Electric katana/longbow questions

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TorgHacker
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Re: Electric katana/longbow questions

Postby TorgHacker » Fri Jan 04, 2019 8:31 pm

ShirtlessOBrien wrote:.

I have to say that I like the approach that module takes a lot, and if there's any way to salvage that approach without causing major headaches I would be inclined to take it for home game purposes. One option might be to just say that Storm Knights are special and their stuff goes all flickery and spooky when they disconnect, but everyone else's gear is unaffected by disconnecting except that they can't make it work to actively break cosm laws.


This was one of those things we discussed in the design team but not (I think) until after the Corebook had gone to print.

This actually is the way it works. It's reality-rated people who have their stuff phasing in and out, and it's just the reality-rated people who can see it phasing in and out. Essentially this is a side effect of the fight between the Everlaw of One trying to transform the Storm Knight and the Storm Knight trying to reconnect to their own reality.

For Ords the thing just stops working, and they can't see phasing from reality-rated people.
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Re: Electric katana/longbow questions

Postby ZorValachan » Fri Jan 04, 2019 8:39 pm

Gargoyle wrote:IIRC, the overarching philosophies about the reality rules that have been said before on this forum are:

1) There doesn''t have to be a model of physics to govern reality. The rules ton't have to be completely consistent. Reality is just weird sometimes.
2) The reason for #1 is that it makes it more intuitive. If you think too hard about it, you come up with all sorts of holes. By going with the flow and just handling it however it makes sense in the moment, you're better off.

I don't have references for that and I'm too lazy to look it up, and it's totally paraphrased, but I really dig these ideas and that's how I run it.

Pretty sure in oTorg fiction when someone disconnected the gun would just go click and you had soldiers desperately rifle-butting dinos. That makes sense to me. It doesn't have to be the same as armor in TorgE where it goes out of phase like Schrodinger's cat. That makes sense for passive equipment because of the function of the gear. You could say the Everlaw is removing the function in the easiest way possible. If you disconnect with a gun at my table you can still club someone with it, not because of some rule that the Everlaw does this or that, but because it's intuitive and dramatically it's awesome, and that's close enough to the rules for me.

Also I feel like the function of the gear is the thing, not how it was manufactured. Building a baseball bat of Tech 24 materials doesn't make it Tech 24 IMO unless it electrifies it or something. It's still just a bat with whatever the low tech level that is. If you have an electric katana, or a regular katana for that matter, and disconnect with it in the LL, it too becomes a club in my mind. It doesn't have an edge anymore; it doesn't have to transform for that, I just think that's the easiest, cheapest way for the Everlaw of One to change it to conform. And it changes back when you reconnnect.

It's weird, there are plenty of corner cases, and tons of inconsistencies and I don't mind. It's a game where you can play a cybernetic witch next to a middle school art teacher, so I'm ok with stuff like this. There is too much awesome for this stuff to bother me. :) I get that I might be weird and that some people do want something more consistent.


In my personal game, I just have it function as the "closest" things I can think of at the time. So use long arms as clubs, handguns as rocks, electric katana's become bronze machetes (per LL book), etc. I do the same with armor too. Electric samurai armor becomes carapace armor. I do take the 2 minutes to quickly go through the gear as the GM. Alternately, if the player hsa a good idea, I might roll with it. firearms don't become bows, but compound bows may become sinew bows, etc. Then if the dreaded "1" comes up on reconnection and they transform (which just happened my last game!), I just let the player keep on going instead of stopping the game to "rebuild" the character. i just say the everlaw of one is working things out and by the next session they'll be firmly in their new reality.
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Re: Electric katana/longbow questions

Postby ShirtlessOBrien » Fri Jan 04, 2019 9:41 pm

Gargoyle wrote:IIRC, the overarching philosophies about the reality rules that have been said before on this forum are:

1) There doesn''t have to be a model of physics to govern reality. The rules ton't have to be completely consistent. Reality is just weird sometimes.
2) The reason for #1 is that it makes it more intuitive. If you think too hard about it, you come up with all sorts of holes. By going with the flow and just handling it however it makes sense in the moment, you're better off.

I don't have references for that and I'm too lazy to look it up, and it's totally paraphrased, but I really dig these ideas and that's how I run it.


