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Sell me on Wayfarers

 
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Tywyll
Ecclesia


Joined: 23 Jan 2012
Posts: 15

PostPosted: Mon Jan 23, 2012 5:01 pm    Post subject: Sell me on Wayfarers Reply with quote

I picked up the Pdf with the Haiti bundle. I like a lot of what I read but there is the question of how it plays.
So how well does the game handle high level play?
How do martial pcs stay relavent vs high level casters?
Are races easy to create? What if they are unbalanced?
Can stats go beyond 20? Can a pc naturally or through magic be as strong as an Ogre? A giant?
How does a WF pc match to a pc of 1,2,3, or 4th ed dnd? Are they comparable at various levels or am I trying to compare apples and oranges?

I'm sure i'll have more questions but I'd love to hear the answers to those.

Thanks for your time![/u]
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Metathiax
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Joined: 02 Oct 2010
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 23, 2012 6:16 pm    Post subject: Re: Sell me on Wayfarers Reply with quote

Hello Tywyll,

I'll try to answer as best I can.

Tywyll wrote:
So how well does the game handle high level play?


I did not get to high level play yet but I don't expect it to bog down under the weight of options. The rules are written with actual play in mind, not just to look good on paper.

Tywyll wrote:
How do martial pcs stay relavent vs high level casters?


Martial PCs are more flavorful than they were in 1-2E AD&D. They get more tactical options by purchasing disciplines as they level-up (i.e. abilities or feats).

Magic is powerful as it should be. For instance, Fireball is a 5th circle spell (comparable to D&D's spell levels) and dishes out 6d8 points of damage but it doesn't scale with levels (and potentially bloat out of proportions).

On the other hand, the game doesn't strive for "perfect" balance as in 4E D&D for example.

Tywyll wrote:
Are races easy to create? What if they are unbalanced?


Balanced races are easy to create. Other than the flavor and cosmetic aspects, they mainly offer adjustments to attributes, a type of vision (normal, low-light, infrared), and some sort of bonus or advantage.

Tywyll wrote:
Can stats go beyond 20? Can a pc naturally or through magic be as strong as an Ogre? A giant?


Not that I know of. Stats go from 1 to 20. Human standards go from 5 to 16 (instead of 3-18 as in D&D), making 1-4 exceptionally low scores and 17-20 exceptionnally high scores. Higher scores hardly are necessary as they are plenty of ways to gain additional bonuses through spells and magic items.

Tywyll wrote:
How does a WF pc match to a pc of 1,2,3, or 4th ed dnd? Are they comparable at various levels or am I trying to compare apples and oranges?


I would describe Wayfarers PCs as heroic but not super-heroic if that means anything. Hit points don't reach as high numbers as in the more recent editions of D&D. It makes for some quicker and somewhat deadlier combat.

I've hopefully answered some of your questions.

MX
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JimmySwill
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Joined: 02 Jan 2008
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 24, 2012 4:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Metathiax.

Tywyll, I'd agree with what Meta said. He knows the game well.

However, I should note that the revised version has some differences, although they do not fundamentally change the game.

IMO, the most noticeable differences in this upcoming revision are: 1) the character creation math has been simplified, and 2) damage has been ramped up some.

As a result, in the revised version, characters are a somewhat easier to create, and somewhat less heroic.

Armor absorbs damage in Wayfarers, and based on the rates of damage, PCs could be a bit tankish. In the revision, weapon damage has been increased across the board, and in general creatures are a bit more formidable. As a result, it takes a bit more effort to build a tank, and non-martial characters must be more careful. IMHO the revised version feels a bit more dynamic in play.

I've been talking to Matthew at Mongoose, and it seems we have worked out how we are going to get this revised game out. I don't want to jump the gun, but expect something definitive very soon.
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Tywyll
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Joined: 23 Jan 2012
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 26, 2012 9:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Is armor getting a bump as well? It seems weak currently and if weapon damage is buffed ...

Also my question about martial pcs wasn't really answered. 3rd ed gave fighters lots of options but that didn't make them relevant in a party with full casters. Does WF have this issue? Or do the priest and wizard even need a fighter or rogue?
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JimmySwill
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 27, 2012 12:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tywyll wrote:
Is armor getting a bump as well? It seems weak currently and if weapon damage is buffed ...

Also my question about martial pcs wasn't really answered. 3rd ed gave fighters lots of options but that didn't make them relevant in a party with full casters. Does WF have this issue? Or do the priest and wizard even need a fighter or rogue?


