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Ninja Corps
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I agree, clan/character re-writing is a medium to small thing, in the order of big to small. It will rely a lot on much more fundamental things like this thing i'm going to bring up next: Combat.

I'm going to presume anyone reading this already knows how combat works currently in the game. I, honestly, don't have a lot of problems with it on a fundamental basis. certain things tangential to it, like elemental masteries, ranged combat and long-term effects of injuries can defiantly be improved upon and balanced out more. But, the basic level of dice canceling and choosing a result appeals to me. That said, I am wide open to suggestions regarding combat changes. If you want to bring stats into it (like the talked about +1 attack across the board kind of thing) keep it very general, as that's the kind of thing that can be handled while rebalancing more than here...but a general principal should be established, if it's important to your particular idea as well.

A suggestion I have, that would increase the "bloodyness" of combat, would be to have ties, instead of going to the attacker, be simultaneous choices by both attacker and defender. This would increase the impact of combat, the risk/reward dynamic for many attacks, the importance of assists as well as the impact of the spirit mastery skill (presuming masteries retain the same function).


June 11th, 2018, 3:29 pm
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Minion
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Hrm...can see how it would make fights bloodier (and encourage assisting to gain a majority) but overall it feels more like a boon to defenders, as now there is an extra chance they can take out an attacker. The push to encourage making assists; wasn't the argument for +1 AT that even one more dice adds something like +15% chance for a Void result....isn't that the same as an assist? Maybe rather than start adding extra dice rules or simultaneous results, just remove the rule nullifying an assist for being in a 2nd enemies Inf zone? I know it flies a little in the face of its intent (your Ninjas are too busy dueling their opponent to throw a punch or kick into the main fight) but it increases the likelihood of assists occurring.

Most games give the attacked the edge on draws to encourage aggressive play. Booning the defenders such will only make walling the best tactic for the extra DF assists, and make Yamazaru even tougher (you said yourself they dominate a lot of matches).

Plus, simul attacks would be a headache to figure out all the possibilities of what happens when? Which attack takes priority; At or DF? What happens in the event a defender is Voided before their dice triggers? Ditto for a Spirited attacker; would a defenders dice trigger if there was no attacker to trigger off? Can you earn XP while KOed? Just too many headaches and "What if..." for not much benefit. Would take the +1 AT dice across the board for "deadlier combat" over that, and not a fan of the +1 AT as is.


On topic of combat, anyone want to clean up the Water result? Its a bit confusing at the best of times, with the dice chooser moving attacker then defender moving into its front inf zone (so now just inf zone). I always imagined it as the two fighters doing the tracking fist fight, with the defender back-pedaling as the attacker unleashes a series of punches and kicks to drive them back, bringing the fight to a new area. With that in mind:
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Water: The Attacking player moves the Defending model 3 squares in any direction. The Attacking player then places the Attacking model anywhere within the Defending models influence zone.

Represents them driving the defender into a point they want such as beside an un-activated friendly, ready to assist them in the next turn, or push an previously activated tough enemy out of the melee and leave their weaker team-mates in a "stay and get KOed or back away" situation. Could also switch it to the defender moving themselves and placing the attacker, to represent them leading the attacker out of the pack. Maybe that was the original intention, a benefit to whichever side chose it, but would prefer if it was a set "this benefits attackers" or "this benefits defenders" result and cut the confusion.


June 11th, 2018, 7:31 pm
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Bottle Cap

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Hello, new Ninja player but not new to game design. The challenge of building the game ourselves is really exciting. One thing I am doing is rewriting the combat results, making sure they make sense, do something fun, and keep the theme of ninja fighting. You asked about Water. One thing we see in movies is both attacker and defender springing away from each other. So that's my experimental Water result. Move both ninja one square away from each other and both get a Stunned token. I haven't playtested anything yet, so feel free to pick it apart.


June 11th, 2018, 10:38 pm
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Minion
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I understand the theme your going for: two warriors trading blows and blocking each equally then leaping back, wiping sweat/blood from their face before they slowly circle each other, sizing their opponent up. I did originally think a both stunned might make for a good "even # of dice" result, but thought it would favour defenders too much.