That is one way to do it.

On the other hand I like it if players can learn what the rules are and predict what will happen, especially about life-or-death stuff, as long as doing so doesn't create any terrible headaches.

If someone is playing an Electric Samurai in my game, I think it's fair to them that they know what happens to their stuff when they disconnect, and that what happens to their stuff when they disconnect is the same as what happens to that enemy Electric Ninja when they disconnect or that Ayslish warrior in magical chainmail when they disconnect. That could mean their electric katana turning into a useless see-through ghost katana, or into a mundane katana that still hurts people, and either is fine as long as it is consistent with what happens to the ninja's electric shurikens and the warrior's armour.

Because the problem with saying "do what's intuitive" is that different people will have different intuitions.

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Re: Electric katana/longbow questions

Postby ShirtlessOBrien » Fri Jan 04, 2019 9:48 pm

TorgHacker wrote:
ShirtlessOBrien wrote:.

I have to say that I like the approach that module takes a lot, and if there's any way to salvage that approach without causing major headaches I would be inclined to take it for home game purposes. One option might be to just say that Storm Knights are special and their stuff goes all flickery and spooky when they disconnect, but everyone else's gear is unaffected by disconnecting except that they can't make it work to actively break cosm laws.


This was one of those things we discussed in the design team but not (I think) until after the Corebook had gone to print.

This actually is the way it works. It's reality-rated people who have their stuff phasing in and out, and it's just the reality-rated people who can see it phasing in and out. Essentially this is a side effect of the fight between the Everlaw of One trying to transform the Storm Knight and the Storm Knight trying to reconnect to their own reality.

For Ords the thing just stops working, and they can't see phasing from reality-rated people.


I think that's a significant improvement on the Core Rules canon, which solves all the problems I can currently think of.

It also answers the question of why it matters that electric katanas can work as normal katanas: when Pan-Pacifica Ords with electric katanas disconnect, they still have a katana to fight with. That's no help to Pan-Pacifica stormers and storm knights who get a ghost katana instead, but that's the price they pay for being special.

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Re: Electric katana/longbow questions

Postby Atama » Sat Jan 05, 2019 2:18 am

Gargoyle wrote:Also I feel like the function of the gear is the thing, not how it was manufactured. Building a baseball bat of Tech 24 materials doesn't make it Tech 24 IMO unless it electrifies it or something. It's still just a bat with whatever the low tech level that is.

Explain a Tech 22 machete, a Tech 16 saber, and a Tech 8 short sword. It doesn’t track. That Tech 24 bat is probably made of some kind of hydraulic-pressed wood combination sandwiched between high tech polymer resins and treated with a chemical sealant that makes it scratch- and moisture-resistant. Compared to a Tech 14 or whatever bat made of simple ash wood, lathed and sanded you might find in the Nile Empire or Orrorsh (okay, it would be a cricket bat in the latter).

I assume that the katana from Pan Pacifica was made using traditional methods. You can actually buy a hand-forged modern-made katana online in real life for not much more than what it costs in the Core Rules listing. I imagine collectors, some kinds of otaku, and sentimentalists in Pan Pacifica might prefer an old school sword.
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Re: Electric katana/longbow questions

Postby Gargoyle » Sat Jan 05, 2019 9:51 am

ShirtlessOBrien wrote:
Gargoyle wrote:IIRC, the overarching philosophies about the reality rules that have been said before on this forum are:

1) There doesn''t have to be a model of physics to govern reality. The rules ton't have to be completely consistent. Reality is just weird sometimes.
2) The reason for #1 is that it makes it more intuitive. If you think too hard about it, you come up with all sorts of holes. By going with the flow and just handling it however it makes sense in the moment, you're better off.

I don't have references for that and I'm too lazy to look it up, and it's totally paraphrased, but I really dig these ideas and that's how I run it.


That is one way to do it.

On the other hand I like it if players can learn what the rules are and predict what will happen, especially about life-or-death stuff, as long as doing so doesn't create any terrible headaches.

