Aysle Backer Archetypes

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pkitty
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Re: Aysle Backer Archetypes

Postby pkitty » Thu Jan 16, 2020 2:42 pm

utsukushi wrote:But more importantly, as I understand it, the Backer Archetypes are supposed to be official, so their Perks should be generally allowable.

That was the impression I was under, and it seems to be canon as well -- note that some of the archetypes in this book include Backer Archetype perks from other products in their XP tree. For example, the minotaur plans to acquire the Deduction perk from the Nile Empire BAs.

So I'm assuming that these are intended to be balanced against the rest of the perks in Torg Eternity. The perks from previous BAs all seemed balanced enough; this is the first time that certain cosm BA perks gave me pause. That said, this may just be the first version, like with many PDFs. I'm hopeful that Ulisses is open to feedback and revision.

I disagree. +2 damage in a pretty reasonable circumstance is a very nice perk IMO, especially considering how fast the centaur is. It gives you some really useful options in a fight. And the minotaur only gets that with his horns; a centaur can wield a sword, hammer, etc.

Allow me to direct you to some of my earlier posts on Speed Demon... *ahem* I'm sorry. I would absolutely agree that a circumstantial (but not too hard to justify) +2 on damage was a very nice Perk IF the Beast Riding Skill didn't say this: "A successful melee weapons attack while mounted on a running beast causes +2 damage." I still can't see any reason why that doesn't apply to being mounted on a running vehicle, or why it wouldn't apply to a running Centaur, without having to spend a Perk for it.

Because the centaur race doesn't include that ability, and if it did include that it would (for balance reasons) need some sort of extra drawback to make it fair. This is a PC race, not a beast being ridden. If you let centaurs have a free +2 damage when they run, do you let satyrs have the same thing? They're "running beasts," sort of, right? Edeinos? Humans?

Making it a racial perk is a way to add exactly the bonus you're talking about to centaurs, in a way that doesn't harm game balance.
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Re: Aysle Backer Archetypes

Postby Savioronedge » Thu Jan 16, 2020 7:57 pm

pkitty wrote:Making it a racial perk is a way to add exactly the bonus you're talking about to centaurs, in a way that doesn't harm game balance.


I believe the nature of the complaint is being missed, understandably so. We humans, and gamers in particular, tend to be linear in interpretation.

The complaint is Not saying the Perk is useless or an excessive cost for a minor benefit.
The complaint is that the same benefit is available for only 1 skill point to other characters...why should These characters have to pay the price of a Full Perk to get a benefit Those characters get for a single skill point--Why must I pay an exponentially increasing cost, even if only through the enhanced costs of later advancement, when anyone else can get the same result for 1 XP that neither increases its own cost nor that of any other ability regardless of when it is spent?

The answer currently appears to be, "Because Centaur «Motorcycle?». That's why." Although, Pan-Pacifica is anticipated to have a better answer for the one.

Another way of wording the complaint: Knight A riding on the Back of Knight Centaur gets the +2 from the Centaur running even if the Centaur doesn't have the Perk to get the benefit herself.

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Re: Aysle Backer Archetypes

Postby utsukushi » Fri Jan 17, 2020 11:51 am

Yes, that! Thank you, Savioronedge - I think you may have put it better than I've managed in what feels like twenty years of complaining about it. :lol: (And that's from my side! I can't imagine how long it's been for poor Deanna.) Though it's actually important to remember that Skills don't need points, and being Unskilled in Beast Riding doesn't affect your Melee Weapons unless you're also attempting an especially "difficult maneuver" in the same round. That +2 damage doesn't come from spending 1 XP on Beast Riding - it comes from sitting on a pony.

And personally I've always thought that yeah, Speed Demon made sense, and yes, Charger makes sense. The answer was to pull that line out of Beast Riding way back at the start, and perhaps have a "Lancer" Perk that gives +2 damage and eliminates the -2 Running Penalty. We have less situational Perks that offer +2 damage, so that seems balanced to me, and is exactly in line with Speed Demon. And then our Centaur could have had something more interesting, too.

