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Old 04-19-2021, 08:27 AM   #21
ericthered
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Default Re: Playtesting update

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Originally Posted by Shuckster View Post
only one character in a 5 person party has managed to any points of disadvantage from corruption and nobody has gotten anywhere near full corruption despite doing basically whatever they want and getting points left and right, so that system needs to be more punishing just a bit since there seems to be no real drawback to corruption as it stands

Does that mean they're actually using the corruption system, they're just not suffering for it? How are they getting rid of corruption?


Quote:
the faith based character is way too strong and basically carries the team, implying there should be some sort of drawback to faith based powers, such as fright checks where they experience awe instead etc.
How much did they pay for their faith abilities?


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Nobody has received more than 2-3 points of injury in just about any combat at all and the u-boat has lost no HP nor have any of the crew died, gone insane or even been hurt despite several battles so again, the enemies could stand to be stronger.
So I'm thinking back through the writeup and I'm wondering if there are any monsters that aren't simple brute force enemies. I wouldn't mind that outcome for the PC's, but killing named NPC's really helps with horror...
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Old 04-19-2021, 10:58 AM   #22
Shuckster
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: Near Chicago
Default Re: Dark Ocean premade Campaign

They're getting small amounts of corruption from stealing stuff, being wounded by corrupting monsters, using corrupting magic left and right, visiting corrupting locations and so on, but over the course of two-thirds of the campaign only one character got anything out of literally pooling corruption from another player into himself and that was only -4 character points worth, and everybody else hasn't even had -1 added to date.

Im considering using This alternative system I'm working on instead because of the short-form nature of this campaign.

Every other character pays in corruption and fright checks for using any supernatural power, but the faith based character can use divine guidance, smite stuff with blessed weaponry, stab ghosts and stuff with no drawbacks, sure he paid for them with points but hes getting so much more out of those points than the other players.

So far they havent encountered any, they bypassed the only encounter with ones that have hearing-based mind control, but you're right maybe a few more crafty enemies might be a good idea.
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Old 04-19-2021, 12:52 PM   #23
Black Leviathan
 
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Default Re: Dark Ocean premade Campaign

Wow, that is a well-kitted adventure and setting. I'd feel confident running a game like that.

The only thing I'd change would be for convenience sake. Your setting is very specific and dialed in. Rather than making character outlines I'd consider making full templates if not regenerated characters just to make character generation more streamlined and having characters more closely adhering to the adventure.
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Old 04-27-2021, 12:33 PM   #24
Shuckster
 
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Default Re: Dark Ocean premade Campaign

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Originally Posted by Black Leviathan View Post
Wow, that is a well-kitted adventure and setting. I'd feel confident running a game like that.

The only thing I'd change would be for convenience sake. Your setting is very specific and dialed in. Rather than making character outlines I'd consider making full templates if not regenerated characters just to make character generation more streamlined and having characters more closely adhering to the adventure.
Not a bad idea, but I think Ill include 3-4 options for secrets a piece on them, to keep it intresting
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Old 04-27-2021, 12:34 PM   #25
Shuckster
 
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Default Re: Dark Ocean premade Campaign

Corruption Overhaul
The problem: Only one character ever even got enough corruption points to be even slightly affected during the entire campaign, and that character was trying to become fully corrupt but could not be no matter how hard they tried, even when stealing corruption points from other players! The system is just too slow for such a short form campaign.

The old system had you gain/lose corruption this way:
Being wounded by a corrupting Monster: 1 per point of injury received
Entering a Corrupted Location: 1d-2
Encountering a Monster with corrupting presence: 1d-2
Using a magical Relic: 1 per point of energy needed to cast/maintain the spell (even if it fails)
Performing ritual magic: 1 per ten minutes of the ritual (even if it fails)
Stolen items/blood money: 1 per $1000
Every point of derangement: 1
Learning Hidden lore, occultism or ritual paths: 1 per character point spent on the skills
Using an advantage with the “Corrupting -20%” limitation: grants corruption equal the amount of character points saved by the limitation’s discount
Failing a self control roll on a disadvantage with the “Corrupting +20%” enhancement: 1 per -5 points of the disadvantage’s value.
Performing ill defined “Meritus actions”: -25
Taking an entire day for penance: -4

The issue here is that apart from spells you really won't gain more than 1-4 corruption points at any given time, and 25 are needed to change a character for a measly -1 character point. A fully corrupt character therefore seems very far away and hard to achieve in a game that only goes for 6-8 sessions. Meaning these values could be increased, even with rolls against corruption being after every session instead of every in-game two weeks.

Option 1: Simply increase all the values
Option 2: Reduce the conversion rate from 25 corruption to -1 character point to 10:-1
Option 3: Reduce the threshold for full corruption from 500 to 250
Option 4: Create a brand new corruption system with a built in rule for when a character is fully corrupt rather than arbitrarily choosing a number, where corruption adds up and effects trigger at certain thresholds rather than being spent.
Option 5: Include more things that cause corruption, in addition to any of the above, such as injuring innocent npcs, killing/sacrificing innocent npcs, the varied uses for the spires, the ritual too gain magery, in-story events and becoming possessed. Including new options for purging corruption.

