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Book of Beasts - dissonance with other Published materials?

Sat 18 Jun 2022, 00:39

Is it just I that have some problems with the "power level" and compatibility of Book of Beasts compared to already published materials?

Like for 5 silver, you can buy an Elixir of Life, and you will not age for a year.
This makes Zygofer's struggle with age seem pointless, like why turn into Zytera? He doesn't seem that poor or stupid?
Are you supposed to meet many hundred years old human merchants and so on?
Previously magic felt a bit rare, but this Alchemy stuff feels clearly magical in nature and is for a relatively low cost very potent.
Like every village would want to invest 3xp (and a Wits roll, but can retry every QD, so will not take too long) to gain a village Alchemist.
Having this as their local village healer, far outperforms other options.

Also if any one in the village finds a book, they can pass it around, and 66% of the inhabitants will now have a free perk? (1d6 xp, they need 3)
My players are going to pass around a lot of books among their Stronghold hirelings I guess? This is like school on steroids.
Also if the existence of a single random book in a village would be, lets say rare? Like 1/6 chance of them having one book per village.. that would be low.. but still.. if it is.. My Peddler would spend their 2 WP, turning it to a guaranteed find and traversing though all villages, to gain A LOT of books and free xp.. and I guess he would just sell the books after having everyone use them.

Then we have the amphibians armed with weapons made from fish or whale bones. They are handled like normal weapons, but with one extra point in damage.
So now we go from iron age to fish bone age. Fishing villages are set to become the top of the line arms makers of the world I guess.

Then we have the Dread Raptor, nothing in their lore speaks of these being magical in any way, but apparently a feather from them grants an extra +2 bonus, then another +1d8 and on top of that +1 damage. So your regular arrows somehow becomes "heat tracking" arrows of death? Far outshining any bow and arrow fired from what a grandmaster Bowyer (fletcher) could ever make.
Like I agree, having bonuses are nice, but if these feathers are exceptionally good at making arrows, I would suspect no more than "you can make 4 stacks of arrows from a terror bird, these grants a +1 bonus" or something like that... it would be enough in a gritty environment like the Forbidden Lands. As is, these would probably be hunted by well organized groups of Aslene, laying traps for them or some other tactics will be made up (since the birds are so stupid, I mean we humans even managed to extinct mammoths and they were probably brighter than these), then saving the arrows for when needed, obliterating their foes. I mean they would probably eat the birds too, probably tastes like chicken?

Then the text "A sorcerer who rolls one or several 'mishap-skulls' when casting a spell automatically attracts D3 imps." Like always? On top of regular mishaps? So there is an easy way to farm imps at least? Like +1 permanent Power Level without drawbacks is kind of awesome.. like for balance reasons I would at least have an Imp add an extra Willpower to all spells, instead of a Power Level... that way there would at least be a drawback (an extra magic die at all times that could turn into a mishap)..

Then some are plain strange. Like a Possessor is blood mist that if inhaled, then you suffer a "Possessing attack" (combat entry 6, also see "VULNERABLE THROUGH HOST" on the page before), but if you voluntarily inhale the same blood mist (the resources entry).. you gain some demonic insight.. and the Possessor is no more.. or? I don't think I could explain that to my players...

Weather table, suddenly no connection to if it is summer or winter? Like perhaps at least a +1/-1 modifier depending on season?
Last edited by JohanR on Sat 18 Jun 2022, 22:09, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Book of Beasts - dissonance with other Published materials?

Sat 18 Jun 2022, 10:10

I agree very much with these critiques. The content of the book is excellent overall but there is a very obvious need for polish. The crafting reagents from the Dread Raptor are a standout example of type of incongrous power levels. A moderately long list could be made of the things that need to be rebalanced. To the things you mentioned I would add the fact that the superbly armored Iron Dragon has a weakness that takes it to armor 0 while the more normal Mire Drake has armor 8 with no weak spot. Weak spots, if they should feature in the game, should be implemented more consistently.

It's mostly small things and numbers, so it is eminently fixable. I think it's a good thing the books are released as betas like this so that ample feedback can be gathered before a final printing. The core of the content is still really solid.

I think someone should make a list of features that need rebalancing and then the community can weigh in on each feature, such that it's easier for the devs to see what content they need to make another pass over.

