Break it

sevanwint's picture
sevanwint
May 10, 2015 - 9:55pm
I think the most important thing, beyond background, beyond spelling, etc., it that the mechanics work. To me, it is important to try and break the mechanics to see where the major problems are. At this stage, it should be pretty easy; hopefully after it is broken I can begin to build something better. So have at it.
Comments:

Tchklinxa's picture
Tchklinxa
May 11, 2015 - 11:11am
I know I need to reread the PC creation especially skills, but it seemed pretty sound.
 "Never fire a laser at a mirror."

sevanwint's picture
sevanwint
May 11, 2015 - 12:23pm
One thing I think needs work are how background skills are handled. I am just not happy with them. They need to be more streamlined. 

TerlObar's picture
TerlObar
May 11, 2015 - 6:58pm
Quick question.  Is this version different than the one you sent me a while back?  I need to know if I should start over with this one or continue reading the other one.
Ad Astra Per Ardua!
Webmaster - The Star Frontiers Network & this site
Founding Editor - The Frontier Explorer Magazine
Managing Editor - The Star Frontiersman Magazine

sevanwint's picture
sevanwint
May 11, 2015 - 7:34pm
It is slightly different, but different enough.

jedion357's picture
jedion357
May 12, 2015 - 4:37am
What are background skills? I consider myself a SF super fan but dont know what a background skill is.
I might not be a dralasite, vrusk or yazirian but I do play one in Star Frontiers!

sevanwint's picture
sevanwint
May 12, 2015 - 5:57am
In character creation i have a small section where you get a limited number of skills based on where the character grew up. 

TerlObar's picture
TerlObar
May 29, 2015 - 9:06pm
Okay, here are my comments and thoughts after reading through the rules:

Page 12 – last paragraph – What does this mean. I'm not understanding the mechanic here. What does subtracting the difference from both sides of the roll mean? An example would be useful.

Page 19 – Senses – The +3 is probably to the alpha value based on the magnitude but it's not clear Page 20 – Senses – The value to add is missing

Page 23 – Movement (MOV) – It was unclear how this was different from what was presented in the species description for movement rates

Page 23 – Step 6 – second paragraph, second sentence – There is some sort of copy/paste/editing error here and I don't understand what it's saying

Page 41 – Gliding – In addition to the “add more here plus example” note you need to add the gliding table.

Page 56 – Leadership – second sentence: “In Star Frontiers, this skill is often used to ???? a the willingness ...” Something is missing

Page 56 – Negotiations (PSY) – You forgot to make this a heading

Page 72 – The information in the sidebar didn't make any sense to me. My note was “What does this mean?”

Page 76 – Dodging – second paragraph – When I was reading this and making notes I had the impression that it was implying that if their attack skill is higher than your dodge skill then you can't can't dodge because the minimum would be above your skill so no chance of success. Re-reading it I realize that by “attack roll” you don't mean their skill but what they actually rolled.

This is probably a good place for this. Overall the mechanic of trying to roll as high as you can but under your skill is definitely unique (at least in my limited experience). Personally I think that this, along with the idea of a minimum roll, adds an additional complication that I find very weird. It's not as intuitive as just modifying your skill roll down based on other effects and makes some of the mechanics throughout the system a little weird. It would seem that the same effect could be accomplished by using a general “lower is better” mechanic and using the difference between the skill and the roll as the degree of success or the modifier to apply to someone else's roll.

Page 78 – first full paragraph in second column – You need to create the lists of these techniques Page 78 – Drop – What does the ?S3 notation mean?

Page 79 – Multiple Defense – How do these negative modifiers jive with the minimum rolls. This mechanic isn't quite clear as to how multiple defenses are applied

Page 79 – Vital Areas – Lethality is used but hasn't been defined yet so it has no meaning here.

Page 81 – first full paragraph, second column – You talk about minimum rolls but the mechanic hasn't been fully explained. This mechanic could use some clarification Page 81 – Surprise – Lethality still hasn't been defined.

Page 83 – Braced Shots – You might want to add guidance on when bracing can't be used or what can't be done while bracing

Page 83 – Last paragraph under Bursts and Autofire – There is an extra not in the sentence. It should read (I think): “If a magazine contains more than one shot, but not less than it's burst, or autofirer rate, ...” Remove the crossed out “not”.

Page 84 – Last paragraph middle column – It reads “Hard cover may or may not conceal a target...” I had written the note “Why not” referring to concealing a target but I guess if it was a sheet of transparent aluminum :) you'd see them but not be able to shoot them. So I guess it's okay.

Page 88 – Hit location table – what die to roll? A d10? That doesn't cover the full range. A d20? The range doesn't cover all the possible rolls. This mechanic needs a little more explanation.

Page 89 – third paragraph under Lethality – you have a parenthetical note about modifying for the target area chosen. This needs to be explained.

A final thought related to the general comment above. I don't remember any use of the gamma number. Personally I find the using of the alpha, beta, and gamma numbers to be a bit strange. Most of the uses of the alpha number could simply be handled by calling out modifiers in multiples of 10 instead of single digits. The effect would be the same but there would be one less concept for players to remember.

Similarly I only remember the beta number being used for lethality (although there may have been something else at the beginning that I forgot). In any case, you don't have to invent a new term, simply call out using the ones digit of the roll or if you want have another d10 roll. This is a personal preference but I've never seen the aversion to rolling more dice. It doesn't slow down play all that much, it tends to be simpler to understand mechanically, and rolling dice is fun. (I love cranking my laser rifle up to 20 SEU and then rolling all the dice. :) ) But maybe that's just me.

So I guess what I'm saying is that you might want to take a good look at the alpha, beta, gamma numbers and see if they are really needed.
Ad Astra Per Ardua!
Webmaster - The Star Frontiers Network & this site
Founding Editor - The Frontier Explorer Magazine
Managing Editor - The Star Frontiersman Magazine

sevanwint's picture
sevanwint
July 1, 2015 - 8:57pm

The distribution of results helps to determine the feel of a game. Star frontier, to me at any rate, always had a heroic, golden age of science fiction feel. I think this is partly due to the linear distribution of results, which allows for incredible results at either end of the spectrum, to be more common than in the real world. At the same time, there are times where I want a grittier feel and would prefer bell curve distribution.  This is where the idea of the alpha beta and gamma numbers comes in. In them I have a strictly linear distribution (beta), a linear distribution with a success capped by Characteristic score (alpha), and a bell curve distribution of results (beta). This allows me to choose which type of distribution I wish, for the feel I am looking for in any particular part of the game. It’s flexible, if I want the scene to be more heroic, I will tend towards the use of and alpha or beta number to interpret the results. If I want to normalize the results (in hit location for instance), the gamma number will be more important to me.