Armor is getting buffed in a sense. In the revision, armor impedance is now strength dependent. Therefore, a character with a high strength score can wear armor with little to no impedance modifier. It makes strength a much more valuable attribute. As a result, it's much easier for a fighter type to wear heavier armor. Also, shields no longer absorb just 1. A normal shield absorbs 1d6 - 3. It probably will be one of the most contested changes, I think.

This does make fighters a bit more differentiated and effective. Also, the two new disciplines are mundane disciplines. With weapons a bit amped, and heavier armor more common, casters are a bit more fragile in combat.
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Metathiax
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Joined: 02 Oct 2010
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 27, 2012 2:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tywyll wrote:
Is armor getting a bump as well? It seems weak currently and if weapon damage is buffed ...


Actually, I find heavier armor to be quite effective in the games I've played. It has been negating damage altogether on many occasions. Although it might not be optimally effective as it is written, making it too effective has a risk of making combat drag especially when a high dodge value is also involved (I can imagine my players complain about not being able to injure a heavily armored opponent). I do think that armor should absorb less damage than the weapons are able to deal.

I hope the following links will work.

For example, in the original version, a long sword only has a 43.75% chance of dealing 1 or more damage against full plate : http://anydice.com/program/dd5

Comparatively, the odds are of 75% against chain mail : http://anydice.com/program/dd6

Now, if we simply add in a shield with the chain mail, the odds are of 62.5% of dealing 1 or more point of damage : http://anydice.com/program/dd7

And magic armor would be even more effective...

On the other hand, I also have been tweaking the armor rules as I think that the different types are not differentiated enough.

For example, I've come up with the following table for the upcoming revised version, which I'm sure plenty of others would disagree with : Armor House Rules.

Tywyll wrote:
Also my question about martial pcs wasn't really answered. 3rd ed gave fighters lots of options but that didn't make them relevant in a party with full casters. Does WF have this issue? Or do the priest and wizard even need a fighter or rogue?


I haven't been much of a 3E D&D player so I cannot comment much on the fighter's usefulness although some of the fighters I've made when playing The Temple of Elemental Evil PC game were real slaughter machines at high levels. Wink

For what it is worth, I think that my players would have a real hard time surviving without martially-focused characters in the party. Also, the proficiencies get used in play all the time in my games and rogue-like characters have been very useful in my experience. Magic is powerful indeed but remember that the GM has control over which spells make it in the greedy hands of players. In my opinion, this is the ultimate equalizer... Wink
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Tywyll
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Joined: 23 Jan 2012
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 27, 2012 12:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ok checked out the armor house rules. Not clear on what Strength requirements represents. The way the table reads you have to have a strength high enough to make the impudence 0 to wear the armor at all.

It didn't look like armor got much of a boost instead if seems even weaker now, except shields.

Out of curiosity why don't shields add to dodge? Absorbing damage seems odd since it implies the weapon has blown through the shield to get to the character, implying the shield is ruined.

What do you do if your shield absorbs negative damage?

The thing about just looking at the weapon dice versus the armor dice is that it doesn't paint a very accurate picture. It does not take into account the multitude of ways that characters have of increasing their damage output (Weapon Mastery, Vital Strike [designed specifically to pierce armor], etc). They have little to no way of increasing their damage absorbtion however, besides buy heavier armor (magic armor being the purview of the GM).

What I meant with the dnd comparison is that in pretty much all editions of dnd full caster no longer needed fighters or rogues in the party after a certain point. Spells work better for combat resolution and trap negation than the poor fighter of thief ever could. Not to mention the pure utility that casters have access to that martial characters lack, unless they have means of gaining some kind of heroic utility functions themselves. To put it another way, martial pcs only ever get better at doing what they did at level one (fighting, or being a 'rogue'). Spellcasters get better at everything...with the right spells. Does that make more sense? What good is a fighter versus a flying, invisible, fireball chucking wizard? What good is a rogue versus a detect life spell?

4E combats this by making certain niches have hard-coded protection in the system. 1-3rd ed 'balanced' this by making casters 'squishy' at low level but god like if they survived past a certain point.

3rd Ed's proliferation of Prestige Classes did one thing right though, and that was open up the possibility of supernatural and/or spell like capabilities for otherwise martial characters. That helped to keep those characters relevant in a non-gear dependent way at higher levels.