The weather table, for example, could do with some adjustment but I don't think it's a high priority. For my table I'll just say it's +1 to the temperature roll in winter and -1 in summer (or, I'll reverse it just to not mess with my normal intuitions about temperature, but that's a separate point).
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Re: Book of Beasts - dissonance with other Published materials?

Mon 20 Jun 2022, 02:22

I'm hoping to see an answer from the staff on these. We didn't get a copy of the Beta for some reason with our backing order.

We are just interested to know.
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Re: Book of Beasts - dissonance with other Published materials?

Tue 21 Jun 2022, 20:43

Will-o’-the-wisp lights, as written, would be rare and valuable magical light in villages for the riches. It however again moves away from the low-magic feeling a bit. And once defeated they just stay as benevolent lights? Where is the nightmare stuff? :P
At least something like "their dying light continiues to glow fainter over a year until the finally blink out of existance".

The Gatekeeper could be clarified, like "Their eyes can therefore be used as a kind of truth-seeing artifact". So you need both eyes? As in cannot make two..? but how do they work? you don't need to hold these in front of you or? you could just gain a +1d10 permanent bonus by having them in your pockets, with no drawbacks? That is very powerful..
It is also a bit strange since the lore says that "it will automatically dissolve and vanish forever if it moves beyond SHORT range of the portal", but I guess this effect is turned off once it is dead somehow..

Iron Dragon. First, the iron needs to be "extracted" by a Smith... so by melting it? Only 2d6 units, but is it ok if you like only can use their teeth or so, the other iron bound in their bodies could be considered to hard to process. The bonuses are again too high. A plate helmet could probably be considered metal armor, or? The alternative is that you can't make helmets out of this iron and that would be strange? At least it should be clarified. If they do yield up to +8 extra Armor Rating, as their current state might do, I don't think the dwarves would think of them just as a curse, they would hunt them to make their finest royal armors out of them.
As this is a low magic environment, I personally would not have the dragon give more than a +1 bonus (and since armor+helmet stacks, that would allow a total bonus of +2 to Armor Rating). Maybe up the amount of pure iron with 1d6 die or so though. Perhaps make it so the teeth give the +1 pure iron bonus, while the rest of the dragon just turns into a smelly heap of minable regular iron, if someone now really is in desperate need of iron? It doesn't have to be superior. I don't think monsters need to be loot piñatas.

Giant Specters adds "a D12 Artifact Die to all forms of healing magic...". Like how? Magic normally do not roll dice. But I guess it is treated as a magic die (that cannot cause mishaps) and a roll of 6+ adds the "hits" as power levels? This reward is actually very balanced tough, as it gives such few doses and is a rare, dangerous monster.

Giant Spiders, how many mandibles do the adults have, that you can make weapons from?
I had to google some spider info: "Spiders lack mandibles for chewing. They make up for that with their chelicerae -- jaws with sharp edges, their mouthparts. The appendages are reminiscent of fangs." I guess we call these "fangs" mandibles here? And then they have 2? If their anatomy actually somewhat resembles regular spiders?
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Re: Book of Beasts - dissonance with other Published materials?

Thu 23 Jun 2022, 22:22

I agree. I’d rather have the thing you loot from a monster give you status and fame, not game mechanic +2 or whatever.

The exception is iron dragon. I love it. It can be the mithril of FL. But my suggestion is a +1 bonus and that you Need two ”ones” when pushing for the bonus to drop one step. It makes the ”dragon iron” More durable.
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Re: Book of Beasts - dissonance with other Published materials?

Fri 24 Jun 2022, 10:58

could also just say straight up state that armor crafted from pure metal (or another special resource) is considered an artifact and gain a d8/d10.

edit: I agree with sentiment
Last edited by JohnWithAgun on Thu 30 Jun 2022, 17:13, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Book of Beasts - dissonance with other Published materials?