Backing away could be good, fair chance noting happens if spaces are blocked s both Ninjas are awkwardly standing there, embarrassed and trying to look cool as the both tried to back off. Wouldn't add the double stun as then we into territory where 2 of 6 dice results negatively impacting Attacker just as much as Defender, and 1 of 6 putting themselves out of the fight altogether.

I guess my question is: whats the ratio of dice results we want that go from "benefiting Attacker" to "slightly inconvenience Defender" to "inconvenience to both sides" to "Spirit...aww nuts!"? If we changed Water to this then there are more dice result that stun yourself (and the enemy) than just stun the enemy, and 3 in 6 results could be seen as "bad" ( a stun token you cant remove till next turn).


June 12th, 2018, 3:03 pm
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Ninja Corps
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Reworking some combat results may not be a bad idea. though that statement probably refers to the water result more than anything. That is the one many people seem to have the most issue with. Again, I would not want to stray too far away from the original, at first at least. Possibly to the point where the water result is reworded a but, but does basically the same thing.

As for the confusion on the timing of the simultaneous result on even dice idea. There really is no timing. It's a simultaneous result. Whatever is chose by either side happens. If there is a void and a spirit, both are out. If the attacker gets a void and the defender gets a fire, the defender is out, and everyone else gets a stun. there is no timing issue. The only potential issue is with the water result (also relating back to above) since you can't have the movement the ninja do be related to the original positioning, twice (like you could with a double wind result, for example). In that case it's not hard to just add a line that says to resolve one particular side first. Probably the attacker. This should probably extend to the result choice as well. The attacker should choose first. Because that would introduce the possibility of a situation like the defender being blown away by a wind result, then hitting the area around them with a fire result. I don't have the rulebook in front of me, so I can't remember if a fire result centers around the ninja choosing it or their target. If it centers around the target, it doesn't matter. If it centers around the ninja choosing it, it matters.

I'm not married to the idea. It still may be worth testing out, once we get to that stage though. A lot of things are going tog get tried and passed over in this process. :P


June 12th, 2018, 9:03 pm
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Minion
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Fire results are centered on the Attacker, so doing a Air before Fire would have an impact. But if you then rework it so the Fire goes first i this instance, your going to have to make a list of every potential pair of choices for both sides and the activation priority...which is just more bloat on-top of the combat system!

Do draws even need to be fixed? Whats fundamentally wrong with them? Draws going to Attackers is fairly common among combat heavy games as it places the onus on attacking since you gain a major advantage being aggressive, there also being more was to generate extra dice from it (assists + AT from stealth + back strikes vs assists only).


June 13th, 2018, 8:38 am
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Bottle Cap
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I think facing should be retained. It does add an extra layer of complexity, but I think it adds extra depth and character as well.

I'd even consider doubling down on facing and making it a more prominent/important mechanic.
A couple of musings:
Make it so that a models rear zone does NOT count as part of it's influence zone. So you don't need to roll to dodge out of an opponent models rear zone, and you can provide assists from an opposing models rear zone.
For ties in combat, the attacker wins if attacking from the defenders rear zone (in addition to the usual +1 attack).


June 15th, 2018, 1:52 am
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Ninja Corps
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Pudge wrote:
I think facing should be retained. It does add an extra layer of complexity, but I think it adds extra depth and character as well.

I'd even consider doubling down on facing and making it a more prominent/important mechanic.
A couple of musings:
Make it so that a models rear zone does NOT count as part of it's influence zone. So you don't need to roll to dodge out of an opponent models rear zone, and you can provide assists from an opposing models rear zone.
For ties in combat, the attacker wins if attacking from the defenders rear zone (in addition to the usual +1 attack).


I don't necessarily disagree about back zones, personally. But, I can very much see the case for getting rid of them as well. For the time being, this thread is about shotgunning ideas. I don't think anything will be "finalized" without trying several versions of it first. So, no facing, regular facing, and even more detailed facing are all things that can be stacked into the "things to try" list.

A lot of it comes down to something that hasn't been directly discussed yet as well. Weather we want to take the game and drill down on it, and expand it's depth and complexity or if we want to streamline it in the process of cleaning up the problems we have discovered?

