*
*
Home
Help
Login
Register
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
September 01, 2014, 08:24:33 PM

Login with username, password and session length
Forum changes: Editing of posts has been turned off until further notice.
Search:     Advanced search
275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4283 Members Latest Member: - otto Most online today: 65 - most online ever: 429 (November 03, 2007, 04:35:43 AM)
Pages: [1]
Print
Author Topic: Using HeroQuest for Exalted- play report and musings  (Read 1928 times)
Paradoxdruid
Guest
« on: January 03, 2004, 01:17:31 PM »

On the advice of Ian Noble from RPG.net, I'm cross-posting my group's first experience with HeroQuest here.  I think it's a neat system, but we did have some problems.  I'm curious how my experience compares to others.  The original thread is at http://forum.rpg.net/showthread.php?s=&threadid=94067  Without further ado:

------------
So, a while ago I realized that although I love the setting of Exalted, it's rules just aren't ideal for my gaming group and I.

These forums lead me to snag HeroQuest as a possible replacement.  So, I did.  On a read-though, I found HeroQuest very well done and interesting, with a very elegent rules system.

Last night, I ran my test-session of ExaltedQuest, using Heroic Mortals to avoid some added complexity on the first run though.  I had myself as GM and 4 players.  I had character sheets and rules summaries a plenty printed out.  The characters were made via the list method, with 75, instead of 20, addtional points, to give them the "it's a one shot, your characters need to be more capable" advantage.  From character creation on, my group and I had some observations:
    [*]Character creation is FUN!  My players are best at Unknown Armies, so the free-form skill system didn't faze them, and they enjoyed the personality traits section.  One player REALLY liked the Keywords idea--  I'm fond of it myself.
    [*]Two players thought that using the "As You Go" system would be a fun idea to adopt for many games...  I think it could be, with good players.
    [*]When it got to adding ability points, they were less amused--  too much math, a complaint we'll see later on as well.
    [*]The game srtarted with some simple "out in the wilderness tasks", resolved as simple contests, to get them familiar with augments and such.  Our wilderness Shaman from the Far East got very creative with hunting, using Hunt (7m) augmented by Stealthy (+2), Patient (+3), Forest Knowledge (+3),  Fade from Sight (+3), Respected by Forest Spirits (+2), and Quick (+3) for a roll of 3m2--  are that many augments kosher?
    [*]The first extended contest was Negotiations with a Wind Spirit.  The AP system captured the flow of this quite nicely, with 2 of the 4 players taking to it quite easily, and starting to figure out the pros and cons of large vs. small bids, etc.  Already we noticed that one good roll can change the battle, when a bid of 50 AP gets a 2x transfer-- gah!
    [*]Soon after came a group extended contest: a fight with a band of bandits, with 2 head honchos.  Some fun creativity- players leading some thugs into the forest to get seperated and such--  but also our biggest problems of the evening, which I'll talk about individually.
    [*]Maybe our rolls were atypical (though they didn't seem so), but stealth in combat seemed to be the best way to win.  Our fighter jumped in, and got hacked at (his only skill applicable to defense was "Nimble  17")..  lossing 10 or so AP several times can quickly wear you down.  Conversely, our hiding, dagger-throwing thief gained several HUNDRED AP during the fight, by making daring 50 bids that could reveal his position, and getting 2x or 3x AP transfers.  This does NOT seem to emulate the over-the-top action I crave in Exalted.
    [*]The AP system seemed to break down in a group setting-  we had trouble rationalizing how a swift defeat of one foe (maybe gaining 60 AP from him) helped you against another foe.  Making the other foes afraid was the best we could rationalize.  One player pointed out that the turning momentum of battle the AP point simulates seems to work well for one-on-one duels and armies clashing, but in a typical RPG fights of skirmishers, seems to make less sense.
    [*]Our self described weak sorceror was impossible to hurt-  She described that attacks against her she would try to knock away with her staff, and that if they hit, she had her cloak of protection-  Giving her Staff-fighting 6m, plus staff augment (+3), Wind Staff Magick (+3), Agile (+3), Protective Cloak Magick (+3), and leathers +1, for a defensive roll of 19m.  As mentioned above, our alleged warrior (he used a ritual to shapeshift into a panther) had a defensive roll of 17.  Hmm.
    [*]The contest consequences worked out well for determining who was hurt, who was dead, etc.  No complaints there.
    [/list:u]  At this point, we realized that the combat had taken just as long as Exalted- a good 2 hours for the fight (in Unknown Armies, my fight scenes rarely last more than 20-30 minutes, which is what we like).  We took a break for a late dinner and to discuss what we thought of the system.
      [*]Most everyone likes the idea of augments-  we're considering adopting it into our long-running Unknown Armies game- allowing you to augment your Charm 45% with your Distracting Physique (30%/10 = +3%).  Not huge changes, but fun to think of comboes of them.
      [*]The Extended Contests seemed to cause headaches.  Most of my players felt it was far too abstract, adding several layers of "unnecessary complexity" on top of a fight scene, where it's already hard to keep track of who's doing what and where everyone is in a given round.
      [*]One player proposed keeping the AP system for social conflicts and maybe for tracking "valor -> fear" in combat, but use normal rules with wound levels and such for combat.  This was ruled by the others to be even MORE needlessly complex.
      [/list:u]  All in all, the system was deemed "okay, but not so amazing it's worth changing over too."