Sat 25 Jun 2022, 01:57

the RESOURCES could be a test for every beast like the greater golem needs a successful Lore roll to extract 1 dose of a magic powder, additional successes make you get more powder, better resources should have harder tests.
AMPHIBIAN weapon dont need more damage then normal weapons.
The iron dragon should have more armour then the normal dragon? and the pure metal shuld give armour +2 and helmet +1 and should be harder to work with Formidable –3 Crafting so only the best smith can handel it, the dwarves have their kin talent so it will be easier for them, as it should be
the giant spiders RESOURCES could be spider silk for fancy cloth and +1 stealth, or +1 bonus instead of 1 damage
the wisps dont need permanent light, a week would be fine
the rat kings [/list][/list]bone flute, is a artifact but lacks a drawback or only a few doses, same for the gatekeeper eyes
the dread raptor only needs a bonus of +1 on arrows, (other arrow heads can give +1 damage, and a bow can give bonus and damage aswell, so be carefull to buff arrows or bows)
skolopendra’s stinking substance only needs a +1 if it affects all monster and animals. could give a drawback to sneek cus you stink
imp RESOURCES needs a drawback or charges, maby 1/Quarter Day
miredrake RESOURCES dont need armour rating 8, same as the monster, make it 6, a master smith can make it a 10 armour
the watertroll have armour 4, raise it to 6, and give the RESOURCES it another bonus +2 to escape GRAPPLED cus of slimy skales

(swedish) RESURSER
sida 5: "Varje beskrivning av ett monster anger vilka resurser som äventyrarna kan bärga från ett besegrat monster, oftast med ett krav att rollpersonen besitter en viss färdighet eller talang
för att komma över skatten". borde vara fyndet
sida 16 borde inte basiliskäggen göra bly till guld som slumpmötet tala för
sida 17 "men det tar en kvartstimme för en drabbad äventyrare att återfå hörseln". nån nackdel för att inte ha nån hörsel?
sida 29 "Hugade äventyrare kan utvinna T6 doser", Hugande vad bettyder det?
sida 97 Stentroll saknar 1 ordet guld som engelskan har, "Slaget genererar glittrande stenar till ett värde lika med antalet slagna X."

missing elemental magic
wrong name on cold magic, it is Ice Affinity in the Bitter Reach book
the potions shuld be sold for 25 and should not be sold from normal services and hard to make, the Porridge of Prophecy i would rename, the Elixir of Life cost 100 silver or more and super hard to find or removed or add another component, a part of a elven ruby?

i would love to have why the artifact created. (to win the war) (a magic misscast) (a tribute to a god) (the dwarfs created to honor a barter) (the elfs made it to show their superiority)

add drawbacks

11 cursed only bad 1 drawback
12- 25 Skill Artifact 1 drawback
26-43 Combat Artifact 1 drawback
44-61 bound spells 1 drawback
62 skill and another skill artifact 2 drawbacks
63 skill and combat artifact 2 drawbacks
64 skill and bound spell artifact 2 drawbacks
65 combat and bound spell 2 drawbacks
66 skill, combat and bound spell artifact 3 drawbacks

bound spells
11- 14 Healing
15–22 Shapeshifting
23–26 Awareness
31–34 Symbolism
35–42 Stone Song
43–46 Blood Magic
51–54 Death Magic
55–56 Ice Affinity
61-62 elemental magic
63–64 Magma Song
65–66 Dream Magic
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Re: Book of Beasts - dissonance with other Published materials?

Tue 28 Jun 2022, 18:43

I agree with everything you guys pointed out. I'm reading through the Beta and I have a ton of comments, critiques and constructive advices to do.
Most regards Resources, some are broken under a balancement perspective, others are quite uninspired, feel "gamey" and disconnected from the lore and what the monster is: many times I got the feeling the resources were written backwards due to lack-of-ideas (it's objectively not-easy to conceive a resource for every creature), like "what are we going to do with this one? Mmm let's make it give a bonus to something and justify it ex-post, like: he was strong/vigilant/intelligent... Consume it and become more strong/vigilant/intelligent you too!".

So far (I'm halfway through) I've read nothing about harvested stuff helping you with things like thirst, forced march, sleep deprivation, bonuses to healing ... Everything seem oriented to "he was so X, the resource make you X-er". Like if I eat rooster I could grow feathers, absorb falling damage by almost-flying and become a fierce combatant in my territory against challengers.

I really hope we can have a feedback from the writers and that this beta-reading phase won't be just proof-reading.

At the moment I'm gathering my comments and advices in a local doc to make a comprehensive post in the forums as soon as possible!
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Re: Book of Beasts - dissonance with other Published materials?

Tue 05 Jul 2022, 17:42

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