If someone is playing an Electric Samurai in my game, I think it's fair to them that they know what happens to their stuff when they disconnect, and that what happens to their stuff when they disconnect is the same as what happens to that enemy Electric Ninja when they disconnect or that Ayslish warrior in magical chainmail when they disconnect. That could mean their electric katana turning into a useless see-through ghost katana, or into a mundane katana that still hurts people, and either is fine as long as it is consistent with what happens to the ninja's electric shurikens and the warrior's armour.

Because the problem with saying "do what's intuitive" is that different people will have different intuitions.


Yeah, I'm not running games at a convention though, and my players are pretty chill, so it works for us. I am consistent enough. They may not know exactly what will happen the first time so it's not entirely predictable, but when it happens the second time I don't change the way it works. I do keep that level of consistency and I've never had a player bothered by it. And when they do question other things that I do that may be outside the letter of the rules, I explain my philosophy about it and they're fine with it. I play mostly RAW, but as you've seen on this thread, the RAW and published adventures are inconsistent as well when it comes to reality rules. So I strive to be consistently inconsistent. :)

At a convention game or if my players were more worried about such things I might run things a little tighter, but I'm glad I don't have to.
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Re: Electric katana/longbow questions

Postby Gargoyle » Sat Jan 05, 2019 10:10 am

Atama wrote:
Gargoyle wrote:Also I feel like the function of the gear is the thing, not how it was manufactured. Building a baseball bat of Tech 24 materials doesn't make it Tech 24 IMO unless it electrifies it or something. It's still just a bat with whatever the low tech level that is.

Explain a Tech 22 machete, a Tech 16 saber, and a Tech 8 short sword. It doesn’t track. That Tech 24 bat is probably made of some kind of hydraulic-pressed wood combination sandwiched between high tech polymer resins and treated with a chemical sealant that makes it scratch- and moisture-resistant. Compared to a Tech 14 or whatever bat made of simple ash wood, lathed and sanded you might find in the Nile Empire or Orrorsh (okay, it would be a cricket bat in the latter).

I assume that the katana from Pan Pacifica was made using traditional methods. You can actually buy a hand-forged modern-made katana online in real life for not much more than what it costs in the Core Rules listing. I imagine collectors, some kinds of otaku, and sentimentalists in Pan Pacifica might prefer an old school sword.


The reason you need to know the axioms is to know when it's a contradiction. You don't need to know who made it or what materials, that's unimportant. It's fun to talk about it but not necessary in the game. You just need to know if you're going to risk disconnecting with it when you slice up an edeinos warrior. As a GM I find it a pain to have to consider too, and a bit silly and unfair "I disconnected in Core Earth because I used a Tech 24 bat?". That doesn't feel right to me. That's why I feel like the bat shouldn't be Tech24 just because of what it's made of or how it was made. This doesn't come up a lot in actual play, but it's something I see talked about here a bunch.

Swords are similar to the bats/clubs. If the stats are the same I'd treat the machete saber and short sword as all Tech 8, but they're not. A short sword has +2 damage bonus and is Tech 8, fine. A saber and a katana has +3 damage bonus and are pretty much identical. So my house rule is they both should be a Tech axiom of 12. The saber gains no game mechanic advantage from being Tech 16, so I dislike that's how it is. It's even more expensive. They function all the same (and please don't point out to me how they are different in real life, I train with swords every day, I know...I'm talking about the basics of it and in the game..you're still cutting and poking people!), and so it just feels wrong that you can disconnect using a saber in Aysle but not a katana. Some people probably like that distinction, I don't.

Now I don't go through the equipment list and change it, I'm far too lazy for that. I go with the RAW values in play, so sabers at my table are still Tech 16. It's not a big deal IMO. But if there is a weapon not on the list, I don't inflate the tech level because of what you might see on a "How It's Made" video, I only make it higher if that helps its game mechanics somehow. It's still a house rule I suppose, but it's not one I have to use a lot.
Last edited by Gargoyle on Sat Jan 05, 2019 11:53 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Electric katana/longbow questions

Postby Sword of Spirit » Sat Jan 05, 2019 11:28 am

I'm not sure how I feel about Storm Knights being different in a way that makes them less effective than Ords when they are disconnected. That seems contrary to the whole point of being a Storm Knight.

I much prefer the idea that stuff just stops working at the higher tech axiom in the simplest way possible. This means most weapons just become clubs (their edges are too sharp for LL laws), while things that don't make sense being there yet being ineffective (like armor) begin phasing--or even just stop providing protection, as in a spear goes right through that plate armor like a shirt of leaves.