      On a plus note, the game DID get some more players interested in Exalted, and I'll probably be running a mini-series using normal Exalted rules soon.

      Myself?  I think HeroQuest has some neat ideas, but I did witness the level of abstraction it uses, and I'm not sure that's where my tastes lie.

      I'd love to here comments about my group's experience--  have you had similar/vastly different experiences with HeroQuest?
      Logged
      Brand_Robins
      Member

      Posts: 650


      WWW
      « Reply #1 on: January 03, 2004, 02:27:52 PM »

      Okay, let me start by saying that Exalted (one of my favorite games) is one of the few games I've never felt a real urge to convert to HeroQuest. My Exalt-Fu is to a point where I can run the system transparently, and so I don't feel the HeroQuest jones I get with, say, Midnight or Talislanta.

      However, I have done a large number of conversions of other settings to HeroQuest, and have done a lot of work around trying to wrap my own head around the game and how it interacts with various settings, and that's the angle I'm going to come at your report with.

      With no further ado....

      Quote from: Paradoxdruid
      When it got to adding ability points, they were less amused--  too much math, a complaint we'll see later on as well.


      Um? I’m not sure what the problem is here. You’ve got 20 points to add, no more than 10 to one ability right? We are talking about Char Gen here, right? This is considerably less math than is involved in making an Unknown Armies character (this many points per, with points for freebies, and extra points for power level) or a Storyteller Exalted Character (this many points per section, per subsection, and then freebie points at variable levels as bonuses to varying areas…)

      Really, I can’t see this as more than a perception issue. It felt like math because you were doing it for the first time and learning the rules, where in a game like UA, that you’re obviously kick-ass at, you can do it transparently.

      Quote from: Paradoxdruid
      are that many augments kosher?


      Depends on the situation. Many people will only allow 3 augments, at least before combat, but I find that can limit player creativity. I generally limit augments by time and focus available – if someone jumps you from ambush you may only be able to use 1 or 2, but if you’re doing something that you have all day to set up for and describe well, then your shaman’s augments would be all good by me.

      Quote from: Paradoxdruid
      when a bid of 50 AP gets a 2x transfer-- gah!


      How true it is. Of course, this also means that any action that makes a 50 AP bid should be something huge. If you’re playing Exalted it should really be something God Level, Warstrider Smacking, City Destroying, Endless Unfolding of the Rapture of Prismatic Ordering of Creation dancing, BIG. If someone does something that huge and succeeds, they should be rewarded. But unless they’re sticking their neck out and shaking the world, they aren’t really bidding that much.

      Quote from: Paradoxdruid
      Our fighter jumped in, and got hacked at (his only skill applicable to defense was "Nimble  17").


      What about his fighting abilities? With most weapon skills you can parry just as well as you can attack, and his nimble would have acted as a great augment to them. Why not defend with his Exalted God Of Daiklave Combat ability?

      Quote from: Paradoxdruid
      dagger-throwing thief gained several HUNDRED AP during the fight, by making daring 50 bids that could reveal his position, and getting 2x or 3x AP transfers.


