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 Ninja All Stars: The Eye of the Storm 
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Minion
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Joined: March 13th, 2012, 4:26 pm
Posts: 233
Hi

This is something I have been working on on-and-off for a while now, originally as some extra keywords to spice the game up a bit it has slowly expanded in scope.

Big Caveat for everything in this thread: nothing here has been playtested, think of this more as a brainstorm for ideas then a final set of rules, don't get too hung up on numbers.

The intent of these rules are as a whole expansion to the base game rather then any form of houseruling or "fixing" so the base rules for the game will be left alone. So playing with
these rules you would when starting a tournament ipt to play an "Eye of the Storm" tournament as opposed to the tournament in the base game. There is some fluff for this but ignore that for now.

Whilst I prefer to leave the base game alone I wanted to make some changes to the tournament rules to facilitate some of the new features and keywords added:

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To go with the upkeep change, there is a lot more gold rewarded by scenarios in this tournament:

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Some changes to the way scenarios are presented, Hopefully making it harder for a single model to run away with XP. I've also moved the lantern and shrine rules here essentially to prevent op shrine combos from appearing in games but also make it so the terrain can be tailored to improve some of the scenarios.

Also I made up a scenario for people to try where you get mauled by an angry cat.

New mechanics, not replacements for base game rules but different types of abilities that can be unlocked during advancement,

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If you can even read them, those drunken style results are not final, the intent is for Styles to be either slightly better or more focused then the basic ones.

These can get a little silly / difficult to design due to the way ranged attacks work, they can end up not making a lot of sense in that context.

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On the fence about Crits, many people complain about the dice mechanics but I don't want to change the base mechanics of the game too much.
These would be unlocked fairly sparingly by keywords so the chances of them occurring would not be too overwhelming.

Continued in Post 2:


April 5th, 2018, 9:36 pm
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Minion
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Joined: March 13th, 2012, 4:26 pm
Posts: 233
Layout for the new advancement stuff, I need to refine the wording on the affinity bit...

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Hopefully these are a little easier to read, I upped the font size slightly...

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well

More to come.

let me know what you think I guess...


April 5th, 2018, 10:08 pm
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Minion
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Joined: November 22nd, 2012, 5:01 pm
Posts: 169
Some interesting ideas, you must have spent a while coming up with all this.

To make it easier for folks, the Drunken Master skills are (I think):
Spirit - the Defender gain a Protect token, the Attacker is Dazed? Slowed? Cursed? I dunno, cant make it out!
Void - place 2 Stun tokens of Defender, Attacker gains a Lucky token
Earth - if the Defender has Stun token, they are injured. Otherwise, they get a Stun roken
Air - Attacker moves the Defender 5 spaces, Defender gains a Slow token
Fire - Move the Attacker 2 squares directly away from the Defender. Both get a Stun token
Water - Attacker may move 3 spaces. Whoever chooses this result may place the Defender anywhere in the Attacker influence zone

Love the cat herding scenario, adds a bit of levity to the tournie! Why not combine with the Forgotten King pet minis (if people have them) and spawn extra pets in as the match progresses, all with various personalities:
-Goat will butt anyone who is within their front influence zone, have to sneak up and grab him from behind
-Pig will Slow every turn (she has a large appetite) and prevents Stealth as she sings/squeals
-Dog will follow the Ninja who pets him (use an action to pet) but creates a negative influence zone the Ninja has to dodge out of every move as he runs underfoot constantly
-Cant remember the other 2 right now....

Critical hits.....its solving a problem that doesn't exist in a very roundabout way! Removing dice from the pool/making changes after the roll&reroll....I never understood the clamour for it, people railed against the NAS dice because they hated not being "advantaged" in every fight because the dice in other games favour attacking vs defending (attack dice would have more success faces than defense dice would). Instead you need to use positioning and support to ensure you are at an advantage in each fight or at least only a single die down, but even then the dice might mess with you...or grant you a boon vs a strong enemy (they only roll Earth or Void). Plus, a lot of this kind of stuff is covered by Moon Cards, easier to bring more of those into play (larger hand size and auto-draw each upkeep phase)

Upkeep and increased Koban wins.....kinda cancel each other out! An average tea, with an Oni, Madoushi and 4-5 other Ninjas is looking at about 8-9 Koban upkeep each game. So losers will end up with 1 or 2, while the winner has the usual 10, which is even worse than in the current tournie system. If one team has a small winning streak, they will have a far bigger advantage than usual, able to afford more Ninjas or absorb a loss or two that might cripple a less well off team. Also, whay happens if a team goes broke? Have to jettison team-members to stay afloat? That will just unbalance a tournie more, I think. did you want more Koban flowing within the tournament, or was to add/balance out the Vices/Virtues?

