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War Disciple

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    London, Ontario

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  1. War Disciple

    How would you like your Chronicles?

    Well, if this is purely hypothetical, how about both? For your consideration, a proposal for a two-tier approach. It's just stuff off the top of my head, so I'm sure there's a lot more to think about. Blog Shorter articles (around 1 page, if published in the Chronicles) Timely topic coverage, including events and smaller announcements Short articles featuring minis or products available in that particular month; for example... how-to painting for a single mini tactical advice for a single mini or a team of up to 2 minis Featured Through The Breach Fatemaster Character or location In-character AMA with characters from any of Wyrd's games Themed Malifaux scenarios Short features, like a particular player's minis or tabletop scenery Stories designed to encourage interaction Interviews with Wyrd staff Pictures! Lots of images. It might just be me, but if I see a magazine where the content is predominantly images (*cough* a certain UK publication *cough*) it feels like padding. On a blog, though, I will--and have--happily browse pictures for hours for entertainment and inspiration. Videos Front-loaded with "timeless" content set to appear at scheduled times over the course of the next year This will allow content to appear regularly even things are busy, or over holidays. To Avoid with the Blog... Duplicating output in other channels (e.g., Monday/Friday Previews) Otherwise, the blog just becomes redundant and people will just stick to the forums and their Facebook feeds. Chronicles - Proposed Content Longer-form articles Fiction In-depth articles, for example... how-to for custom or scratch-built scenery faction analysis TtB adventures Malifaux campaigns Basically, anything not timely in nature that would be too long to hold a reader's interest if posted as a blog entry. To Avoid with the Blog... Anything that people can get elsewhere (especially more easily) Challenges with This Model Content for Everything Some blog things like event coverage would be very easy to do Set blog content designed to be front-loaded would be more challenging, even if added periodically (as opposed to just one massive set-up at the start of the year, for example)
  2. War Disciple

    Rules Question: Cap to Aspects?

    Hey there - I know I'm coming late to the thread, but I was wondering if maybe the bit about Fatemaster Characters flipping cards for damage could be put into the next FAQ? I'm asking because pretty much everything else Fatemaster Character related deals with static values - even Fate Modifiers become +/-2 modifiers. Having the Fatemaster flip for something is still a novel idea for some of us old-timers. 😀 Frankly, until I read this post, I'd assumed damage was unchanged from the first edition, where Fatemaster Characters do Moderate damage to each other unless adjusted up or down a step for each Fate Modifier that isn't cancelled out.
  3. War Disciple

    How would you like your Chronicles?

    If it was a blog, how would you handle something like a One-Shot adventure for Through the Breach? Would it still be downloadable as a separate document?
  4. War Disciple

    Longer games

    I've found that the best balance for my own players is to award experience and deal with Destiny Steps at the end of an adventure. It's a good benchmark: The Fated have definitively completed a story, and usually there's a natural break in the action anyway where they get time to do personal things (heal serious injuries, build constructs, etc.). My group plays a lot like the way Sernus describes: A single session doesn't equal a single adventure, and much of the time there hasn't been enough accomplished by the end of the session to really warrant an experience reward. Also, since I write a lot of my own stuff, it really helps me as a Fatemaster if the Fated stay static over the course of a single adventure. It can be frustrating to work out good challenges only to have someone pick up a Talent that changes Fated potential so much you have to go back and adjust (or worse, completely rewrite) your story. izikial, you are absolutely right - TTB isn't meant to have open-ended character progression. It's more like a movie franchise or a TV show than say a book series: There's a definite arc to these characters and they won't be around forever. You can stretch it out with Advanced Pursuits or getting creative with when you hand out experience, but at some point the story should end and the Fated should ride off into the sunset. That doesn't mean you can't try something open-ended on your own, but at some point you'll be leaving the regular game behind--the Fated will be far too powerful for the standard Fatemaster Characters to present much of a challenge.
  5. War Disciple

    Through the Breach FAQ and Errata (4/27/16)