Not sure how to precede with that
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Old 04-27-2021, 12:35 PM   #26
Shuckster
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: Near Chicago
Default Re: Dark Ocean premade Campaign

Sanity System Overhaul
Problem: Using Stress, Derangement and Insanity on top of vanilla fright checks was too all over the place and insanity either totally crippled the character (in which case I fudged it so that something else happened) or did nothing at all

Option 1: Pick only two of the options, fright checks, stress/derangement or insanity
Option 2: Require insanity checks only when madness is added, vanilla fright checks at all other times, only taking derangement when at 0 sp
Option 3: treat stress points as “mental HP” and fright checks as “mental damage” with ill effects only at certain thresholds, ignoring derangement.

There is no normal penalty for missing SP until you hit a certain point:
1/3 SP: Make a will roll to avoid short-term insanity effects this time, and every other time you fail a fright check until you recover SP.
0 SP: As above, but the will rolls are now to avoid long-term insanity effects instead, and you are at -1 to this role for every full multiple of your max SP below zero that you have.
-1 or less SP: In addition to the above effects, Roll Will immediately to avoid permanent insanity effects.
-1xSP: Automatically get a permanent insanity effect, no roll required.
-10xSP: become so insane your character is effectively incurable.

Faith overhaul
The problem: while magic carries steep penalties for corruption and sanity-shredding fright checks, faith has no drawback and can’t even really backfire, it also feels entirely too powerful. There isn’t even any downside to destroying relics, meaning faith based players did so well that they stayed at 0 corruption and earned boons from their gods left and right.

Option 1: Wraith of triton
Whenever players use a faith based power make a reaction roll for triton to determine if anything goes wrong.

Option 2: Capricious gods
insist on using the divine favor rules so that faith based powers are fickle and potentially risky

Option 3: Awe and confusion
Have fright checks for faith based powers but with the subjects experiencing awe (Powers page 85) if faithful or confusion (same page) if nonreligious.

Also, faith based characters were purging boatloads of corruption that they didn’t have, pressuring me to throw them character points in the form of boons from their gods as no real system was in place for the effects of meritus actions beyond cleansing existing corruption.
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Old 04-28-2021, 03:29 PM   #27
ericthered
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Default Re: Dark Ocean premade Campaign

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shuckster View Post
The issue here is that apart from spells you really won't gain more than 1-4 corruption points at any given time, and 25 are needed to change a character for a measly -1 character point. A fully corrupt character therefore seems very far away and hard to achieve in a game that only goes for 6-8 sessions. Meaning these values could be increased, even with rolls against corruption being after every session instead of every in-game two weeks.

Option 1: Simply increase all the values
Option 2: Reduce the conversion rate from 25 corruption to -1 character point to 10:-1
Option 3: Reduce the threshold for full corruption from 500 to 250
Option 4: Create a brand new corruption system with a built in rule for when a character is fully corrupt rather than arbitrarily choosing a number, where corruption adds up and effects trigger at certain thresholds rather than being spent.
Option 5: Include more things that cause corruption, in addition to any of the above, such as injuring innocent npcs, killing/sacrificing innocent npcs, the varied uses for the spires, the ritual too gain magery, in-story events and becoming possessed. Including new options for purging corruption.
I'd lean towards option 2, with perhaps a little bit of option 1. If the problem is you don't have enough time to accumulate corruption, then make acquiring corruption take less time.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Shuckster View Post
Faith overhaul
The problem: while magic carries steep penalties for corruption and sanity-shredding fright checks, faith has no drawback and can’t even really backfire, it also feels entirely too powerful. There isn’t even any downside to destroying relics, meaning faith based players did so well that they stayed at 0 corruption and earned boons from their gods left and right.



...

Also, faith based characters were purging boatloads of corruption that they didn’t have, pressuring me to throw them character points in the form of boons from their gods as no real system was in place for the effects of meritus actions beyond cleansing existing corruption.
A faith based character should be expected to perform emeritus actions anyways, without expecting an immediate reward. You could try giving them "Faith Points", which are essentially reverse corruption points, and have them fade with time. So they need to perform those meritus actions to have access to their faith-based abilities at all. It also makes them worry about the sort of things that corruption points cover.

At least, that's how I would tackle it.
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Old 05-03-2021, 11:22 AM   #28
Shuckster
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
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Default Re: Dark Ocean premade Campaign

I think the corruption system could be changed like that, for sure. That way I don't have to mess with lots of new variables when I test this a second time

As for the sanity I've discovered the alternate system on page 4 of pyramid 3/103 which talks about Stability Points and Long-Term Stability points and that may work better overall, a sort of mental HP that differs from Stress Points
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Old 05-07-2021, 01:44 PM   #29
Shuckster
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: Near Chicago
Default Re: Dark Ocean premade Campaign

Well, the first round of playtesting is done, our characters got through it pretty smoothly and we even had some NPC deaths in the final stretch, no real corruption or anything though, just a very old-fashioned kill some cultists, stop some rituals and go home style fun.

Everyone seemed to enjoy it, but Ill be sure to retool some things, edit the documents down and compile a rebalanced version with maps into a PDF for anyone who may be interested in running this themselves.
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