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omnipus
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Changelog

Tue 20 Apr 2021, 23:07

The beta is here! Wheee! For those of us who have run or are running games using the alpha, though, a changelog would be a handy thing. I appreciate the references to what has changed in the KS update, but let's get more specific here. I'll start with a few. I'm going to withhold commentary (except for discussion of significant balance changes), and just list what's different:

PM, Lifepath rules:
- Attribute increases during chargen increased from 3 to 2d3. This means a range of from 2 to 6 increases; ie, expect a number of substantially more capable characters.
- Default skills added that characters can choose each term, regardless of career.
- CUF increases apply to intelligence careers as well as military now.
- aging checks now on D8 rather than D6.
- the default skills have been removed from careers that included them (which makes sense but also reduces the appeal of these career paths)

(I did not carefully review the careers themselves for additional changes)

PM, Develop Your Character:
- these rules now officially exist!

PM, Pushing Your Roll:
- you now take a damage/stress for each 1 rolled when you push a roll, rather than 1 damage/stress total when failing a pushed roll. It is not 100% clear if this should include any 1s from the original roll, but my interpretation is that it does. This means that you are less likely to take damage/stress from a failed push overall, in most cases, but that's there's a chance of it being twice as bad as before!
- now includes a provision that failing a push damages the weapon/item/tool used on the roll rather than the user!

PM, Modifiers:
- for whatever reason, the language is now less explicit about the order of operations when it comes to stepping dice up and down.

PM, Skills:
- the skill descriptions are now a bit more explicit about which skills apply to which situations (for instance, heavy weapons and when to use varying attributes, and mobility for thrown weapons)

PM, Specialties:
- some of the specialties have been expanded or given more detail (ie, Paratrooper). Again, didn't review it super thoroughly.


That's all I have time for now... feel free to add your own if you want!
 
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Tomas
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Re: Changelog

Wed 21 Apr 2021, 09:56

Thanks for this thread! Some comments:
PM, Pushing Your Roll:
- you now take a damage/stress for each 1 rolled when you push a roll, rather than 1 damage/stress total when failing a pushed roll. It is not 100% clear if this should include any 1s from the original roll, but my interpretation is that it does.
Yes - 1s rolled in the initial roll must stay on the table and cannot be re-rolled.
PM, Modifiers:
- for whatever reason, the language is now less explicit about the order of operations when it comes to stepping dice up and down.
Not meant to be less explicit, but different - in the Alpha, higher dice were upstepped and lower dice downstepped. Now, it's the opposite - higher dice are downstepped and lower dice are upstepped, i.e. when stepping up/down, always try to balance the dice as much as possible. Example: You have a D6 and D10 base dice and get a -1 modifier. In the Alpha, you would downstep the D6 and remove it, rolling just the D10. In the Beta, you downstep the D10 to a D8, rolling a D6 and a D8. With a +1 modifier, you'd upstep the D10 to a D12 in the Alpha - now, you instead upstep the D6 to a D8.
The reason for this change is connected to pushing and the risk of damage to yourself or your gear.
Fria Ligan
 
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omnipus
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Re: Changelog

Wed 21 Apr 2021, 19:55

Got it, thanks. That makes sense! I did get into the revised combat rules and I see where the risk-reward for that with ammo dice also seems to hit a good balance, with the new single-shot rule. I'll have to update my Foundry code!
 
Mr Oldtimer
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Re: Changelog

Wed 21 Apr 2021, 20:50

PM, combat and damage: I think the possibility to fire a single round, especially with a sniper rifle, is a welcome change but I'm still curious as to why there are ROF of 1 or more if the gun has a mag of 1-5. I get you could empty your clip quite fast with a higher ROF but since you can't fire 6 rounds, you'll never get the extra success. All you get is the additional risk of a mishap. Will anyone ever roll a single extra ammo die with a rifle with less than 6 rounds in it? Or do I get the rules wrong?
 
