Aysle Backer Archetypes

utsukushi
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Aysle Backer Archetypes

Postby utsukushi » Tue Jan 14, 2020 2:47 pm

There are some super cool concepts in the Backer Archetypes, always, and I wanted to start with a thanks to everyone who has contributed them! Some of the Perks are really bothering me, though.

I've felt for a while that the Perks they introduce tend to be a little unbalanced, and the Aysle set is feeling even more than usual. Ancient Magic is kind of cool. Ancient Apportation, though, is so broken! That taking-Backlash-Shock is neat, but Apportation is Spirit based, so anyone taking this is going to have Shock to spare. (And with just one more Perk, he can drop a point in Faith and Multi-Action Soothe!) And it just sets up a clear precedent that presumably there are Ancient Conjuration, Ancient Divination, and Ancient Alteration as well. The template is perfectly clear - they substitute for one Interaction and give you All The Spells, and now every other style of spellcaster has been a complete waste of time.

Raven Seer is subtle but... I don't know if it's just unclear or not. It seems like the Raven gets its own action, like a pet, and uses your Interaction Attacks? So on top of being able to see through its eyes (with no range limit), it's also a free, non-Multi-Action-costing Interaction every round? That can also be delivered at any range through an invincible source? So you could like... focus on Spirit, since this also requires having Faith, drop some points into Intimidate, and just send it ahead and have it Multi-Target Intimidate a room full of Shocktroopers, totally immune to their attacks, until you get an Outstanding result and take them all out? Or just take them down one at a time... since it is, I have to say again, totally immune to harm, there's no hurry. Why would anyone who has this ever leave their living room? They have an immortal super-Drone to send out in their stead! You can probably tell it's really the invincible aspect that's getting to me. I assume that only happened for space constraints, so as not to have to put a whole stat block in for the Raven, but argh.

The Centaur's Charger Perk feels weak, on the other hand. The Minotaur has better than that as a Racial bonus (+1 all the time, and the same +2 if they Run). By contrast, the Centaur's Racial perks are almost all piling on Fatigue, which feels weird to me... traditionally, I don't think of the Centaur as being the first one to collapse. I'm probably getting echoes of Speed Demon here, though; it seems like what the Centaur is getting out of this Perk is to qualify for the same bonus that someone else would have for free, through the Beast Rider Skill, just for sitting on their back, and I still can't wrap my head around this. I do love Gallop, though; that's an awesome Racial bonus.

Spell Slinger... OK, this felt familiar and for a moment I just thought it was cool, and then I remembered why I didn't already have the reason it felt familiar. Instinctive Magic is a really cool Perk that I was definitely looking forward to picking up someday! I had my Conjuration-focused mage who had let her Dexterity go a bit, so she was super looking forward to making Beta clearance so she could use that for Dodge. But now here's this, that does the same thing with lower prerequisites, available at Alpha, and it replaces both Dodge and Melee Weapon defense? And the limit is that you have to be wielding a "wand or staff", but it's clear that it doesn't have to be a magic wand, so really you just need a stick in one hand. So... you can't do two-weapon fighting, which this is better than anyway, and which you didn't want anyway if you're dumping Dex? Oh, and might we note that it's Apportation-based? If I have Ancient Apportation, I can now dump Strength and Dexterity completely, making it super easy to get that 14 Elven Spirit. With one stat, one skill, and one purchased Perk, I can have 17s in all my physical Defenses and cast any Apportation spell - say, Fly, and then cast Whirlwind which lets me attack (using my 17 Apportation!) for a full minute without having to recast and take any further Strain. Which wasn't a big deal anyway with that 14 Spirit, but yeah, one more Perk and I can tack Miracles on and Soothe away that strain faster than I take it. I might consider two Perks a reasonable offset, but this character frankly has nothing else they need. They don't even need Spellcaster. I was going to point out that their only real weakness is Maneuver, but only because I'd forgotten -- with Ancient Apportation, that's a 17, too, both offensively and defensively.

The Academic Warden I really like - her quote made me laugh out loud. But how many times has it been confirmed that Reality is Core Earth's thing? And now the entire Reality tree is just one-Perk-offset for anybody -- which might not be so bad if this Perk didn't actually stand in for Tenacious, a Reality Perk, only better. Tenacious makes your Soaking rolls Favored, and that's all. Reality Scholar makes all Reality tests Favored, so Soaking, Reconnection, anything. So... if you want to play a Reality-style character, start outside Core Earth, buy Reality Scholar, and you're actually better off than a Core Earther. I think I'd have been OK with this if it let you by an Alpha-clearance Reality Perk, but opening up the tree is too much.


Of course, those are just the ones I'm complaining about. ;) Elven Monk is neat - cool, but also a bit of a trap, since dumping your Strength as it allows will leave you with a low Toughness which is definitely balancing for a melee concept. Exalted Blood is... interesting. I'm honestly not sure how I feel about it beyond "intrigued," and that's an awfully good feeling to start with.

Quantum Entanglement is... just... genius. I don't know if Amy reads the forum, but if you do, the Quantum Magician is my favorite backer archetype ever (future or past! I'm like...98% sure of that, even if I get to design one myself someday) and I want to play one yesterday. (And yes, all the temporal uncertainties in this statement are totally intentional.) I absolutely adore you. Plus it's effectively limited and balanced. I love the risk/benefit tradeoffs, to really give the player significant decisions every round... ... OK, OK, I'll stop. This is just super cool and I know what my next character is going to be.