    A Fated character in my game has the Rampager Advanced Pursuit from Northern Aggression, and I think the Fuming Condition that this Pursuit gains and uses might need some consideration. The character gets Fuming +1 for each point of damage taken, but as the character advances in Rampager Ranks, there are other things that can also generate Fuming. We all had a pretty good laugh when the Rampager Character managed to get to Fuming +10 during one fight, but it's been happening more often than not that this character is ending Dramatic Time with with Fuming +10 or higher. During a a recent session that character managed to make it to Fuming +32. This was a combination of taking damage, backed with magical healing, but boosted by other things that add to the Fuming Condition. After a certain point in the battle, the player controlling the Rampager stopped spending Fuming points just to see how high he could get it. He then ended the combat by essentially becoming The Flash. Now, this last event was quite exceptional, but even with normal fights the Rampager accumulates Fuming faster than she can spend it. This problem is magnified when the Fated is following the Bully Basic Pursuit. The Fuming Condition is added to Intimidate Challenges, and Terrorize is based on Intimidate. We frequently end up in situations where targets are auto-Terrorized regardless of Rank, and that last exceptional fight had the Fated at a point where he could cause a Tyrant to cower. Two suggestions come to mind, but neither are perfect solutions: Treat Fuming like a regular Condition, in that it goes away at the end of the character's Turn. Fuming gets reduced by 1 for every minute the character does not suffer damage, which implies that the Condition sticks around past the end of the turn. The drawback is that the Fated may not often get enough Fuming to trigger the Talents from the Pursuit's higher Ranks. Cap Fuming, possibly at +10. This still allows more than enough to trigger Talents from the Pursuit's higher Ranks without pushing Intimidate too deeply into ludicrous territory. Not sure about drawbacks, other than the fact that this is just clearly an arbitrary limit
  6. Yes! I have to say, if there is one thing I wish I could do over with my own group it's more clearly define that "expectation of story over combat" right from the outset. Some of my players got it, and built strong, interesting character concepts before the first character generation card was flipped. One of my players definitely didn't, and I needed to have regular conversations about sticking to a concept and not taking Pursuits, Talents and Skills just because it will break the game in his favour. He's better about it now, but it was at times painful. EDIT: Sorry, I can't seem to get rid of that formatting for a second quote...
  7. Hey there. "Bare hand" damage can be found in the Fated Almanac, page 18. Damage is based on your current Rank in the skill, and the tables include "Rank 0" for both Martial Arts and Pugilism. You may want to consider having all your players record their "unarmed" damage, even if they don't have Martial Arts or Pugilism. Sooner or later, they're going to need to throw a punch. One thing to keep in mind is that Pugilism is based of Might (strength) and Martial Arts is based of Speed. I usually let my players select whichever skill fits their Aspects the best. Counter-spelling is in the Fated Almanac on p245. The skill can actually do several things, not the least of which potentially boost a low Df and Wp against magical effects by letting you substitute your Counter-Spelling Ranks in place of the Aspects you normally use to to calculate Df and Wp. That's about as close as Counter-Spelling gets to an "immediate reaction." There are sensing and disenchanting abilities as well, but those take time to work and are very short-ranged. There's a nifty Talent or two that can make Counter-Spelling very impressive (and it isn't overpowered). I once created a "tank" character who was essentially a drunk but practically indestructible. I had this image in my mind of him being at the heart of a fireball, and as the flame clears he's still there, waving unsteadily as if nothing happened.
