It’s been awhile since we had a mechanics update – partly because I’ve had a couple campaigns in a late stage, where I’m loathe to make big rule changes, and partly because I’ve been unusually busy teaching. Who knew that a two-year backlog of exams would be quite stressful?
Without further ado, here are a few Quality-of-Life updates and mechanics tweaks that I’m rolling out this week:
Experiences have been expanded and adjusted slightly to make them a bit more intuitive and allow characters to learn Forms more quickly.
📜 Name and description changes
Events collate and replace various other names and descriptions as the signature “something important has happened” experience.
Loci have been rebranded Places.
Archons now correctly refer to a series of experiences in the background of a character (which is how they’ve been handled in-game).
Equipment are now a type of experience. Equipment can modify an Event and enable the learning of a Form, just like Places can. This allows characters to have more means of access to new Forms on the go, without physically relocating their character.
The definition of Secrets has been rewritten slightly to reflect how they have been used in-game.
🔧 Mechanical changes
Due to the addition of Equipment and the modification of Archons, learning Forms should be much easier and more intuitive.
You no longer need an Archon encounter and any other experience to learn a form (provided you have access to a relevant place or equipment experience).
Each Event or Archon encounter can also produce any one of three different Form types, as noted below.
The combination of these changes should speed up Form learning considerably, and also greatly multiply the number of forms available from a single experience (depending on the setting).
Further details can be read at Experiences and Forms.
Bonus tweak: you now level up every time you gain an Event experience. This is made possible by the nature of Events and a relatively minor tweak to the Attributes system (see below).
A user error alerted me to the fact that we now have Social Attributes which are about twice as high as Combat Attributes while about half as valuable.
That seems weird, and quite easy to fix.
The main counterpoint to doubling up the Combat Attribute values is that we didn’t want to fall into a habit of other RPGs of having Big Numbers With Small Effects – rather, the principle behind Aim Ten is to have Small Numbers With Big Effects.
However, having a maximum combat attribute value of 10 instead of 5 is hardly a much bigger number. Also, this is Aim Ten, things come in tens, right?
🔧 Mechanical changes
All combat attributes are doubled, so they have the same scaling as social attributes.
This allows a couple other small mechanical changes, which I’m going to trial for a bit:
- Vitality gives half as many hit points (same rate as before, but at higher frequency).
- Resolve gives blocks on even integers (same rate as before).
- Agility gives attacks on even integers (same rate as before).
- Prowess grants additional damage at every level (with applicable weapons, up to a maximum).
- All combat attribute checks roll at the value of the attribute instead of twice the value (no overall mathematical change, except it does creates an expansion of interim mathematical possibilities).
- Combat Tier levels are now equivalent in their scaling to Social Tier levels (but still distinct). (See Levels and Tiers).
This potentially makes Prowess slightly more valuable (especially as a “splash stat”) but as the capability of Prowess is largely regulated by setting-specific factors, this shouldn’t have a big impact. For my settings, I will be working through various weapon descriptions and making some small adjustments as needed.
This also has a small mechanical side-effect in allowing characters to level up more frequently using experiences, which gives a feel of progression even when progression is no faster than usual. This has been tied into the Experience rework.
A few typos and minor errors have been corrected, and the various documents dealing with items listed above have been reformatted and rearranged somewhat to account for the changes.