The Minotaur Gumshoe is awesome; the character art alone was totally worth that. The Pixie Infiltrator rocks. Born To Defend is great - I know someone who should buy it at their next opportunity - and I love her smile. Connections isn't bad, and would go very nicely with Always Prepared. And I love her chart. I'm sure if everyone just does their part, nothing can go wrong. Now... um... what's my part, again?

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Kuildeous
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Re: Aysle Backer Archetypes

Postby Kuildeous » Tue Jan 14, 2020 3:04 pm

utsukushi wrote: just send it ahead and have it Multi-Target Intimidate a room full of Shocktroopers, totally immune to their attacks, until you get an Outstanding result and take them all out?


I haven’t seen these yet, much less evaluated them. I’m just responding to this.

In my mind, this example is a matter of strict rules vs what makes sense. As the GM, I would say that a raven flying around not posing an actual threat will not take out the Shocktroopers. Maybe they all would flee if it startles them, but after the first few nevermores, the Shocktroopers would be waiting to see what would happen. And even fleeing is a temporary state. They’d probably come back after realizing there’s nothing threatening.

But I speak from an experienced GM who generally doesn’t take too much crap from others. A player could probably bully a GM with this, but there’s a lot in Torg that can be used to bully the GM.
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utsukushi
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Re: Aysle Backer Archetypes

Postby utsukushi » Tue Jan 14, 2020 3:18 pm

That's fair, but even ignoring that, a free Interaction every round is pretty huge compared to most Perks, especially since it's separate from your character but uses your values. So you can actually use the same Skill twice in a round, which is generally blocked for good reason. Your Raven can Intimidate them (or whatever your preferred Interaction is) to make them Vulnerable, then you can Intimidate against their lowered value to make them more Vulnerable or Stymied. It's a perfectly viable strategy always, but usually it takes two players. Every other pet has its own stats, and they're kind of balanced to be beginning pets, often with a tree to build it up. The raven uses your values, so it scales up automatically, and did I mention it's inexplicably invulnerable? And again, I know this is all for space reasons, because stat blocks take like half a page, but that doesn't make it any less trouble.

SichoPhiend
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Re: Aysle Backer Archetypes

Postby SichoPhiend » Tue Jan 14, 2020 8:24 pm

utsukushi wrote:And now the entire Reality tree is just one-Perk-offset for anybody -- which might not be so bad if this Perk didn't actually stand in for Tenacious, a Reality Perk, only better. Tenacious makes your Soaking rolls Favored, and that's all. Reality Scholar makes all Reality tests Favored, so Soaking, Reconnection, anything. So... if you want to play a Reality-style character, start outside Core Earth, buy Reality Scholar, and you're actually better off than a Core Earther. I think I'd have been OK with this if it let you by an Alpha-clearance Reality Perk, but opening up the tree is too much.


Not to nit pick too much, but this perk, as written, can be taken by Core Earthers too. And you don't get access to the entire Reality Tree, there are Beta Reality Perks in the Beta Primer that this doesn't give access to.

Nice catch about it working better than Tenacious, I hadn't thought about the implications yet, I would tend to agree, this should give access to an Alpha Reality Perk and nothing else. If you want to use it to purchase Tenacious, then there you go.

Zackzenobi
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Re: Aysle Backer Archetypes

Postby Zackzenobi » Tue Jan 14, 2020 9:32 pm

utsukushi wrote:Of course, those are just the ones I'm complaining about. ;) Elven Monk is neat - cool, but also a bit of a trap, since dumping your Strength as it allows will leave you with a low Toughness which is definitely balancing for a melee concept. Exalted Blood is... interesting. I'm honestly not sure how I feel about it beyond "intrigued," and that's an awfully good feeling to start with.


Hi my name is Dave and I worked with Darrell to come up with the Noble Scion and Exalted Blood Perk. If you have any questions or feedback, I'd love to hear them.

Fuzzy
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Re: Aysle Backer Archetypes

Postby Fuzzy » Tue Jan 14, 2020 10:05 pm

Where exactly are these printed up again? I don't see these archetypes in the pre-release archetypes file...

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TorgHacker
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Re: Aysle Backer Archetypes

Postby TorgHacker » Tue Jan 14, 2020 11:13 pm

Fuzzy wrote:Where exactly are these printed up again? I don't see these archetypes in the pre-release archetypes file...


They should be in something like Aysle Kickstarter Extras or Aysle Digital Extras (not sure the exact name of it).
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Kanaris
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Re: Aysle Backer Archetypes

Postby Kanaris » Tue Jan 14, 2020 11:27 pm

TorgHacker wrote:
Fuzzy wrote:Where exactly are these printed up again? I don't see these archetypes in the pre-release archetypes file...


They should be in something like Aysle Kickstarter Extras or Aysle Digital Extras (not sure the exact name of it).


Yeah, they weren't in the pre-release archetypes, which are archetypes prepared by the USNA game devs, but the "backer archetypes" a link to which was sent around by Drivethrupg about 20 hours ago. That email had a link to "Torg Eternity - Aysle Digital Backer files".

Daedra18
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Re: Aysle Backer Archetypes

Postby Daedra18 » Wed Jan 15, 2020 1:49 am

I don't think the raven can perform interaction attacks. The text states "It can't attack or be harmed." Maybe it only has your interaction attacks for the purpose of defenses - it can provide aid, but that is diminished if an enemy stymies/gets a players call on them.

mathey
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Re: Aysle Backer Archetypes

Postby mathey » Wed Jan 15, 2020 12:41 pm

I love the riffs on Columbo and Jamila Jamil/Tahani! Lot of great ideas in here.

I agree that the perks on the Backer Archetypes can get a bit wild, though. I'd be leery of accepting them as a GM if only because they seem so tied to the archetype concepts and making them "work".


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