Wednesday 22 February 2023

Why are you still here?

I've spoken about this before, but I like to periodically look through a game and ask each individual rule "why are you still here?"

But don't get complacent. Even if a rule has justified its place before, things have probably changed. 

BUT also don't get bloodthirsty. I know I've boasted of my love of ludocide, but I've been guilty of going too far. Sometimes the situation has changed, but the rule still has a place.

Bastiard newspapers with a bias toward rigorous rulesetting often depict me as an executioner, butcher, or assassin.

 Less theory, more practice. Here are a couple of recent examples from the workshop. 

Mythic Bastionland - Burden Exposure

Burdens are one of Mythic Bastionland's big rules changes from EB and ITO. You'll sometimes gain a Burden because things went badly, or as the cost to perform a heroic feat. Each has a specific way to remove it, so Fatigue is removed when you get a hot meal and proper rest. If you have the maximum 3 Burdens then you're Exposed, acting as if you had 0 Guard (equivalent to HP in this game). 

The idea is that Burdens are bad, but they're going to happen, so the Knights should have one eye on ways to remove those that they take on, and consider when it's worth exerting themselves. 

So what's changed since I wrote the Burden rules?

There's now greater focus on Feats, things that Knights can do to give themselves an advantage in combat, or protect themselves from death, at the cost of a Burden. They can only do these if they aren't already at full Burden capacity. 

It's created a bit of a double jeopardy situation, where the idea of "you're vulnerable when fully Burdened" is applied in two different ways:

Firstly through being Exposed when you have 3 Burdens.

Secondly through being unable to use the Endure Feat when you have 3 Burdens, a common way of cheating death. 

I haven't drawn a verdict on this one yet, as these double jeopardy situations aren't  innately a bad thing, it's just worth sticking a flag in it. 

MAC Attack - Preferred  Weapon Ranges

Weapons in MAC Attack typically looked like this: Cannon (K): S2 L1

This shows the Attack Value of the weapon at each of its effective ranges. Here it has AV2 at Short Range and AV1 at Long Range. These range categories are universal for all weapons. The K notes that it's a Kinetic weapon, which grants a special rule for that weapon type.

This was written at a time when all weapons generated 1 Heat when fired. Bigger MACs could carry more weapons and the heatsinks that allowed them to keep firing, so tended to have a bigger output. 

So what's changed since then?

I added bigger versions of each weapon, typically boosting their AV at the cost of generating more Heat. I also cut down on the number of range categories in the game, so now there was just Short, Long, and Arc for indirect fire. 

Crucially, MACs were also standardised with 6 module slots. Bigger models got their advantages through better heat management and resilience. To give some options for these big MACs I added further tiers of "big gun" that could be equipped, giving greater damage for a higher heat cost. 

So you might  have that Cannon (K): S2 L1 from before alongside an XL-Cannon (K): S3 L2 and even an Ultra-Cannon (K): S4 L3. 

Here it's not so much a case of any one of those rules clashing with the existing system, but with an increasing number of options to differentiate weapons, did they really need to list how effective they were at two different range bands? 

The range bands were tweaked to be a little less restrictive, and now weapons simply listed the single range at which they can attack, the type of damage it causes, and its Calibre which dictates both AV and Heat usage. 

So that Cannon becomes Cannon: LK2. Long range, Kinetic Weapon, Calibre 2. 

Side benefit, this reads like a Battletech style model-number, so can be written as LK2 Heavy Cannon or ST3 Macro-Burner instead. You can give it whatever name you like as long as the code is there. 

One rule lives for now, another is reborn in a new form. Who says I'm not fair to these poor blighters.

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