But given that that line stayed and was confirmed to be totally intentional and carefully thought out, I don't think Charger is Perk-worthy. It feels absolutely racial-advantage-worthy (in light of the fact that humans already have that "racial advantage" embodied in their ability to sit on ponies), and frankly, pretty well balanced by their Fatigue conditions already. The Rider part of that is actually very nice and kind of balances itself - you get to offer that +2 damage to an ally, but you're more susceptible to Fatigue when you do. I like that. But a Centaur in plate mail armor in a lower-Magic-Axiom cosm is going to take 6 points of Shock if Fatigue comes up all by themselves, and that's way into "significant" territory. Or only 3 Shock if they eschew Full Body armor, of course, but that means they're always susceptible to area attacks. And that makes total sense for a Centaur because they have a lot more area to be attacked, but it's a heck of a lot more important than needing "custom fit" clothing and armor in a game that has no economy, or a social penalty to characters from the realm with no social structure.

pkitty wrote: The perks from previous BAs all seemed balanced enough; this is the first time that certain cosm BA perks gave me pause.

I can't say it's my first pause, but definitely the longest. Nile was actually really good, but Living Land did have some issues. (And not just the one that's just an excuse to play a girl who runs around naked. I won't pretend the character art isn't awfully cute, but I'm not sure that was a trope that needed to be reinforced. That one makes me growl a bit every time I skim past it.)

mystic101 wrote:Heh, yeah. She's seven, and said she wanted a character "like Kung Fu Panda". (Gulp) I thought about how to do that by backing an Aysle kickstarter, and this was the result.

I take it all back. "Aww" doesn't even begin to cover it. Wait here, please - I need to get big anime eyes surgically implanted, and I'll probably have to recruit a couple puppies to help.

I'd have cautioned users about it more in the Tactics section, but there just wasn't room!

:) That's probably for the best, really. It encourages us to figure out our own take on the concept. But seriously, she's well done and I like her, and knowing her meta-backstory adds a whole layer of fun to it. Thank you.

Istrian wrote:Spell Slinger does have one (admittedly small) disadvantage over Instinctive Magic: it requires a wand. So enemies have to focus on getting the slinger's wand away (for example with a GM's Call, or even a Setback) in order to negate the perk.

I see where you're going with this, but there's already a mechanic for disarming, and... again we have to look at what requiring a wand actually requires. He's not Wealthy, so it's not one of the $8,000 ones defined in Magical Implements. If it was that, I'd consider this balanced, by itself. (Not in combination with Ancient Apportation. There's no fixing that. And Oh-My-Shali, it's not even an oversight - Spell Slinger is actually listed on his advancement table, right after Elven Sorcerer to break that Shock "disadvantage".)

He has a "Practical Wand", which is a +1 damage weapon made out of wood. OK, fine, it's probably not just a stick, but assuming it has to be enchanted wood, that's at most equivalent to a dagger, so that's $25. Even if you get it out of his hand, there's no reason a character built for this won't have six more in his back pocket.
Last edited by utsukushi on Fri Jan 17, 2020 3:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Here Comes The Flood
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Re: Aysle Backer Archetypes

Postby Here Comes The Flood » Fri Jan 17, 2020 12:32 pm

Zackzenobi wrote:I didnt realize she was a Tahani homage. That's funny!


Darryl Hayhurst gave me quite a bit of help with the concept.
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Re: Aysle Backer Archetypes

Postby Kuildeous » Mon Jan 20, 2020 8:33 am

utsukushi wrote:Nile was actually really good, but Living Land did have some issues. (And not just the one that's just an excuse to play a girl who runs around naked. I won't pretend the character art isn't awfully cute, but I'm not sure that was a trope that needed to be reinforced. That one makes me growl a bit every time I skim past it.)


It is good art, and while I'm personally not bothered by it, I feel I'm going to be a bit limited in my demos. The demos I run are usually at public conventions, and I'm having fun expanding the choice of archetypes with each new cosm book. Sadly, it does mean the lone Orrorsh character is outnumbered by the previous cosms, but that's to be expected.

When the Living Land Backer Archetypes final version is released, I'm going to print them out and laminate them along with all the other sample characters. I'm afraid this lady may have to be put aside. She's great for an established group with players you know. In a convention setting where I can't make assumptions about the maturity of others--or where newcomers have no idea of my own maturity--I'm not going to risk it. Fun character though.
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Re: Aysle Backer Archetypes

Postby Here Comes The Flood » Mon Jan 20, 2020 1:35 pm

Maybe I'm getting old, but all the shaming on places like BoardgameGeek is getting bizarre.

