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About marsuniversity

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  1. I'm glad you found the discussion helpful. I like the idea of alternate "risk" effects for sustaining abilities - that could be fun to implement in a setting with multiple "magic" systems. If you're concerned about one or more powers assisting with resisting any of these effects, you could probably just set the ground rules that you can't use those powers to resist stun from sustaining spells (and what have you). For example, Shadowrun sets the guideline (in every edition I'm familiar with) that magic healing cannot heal stun or physical damage taken from spell Drain (damage from casting a spell in that system jargon). Its a quick, functional solution, but you could probably come up with a more thematic way to handle it within the setting if you wanted.
  2. I can understand that basic principle, but let me give a couple of examples to illustrate what I'm thinking regarding this. 1) You're sustaining a spell that benefits your actions only (it gives you +10 on any attack test, say). Its a Difficulty 13 spell, with a Fatigue modifier of +3, and you rolled a 20 when casting the spell. So the fatigue-modified difficulty of the spell will progress like this: Round 1 (Cast Spell): 13 (base difficulty) Round 2: 16 Round 3: 19 Round 4: 22 (Stun damage test, sustaining lost) Can I use the benefit of this spell in Round 3 and then drop it? Can I use it in Round 4 before it automatically drops? If the answers to those questions are "yes" and "no", in what situation would a character not just drop the spell after attacking in Round 3? The disadvantage goes from nothing (unless you count the casting and sustaining as two actions for multi-action penalties in Round 1) to 22 Stun (which is a pretty hefty amount to deal with), and you're going to loose the spell, either way. 2) As an alternative, lets look at a reactive spell (for example, something that gives +10 to damage resistance). We'll use the same difficulties, modifiers, and rolls as with Example 1 for simplicity. At first, there's an immediate reason to sustain the spell into the Stun damage round here: the player might get attacked between acting in Round 3 and loosing the spell to fatigue in Round 4. This is only really a reason if the advantage is greater than the potential risk (resisting 22 Stun Damage isn't the easiest test). How often will a +10 on an unknown number of damage resistance tests (if any) be preferable to just not dealing with resisting that (certain) damage test? Its a good, solid, simple concept, and it reflects something that you want to show about the setting, which is all great. Knowing players, though, I'd expect them to typically optimize when to drop the effect to go the longest with no potential stun damage. If you want that (or don't mind it), that's all good too. My biggest concern would be that the interesting story point (for me) is when the character has to start taking stun from a sustained effect, and I'd be looking for ways to encourage that or allow it to happen more frequently. Then, you get scenes where the mage is fighting to remain conscious because they're sustaining a spell that's weakening the big monster just enough for everyone else to take it down. You have someone in a psychic duel that is getting worn out keeping their mental defenses primed, but they can't risk taking a few moments to focus and reset them. In those cases, you have opposing needs and a difficult choice - hot, fresh drama. This is just a suggestion, but first thought would be to allow sustaining past the first damage round (provided the acting character is still standing). You can even keep increasing the Stun damage each following round, but would create a choice with some benefit: "do I want to risk damage to keep this going one more round?" If the effect is automatically dropped, then it would feel more like a punishment than anything to me as a player. A couple alternatives I'd propose (which could be combined with the above however you like): -Make starting a power more challenging. Have it be the only action that can be taken in a round (no defense or anything requiring action), have a "cool down period" where it can't be used (a few round or minutes, maybe), or have an innate cost (spending a finite resource, such as a pool of Mana Points or mystic doodads that get consumed). -Make it difficult to use a sustainable ability in a way where its "safe" to let drop. In the above "make weakening a monster" bit, maybe the effect keeps the caster front and center, in claw and bite range when it gets loose. Otherwise, just put the PCs up against threats that wouldn't give them a chance to pull off the effect a second time.
  3. I'll second that. Tying something else to the profession, like skill sets, is probably a good idea, to avoid abuse. If it makes sense in the setting, though, it shouldn't be hard to put in place. RPG players are so trained on classes that I usually have to explain D6's lack of classes to at least one new player in each game.
  4. If you want to get detailed, I thought of using the magic design system as inspiration for the weird science bits in my game. It would work well enough, but I ultimately went with general guidelines for common types of devices, allowing the GM to arbitrate what was fair for the Difficulty to create a devise. I felt that playing looser with creation led to more of a pulpy feel, which is what I was going for. The player specifies their intent and the GM sets Difficulty and what the "expected" abilities of the device are. Then the player must roll on three separate, set skills to construct the device in stages, all against the same general difficulty - one skill adds a bonus to effect on a high result, another to ammo/uses, and the last to reliability. To prevent abuse of the system, I also required paying for components (if using Funds, this is another test against the standardized Difficulty) and potentially finding rare components (quest excuses). Reliability comes up on any Complication on the Wild Die when using the device (you'd have to roll just a Wild Die if there wasn't a test built-in to using a device). You roll 2D on a chart, modified by the device's reliability, and the device loses a reliability afterwards (if it doesn't just explode in a huge fireball - looking at you, result of 2).
