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#1 December 02, 2019 09:51:12

Jakob
Registered: 2018-04-16
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Age of Ambition

Hey there, I'm not quite sure if this forum is still active - “Age of Ambition” brought me back here, since I just started reading the playtest version …
Overall, I really like the setting concept; also, I'm a big fan of lifepath creation systems, and the way that AoA handles it seems to allow for characters of various ages and career paths without sacrificing game balance.
Regarding the setting, I was wondering if AoA is going to come with a separate setting book. There is some setting stuff in the playtest edition that is mentioned, but not furter adressed - I was a little confused, for example, that you roll for your religion (and there are quite a lit, which are in no way dependant on which people you belong to, it seems), but there seems to be not a word on what these religions actually are.

In terms of rules, I really like how skills are handled in this new variant of Saga Machine. The one thing that seems a little wobbly to me is the handling of boons and banes applying to one and the same flip: It is said that a bane cancels the “best” card (subject to GM fiat). However, combined with suits, flushes and playable hand cards, this might lead to both player and GM thinking a lot about what cards to play from hand (btw., can a hand-card played as a boon be removed if there's also a bane in the flip? Is it played before or acter application of the bane?) and what card(s) from a flip to cancel … I would prefer some hard-and-fast rule, like a bane always removing the highest numbered card, following the classical order of the suits (cross-spade-heart-diamnond) in case of a tie. That would mean that a player could still luck out by being able to hold on to a card usable for a flush, but a flush could be destroyed by the bane just as well.

I've just read the first 60 pages for now and skimmed over the rest, so maybe my questions with regards to the setting will be addressed after all … anyway, this one looks really interesting, and I'm looking forward to the finished version!

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#2 December 02, 2019 21:23:30

beholdsa
From: San Diego, CA
Registered: 2012-09-26
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Age of Ambition

Welcome back!

There will be a lot more setting information in the final book than currently appears in the playtest document. We're currently deciding how much we can cram in – page count being the limiting factor – but expect an update to the playtest in the next couple weeks with a lot more of the setting! That will also likely be the last major playtest update before the Kickstarter in January.

In an earlier version of the playtest we actually had banes always cancel the highest card, but the feedback we got from that iteration of the playtest was that this led to counter-intuitive results.

For example, imagine you have 5♥, 6♥ and 7♣, with one bane. So you need to remove one card. If you remove the highest, you get rid of the 7♣, but that allows the 5♥ and 6♥ to flush, which gives you the highest result possible of the three cards (total 11). On the other hand, the “best” card to remove is either the 5♥ or 6♥, which leaves you with total 7.

Thankfully, this sort of decision-making only comes up when the conditions are exactly right: when there is a boon, a bane and a flush, all on the same flip. In play we've found that this situation is rare enough that it doesn't slow the game down much.

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#3 December 03, 2019 08:36:38

Jakob
Registered: 2018-04-16
Posts: 8
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Age of Ambition

beholdsa
Welcome back!There will be a lot more setting information in the final book than currently appears in the playtest document. We're currently deciding how much we can cram in – page count being the limiting factor – but expect an update to the playtest in the next couple weeks with a lot more of the setting!

Good to know! I'm looking forward to learning more about the setting - stuff like kalids and the lunar occupation sound intriguing.

beholdsa
In an earlier version of the playtest we actually had banes always cancel the highest card, but the feedback we got from that iteration of the playtest was that this led to counter-intuitive results.For example, imagine you have 5♥, 6♥ and 7♣, with one bane. So you need to remove one card. If you remove the highest, you get rid of the 7♣, but that allows the 5♥ and 6♥ to flush, which gives you the highest result possible of the three cards (total 11). On the other hand, the “best” card to remove is either the 5♥ or 6♥, which leaves you with total 7.Thankfully, this sort of decision-making only comes up when the conditions are exactly right: when there is a boon, a bane and a flush, all on the same flip. In play we've found that this situation is rare enough that it doesn't slow the game down much.

Makes sense. To be honest, I actuall like it when something counter-intuitive, but positive can happen to players, like a boon not actually hurting them because the highest card in the flip is actually not part of a higher flush. Things like that can feel like a great triumph in spite of the odds. But I do unterstand why you decided to handle it differently, and in the end, it's an edge case, and one where it is easy enough to decide at your own gaming table how exactly to handle it.

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