Friday, August 20, 2010

Testing SP-Pools

Today I ran some scripts to test the Success Point Pool code. As I said, these are integral to some of the GATs (Generic Archetype Traits) as well as some stuff like the likely evolution of Chi and Fantasy Treasure.

The original tests showed us two things:
1. There was at least one bug in the code
2. Our "tactical" spread--although pretty robust as far as it goes--may not go far enough.

SP Uses
Right now a character with an SP pool can do the following:

  1. Increase what you hit by so it's a hit by 4.
  2. Decrease someone's Armor Save to 8- (yes, this is kinda new)
  3. Improve your Armor Save to 12- (also new)
  4. Make it so your hit gets around a block
  5. Improve a block roll so that you deflect a hit
  6. Improve your Init
  7. Improve your CON roll so that the final result is NO EFFECT
I think there might be one more--but the upshot was that even absent the bug the effects of tons of SPs (20, 30, 50?) is "not so much." I think there are some reasons for this. Let's look:

  • About 25% of the hits already hit by 4+ so there are plenty of cases where SPs, in our formulation, simply don't get spent. Maybe we need a "spend SPs on a hit" but the question is how many? All of your available SPs? Maybe ...
  • Getting around a block is not worth /that much/ as most of our characters only try to block once (and strike twice). The same for making your block: having a single really good block is only somewhat valuable (having our Defensive SP spenders block twice and strike once did improve their chances, however).
  • The bug was with CON roll--which should make a remarkable difference. Although a test of the "fixed" bug didn't quite prove this out (the test battle took like 13 rounds--but the SP guy still lost ...).
We need to take a deep look into the new code and make sure it's working properly.

Here's What I  Would Add
  • Spend 'X' SPs on a successful hit to improve the hit.
  • Test Defensive Pool blocking twice (right now if there is an offensive hit-around-block and a defensive make-your-block-work colliding the attacker wins. That won't be the way the actual rules work but I'm not going to spend a lot of time testing this case out).
  • Reduce Effect Of CON Roll: Right now we dial it down to NO EFFECT or don't spend the points. A PC would very likely buy a Daze down to Stunned or an Unconscious down to Dazed (not to mention Dead down to 'something not dead').


  1. Did you find the "reduce the armor check" to have a noticable effect? That's one that I'd expect, given the difference between Penetrating and Impact damage effects to produce a more notable effect, but that's intuition and might not correspond to reality.

  2. It we think it should be a big deal--so is "make Armor Save a 12-." Part of the issue is that the initial tests were with the 16 AP herd where the Armor Save was 7- (meaning as per our limit, no SP were spent--the SP pool, for that spend, sat by uselessly as the save was below 8-).

    That was for that 1 set of fights. We have now upgraded the 32 AP herd to the new simulator specs and will test there where the save should be higher and SPs will be more of a factor.

    But the moral is still: if your blade is /likely/ to penetrate your target, having an SP pool doesn't mean that much (for that spend).