Keeping track of modifiers

greybird
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Keeping track of modifiers

Postby greybird » Sun Nov 17, 2019 6:53 pm

We just finished our second session of T:E, finishing the Day One Living Land scenario. Everybody loved every part of it, save for one thing: We all ended up with our heads spinning trying to keep track of all of the modifiers. Actual example:

Player: So, I want to multi attack" all four of the edeinos around me.

Me: Ok, so that's a -6 for the multi targeting, +2 on the three warriors from the Vulnerable, +4 on the boss from her Very Vulnerable, -2 on all of them from your stymied, +2 from the bless miracle, -1 from your wound, +2 from your Whirlwind perk on all of them. That's -3 on the three edeinos, -1 for the boss.

After six hours of doing that in our heads, we were all Very Stymied.

How do others handle this? Every attack was a fast roll, but we spent twice as long figuring out the bonuses and penalties as the rest of the combat actions combined.

ZorValachan
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Re: Keeping track of modifiers

Postby ZorValachan » Sun Nov 17, 2019 9:27 pm

greybird wrote:We just finished our second session of T:E, finishing the Day One Living Land scenario. Everybody loved every part of it, save for one thing: We all ended up with our heads spinning trying to keep track of all of the modifiers. Actual example:

Player: So, I want to multi attack" all four of the edeinos around me.

Me: Ok, so that's a -6 for the multi targeting, +2 on the three warriors from the Vulnerable, +4 on the boss from her Very Vulnerable, -2 on all of them from your stymied, +2 from the bless miracle, -1 from your wound, +2 from your Whirlwind perk on all of them. That's -3 on the three edeinos, -1 for the boss.

After six hours of doing that in our heads, we were all Very Stymied.

How do others handle this? Every attack was a fast roll, but we spent twice as long figuring out the bonuses and penalties as the rest of the combat actions combined.

Condense as needed.
He's not +2 for whirlwind he's at -4 for multi-target. That eliminates one. I make vulnerable/very vulnerable affect the DNs, so their melee defense would already have that taken into account. Many people do the same thing over and over (such as all out attack) they could have the skill value+common combat options written down already. Same with wounds, adjust commonly used when wounded. An index card with common skills/defenses could help a lot. Basically there really isn't much difference in adjusting the bonus or the skill/defense(DN) as long as nothing gets represented more than once.

So in your example, I as the GM would have the defenses adjusted for vulnerable/very vulnerable the player would have added a +2 for bless -2 stymied, and -1 wound to the skill already. The whirlwind eliminates the first extra target so we have -4.
So roll, find bonus -4. Apply that to adjusted skill vs adjusted defense.
Last edited by ZorValachan on Sun Nov 17, 2019 9:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Atama
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Re: Keeping track of modifiers

Postby Atama » Sun Nov 17, 2019 9:29 pm

Counters. Keep counters next to minis representing the PCs and NPCs. That is the first step.

Then prior to rolling figure out your modifiers. In your example you take your regular skill roll, add the Bless bonus and subtract your Wound penalty and Stymied penalty. Then factor in a -2 for every enemy past the first two (it’s easier to think of Whirlwind in that way rather than add unnecessary math by thinking of it as a +2 bonus to multi-target). Assuming your skill was a 12, it ends up being a 5 (12-7).

Then when you make your roll, modify the 5 based on what you rolled on the table, and that’s your result. Let’s say you rolled well with a 17, that is +4 result and leaves you with a 9 total.

Then you figure the success level against the enemies. The warriors are all the same, so take their relevant defense, subtract 2 from being Vulnerable, and see if 9 is above that. Same with the boss except you are subtracting 4 instead.

When you break it down that way and do it in stages it is much easier to keep track. Don’t throw all the modifiers in at once or you will get lost.

You also learn other tricks, for example Vulnerable and Stymied basically cancel each other out, so if your example only included the warriors you’d just ignore either factor.

With enough experience it can go by quick. We usually only have delays in combat in these situations... A player can’t make up their mind and takes their time, you run into an unusual situation you’re unfamiliar with and have to look it up, or there is a dispute about the rules. Of course any tabletop RPG is prone to those things. Calculating regular modifiers tend to not slow things down much at all.
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Greymarch2000
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Re: Keeping track of modifiers

Postby Greymarch2000 » Sun Nov 17, 2019 9:41 pm

I find if you make keeping track of their positive modifiers their concern, players suddenly become very capable of it. ;)

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Re: Keeping track of modifiers

Postby Kuildeous » Tue Nov 19, 2019 11:33 am

I have counters for Stymied and Vulnerable. I also have Wound counters to provide that reminder to the players. I don’t have other counters, though I’m seriously considering counters to show size modifiers. I am debating on simply applying the size modifier to the enemy’s defenses instead. What does it matter if the Storm Knight gets +4 to hit Dodge 11 if I can simply say its Dodge is 7 instead? Maybe there is an edge case where that matters, but I can’t think of one at the moment.

I think that it helps if players group their interaction attacks. If you have a group of three edeinos, then don’t make one of them Vulnerable. Go for all three. Of course, that usually works only in theory. Sometimes situations arise where you get mixed statuses, and that’s often a pain in the butt.