  8. I'd suggest keeping an eye out for some things. Most of my suggestions are combat-related, because I find this is where I find I have to do the most work to keep things balanced. It's easier with roleplaying, because things are a bit more free-form and you can change things on the fly if your players do something brilliant or entertaining and you want to run with it. Once you get into Dramatic Time, you're a lot more strictly bound by the rules. "Killer" Talent Combos: There are a lot of Talents out there, and some of them can create some unexpected synergies that can seriously skew the game. Don't be afraid to say no to allowing certain things in your game if you think it's going to give players too much of an advantage. The game should be fun and challenging, and every time someone flips a card there should be some risk of failure. If success is assured, things get very boring very quickly. Consider the damage output of your Fated characters - not only how much damage they do, but also how much of a chance of actually hitting a target. Balance your combats with things that can take that level of punishment. Fated gain power fairly quickly. By the time your player characters have 5 to 7 Pursuit Ranks, you'll find that most Minion level NPCs aren't much of a challenge any more if you play them straight out of the book unless you throw a lot of them at your characters at once. I suggest you change things up a bit from time to time: Give Fatemaster Characters an extra Talent or two like Hard to Wound or Shrug Off. If all the Fated are ganging up on a single NPC, it probably won't take much to overwhelm the NPC and cripple it. I've had fights where I thought I put out a challenging opponent, only to have it knocked into negative wounds on the first round of Dramatic Time and killed by the second. Fights like that are no fun. Bump a Fatemaster Character's Rank up a level or two (but be careful you don't create an opponent that the Fated can't hit or hurt). Give Fatemaster Characters an extra Card Point or two. Even if Fatemaster characters don't have special abilities that activate with a discarded card, Actions like Defensive Stance still need a discard to work. The Slow Condition and in-combat healing can drastically alter the outcome of a fight. Be careful of using either too much as a Fatemaster, and be aware of Fated who can use either one freely. I would say overall the most thing to keep in mind with Through the Breach is that it is not meant to be a game of intricate details (like, for example, Dark Heresy or any of the Fantasy Flight Games Warhammer 40K RPGs). A lot of the "balance" comes from within the narrative, not the game mechanics. For example, there's a Talent that lets an Arcanist greatly expand her grimoire (spell book), and if multiple Arcanists have the same Talent, they can expand each others' grimoires so that they've got numerous extra spells or Immuto. It seriously increases the versatility of these characters. The balance? Well, there isn't one in the actual mechanics of the game, but there is a narrative balance: large grimoires are valuable and can attract a lot of dangerous, unwanted attention. Fated who insist on expanding their grimoires to a large degree risk being robbed or killed for their spells. If you have a situation where a player may do something overpowering and you don't necessarily want to just arbitrarily say no, think about what can be done as part of the story to limit it. Everything has consequences, and as they say in Malifaux: Bad things happen.
  9. War Disciple