On that, and I said before in the other thread, most of the Vices/Virtues are bad. Just a straight up punishment for levelling up, especially when they are right beside a stat upgrade with no Upkeep penalty or a new skill. The original upgrade system wasnt amazing, but there was no downside to your roll result! Sure, an extra affinity might not be great but could open new skill avenues. And extra MV instead of extra AT/DF might not seem useful but you could then build a strike Ninja able to run into spots others couldnt or such. If you want stat reductions or Upkeep increases, make them serious injuries and not a "reward" for being good and getting xp. And getting 20 xp to level up a Ninja only for them to get the "studying" Virtue...for 3 more xp....or 5 Koban or remove an injury (they might not even have)....these sound like a lucky dip bonus you would pay a Koban into between matches as a fun little aside, not the main progression system for your tournament!

All I can think of for now.


April 6th, 2018, 12:26 am
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Minion
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Joined: March 13th, 2012, 4:26 pm
Posts: 233
Don't focus on specifics here, you have already thought more about the upkeep of an average team then I did when i put those koban numbers in. Broad ideas is the first step of design, specifics come later.

Broad strokes of gold changes:

- Increase general gold flow in the tournament
- Add upkeep to basic ninjas to A: provide more variey of cost / reward mechanics, B: encourage use of Ronin
- Sideways nerf to that one OP gold stealing Ronin since he can't steal half your income any more

Other options to consider

- Add merchants / shops with more dynamic ways of changing ninja maybe a way of healing certain injuries
- maybe an acupuncturist who can cure vices (maybe roll a dice sometimes curing noting, sometimes all of the vice if lucky only the negative bit.)
- You actually mentioned luck style mini games I had some ideas for a restaurant where you could roll and if you rolled well you get a bonus, badly you burn your tongue etc.

For the levelling up thing you have to think of this from a design perspective rather then a player perspective, Less focus on a single roll and more on broad trends over a campaign. Generally the idea is not to make an RPG where players get strictly stronger as they progress as that would make tournament fairly boring, Instead the idea is to make teams become more varied, have more options, become ever-so-slightly stronger as the tournament goes on, and most importantly develop character; you'll never forget that annoying ninja that rolled greedy twice in a row and Demands to be paid more so they can buy cakes...:).

The Necromunda system is a good example (And partially what this system was based on) but Necromunda has a few differences from NaS that might help explain some of the choices I made. Necromunda has "junk" stats which have far more limited use then the basic Att / Def / Mov that NaS has, this makes it much easier to make a more varied level up system as even though you probably will get a stat increase, there is no guarantee it will be even remotely useful to the ganger that got it. NaS however has a far more "elegant" system and all 3 basic stats are very useful in almost all circumstances. So if you want to make a more varied and interesting advancement system for NaS you have to move quickly away from pure stat increases or the game goes off the rails.

Some maths that hopefully explain this better:

The base game NaS advancement system is very boring:
5/6 (~83%) chance of getting nothing (you always get a keyword).
5/36 (~14%) of getting a stat increase.
1/36 (~3%) of getting an affinity / access to new keywords.

My System:
~20% chance of a stat increase (of which ~4% is one of your choice)
~16% chance of getting a new keyword school
~10% chance of getting a stat increase with an upkeep cost
~10% chance of a stat increase with an accompanying stat cost
~17% chance of getting some other non critical bonus
~21% chance of getting nothing
~ 6% chance of getting a super cool Hidden mastery thing

It may look like i'm contradicting myself here since this actually results with even more stat increases, This is because it's intended to be balanced out by a similar set of injury charts that I haven't finished laying out.


April 6th, 2018, 7:52 pm
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Minion
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Joined: November 22nd, 2012, 5:01 pm
Posts: 169
Firah wrote:
Don't focus on specifics here, you have already thought more about the upkeep of an average team then I did when i put those koban numbers in. Broad ideas is the first step of design, specifics come later.

Broad strokes of gold changes:

- Increase general gold flow in the tournament
- Add upkeep to basic ninjas to A: provide more variey of cost / reward mechanics, B: encourage use of Ronin
- Sideways nerf to that one OP gold stealing Ronin since he can't steal half your income any more


But you've removed Koban from the game, except for the extra one or two a winning team might make over the existing income rules! the only way a losing team makes the 6 Koban they would make normally is to have:
-Chunin, 4 of either Kaiken/Yajiri/Kunoichi
-Chunin, Madoushi, 3 of either Kaiken/Yajiri/Kunoichi
-Chunin, Oni, 2 of Kaiken/Yajiri/Kunoichi
The "upkeep" for stronger Ninja over others is reflected in their higher recruit cost.

As for B & C, yeah more Ronin would be nice, maybe add random events to have them offer half price services for a match. As for Goemon, folks here house ruled he only steals from the teams treasury, and takes it before winnings from the match. Or you can just not use him in the tournie, still 23 other Ronin to pick.