I find that canceling out modifiers is pretty easy to do. Granted, I have a math degree, so maybe this is easier said than done for me. For example, one of my players often fires a Short Burst but often targets two foes because it’s just that easy in his head to cancel out the modifiers. Likewise, if the creature is Very Large, then aiming for its head cancels that out nicely. So to concisely group the modifiers for this mess:

that's a -6 for the multi targeting, +2 on the three warriors from the Vulnerable, +4 on the boss from her Very Vulnerable, -2 on all of them from your stymied, +2 from the bless miracle, -1 from your wound, +2 from your Whirlwind perk on all of them.


I’d say that the -4 for multi-targeting is canceled by +2 from Bless and the +2 from Vulnerable. That just leaves the -2 from Stymied and the -1 from the Wound for -3. But 2 higher for the leader due to the extra vulnerability.

Of course, when you combine multi-action with multi-target, then you get into some really weird complications.

Hmm, I wonder if I can come up with a chip system for multi-action/multi-target. I already use five colors of chips in my games. Can I possibly add two more? Lay out yellow chips horizontally to reflect the number of actions. Each one past 1 is -2. But then add purple chips to each targetable action. Each one past 1 is another -2. That way, attacking four edeinos with Whirlwind would be a yellow chip and four purple chips underneath—with the first two purples grouped together to reflect Whirlwind Attack. If you attack two thugs and taunt three thugs while casting Bless, then that’s three yellow chips with two purples under the first one and three under the second one. Hmm, I’m not sure that would actually save any effort.
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Re: Keeping track of modifiers

Postby Gargoyle » Thu Nov 21, 2019 9:44 am

Kuildeous wrote:
Of course, when you combine multi-action with multi-target, then you get into some really weird complications.

Hmm, I wonder if I can come up with a chip system for multi-action/multi-target. I already use five colors of chips in my games. Can I possibly add two more? Lay out yellow chips horizontally to reflect the number of actions. Each one past 1 is -2. But then add purple chips to each targetable action. Each one past 1 is another -2. That way, attacking four edeinos with Whirlwind would be a yellow chip and four purple chips underneath—with the first two purples grouped together to reflect Whirlwind Attack. If you attack two thugs and taunt three thugs while casting Bless, then that’s three yellow chips with two purples under the first one and three under the second one. Hmm, I’m not sure that would actually save any effort.


I have a pretty quick and easy spreadsheet for that. It works well, but of course, the fact that I was motivated to make a spreadsheet means that that the rules in this area are a bit clunky.

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/ ... sp=sharing
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Kuildeous
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Re: Keeping track of modifiers

Postby Kuildeous » Thu Nov 21, 2019 10:35 am

You know I love them spreadsheets. I can’t look at that from where I am, but I think I saw it before. At the very least, I can easily envision throwing this into a spreadsheet. Which is great as a GM tool if you have your uber boss with skills in the high teens doing all sorts of cool stuff at once in order to best fit the action economy.

For players, there ought to be something more portable. I think I just stumbled onto a possible player aid. I only sketched this on a post-it. I need to nail this down and come up with some sort of visuals. In essence, it’s a grid.

Across the top is the number of actions. The first column header is blank, but each additional column has a -2 above it. For each action you perform, you put a token along the top row and count up the multi-action penalties. For example, shoot a thug, taunt a thug, and cast Bless. You have three tokens along the top and add up the modifiers to be -4 to each action.

Along the left is the number of targets. The first row header is blank, but each additional row has a -2 next to it. So for each target, you put a token along the column and count the multi-target penalties. For example, shoot four thugs. You have four tokens along the side and add up the modifiers to be -6 to each shot.

For combining the two, I probably would need an indicator that the multi-action penalties along the top apply to everything that turn. Not sure how yet. But in the matrix, if you use the example I gave of shooting two thugs, taunting three thugs, and casting Bless, then you have:
Two token in the first column, three tokens in the second column, and one token in the third column.

By having three tokens across the top, you have -4 to everything. When calculating your attack, you add the second row token for an additional -2. When calculating your taunt, you add the second and third row tokens for an additional -4. You don’t add any more penalties to the Bless since it doesn’t have additional targets.

Kind of awkward to put into words. Maybe I’ll come up with a proof of concept tonight. This might be good to print out for my demos, though I generally handle all the fancy math for the demo players. Giving them a matrix to fill out could be as intimidating as telling them that Torg uses a logarithmic scale (seriously, that scared away a lot of people in oTorg).
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Re: Keeping track of modifiers

Postby Gargoyle » Thu Nov 21, 2019 11:18 am

I think I get it, sort of like the tables you see in the back of math textbooks sometimes showing calculated results, they just look up the number of actions and targets and intersect to get the total penalty?
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Re: Keeping track of modifiers

Postby Gargoyle » Thu Nov 21, 2019 11:29 am

TBH though all this talk of spreadsheets and matrices makes me just want to house rule it to simplify things.

Like for multi-actions, you could say that instead of the RAW, they can only attempt a maximum of two different skills during a turn and that instead of a penalty for the additional action, the roll is Disfavored.
For multi-targets, keep it the same as RAW.

That way they stack without any mathy trouble and it keeps the number of actions to a sane amount so the game doesn't slow to a crawl or require too much suspension of disbelief, after all, rounds are supposed to be about 10 seconds so doing too many different things doesn't make sense. Shooting or stabbing multiple things isn't as hard to imagine. If Disfavored was a thing during the writing of the Core book we would have seen more of it.
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Re: Keeping track of modifiers

Postby TorgHacker » Thu Nov 21, 2019 12:26 pm

Gargoyle wrote: Shooting or stabbing multiple things isn't as hard to imagine. If Disfavored was a thing during the writing of the Core book we would have seen more of it.


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