My take on it is that I would like to see a more complicated, deep and varied set of rules. But I also know that my taste for that is at the further end of the bell curve than most. What's going to be good for the game is probably light to moderate streamlining that will come naturally with moderate to light touch fixes.


June 15th, 2018, 11:59 am
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Mini-Boss
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odinsgrandson wrote:
I'm reminded of the Blood Bowl living rulebook- which is far and away the best rules set every attached to Games Workshop- mostly because they did this with the rules.

I feel like we should aim to keep the core of NAS unchanged, but we should do quite a bit of tweaking. Here are a my thoughts:

- We should try to keep the core components as is.

- We should tweak the core mechanics, but we should keep them looking familiar.

- We should tweak the various statlines and abilities to make the clans and ronin more balanced- make the less used ronin more appealing, and make the clans a little more on par with one another.


A little late to the party, but wanting to get in on this! I agree with everything that odingrandson has said here. I am a long-time BB player and certainly have my own opinions about what could be done to help this game out. I will finish reading the comments before saying any more.

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June 18th, 2018, 4:02 pm
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Mini-Boss
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So is there a compiled list somewhere of what some of the biggest problems people have with the game are?

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June 18th, 2018, 5:13 pm
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Ninja Corps
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Spazzfist wrote:
So is there a compiled list somewhere of what some of the biggest problems people have with the game are?


Not yet, really. I'm using the second post in this thread as a bit of a TL;DR about current discussion. But only a handful of very specific problems have been outlined so far (back zones, yay or nay. eventual reworking of stats.)

If you have specific issues, feel free to list them. The discussions are a bit chaotic now, as is to be expected. We will zero in on a specific starting point in a bit I wager, once we have a few more specific topics to choose from and put into order.

I recently moved and havn't had my rulebook since the announcement, so I've been running purely off memory. So I've been keeping things a bit general from my perspective. For the biggest reform topics are the advancement system, the way ronin work and things you can spend money on (somewhat intertwined with how ronin work). I have a "ninja shop" house rule in the house rules thread that has worked extraordinarily well in actual league play which is inspired heavily by the BB inducement system/shop, mechanically. Content is obviously different.

If anyone else, also, has specific topic they want focused on at some point go ahead and post them. maybe with a brief motivation as to why you want to add them. There's no real need to go into detail right away, but it would be helpful to make a "white board" of discussion topics.


June 19th, 2018, 12:33 am
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Mini-Boss
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Usagi wrote:
If you have specific issues, feel free to list them. The discussions are a bit chaotic now, as is to be expected. We will zero in on a specific starting point in a bit I wager, once we have a few more specific topics to choose from and put into order.


Cool, thanks.

The memory is fuzzy as it has been a while since I have played this, but I do recall having some issues with some parts of it when I had played.

But this is the kind of incentive I need to get looking at it again! Happy that this is happening.

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June 19th, 2018, 5:33 pm
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Minion
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Well I played out a solo match just to get back into the rules (Fire Shrine vs Water Shrine, KoTH on the temple board). Main points that grabbed me were:

-tokens & their owners, I have some sheets to track who has what but still it was annoying going back and forth to see which model had what when activating. Probably easier to resolve if I customised them a bit and painted the figures to help differentiate various Kaiken and such (give one a red bandana, one a white etc). Overall, not much can be done to reduce the tokens in the game: need an activation token to mark those models that have had a turn, need a stealth token, need stun tokens. As for the 6 status effects, I've dumped Lucky and Moon Power into being a team bonuses you can apply on any Ninja as you activate, the rest are useful for manipulating the game and Kitsune have a ton in their skill table so reluctant to just outright dump them. Seems to me the biggest problem with them is just book-keeping and tracking them, any ideas on ways to help alleviate this?

-combat, took a few fights to get the matches down again but overall it just works well! Used the no-facing rules and worked...ok. Feel there may be a bit of tactics lost without it, part of me is reconsidering leaving it in or out. Combat was still brutal enough though, with 12 Ninjas on the field was seeing 3 to 4 KOs a round! Swung more to the Waters side once they bunkered down in the centre, 6 vs 3 Ninjas at end of most rounds. Very rarely was I "stuck" with picking Air or Water (never had to pick a Spirit) so maybe it was just lucky rolls.