If you want more Koban flowing, I was thinking of mocking up a "Bonus Objective" deck: deck of cards you draw from at the start of each match with something like "Whichever team performs most backstabs" or "Team who connected with most shuriken attacks" and offering 5 or so Koban to whomever manages that. Also a way to encourage lesser used elements of the game "Whichever team revealed the most enemy Ninjas by Searching", "Whichever team gained the most shrine bonuses", "Whichever team pushed the ost enemies into negative shrines". Maybe just pick one or two, depending on what players want...and then a special brawl game where you pull 6 or 7 and unleash hell!

Quote:
Other options to consider

- Add merchants / shops with more dynamic ways of changing ninja maybe a way of healing certain injuries
- maybe an acupuncturist who can cure vices (maybe roll a dice sometimes curing noting, sometimes all of the vice if lucky only the negative bit.)
- You actually mentioned luck style mini games I had some ideas for a restaurant where you could roll and if you rolled well you get a bonus, badly you burn your tongue etc.


Already a shop in the House-Rules thread, some nice ideas there.
Maybe pull the Vices/Virtues out of upgrades and have it so you can choose Ninja to wander off to enjoy the post-match festivities in the inns/markets. Roll up and see what happened:
-had a boring time (no changes)
-learned some skill off an old drunken master (+1AT for the next match)
-found some Koban on the ground (gain 3 Koban)
-bartered for an ancient scroll, roll to see whats on it (choose a Ninja to gain 2-4xp, gain +1 Moon card hand limit for next match, recipe for Orange Chicken)
-ate too much cake (-1MV for next match)
-lost their Koban purse (always slowed for the next match as they are depressed)
-got on the bad side of an old mystic (start with a Curse token next match)

My idea for a "lucky dip" is from a Japanese lottery my sister made once. Grab some lollipop sticks, draw some kanji on the ends (use whatever words you want: foods, elements, animals), either stuff them into a pencil holder like jar (or make the fancy box these lotteries use with a hole on the bottom big enough for a single one to drop out). Then have a list of what outcomes they have (could be similar to my list above) and charge 2 Koban to draw.

If you want to have some random elements in your tournament...great, makes it fun. Just leave it and character progression separate and they can counter balance, alongside injuries.

Quote:
The Necromunda system is a good example (And partially what this system was based on) but Necromunda has a few differences from NaS that might help explain some of the choices I made. Necromunda has "junk" stats which have far more limited use then the basic Att / Def / Mov that NaS has, this makes it much easier to make a more varied level up system as even though you probably will get a stat increase, there is no guarantee it will be even remotely useful to the ganger that got it. NaS however has a far more "elegant" system and all 3 basic stats are very useful in almost all circumstances. So if you want to make a more varied and interesting advancement system for NaS you have to move quickly away from pure stat increases or the game goes off the rails.

While Necro/Mordheim does have a more random assortment of upgrades, stats are very subjective to be called "junk" based on the equipment the Ganger has. Yes, close combat based stats for a Heavy are wasted, but you can just change up the loadouts of weapons to suit. Thats where a lot of the personality and uniqueness of a gang member came from: +1 Str for a Lasgun wielding ganger is kinda lame...but helpful if you kit them out with sword and laspistol. NAS was always more closely tied to BloodBowl though, which only has 4 stats (Mv, Str, Ag, Av) and predefined roles, similar to NAS. The skills a player/ninja get more define them and their use as they are more prevalent, and are not instant power increase.

Quote:
The base game NaS advancement system is very boring:
5/6 (~83%) chance of getting nothing (you always get a keyword).
5/36 (~14%) of getting a stat increase.
1/36 (~3%) of getting an affinity / access to new keywords.


So getting a new skill is "nothing"...erm no...new skills=good thing, maybe not as immediately beneficial as +1AT or DF but still a bonus.

Quote:
My System:
~20% chance of a stat increase (of which ~4% is one of your choice)
~16% chance of getting a new keyword school
~10% chance of getting a stat increase with an upkeep cost
~10% chance of a stat increase with an accompanying stat cost
~17% chance of getting some other non critical bonus
~21% chance of getting nothing
~ 6% chance of getting a super cool Hidden mastery thing

It may look like i'm contradicting myself here since this actually results with even more stat increases, This is because it's intended to be balanced out by a similar set of injury charts that I haven't finished laying out.


So have to wonder at the ideology behind a character gaining xp and leveling up to get....nothing! Literally.....nothing!

Let the serious injuries be the negative growth of a ninja, and their xp/advancements be their positive growth. Because your system here can have a player play the objectives, gain xp and end up with a ninja that, through multiple bad advancement rolls and a serious injury, be worse than a fresh recruit...usually the reserve of BB players/Necro gangers that incessantly got knocked out without achieving anything!


April 6th, 2018, 11:32 pm
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