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Generally Positive SW Thoughts; SWDEE Criticism

 
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CitizenKeen
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 16, 2012 8:00 pm    Post subject: Generally Positive SW Thoughts; SWDEE Criticism Reply with quote

I just wanted to offer my feedback on SW, having finally gotten some real experience with the system.

Overall, what a frickin' blast. I love this system. Having finally completed my first adventure as a GM (four sessions), I love it. It's (1) relatively easy to adjudicate (still new, so even on the fourth night there are rules lookups, but less with each night); (2) ridiculously easy to design my adventures for; and (3) it's painless to play. I love it.

SW gives my group the tactical flavor we all want from 4th Edition D&D, the narrative ease they love from FATE, and the "accomplishment of leveling" I want from AD&D.

Our physically unstoppable ten-foot-tall obese elephant-tank was terrified into a Major Phobia of tentacles, and our magic-elemental descendant wizard survived an Incapacitation roll with no Bennies and a d4 Vigor. The table really loves the highs and lows.

Also, props to the guy who wrote Savage Armoury. I did what I was told and left the rules alone, with two exceptions, one of which* was the Armoury as written, and my players love it. They're looking forward to designing their own masterwork weapons. What a blast.

* The other was new skills at advancing only cost what they do at character creation.

Thank you, Shane and Clint and everybody else at Great White / Pinnacle. You guys rock! Thank you for giving me the system I've been looking for.

Now For the Harsh Talk / Constructive Criticism

Constructive: In the next edition, you should change the Wild Card Edges category name to something else. Those three edges that only apply when you get the Joker? Calling them the same thing as another named item in the game (characters who roll wild die and have wounds) is generally confusing. I have smart players with mixed amounts of RPG experience, and they were thrown off. They thought that all the edges that required Wild Card (which includes others) only applied when you had the Joker. Might add some clarity to change the name.

Harsh Talk: Even though I just started playing, I own three different versions of SW: the EE, SWD, and the SWDEE.

And the index in the SWDEE is the worst I've ever seen in any RPG product. I say that without hyperbole. It's a huge detriment in an otherwise incredibly awesome product. It's useless as an index. I don't know if you guys forgot to update it when transitioning from SWD or what, but it is, hands down, the worst section in a book I've ever seen. An incomplete index is less disruptive than an index that's reliably incorrect.

I realize you guys are a small shop (or not?), and mistakes happen. Errata is there for a reason. I totally get it. But the index is a key feature of any reference book, and when it's as useless as the one in SWDEE, well, it's frustrating and disappointing.

</harsh>

I will keep supporting you guys. You're amazing. Thank you for a wonderful rules system and an amazing fanbase. THANK YOU.
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Virgobrown72
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 16, 2012 8:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah, I have the little plastic color coded tab thingies on my page edges for the different sections. A helps somewhat...
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Kythkyn
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 17, 2012 12:19 am    Post subject: Re: Generally Positive SW Thoughts; SWDEE Criticism Reply with quote

CitizenKeen wrote:

And the index in the SWDEE is the worst I've ever seen in any RPG product.

I am going to assume you've never dealt with a White Wolf book in that case
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votan
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 17, 2012 12:32 am    Post subject: Re: Generally Positive SW Thoughts; SWDEE Criticism Reply with quote

Have I mentioned that the $10 price tag is an amazing advantage to getting people to try out the system. It is the first game that is so inexpensive that I have seriously considered buying extra copies to hand out to prospective players.
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Virgobrown72
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 17, 2012 6:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
It is the first game that is so inexpensive that I have seriously considered buying extra copies to hand out to prospective players


Agreed and seconded. But they will be tabbed also... Wink
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CitizenKeen
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 17, 2012 11:53 am    Post subject: Re: Generally Positive SW Thoughts; SWDEE Criticism Reply with quote

Kythkyn wrote:
CitizenKeen wrote:

And the index in the SWDEE is the worst I've ever seen in any RPG product.

I am going to assume you've never dealt with a White Wolf book in that case


I've dealt with two or three in the 90s, which was what prompted my comment on incomplete versus inaccurate. But I do not have extensive experience, no.
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Kythkyn
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 17, 2012 1:43 pm    Post subject: Re: Generally Positive SW Thoughts; SWDEE Criticism Reply with quote

CitizenKeen wrote:
Kythkyn wrote:
CitizenKeen wrote:

And the index in the SWDEE is the worst I've ever seen in any RPG product.

I am going to assume you've never dealt with a White Wolf book in that case


I've dealt with two or three in the 90s, which was what prompted my comment on incomplete versus inaccurate. But I do not have extensive experience, no.

Incomplete, inaccurate. A joke, whichever word you want to use to describe WoD books. Seriously, I have several of them where the index refers you to page XX. And that's if/when the index has anything close to what would be helpful. No, White Wolf, I don't need to know where your crappy fiction begins.
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IanPScheffler
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 19, 2012 9:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I rather like White Wolf meta-plots and settings, but disliked the actual fiction they produced. I am casually working on converting their Masquerade setting for use with SW so that I don't have to roll six handfuls of dice whenever an NPC sneezes. It is just best to assume that White Wolf books don't have an index, some people go in search of one and are never heard from again.