I realize I'm probably coming across as really negative, and I don't mean too. I do like Wayfarers. I'm even thinking of trying to talk my current group into playing it next time a slot opens up. But I'm also thinking of it as a possible system to transfer my old home-brew campaign into. This is a 20+ year long campaign (with some of the original characters still involved) that started in 2nd Ed dnd and has migrated to many different systems over the years. Something that has some of the dndisms that are already established in the setting like WF while being point based to allow greater freedom to build characters that have long since broken strict level/class system relationships has a lot of potential. But, since most of the characters in the campaign are 'high level' I want to know how the system deals with issues I've already encountered tons of times before when you get to high level play (i.e. most systems break down).
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Metathiax
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Joined: 02 Oct 2010
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 27, 2012 10:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tywyll wrote:
Ok checked out the armor house rules. Not clear on what Strength requirements represents. The way the table reads you have to have a strength high enough to make the impudence 0 to wear the armor at all.

It didn't look like armor got much of a boost instead if seems even weaker now, except shields.

Out of curiosity why don't shields add to dodge? Absorbing damage seems odd since it implies the weapon has blown through the shield to get to the character, implying the shield is ruined.

What do you do if your shield absorbs negative damage?

The thing about just looking at the weapon dice versus the armor dice is that it doesn't paint a very accurate picture. It does not take into account the multitude of ways that characters have of increasing their damage output (Weapon Mastery, Vital Strike [designed specifically to pierce armor], etc). They have little to no way of increasing their damage absorbtion however, besides buy heavier armor (magic armor being the purview of the GM).


I think I unintentionally made it look as if the shield absorbances and the strength requirements were my contribution. Those are from the revised edition. The only things I've changed are the blunt/edged weapons differentiation (which I certainly expect to be contested) and the actual strength requirements.

You can wear armor even if you don't meet the strength requirement but you then suffer from the difference in impedance (i.e. Impedance = Requirement - Strength). Shields absorbing negative damage are considered to be 0.

I think that dodge-adding shields have been discussed on a number of occasions in this forum and you sure could try it out. You might also want to consider creating a discipline such as Armor Optimization (or whatever sounds appropriate) that adds absorbance with ranks.

If you do, let me know how it works out for you.

Tywyll wrote:
What I meant with the dnd comparison is that in pretty much all editions of dnd full caster no longer needed fighters or rogues in the party after a certain point. Spells work better for combat resolution and trap negation than the poor fighter of thief ever could. Not to mention the pure utility that casters have access to that martial characters lack, unless they have means of gaining some kind of heroic utility functions themselves. To put it another way, martial pcs only ever get better at doing what they did at level one (fighting, or being a 'rogue'). Spellcasters get better at everything...with the right spells. Does that make more sense? What good is a fighter versus a flying, invisible, fireball chucking wizard? What good is a rogue versus a detect life spell?

4E combats this by making certain niches have hard-coded protection in the system. 1-3rd ed 'balanced' this by making casters 'squishy' at low level but god like if they survived past a certain point.

3rd Ed's proliferation of Prestige Classes did one thing right though, and that was open up the possibility of supernatural and/or spell like capabilities for otherwise martial characters. That helped to keep those characters relevant in a non-gear dependent way at higher levels.

I realize I'm probably coming across as really negative, and I don't mean too. I do like Wayfarers. I'm even thinking of trying to talk my current group into playing it next time a slot opens up. But I'm also thinking of it as a possible system to transfer my old home-brew campaign into. This is a 20+ year long campaign (with some of the original characters still involved) that started in 2nd Ed dnd and has migrated to many different systems over the years. Something that has some of the dndisms that are already established in the setting like WF while being point based to allow greater freedom to build characters that have long since broken strict level/class system relationships has a lot of potential. But, since most of the characters in the campaign are 'high level' I want to know how the system deals with issues I've already encountered tons of times before when you get to high level play (i.e. most systems break down).


I would compare Wayfarers' approach to be more alike that of 1-3E (A)D&D than that of 4E D&D. I sure wish I could be more helpful on the possible balance issues at higher levels but I never had an issue with that in any of my games. None of my players ever complained about being overshadowed by the party's wizard. If anything, some of them were quite happy to play 2E AD&D's vanilla fighters all the time and wanted nothing to do with playing spellcasters. To each his own I guess. In all honesty, this may well be because I can't recall one of my campaigns getting over 12th level and that was in 2E AD&D. You probably know more about system breaking points than I do.

