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#1 May 01, 2020 05:47:00

Tom B
Registered: 2016-05-16
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[AOA] First Impression

I've been looking through the PDF, and I'm surprised at how different the mechanics are from Shadows Over Sol. Hopefully, it's just a case of getting used to the changes…but there's one that really bothers me. I absolutely hate mechanics that require you to choose between doing something cool now or saving to increase skills/attributes later. I will always split this up, with points for advancement and points to do cool things. Having to choose between using an experience for a better result and saving it to advance may be an actual dealbreaker…both for me and my group. Am I misreading this rule?

The skills are now extremely granular…only three levels. All face cards give the same bonus. I immediately begin thinking about how easy it would be to port in the Shadows Over Sol version of the mechanics which was very popular with my group. I may not be able to sell them on this variation.

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#2 May 02, 2020 03:09:23

beholdsa
From: San Diego, CA
Registered: 2012-09-26
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[AOA] First Impression

Thanks for posting your first impressions! I always appreciate the feedback.

As far as having to choose between doing something cool or increasing skills/stats, I'm not 100% sure what you mean. I suspect it's a misreading of the experience rules, conflating exhausting an experience with spending an experience. Is that the rules system are you referring to? If so, maybe I need to give more examples or change the wording to make things clearer.

As far as skills go, four ranks instead of six is admittedly a trade off (assuming you count unskilled as a rank). Two of the bits of feedback we consistently get from people is that: a) they are unhappy with needing to add half stat to the skill rank, or they're confused by why that's necessary; and b) people seem to get confused by the trump suits and needing to remember which stat corresponds to which suit. We've tried to make things clearer in this iteration of the rules by not requiring the extra stat+skill addition step every time a flip is made, and we've done that by leaning in to the new flush mechanic, which replaces the trump suit mechanic.

I recommend giving the new skill system a try in a one-shot or something. I can't promise it will be to your tastes, but we've gotten positive feedback on it from the playtests, and sometimes rules play better at the table than they sound on paper (well… on PDF).

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#3 May 02, 2020 04:31:23

Tom B
Registered: 2016-05-16
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[AOA] First Impression

This is definitely just going by an initial read-through. Yes, I was referring to exhausting an experience vs spending one. I was afraid you could either “spend” it for a boost, or save it to advance. I'm glad that I apparently misread. I'll give it a closer look.

I'll re-read with the rest of your comments in mind…thanks!

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#4 May 02, 2020 05:54:23

beholdsa
From: San Diego, CA
Registered: 2012-09-26
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[AOA] First Impression

Tom B
This is definitely just going by an initial read-through. Yes, I was referring to exhausting an experience vs spending one. I was afraid you could either “spend” it for a boost, or save it to advance. I'm glad that I apparently misread. I'll give it a closer look.

And I'll take a look at the text for that again and see if I can make things a bit clearer for when the corrected PDF is released in May.

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#5 May 02, 2020 22:08:56

Tom B
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[AOA] First Impression

Okay, I see. But to make sure I have it clear:

If you're a Master rank in a skill, you get ++ on your flip. If you choose to, you can “Call on Experience” for an additional +, but just once until after your next downtime. Is that right?

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#6 May 03, 2020 22:48:52

beholdsa
From: San Diego, CA
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[AOA] First Impression

Tom B
Okay, I see. But to make sure I have it clear:If you're a Master rank in a skill, you get ++ on your flip. If you choose to, you can “Call on Experience” for an additional +, but just once until after your next downtime. Is that right?

That's right. Or to give a more specific example, imagine you are a consulting detective type character and have three experiences:

* Questioning Witnesses
* Following Tracks
* Brilliant Deduction

You can call on each of these once per downtime. Calling on one doesn't spend it, but it does mean you can't call on it again for a while.

Okay, so you find some muddy footprints outside the crime scene and want to follow them to see where they go. The GM calls for a Per/survival flip. You're a detective, not an expert tracker. You're only proficient in Survival (no boons or banes). So you call on your Following Tracks experience to gain a (+) to the flip. On the character sheet you check the box next to the experience to mark it as exhausted.

At the end of the session you get a couple more experiences (bringing you up to five) and decide you want to spend them to raise your Survival skill. So you erase them from your sheet and mark that you are now an Expert in Survival. Essentially that occasional (+) has become a permanent (+) to the skill.

Edited beholdsa (May 03, 2020 22:50:57)

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