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omnipus
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Re: Changelog

Wed 21 Apr 2021, 21:04

OK so some more changes! I can probably cover all of combat in a single post:

Actions:
- crawling has been changed to be more like a slower run than a totally different type of movement. It is now a fast action (ie, can be done twice) but with slower overall movement.
- pulling the pin on a grenade is now a required action to throw a grenade (er, well, I guess if you want it to explode when it gets wherever it's going). I gather this is to balance out the lack of the normal aim penalty for ranged weapons. I personally interpret this not as the extremely quick task of actually pulling the pin, but also the sometimes annoying task of getting it out of a pouch, etc.
- already covered under skills, but throwing grenades is now a Mobility skill check!
- grabbing something out of your backpack is still a slow action, but now requires a Mobility skill check. Since there's no mention of a specific failure state (like with reloading, where failure simply turns it into a slow action), and since it is already a slow action, I interpret this to mean that on a failure you simply aren't able to locate or extract the item this turn at all.

Cover:
- there is now a distinction between taking full cover (for maximum protection) or partial cover (allowing you to shoot out of it) as well as a clear process for switching between them within a turn.
- I believe some of the armor values for barriers have been changed, but don't quote me on that.
- the visual example of searchlights now properly depicts the effects of cover on its line of sight
- (later, on page 66) there is now an explicit process (and -3 modifier) for firing at someone who is in full cover (but whose position is known)

Ranged combat/ammo dice:
- new single-shot rule added. You can now explicitly fire one shot only, rolling 0 ammo dice with your attack.
- you now have options of how to apply ammo dice successes; they can be used to cause additional hits, cause hits on other targets, or increase the damage of a single hit -- or combinations of those, if you have multiple successes!
- the way that mishaps occur and weapon reliability is reduced is now different. It appears that it's now only possible to lose weapon reliability if you push - but more likely to do so.

Aiming:
- pistols, SMGs, and carbines now have a slight unaimed shot advantage (or rather, 1/2 the disadvantage) of long rifles and other weapons
- the telescopic sight bonus now only applies to single shots

Range:
- the same change applies to pistols, SMGs, and carbines in close combat (-1 rather than -2 modifier). It is actually not explicit whether this stacks, so I assume it does... an unaimed shot at a target in the same hex would therefore be at -2 with a small weapon and -4 with a longer one.

Moving target:
- now includes a (IMO misplaced) reference to a -2 modifier if you fire from a moving vehicle

Damage:
- there is now an explicit cap to armor penetration. "If the base damage rating of the weapon is 2 steps lower than the modified armor level or more, the attack is fully deflected..." This should do away with rifle-caliber rounds penetrating armored vehicles regularly and so on.
- there is now a different rule for damaging armor. After any penetrating attack, roll a D6; on a 1 the armor loses 1 armor level. This makes personal body armor much more resilient -- but also sort of a luck-of-the-draw thing.
- severe critical injuries now has a slightly different procedure, which should ensure that larger caliber weapons (like .50cal and so on) now more reliably cause severe criticals!

Unit Morale:
(this was actually in Develop Your Character on page 41 but I think I failed to mention it)
- there is now a list of circumstances which explicitly result in increases or decreases to unit morale.

Vehicle Combat:
- the same rules for armor penetration and ablation mentioned above apply to vehicles as well
- there is now a rule for forcing a bailout check for occupants of a vehicle
- there is now a brief rule for hull hits to boats (may have been in the alpha actually, I'm not certain)
 
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omnipus
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Re: Changelog

Wed 21 Apr 2021, 21:24

PM, combat and damage: I think the possibility to fire a single round, especially with a sniper rifle, is a welcome change but I'm still curious as to why there are ROF of 1 or more if the gun has a mag of 1-5. I get you could empty your clip quite fast with a higher ROF but since you can't fire 6 rounds, you'll never get the extra success. All you get is the additional risk of a mishap. Will anyone ever roll a single extra ammo die with a rifle with less than 6 rounds in it? Or do I get the rules wrong?

It's a bit confusing, but I think you do have it slightly wrong. Maybe Tomas will hop back in if I've got this wrong, but...