Maybe some other board members have experienced high-level play with Wayfarers and will share their insight on the matter.
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JimmySwill
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 27, 2012 11:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tywyll wrote:
Absorbing damage seems odd since it implies the weapon has blown through the shield to get to the character, implying the shield is ruined.

I just have a moment, but it implies that the shield didn't block the blow. It was bypassed, either grazed, or missed entirely.

As I said, the shields are controversial.
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Tywyll
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 28, 2012 10:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Metathiax wrote:
Tywyll wrote:
Ok checked out the armor house rules. Not clear on what Strength requirements represents. The way the table reads you have to have a strength high enough to make the impudence 0 to wear the armor at all.

It didn't look like armor got much of a boost instead if seems even weaker now, except shields.

Out of curiosity why don't shields add to dodge? Absorbing damage seems odd since it implies the weapon has blown through the shield to get to the character, implying the shield is ruined.

What do you do if your shield absorbs negative damage?

The thing about just looking at the weapon dice versus the armor dice is that it doesn't paint a very accurate picture. It does not take into account the multitude of ways that characters have of increasing their damage output (Weapon Mastery, Vital Strike [designed specifically to pierce armor], etc). They have little to no way of increasing their damage absorbtion however, besides buy heavier armor (magic armor being the purview of the GM).


I think I unintentionally made it look as if the shield absorbances and the strength requirements were my contribution. Those are from the revised edition. The only things I've changed are the blunt/edged weapons differentiation (which I certainly expect to be contested) and the actual strength requirements.

You can wear armor even if you don't meet the strength requirement but you then suffer from the difference in impedance (i.e. Impedance = Requirement - Strength). Shields absorbing negative damage are considered to be 0.

I think that dodge-adding shields have been discussed on a number of occasions in this forum and you sure could try it out. You might also want to consider creating a discipline such as Armor Optimization (or whatever sounds appropriate) that adds absorbance with ranks.

If you do, let me know how it works out for you.


Ok, thanks for explaining the requirement bit. That is what I thought the table meant, but wasn't 100% about.

I've considered the Armor Optimization Discipline idea actually. Smile Not sure what a good cost would be, but I'll roll it around in my head a bit.

I'll have to hunt the shield rule down and see what was discussed. I might have to switch to that.

Quote:

I would compare Wayfarers' approach to be more alike that of 1-3E (A)D&D than that of 4E D&D. I sure wish I could be more helpful on the possible balance issues at higher levels but I never had an issue with that in any of my games. None of my players ever complained about being overshadowed by the party's wizard. If anything, some of them were quite happy to play 2E AD&D's vanilla fighters all the time and wanted nothing to do with playing spellcasters. To each his own I guess. In all honesty, this may well be because I can't recall one of my campaigns getting over 12th level and that was in 2E AD&D. You probably know more about system breaking points than I do.

Maybe some other board members have experienced high-level play with Wayfarers and will share their insight on the matter.


I do think that some of the core rules in WF will help keep a lid on it, to an extent. Casting times for example are great at making having something between you and the sharp things mandatory.

I'm curious if anyone else has run a 'high-level' WF game (10+) and if so, what was their experience like?

After playing Skyrim last night, I went to bed thinking of some high level disciplines that highly skilled characters could buy (like, if you have Stealth at IV and maybe a couple of other requirements, and you rolled a 15+ you could only be detected by mundane senses and would not show up to magic while you were hiding, plus once a day you could cast Shadowform innately...something like that). Obviously, that would be a different 'tone' of a campaign then a gritty medieval one, but no less valid. It would help keep skilled characters valuable against magic.
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Metathiax
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Joined: 02 Oct 2010
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 28, 2012 2:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tywyll wrote:
I'll have to hunt the shield rule down and see what was discussed. I might have to switch to that.


Although there may be more, here are some links to previous discussions about shields :
http://yeoldegamingcompanye.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=733
http://yeoldegamingcompanye.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=924
http://yeoldegamingcompanye.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=739&start=0
http://yeoldegamingcompanye.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=993

Tywyll wrote:
After playing Skyrim last night, I went to bed thinking of some high level disciplines that highly skilled characters could buy (like, if you have Stealth at IV and maybe a couple of other requirements, and you rolled a 15+ you could only be detected by mundane senses and would not show up to magic while you were hiding, plus once a day you could cast Shadowform innately...something like that). Obviously, that would be a different 'tone' of a campaign then a gritty medieval one, but no less valid. It would help keep skilled characters valuable against magic.


You sure can, Wayfarers is robust enough to allow a good deal of customization without breaking the system as a whole.
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