Other Notes:
-may need some form of "equaliser" for KoTH if keep it as one of the major scenarios, will probably be very hard to dig Ika or Yamazaru out if the dig in heavily.
-even as Ninjas are KOed, most just get back up and charge back on the field (why would you want your Chunin or Madoushi sitting idle) so there were a few just sitting there the whole match! Maybe borrow something like the Skull system from Arcadia Quest (more KOes= worse chance of serious injury next game) to incentivize rotating unused Ninjas mid-game? Or deploy before healing KOed Ninjas?


Anyways, gonna go back and have a think about facing....part of me thinks its more a physical issue than a rules thing. Maybe some form of standardised marking system to help speed up identification (because gonna need it as future SDE releases from Kagejima wont have the "front" marker I reckon)


June 20th, 2018, 12:38 am
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Ninja Corps
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Danteire wrote:
Other Notes:
-may need some form of "equaliser" for KoTH if keep it as one of the major scenarios, will probably be very hard to dig Ika or Yamazaru out if the dig in heavily.
-even as Ninjas are KOed, most just get back up and charge back on the field (why would you want your Chunin or Madoushi sitting idle) so there were a few just sitting there the whole match! Maybe borrow something like the Skull system from Arcadia Quest (more KOes= worse chance of serious injury next game) to incentivize rotating unused Ninjas mid-game? Or deploy before healing KOed Ninjas?


Snowballing is always a problem that needs to be considered. Not just with king of the hill. I Think the idea of having generalized things that will score as well may help that though (only playtesting will tell for sure).

I also devised an injury system that my group has been using that incorporates higher risk for ninjas that get KOed more. It' in the house rules post here. But the gist of it is that each KO a ninja gets in a game (up to 3) is a die they have to roll at the end of the game. if any of the dice match up, the ninja suffers the injury related to the matched symbol. The specific injuries probably need some more working out, but it definitely adds some mortality to the ninjas.

Definitely some stuff to add to the list of concerns, Which I will create/update later tonight/early tomorrow in the second post.


June 20th, 2018, 3:54 am
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Mini-Boss
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Usagi wrote:
I also devised an injury system that my group has been using that incorporates higher risk for ninjas that get KOed more. It' in the house rules post here. But the gist of it is that each KO a ninja gets in a game (up to 3) is a die they have to roll at the end of the game. if any of the dice match up, the ninja suffers the injury related to the matched symbol. The specific injuries probably need some more working out, but it definitely adds some mortality to the ninjas.


I like this idea for a couple of reasons:

1) I like that it is making more use of the special dice. I enjoyed that aspect of the game, and like seeing it used for more things.

2) In a game sense I could see it being more of an interesting choice to make if you are bringing back a KO'd ninja. You will not be so cavalier about throwing them into the mix again. Likewise, an enemy might go to greater lengths to knock out one who has already been KO'd and brought back to try to inflict the greater injury.

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June 20th, 2018, 1:40 pm
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Ninja Corps
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Mechanically, the injury system has worked well. It slightly alters how people strategize. It makes it more likely that ninja will be held out of future matches, making having a deeper roster more important (something that barely mattered in the original rules). The small chance of permanently losing a model (except for the chunin) added a certain amount of stakes to rolling for an injury too.

Though the actual results of the injuries may need some tweaking still. While the system was tested fairly decently. Actual injury is still a somewhat uncommon thing t happen if a player is managing their KOs. So resulting injuries have spartan feedback from my group.


June 20th, 2018, 2:01 pm
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Minion
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Well still not much traction on potential rules being isolated that need tweaking, so gonna think a bit ahead to some other stuff.

- Been thinking about how to illustrate front and back zones more clearly and thought about painting the rims of the bases to show this; would be the back 1/4 of the base in black with 2 small white strips on the edges and then colour the other 3/4 as the clans colour, or whatever colour ya want (will try gets some pics up later..once its dry). Not a rule but the problems I find with facing is a physical thing rather than a rules issue. Also there will be the future problem: SPM/ND will release future Ninjas (and Ronin not put out to retail) and can 99% say they wont have the base with the facing indicator!