    Through the Breach FAQ and Errata (4/27/16)

    I just wanted to put this out there for possible consideration: Knuckledusters should probably have the "finely tuned" special rule. The reasoning is that Knuckledusters are extremely elementary weapons, and if you modify them to have Enlarged or Extended, you really don't have Knuckledusters any more - you have something more like a claw or a truncheon (and there are separate rules for those). Likewise, "folded steel" knuckledusters don't really make the weapon hit any harder than the brass version - harder doesn't mean stronger when throwing a punch.
  10. War Disciple

    Through the Breach FAQ and Errata (4/27/16)

    I have a bit of a situation with a pair of Magia... Physical Enhancement (Fated Almanac, p234) Mental Enhancement (Into the Steam, p197) I think these need to be revisited, as the way that they are currently written leaves things open to abuse. Request for a Clarification Both of these Magia bestow a Condition (Physically Enhanced +1 or Mentally Enhanced +1, as appropriate) which gives "+1 to her [Physical or Mental] Aspects, to a maximum of 5." I take it this is a maximum Aspect value, not Condition value? The Situation Here is what prompted me to bring this up. There is a Grave Robber character in my group who recently came into possession of a Talent that allows grimoires to be expanded. His grimoire already included the Pulse Immuto, and he decided to add the Physical Enhancement Magia. There now exists a situation where this character casts Physical Enhancement with Pulse in Narrative Time, repeatedly, and boosts all the Fated's physical Aspects to 5. Even with the character flipping to cast the spell each time, Pulse reduces the times the spell needs to be cast and it almost always worked out to less than a minute to max everyone out. His combination of AV and TN-reducing Immuto essentially means he needs to flip just a 3 to cast the spell, even with Pulse, and he already has a Talent which adds the required suit to his Enchanting Skill. While the spell lasts for only an hour, when that hour expires the Grave Robber simply casts the spell again. This is seriously skewing Fated abilities. Skills which would normally have an AV of +1 to +5 now have AVs of +6 to +8, and Derived Aspects are giving everyone a Defense 7, Walk 7, Charge 9 and +3 Wounds. With stats like these, Ongoing Challenges requiring physical Skills are getting bulldozed in just one or two Durations with almost no risk of gaining a Failure Requirement. Also, Fatemaster Characters less than Enforcer Rank can barely affect the Fated but easily get creamed in combat. It really sucked the enjoyment out of the game, but there was little justification to stop from a character perspective. As one player put it, why would a character not want to be constantly at peak performance if it was possible? If the Grave Robber character had chosen to add the Increase Duration Immuto to his grimoire, he could have stretched this effect out to last a half day or a whole day with little impact on his ability to cast the spell. At worst, it would take him minutes to cast the spell enough times to bring everyone's Aspects to 5. Some Suggestions I know I could "house rule" this, but after last night's session I thought I should bring it up because I'm pretty sure I'm not the only Fatemaster who's come across this situation. My players and I came up with some ideas on how to "soften" this spell a little so it is still useful but cannot be used to so easily to create a party of demigods. These suggestions could be used singly or in combination. The Magia affects only one Aspect, not all of them, though that Aspect can be specified when the spell is cast. The base duration is greatly reduced, perhaps to 1 Minute. This would allow the spell to be useful as a "surge" but without the Increase Duration Immuto it couldn't be used to skew Ongoing Challenges or steamroller an opponent in combat. If anyone wanted to stretch out the duration it would seriously raise the Target Number to get to the point where the spell would last for an hour or longer. Raise the base Target Number of the Magia to 10. The Target Number to cast the Magia is increased by the value of the Physically Enhanced or Mentally Enhanced Condition already on the target. My personal preference would be for both the first two points: Limit the spell to 1 Aspect, and really shorten the base duration.
  11. War Disciple

    Creating Fatemaster Characters

    Building a FM character like a Fated is a good start, but fudge things however you want. It will let you fine tune a bit more precisely than just with the Rank, plus you can also throw in some unexpected stuff as well just to keep the players on their toes. The other thing to keep in mind is that single-purpose FM characters, like guards or bandits, really don't need a lot of detail. I wouldn't recommend you spend the time to build a FM character as a Fated if the character is going to appear in once scene just to get into a gunfight with the Fated. For something like that, you can just create the stats, decide on the attacks (and defenses) and then make sure the FM character has the skills to support them.
  12. War Disciple

    When do you tell PCs target numbers

    I'm pretty up front with the Target Numbers. The few times I've ever hid a TN, it was to serve some dramatic purpose and I let the players know after the initial flip so it could be cheated.
  13. War Disciple

    Cheating Initiative!

    I let my players cheat Initiative flips, but I've found that the players really don't like to cheat Initiative unless a Fated absolutely has to go first. They'd rather save their cards for other things.
  14. War Disciple

    Do you prefer city games or country games?

    Well, it's a bit of an over-simplification, but one of the reasons cities evolved was a need for protection. The thing is, you're absolutely right, the city isn't safe, and in Malifaux it isn't just the people. But folks moved into Malifaux City and started acting as if they built it, as if they knew the place, as if there was nothing to worry about (just look at the illusion of protection that the Guild has tried so hard to maintain in Downtown). There's more than a few stories that deal with the consequences of that kind of behaviour.
  15. War Disciple

    Number of subordinate characters?

    And don't forget, Undead raised by the Raise Undead magia are subordinates for only 10 minutes. At that point the control ends and the Undead will typically turn violent unless they're hit with Raise Undead again (to re-assert control) or a similar power. There are Talents out there that mitigate this time limit, but generally speaking when you're fooling with Undead there are points when you may not want to raise a whole bunch of Undead subordinates. If you get into Dramatic Time close to a point when you have to start re-casting Raise Undead several times to maintain control and something prevents you from casting, suddenly you've got to worry about indiscriminately violent undead in addition to whoever you were fighting in the first place.