Wednesday, July 21, 2010

On Hold For Comic Con

I'll be doing updates when I get back. Right now I'm on the west coast attending Comic Con so I'm not testing anything. A few notes, however.

Toxin DQI
I discovered that some of the testing I'd done yesterday and the Friday before had a code error that made several different toxins all the same thing. I discovered this when I looked at results for a weak one and a powerful one and they were identical. It took me a while to run it down though.

Toxin Plan
Ideally there would be one "damage dealing toxin" and it would just "scale." In fact, we could probably do this--but I'm less comfortable about that than I am about increasing the Intensity Score. On the other hand, if a toxin does X-damage points at each level then, at a certain AP range, no matter what its Intensity score it'll be irrelevant: imagine a toxin that, at Catastrophic Effect level, does 30 damage: if used on an elephant with 100's of DP, the Intensity isn't really all that relevant. It can score Catastrophic every time and the target elephant won't care all that much.

So what I have done is create a list of toxins (right now 3) from light to heavy doing damage at three different ranges. The idea would be that if these plot well I can either have a "make your own rule" that shows how to extrapolate or I can create one toxin and determine how to scale the damage AND Intensity against APs.

Either way, hopefully this is almost the end of this whole toxin thing.

Toxins Aren't Fun
Jeff pointed out over the weekend that Toxins are not (or are rarely) "fun." PCs aren't known for using poisoned weapons and being poisoned is--just--not. fun. I agree. The discussion about why I'm doing this anyway was interesting.

1. Being poisoned creates a certain kind of dynamic tension. The PC is taking recurring damage and their fellows may need to intervene.  This is interesting in some situations.

2. Facing a toxin-using foe (giant scorpions!) creates a different kind of tension: the character really doesn't want to be hit and each individual toxic strike is more dramatic than just another claw-hit.

3. There's a verisimilitude argument: if my alien has poisoned fangs then I want to be able to simulate that. Even if it's not a big part of the game, it's good to have it.

4. There are a lot of effects that are beneficial to the game that are similar to toxins but not identical. Things like sleep-darts, paralysis gas, and mental attacks all use the same or similar rules. These are definitely good for the game (having cops be able to use 'Tasers' that are properly represented in the rules in a way that is (a) balanced and (b) feels 'right' is something almost no other RPG I am aware of does).

So anyway, that's the reason we're spending so much time on this.


1 comment:

  1. Speaking of things that aren't usually "fun" but seem important for dramatic reasons in some settings and campaigns, I just realized that JAGS has almost no discussion of disease. It presumably should be an Intensity effect resisted with Con (rather than the new damage point method), but there's actually almost nothing in the main rules, and even in the Archetypes playtest the only real reference to it is in the Disease Carrier Trait.

    (Yes, this is one of those things those of us getting ready to run post-holocaust games think about...)