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Jacob Rodgers
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Posts: 138
Joined: Tue 16 Jun 2020, 16:41
Location: Georgia, USA
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Re: Designers' Journal

Tue 07 Sep 2021, 17:27

Hey everyone! I'd like to thank everyone for the excellent feedback so far and please keep it coming. All of the input is very appreciated and we'll be balancing out all of our goals and limitations as we work to provide the very best presentation of the Symbaroum setting through the lense of the 5e system.
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Tough Decisions
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I want to touch base on one of the core concepts that we haven't mentioned much, but is really important. The principle is probably most easily exemplified by board games. If you're playing a game and want to do three, four, or five different things on your turn but can only do two then that's a tough decision. It's what makes strategy boardgames interesting, having to make the best decision with limited resources. I think that's important for roleplaying games too, at least in the mechanical engagement sense (of course with a rpg you can have so much more going on, because your decisions will affect the other player-characters and the npcs as well).

A class that has two or three different things that they can do with their bonus action is a class that has tough (or at least strategic) decisions to make. Whereas if that same class had 1 power tied to the start of a character's turn, one tied to their bonus action and one tied to their reaction, then there's no longer a scarcity of resources any more, the class can just do it all and is more powerful for that. Of course we don't want to overly weaken a particular class/culture/feat etc. either but we do want to try and make it interesting to decide whether you're going to be aggressive, defensive, or just plain clever this turn.
 
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Jacob Rodgers
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Posts: 138
Joined: Tue 16 Jun 2020, 16:41
Location: Georgia, USA
Contact:

Re: Designers' Journal

Wed 03 Nov 2021, 18:57

Hey everyone! It's been quite busy, especially behind the scenes. We appreciate all of the feedback, typo-finding, and number-checking (this is always a frustrating process, until you remember just how much number-crunching goes into each monster stat-block and how easy it is to make a final tweak and not catch a carry-on effect somewhere down the line).

As part of the feedback process we took another hard look at the Player's Guide, taking every opportunity we could to make sure what was in our heads made it onto the page, and revisiting every part now that all the surrounding parts were 'finished'. This is always part of the process, and the addition of dozens of fresh eyeballs helped tremendously. There are some factors that we are just absolutely committed to... we want these products to introduce the setting of Symbaroum to people who are already well acquainted with 5e and its expectations and structures. We've tweaked those expectations but we can't just totally change the structures. And 5e is a more rigid game than Symbaroum (which, of course, will remain in print and lead the way in the story/adventure development). We provided as many opportunities (Approaches, Backgrounds, Feats {including Boons & Burdens}) for customization as we make fit, but some things had to stay in certain places... the features that define a class on an Approach need to be features in those categories so that we're not reinventing the wheel or changing the setting too much.

With that revision, we've brought in a few sets of eagle eyes to catch any introduced typos/errors. We had hoped to have another public preview after this process, but I'm not sure on the timing requirements. You've probably heard about the global shipping crisis that making regular timing calculations very inaccurate and we really want to get this project completed on time (or as close as humanly possible).

But let's get back to talking about the system and explaining some decisions. So today, let's talk about Hit Dice and how various class features interact with the system.

First off, the rest system says that you can use Hit Dice on any rest, to recover hit points or to reduce Corruption. You don't get any Hit Dice until an extended rest. Note that this just means you don't regularly get any HIt Dice on a short or long rest, not that you're forbidden from getting Hit Dice back during those times.

The Captain's Field Dressings feature gives folks extra hit points for spending Hit Dice to heal during a short or long rest. This stacks, of course, with their War Stories feature which allows them to restore Hit Dice during a short or long rest (one or two times per extended rest)

The Hunter's Wilderness Explorer feature gives a number of characters equal to your proficiency bonus a single Hit Die during a long rest. It's not as generous as War Stories, but it can used multiple times (i.e. once per long rest) per extended rest.

The Theurg's Medicus restores Hit Dice to a limited amount (2x proficiency bonus per extended rest in the latest version) but higher levels allow you to heal and give a Hit Die so that can potentially free up that Hit Die for Corruption use.