But seriously, higher axiom clothes fading in and out is just not a good idea. Naked disconnection isn't just a simple little thing, this is going to be a running joke, or something players spend inordinate time trying to deal with or role-playing silliness etc. Disconnected clothes just shouldn't provide any special benefits, but they shouldn't disappear.

In fact, I can't think of a lot of situations where phasing is really necessary at all. It works best as just a fallback explanation for when nothing simpler occurs to the GM.

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Re: Electric katana/longbow questions

Postby mica » Sat Jan 05, 2019 11:54 am

I was under the impression that for ords there is still a difference between disconnection and transformation.

So while they may disconnect when trying to fire a rifle in the LL or fix the boat with a wrench they were not actually transformed.

Example - the disconnected marines in the lifeboat are more in tune with the LL and beginning to wonder why they have an odd looking club in their hands but kind of recall that it is a gun, same thing for the mechanic with modern clothes and a wrench. At that point though they are simply disconnected core-earth.

They still presumably have some possibility and if they step into a hard point area will reconnect but are not instinctively fighting the new reality like storm knights so their gear will not actually flicker between realities.

Their actual items etc will transform when they do and it is at that point they are stripped of their (trace) possibilities. That said, as they are in the LL their items will also be subject to natural transformation, same as any item left unattended. So a disconnected ord with an ak47 in his hand tramping through the LL may find that it transforms into a spear even though his clothes remain modern.

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Re: Electric katana/longbow questions

Postby TorgHacker » Sat Jan 05, 2019 11:57 am

Sword of Spirit wrote:I'm not sure how I feel about Storm Knights being different in a way that makes them less effective than Ords when they are disconnected. That seems contrary to the whole point of being a Storm Knight.



Its part of the minor cost of being able to reconnect at all.


I much prefer the idea that stuff just stops working at the higher tech axiom in the simplest way possible. This means most weapons just become clubs (their edges are too sharp for LL laws), while things that don't make sense being there yet being ineffective (like armor) begin phasing--or even just stop providing protection, as in a spear goes right through that plate armor like a shirt of leaves.

But seriously, higher axiom clothes fading in and out is just not a good idea. Naked disconnection isn't just a simple little thing, this is going to be a running joke, or something players spend inordinate time trying to deal with or role-playing silliness etc. Disconnected clothes just shouldn't provide any special benefits, but they shouldn't disappear.



They don't. Just to be clear. If someone wants to argue that they still provide a 'benefit' then pull out a water pistol and shoot them a few times. :-)


In fact, I can't think of a lot of situations where phasing is really necessary at all. It works best as just a fallback explanation for when nothing simpler occurs to the GM.


Here's the thing. The only thing we _really_ care about is "You don't get the benefit of items contradictory to the reality you're in if you're disconnected".

And just having the thing not work if it has some sort of machine-like ability is really simple.

But the problem always was, "How do we explain how armor 'stops' working. Or swords? Essentially anything that was essentially a static object? We pretty much realized that NO explaination was going to be good...certainly not for everyone. Because it's nonsensical.

We had lengthy discussions on this. It wasn't a spur-of the moment idea. We did seriously think about having simple things just break, but that was a bit too permanent for what really was intended to be temporary. We thought about just having them 'not work' but then there would inevitably be those people who said, "But that doesn't make any sense? Why do they 'not work'? Why do some objects just work less well, and others stop working at all?

I know, because I was that person. :-)

Ultimately we decided on the phasing _because_ it was the fallback position when nothing simpler occurred to the designers. There just is a disagreement between us and you about which is simpler. :-)

It really was, in our opinion (and this was unanimous) the best of a bunch of poor options.

But (I haven't said this in awhile) your game has much different requirements than our product. We have to figure out a way to have this best presented to the masses...you just have to worry about yourself and your players.

But it's all just flavor text anyways. If you and your players prefer the "it just doesn't work" then go for it. We won't care. The only thing we really 'care' about (and even then...if you want to ignore this rule, go ahead!) is that people don't get benefits for contradictory stuff. How that happens is completely up to you.

We just provided an explanation that we thought most people would accept easiest.
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