      Something that “might reveal your position” really shouldn’t be a 50 AP bid. Especially not in an Exalted game. AP bids in a HeroQuest Exalted game are a lot like stunts in generic Exalted – they represent how huge and over the top what you are doing is. If you want to get a 50 AP bid you should be leaping out of cover, doing triple backflips above the heads of your foes while raining a thousand knives upon them till the sky goes dark, then running through the midst of their underlings stabbing and hacking like a glorious carnage typhoon.

      Make the players earn their AP bids. Make them back up the huge game risk/reward they are taking with huge things in the game world. In other words, make them be Exalted if they want to make Exalted level AP bids. Kick ass or die trying.

      Quote from: Paradoxdruid
      we had trouble rationalizing how a swift defeat of one foe (maybe gaining 60 AP from him) helped you against another foe.


      If they’re on the same side it can be any combination of things: you destroy their plans, you get behind them, you surround them, you leave them without defense on a flank, you cause their group focused charms to fail, you gain the kind of essence and willpower boost you would from a stunt in normal Exalted, letting you unleash something huge against them, you horrify them as they see their ally fall bleeding under your blade, you are able to sucker them into a weak position before they realize the tide of battle has shifted, you change the environment – forcing them into a narrow ally where their spears won’t work, for example.

      However, you have a point that I’ve often run into as well. In general I try to keep the number of actual foes down to a minimum and have all the others act as support for a named enemy. In Exalted this could well be represented by having only Exalts, God Bloods, Spirits, and Heroic Mortals acting as independent entities. Everyone else is just a supporter giving an augment (probably a small one). That way if the PCs kill mooks they weaken one real enemy, but don’t gain huge advantage other than that. If they take down a real enemy, then there is reason for the battle to shift dramatically – a powerful, central figure with massive magics supporting his whole side of the battle is now out of the fight, and that weakens his whole side massively.

      Quote from: Paradoxdruid
      Our self described weak sorceror was impossible to hurt -  as mentioned above, our alleged warrior (he used a ritual to shapeshift into a panther) had a defensive roll of 17.  Hmm.


      This seems like a combination of character not matching player description and player not making proper use of abilities. The weak sorcerer wasn’t really weak – at least not on defense. There’s no problem with that though, judging by the amount of protective gear that character took it seems she didn’t want to be easy to hurt, she wanted to be protected quite well and she got what she wanted. Was she strong on attack too? If so you might want to ask the player if she really wanted a weak sorcerer, or just a character who seemed like a weak sorcerer but was really a martial arts badass (which most Exalted sorcerers are anyway). The warrior I talked about already – he should have had other abilities to use (brawl, panther kung fu) along with augments from magic (panther magic), claws and thick hide, agility, etc.

      Quote from: Paradoxdruid
      At this point, we realized that the combat had taken just as long as Exalted- a good 2 hours for the fight (in Unknown Armies, my fight scenes rarely last more than 20-30 minutes, which is what we like).


      Yea, that’s about what my first couple of multiple combatant Extended contests were like. However, as you get used to it and everyone master the rules and learns tricks to shortcut things (like knowing the benefit of all your augments, focusing the enemy on a few named character supported by followers, etc) the time goes down quickly. The last combat I ran that was 4 PCs against 3 named characters and 15 mooks lasted about 45 minutes, and that was only because there was a lot of “return from death” action going on.

      Quote from: Paradoxdruid
      Most everyone likes the idea of augments-  we're considering adopting it into our long-running Unknown Armies game- allowing you to augment your Charm 45% with your Distracting Physique (30%/10 = +3%).  Not huge changes, but fun to think of comboes of them.


      You sir, are a genius. I am so going to adopt this into my Unknown Armies game.

      Quote from: Paradoxdruid
      The Extended Contests seemed to cause headaches.  


      I quite like them, but then I’ve worked hard to make them work for me. It’s possible that the abstraction of it just isn’t for you or your group. (If so, no harm, as I said I still play Exalted with the book rules, and love it to death – you can play it and love it too.)

      However, if you want some good discussion about the ways to make Extended Contests work you could check out the following threads:

      http://www.indie-rpgs.com/viewtopic.php?t=8326
      http://www.indie-rpgs.com/viewtopic.php?t=8329
      http://www.indie-rpgs.com/viewtopic.php?t=8332
      Logged

      - Brand Robins
      Pages: [1]
      Print
      Jump to:  

      Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.11 | SMF © 2006-2009, Simple Machines LLC
      Oxygen design by Bloc
      Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!