- Was checking the boards and size wise NAS and SDE boards are similar (NAS is four 10x10 boards, SDE are 10x10 grid boards) and been thinking about rejigging the terrain rules to remove/consolidate some (Elevated and Structure are pretty much the same thing) and work in some others (Impassable and Chasms) to allow play on 4 SDE boards...or one SD:Arena board; which leads me to speculate....I think SPM/ND will relaunch the NAS board and the planned Hidden Shrine/Night Market as SD:Arena boards, they have the art done (Hidden Shrine preview pic had the 2 art pieces in the back) and unless they were stupid have a file of the background art without the circles so an easy job to slap some grids on them!

Now how far people would take this....Im thinking of making some small stickers of the non-basic spaces to stick on SDE boards to match the NAS terrain, but tweak each symbol to reflect their differences (not all be circles). Might look stupid but hell I have all the FK and VonDrakk tiles (VonDrakk still in its packaging since the KS) so not like Im using them much :D

- Add onto the shop thats been house ruled in for future extension, maybe allow uninjured Ninja to go into the festival thats running around the tournament and press their luck; maybe find a Koban or two on the ground, get a good fortune (start with a Lucky token)...or bad (start with a Curse), spend too much on yakisoba (lose a Koban), slip and fall while out "carousing" (start next match in Healing House). kinda inspired by Firahs Vice/Virtue in his threads. Just a little extra thing to add a small bit of randomness to the game a player can engage in or not!

- Make Madoushi skill lists (one for each clan) and allow them to pick one on hiring and potentially chose a second later on levelling up; just found it weird the Shrine Madoushi have 6 skills the Clans could never get, plus opens options for making new skills without unbalancing whole teams. Also possibility of Chunin or Oni skill list; skills centred on teamleader/ big guy respectively (even though the 6 Onis are vastly different...)

Just random stuff Ive thought about (even before the LRB announcement). I know most wont be acted on for ages (or potentially never) but....its something! :mrgreen:


June 24th, 2018, 10:08 pm
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Danteire wrote:
Well still not much traction on potential rules being isolated that need tweaking, so gonna think a bit ahead to some other stuff.


Thanks for adding to the thread. I have taken the box back out and have thought about looking at it, but have not committed to that yet. But, being a teacher, I have one more week of school and then a month off. I am planning to make some good efforts into looking at this again during that month, if not sooner. But I do like to keep the discussions going!

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June 25th, 2018, 2:28 am
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Minion
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Well without a confirmed focus I'm just dumping anything related I can think of.

- The font used to make the brush stroke text is "DIST Inking"/"DIST Inking Bold", if anyone wants it for kitbashing various stuff.

- While SPM graciously provided files for the Moon Deck, they didnt provide files for the backs! Maybe it was just an oversight...I dunno.

- While almost everything to play can be replicated, dice are a problem! Can just use d6 and have a "1=Spirit, 2=Air, etc etc" chart, loses a bit of the flair :| Anyone have any experience with 3d printing and could knock together a simple file for the dice....let people print their own coloured sets!


June 25th, 2018, 9:01 am
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Ninja Corps
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For right now, and for lack of a more attractive term, I really am letting this be a bit of a "dumping ground" for ideas and musings. Possibly creating multiple prongs focusing more granularly on different things at once with enough ideas to work on.

The idea of a random event chart is amusing. Something could come of that. It would have to be taken delicately though. It's the kind of "goofy extra" that could end up throwing other things out of whack if it's not considered closely enough.

From my point of view, the skills (including all the keywords, chunin skills, oni skills, madoushi skills, all that) is a very up in the air thing at the moment, bundled in with advancement in general. I think that whole system could use a "same but different" makeover. this could lead to any number of setups on leveling and advancement. I really want to get out of every clan, and ninja, being pigeon holed into a single element that ends up making a whole team very samey, while at the same time making them entirely segregated from everything else everyone else has. This is one of the things tha always "felt" most wrong to me. though mechanically it's not terrible in many ways.


June 25th, 2018, 2:57 pm
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