  5. It makes sense, I think. You might want to elaborate and add another example for reference if you want to put this out for use outside of your immediate circle, just to be sure (you never know what might confuse someone). As a player, I'd be a little concerned that a good initial test result could result in a worse stun damage value to resist later on. There is the balancing factor that you can hold something "up" for longer without taking damage, but you might want to detail the setting or game tone logic there. I'd also be curious about when you'd voluntarily sustain things (such as spells) over this boundary. If they drop immediately, and you have to resist damage, is there any advantage to doing so? If casting a spell (for example) at first was difficult or taxing in some other way, but you were allowed to maintain it while still resisting increasing damage each round, that could make for some interesting story opportunities.
  6. Sounds interesting. I wasn't sure from the reading, was Chi intended to be a pool of points, or another die code? If its a point pool, will each use give a +1/point modifier when applied to something else? When would these refresh - every round, or are they consumed until rested? If this is a die code, it might be simpler to just use the Spirit attribute, without figuring "Chi" (as it looks like they should always match, if I understand you) - or just call Spirit "Chi" instead, lending some flavor to the setting. As a modifier, whole dice can be really overpowering. I did something similar in one of my recent settings, but I put in some big disadvantages to offset the use of these powers - so you might want to think of a balancing factor if this is what you have in mind.
  7. I've considered it a few times, especially when I've wanted a strong social and technical component to character design. Ultimately, I retooled my list to six Attributes in each case. Eight should work fine in theory, but six seems like a good fit for CP costs and keeping down character design complexity. For point of reference, look to the old Deadlands line, which clearly had some inspiration from D6, but used ten (I believe) attributes: there were 2 or 3 attributes that were synonyms for Agile - I noticed some player and GM confusion when trying to recall which was used for what with those new to the game. It probably comes down to how complex of a game are the players used to, and are you worried about players abusing one or more of those attributes as dump stats?
  8. I can't recall any variant of the system that has a spellcasting stun/fatigue component. You should be able to add one easily, just add a test for damage resistance equal to (or half of) the casting difficulty after (or in place of) the skill test to cast the spell. For fatiguing spells, take the Result Points of that check and drop one (or however many you want) each round until there are no more.
  9. 1) I think either variant would work. (I'm curious - for variant 1, are you considering a permanent loss to their maximum Extranormal die code, or just a loss of the current code that can be "bought back" with Character Points later?) It really depends on how you want it to play out according to the fluff of your game setting, and I can't really think of a precedent for something similar in D6 off the top of my head. 2) Your math sounds solid there. Honestly, you can always tweak things to feel balanced to you - some of the customization mechanics are more guidelines than hard rules, in my experience.
  10. I'm hoping to have something out for this soon, if you want to re-purpose it (all part of the OGL, after all). I'd also be interested to see someone else's take on it, as well.
  11. I'd like to see it, if there's the potential for expansion of the setting. From my understanding, it's pretty close in tone to Firefly, so you'd loose the immediate player recognition of playing in that setting, but you'd gain a lot of development freedom from not working within an IP. It'd give you a ruleset and plot/setting ideas you could easily rework to the Firefly setting, if you wanted, as well.
  12. It's a mystery to everyone? Actually, this was an experienced SW GM playing a few sessions with players new to the game, so I assume he just avoided space combat to keep things simpler for the group. I'd probably do the same thing in his situation. For a short campaign or longer, I think it'd pretty much be unavoidable (except for very focused campaign concepts).
  13. I'm expecting them to push boundaries somewhat with the next two films. After the general response the prequels got, I don't doubt that everyone involved wanted to skew as close to A New Hope as possible before doing their own thing. I personally would have liked more focus on the fighter combat (especially with one of the principal new characters being a fighter pilot), but I get the feeling that the people involved didn't share Lucas' love of air action films - so no trench run equivalent scene in this one. That's all my preference though - I love that sort of thing myself. On board topic, my first SW D6 character used the Brash Pilot template, because, "I can fly an X-Wing? Done!" I could feel the GM inwardly sigh and immediately try to figure out how to work me into a party and decide whether to incorporate any space combat into the game.
  14. Sorry, I checked as well. No luck with either link - looks like only group members have access.
  15. Sounds like it would work to me. If you wanted to simplify things, maybe limit the number of spells they can prepare or cast for each day based on the dice in their spellcasting skill, so they get more spells as this gets raised? I think it'd cut down on the bookkeeping and character point costs for advancement., but you wouldn't have the option of having high versatility/low power and high power/low versatility elementalists. Just an idea.
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