The Witch can also have folks restore Hit Dice over a long rest, with the same restriction as the Hunter.

The Templar has access to Medicus as well.

- - -

Overall, this means a variety of classes have access to some way to provide Hit Dice to the party. Once you're beyond the first couple of levels, it's assured that you'll almost never recover as many Hit Dice as you would in a standard game (making resource management that more intense) but it would be very rare for you to be completely without any way of recovering some and having a chance to make an escape attempt. Of course, that also means that you will want to strictly limit extended rests (remember they need 24 hour in total safety, which precludes almost anywhere in the wilderness).
 
Ugglefar
Posts: 94
Joined: Thu 04 Aug 2016, 21:17
Location: Sweden/USA

Re: Designers' Journal

Fri 05 Nov 2021, 16:51

Hey everyone! It's been quite busy, especially behind the scenes. We appreciate all of the feedback, typo-finding, and number-checking (this is always a frustrating process, until you remember just how much number-crunching goes into each monster stat-block and how easy it is to make a final tweak and not catch a carry-on effect somewhere down the line).

As part of the feedback process we took another hard look at the Player's Guide, taking every opportunity we could to make sure what was in our heads made it onto the page, and revisiting every part now that all the surrounding parts were 'finished'. This is always part of the process, and the addition of dozens of fresh eyeballs helped tremendously. There are some factors that we are just absolutely committed to... we want these products to introduce the setting of Symbaroum to people who are already well acquainted with 5e and its expectations and structures. We've tweaked those expectations but we can't just totally change the structures. And 5e is a more rigid game than Symbaroum (which, of course, will remain in print and lead the way in the story/adventure development). We provided as many opportunities (Approaches, Backgrounds, Feats {including Boons & Burdens}) for customization as we make fit, but some things had to stay in certain places... the features that define a class on an Approach need to be features in those categories so that we're not reinventing the wheel or changing the setting too much.

With that revision, we've brought in a few sets of eagle eyes to catch any introduced typos/errors. We had hoped to have another public preview after this process, but I'm not sure on the timing requirements. You've probably heard about the global shipping crisis that making regular timing calculations very inaccurate and we really want to get this project completed on time (or as close as humanly possible).

But let's get back to talking about the system and explaining some decisions. So today, let's talk about Hit Dice and how various class features interact with the system.

First off, the rest system says that you can use Hit Dice on any rest, to recover hit points or to reduce Corruption. You don't get any Hit Dice until an extended rest. Note that this just means you don't regularly get any HIt Dice on a short or long rest, not that you're forbidden from getting Hit Dice back during those times.

The Captain's Field Dressings feature gives folks extra hit points for spending Hit Dice to heal during a short or long rest. This stacks, of course, with their War Stories feature which allows them to restore Hit Dice during a short or long rest (one or two times per extended rest)

The Hunter's Wilderness Explorer feature gives a number of characters equal to your proficiency bonus a single Hit Die during a long rest. It's not as generous as War Stories, but it can used multiple times (i.e. once per long rest) per extended rest.

The Theurg's Medicus restores Hit Dice to a limited amount (2x proficiency bonus per extended rest in the latest version) but higher levels allow you to heal and give a Hit Die so that can potentially free up that Hit Die for Corruption use.

The Witch can also have folks restore Hit Dice over a long rest, with the same restriction as the Hunter.

The Templar has access to Medicus as well.

- - -

Overall, this means a variety of classes have access to some way to provide Hit Dice to the party. Once you're beyond the first couple of levels, it's assured that you'll almost never recover as many Hit Dice as you would in a standard game (making resource management that more intense) but it would be very rare for you to be completely without any way of recovering some and having a chance to make an escape attempt. Of course, that also means that you will want to strictly limit extended rests (remember they need 24 hour in total safety, which precludes almost anywhere in the wilderness).

Thank you for the update Jacob. It's nice hearing how the work is coming along and the motivation you have for the different design decisions.
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