After your roll (and any re-roll), you sum up the D6 digits on all of your ammo dice. This sum is the total amount of ammunition you have spent on the attack. If the ammo spent in the attack is more than what you have left in the magazine, your magazine is completely emptied. In addition, you can never roll more (AMMO HIT) than you have rounds left in the magazine – if you do, remove these superfluous (AMMO HIT) before applying the result.

So, if I've got a shotgun with 5 rounds, and ROF 1, and choose to use the ROF... say I roll that 6 on the ammo die. That means that (a) I've used up the whole magazine, and (b) the hit still counts, since it's not more hits than rounds that I had left.

If I try the same thing with a double-barreled shotgun (2 shells, 2 ROF), you see that it remains technically impossible to roll more ammo dice hits than rounds -- as long as the gun is full. If I had only one round remaining, but still used the full ROF of 2 (yes, this shouldn't actually be possible in this one specific case, but humor me for the sake of simplicity in the rules), I see that I CAN theoretically land hits with BOTH ammo dice... but one of them will always be in excess of the number of rounds I had remaining, so will be tossed out. It's a self-correcting problem, more or less.

I'm sure there's some edge case that makes this really weird somehow, but shotguns were the big edge case before, and now it seems like they've been more or less fixed. You can always go for that bonus with ammo dice, but there's a cap on how much bonus you're going to get, and it's more than likely you're going to empty the gun doing it.

Now, the rule does explicitly say "you can never roll more (AMMO HITS)" and not "you can never roll more (TOTAL HITS)," which I think does mean that you could take, for instance, a single-shot zip gun (with 1 round and ROF 1), use the ROF die, and get lucky enough to generate a hit on both the skill dice and the ammo dice. Since the single ammo dice will never be in excess of the 1 round available, the rules as written say this counts. The rules do not say anywhere that I'm aware of it that you cannot use ammo dice if you have only one round available (which might make sense, but would lead to a whole slippery slope of "can I roll 2 ammo dice if I have only 2 rounds left? How about 5 dice if I have only 6 rounds left?" and so on)

Maybe this is now a problem with the stats as listed for any weapon with only one round available, and they should all have ROF of zero or N/A -- but even doing so wouldn't help the situation where, say, you have your M16 with only one round remaining (but still a ROF stat). So I'm also willing to accept this as-is, I think, since it's really a marginal chance at an extra hit/damage that comes with that corresponding higher risk of jam/reliability damage. It's not a big enough factor in my eyes to really fight about, and maybe is just a useful balance to give single-shot weapons a little extra potential impact?
 
Mr Oldtimer
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Re: Changelog

Wed 21 Apr 2021, 22:12

Ah, yes. I got one change and missed the next. Thanks for the clarification.
But I do agree with your question though, how to deal with the one player who will argue he can roll 6 ammo dice even though he only has 1 round in the mag?
 
andresk
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Re: Changelog

Wed 21 Apr 2021, 22:13

Yeah the edge cases with low magazine size and high ROF are kind of weird, however I guess you are right in that the higher chance of wrecking your gear kind of balances out the extra ammo dice.
 
Mr Oldtimer
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Re: Changelog

Wed 21 Apr 2021, 22:18

Yeah the edge cases with low magazine size and high ROF are kind of weird, however I guess you are right in that the higher chance of wrecking your gear kind of balances out the extra ammo dice.
Well, it doesn't quite do that any more since you still get 6 chances of getting that extra success but you only risk wrecking your gear on a pushed roll. With 6 ammo dice you get a fairly good chance of a success and chances are you never need to push the roll since you already got your success.
 
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Fenhorn
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Re: Changelog

Wed 21 Apr 2021, 22:23

Yeah the edge cases with low magazine size and high ROF are kind of weird, however I guess you are right in that the higher chance of wrecking your gear kind of balances out the extra ammo dice.
Well, it doesn't quite do that any more since you still get 6 chances of getting that extra success but you only risk wrecking your gear on a pushed roll. With 6 ammo dice you get a fairly good chance of a success and chances are you never need to push the roll since you already got your success.
This exploit could perhaps be fixed by only allowing someone to use a maximum ROF equal to the number of bullets you have. So if you have an M16A1 with only two bullets in your mag left, you can only use ROF 2, not ROF 6.
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