Long/Extreme Distance system was nixed because it didn't work as intended, then so can the rest. If people are too squishy and Genre spam is too prominent, both of these and any new changes made can go the way of the dodo.

Good luck and have fun.

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