The only thing I care about is if it makes sense. The Living Land is supposed to invoke all those Lost World tropes, and it's a staple for men and women to wear loincloths and skimpy attire. Heck, the original Living Land actually had a World Law that was basicially '...and then all your clothes fall off'... It would be faintly ridiculous if the human inhabitants of the Living Land dressed like conservative millenials instead of the edeinos. The excellent 'Road to Philadelphia' on the Infinityverse makes the valid point that in the Living Land, the characters would likely feel more comfortable naked.

I completely understand why Ulisses wanted to go PG13 with Torg Eternity, but even their version has an inclination towards 'steamy jungle romance' and a destiny card with two characters (Leena and Aidan) looking tousled after a tryst.

In the original Victorian adventure stories that began the Lost World trope, this was done very deliberately, so that Dejah Thoris and the inhabitants of these Lost Worlds were a marked contrast to the established Victorian norms of the time.

Put another way - what would you expect to see Living Land natives wearing? A native woman (or Tarzan type man) wearing brief clothing wasn't remotely shocking between 1960 and 2015.

Also, aren't we supposed to be 'inclusive'? A superhero wants to wear a burkha? Fine, everyone's welcome to be themselves. A native from a Lost World wants to wear tribal leathers? Also fine, surely? There are plenty of Aysle archetypes with bare-chested men. Will those be banned at demos too? Or is Tarzan okay but Shanna the She-Devil isn't? Isn't that in itself sexist?

As I said, for me, it's a case of whether or not it makes sense. A Victorian lady or 1930's spy running around in a swimsuit makes no sense. But the Primitive Hunter or Aylse Centaur (who is basically Red Sonya in centaur form) seems to fit the Pulp Adventure/Swords & Sorcery genre perfectly to me.
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Re: Aysle Backer Archetypes

Postby Gargoyle » Mon Jan 20, 2020 2:28 pm

I've been very impressed with U.S. handling of female character art, particularly with the modesty and common sense for armor, etc.

The art for Leena made sense to me as well. If anything it provides a stark contrast to the other characters and accentuates them. It's the exception that proves the rule. It's genre appropriate and the art needs to reflect that. If one doesn't like that aspect of the genre, that's a different criticism.

However, why just women? A mostly nude hero or villain in the LL setting would have been most welcome too! Perhaps Deanna can pass that feedback on. I'm less inclined to feel like women are being exploited if guys are being given similar treatment...and...uh, I like to look at guys too.
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Re: Aysle Backer Archetypes

Postby TorgHacker » Mon Jan 20, 2020 3:14 pm

Gargoyle wrote:I've been very impressed with U.S. handling of female character art, particularly with the modesty and common sense for armor, etc.

The art for Leena made sense to me as well. If anything it provides a stark contrast to the other characters and accentuates them. It's the exception that proves the rule. It's genre appropriate and the art needs to reflect that. If one doesn't like that aspect of the genre, that's a different criticism.

However, why just women? A mostly nude hero or villain in the LL setting would have been most welcome too! Perhaps Deanna can pass that feedback on. I'm less inclined to feel like women are being exploited if guys are being given similar treatment...and...uh, I like to look at guys too.


We do! I can't remember where he is, but there's a primitive human male who just has a loincloth.
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Re: Aysle Backer Archetypes

Postby Atama » Mon Jan 20, 2020 3:55 pm

TorgHacker wrote:
Gargoyle wrote:I've been very impressed with U.S. handling of female character art, particularly with the modesty and common sense for armor, etc.

The art for Leena made sense to me as well. If anything it provides a stark contrast to the other characters and accentuates them. It's the exception that proves the rule. It's genre appropriate and the art needs to reflect that. If one doesn't like that aspect of the genre, that's a different criticism.

However, why just women? A mostly nude hero or villain in the LL setting would have been most welcome too! Perhaps Deanna can pass that feedback on. I'm less inclined to feel like women are being exploited if guys are being given similar treatment...and...uh, I like to look at guys too.


We do! I can't remember where he is, but there's a primitive human male who just has a loincloth.

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Re: Aysle Backer Archetypes

Postby Here Comes The Flood » Mon Jan 20, 2020 4:24 pm

The Primitive Warrior in the Living Land Archetypes is a hirsute fellow wearing less than Leena.

In the Aysle archetypes, the Barbarian and the Berserker are both very buff men showing a lot of skin, and it would seem very odd if they weren't, considering their concepts.

Torg Eternity does diversity pretty well, I think.

So I honestly don't see why Generic Jungle Gal and Red Sonya Centaur are things we should be ashamed of. Let's not be embarrassed at our hobby.
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