I can't speak for the Deluxe Explorer's Edtion as I just have the slim hardback version, but I never really had to use the index much with SW even when I was new to it. This told me it well composed and usable as a game system.

Games that require more than the occasional reference during play are obstacles designed to hinder gamers, not systems used to play them. Would you play a game of poker so complicated that you had to constantly reference a rule book even if it had an excellent index?
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Cutter XXIII
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 19, 2012 11:21 am    Post subject: Re: Generally Positive SW Thoughts; SWDEE Criticism Reply with quote

Kythkyn wrote:
CitizenKeen wrote:
Kythkyn wrote:
CitizenKeen wrote:

And the index in the SWDEE is the worst I've ever seen in any RPG product.

I am going to assume you've never dealt with a White Wolf book in that case


I've dealt with two or three in the 90s, which was what prompted my comment on incomplete versus inaccurate. But I do not have extensive experience, no.

Incomplete, inaccurate. A joke, whichever word you want to use to describe WoD books. Seriously, I have several of them where the index refers you to page XX. And that's if/when the index has anything close to what would be helpful. No, White Wolf, I don't need to know where your crappy fiction begins.

In all the years I played White Wolf's games, I can't remember ever looking at an index, much less being bothered by typos. I was too enthralled by the ideas.

But generally speaking, let's try to keep things "nice, friendly, and respectful," and not use this thread (or these forums) as the place where we bash White Wolf. Thanks!
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Kythkyn
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 19, 2012 11:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm sorry if you took it as me bashing White Wolf. I was only pointing out that there were some flaws with their lay outs. Seeing as I own over 100 oWoD books, clearly they did something right.
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CitizenKeen
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 19, 2012 12:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

IanPScheffler wrote:
I rather like White Wolf meta-plots and settings, but disliked the actual fiction they produced. I am casually working on converting their Masquerade setting for use with SW so that I don't have to roll six handfuls of dice whenever an NPC sneezes. It is just best to assume that White Wolf books don't have an index, some people go in search of one and are never heard from again.


Whether or not another company has a good or bad index is irrelevant - just because you find a beak in your bucket of KFC doesn't excuse the hair you find in your Taco Bell.

IanPScheffler wrote:
I can't speak for the Deluxe Explorer's Edtion as I just have the slim hardback version, but I never really had to use the index much with SW even when I was new to it. This told me it well composed and usable as a game system.

... Would you play a game of poker so complicated that you had to constantly reference a rule book even if it had an excellent index?


Absolutely! I'm (1) a rules lawyer, and (2) a real lawyer. My players are the most enjoyable I've ever encountered - they want a grand story, full of fluff and narrative and whimsy, and goddamn it, the rules better be right.

We can't make it through a game of Dixit without checking the rules twice. Some people like navigating complex rules. SW is a fantastic system, but my group likes tactical combat, and the explicit rules for climbing, or whether you can shoot and then aim (to get the bonus next turn, netting a -2 now for a +2 later) in the same turn, or whether you aim and reload, or whether a given power affects allies or just enemies, we love delving into that minutiae.

IanPScheffler wrote:
Games that require more than the occasional reference during play are obstacles designed to hinder gamers, not systems used to play them.


Arguably true, but I don't think looking up three rules in a five hour session when we're new to the game is excessive. And when the index points you to a wrong page, that's more time you're looking up rules and not playing.

(And I'm mindful of the idea that GM's should just call it. If it's not immediately apparent, then I just make a ruling. But when I'm looking for a table for a specific effect and the index points me to wrong page, I'm not just going to "call it." We'll just keep looking for the answer.)
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Cutter XXIII
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 19, 2012 1:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kythkyn wrote:
I'm sorry if you took it as me bashing White Wolf. I was only pointing out that there were some flaws with their lay outs. Seeing as I own over 100 oWoD books, clearly they did something right.

I'm sorry this wasn't clear to you from the forum rules. When you call the indexes "a joke," and the fiction "crappy," it goes beyond pointing out objective flaws and becomes disrespectful. You can say whatever you like about White Wolf and their books, but tone is important.
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Kythkyn
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 19, 2012 1:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cutter XXIII wrote:
Kythkyn wrote:
I'm sorry if you took it as me bashing White Wolf. I was only pointing out that there were some flaws with their lay outs. Seeing as I own over 100 oWoD books, clearly they did something right.

I'm sorry this wasn't clear to you from the forum rules. When you call the indexes "a joke," and the fiction "crappy," it goes beyond pointing out objective flaws and becomes disrespectful. You can say whatever you like about White Wolf and their books, but tone is important.

Thank you for the reminder. If/when I opine on the matter again, I will be sure to clearly mark objective and subjective criticism, and in a more appropriate tone.
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GranFalloon
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 19, 2012 10:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

CitizenKeen wrote:
I'm (1) a rules lawyer, and (2) a real lawyer.


Tom? Izzat you?
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CitizenKeen
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 20, 2012 7:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

GranFalloon wrote:
CitizenKeen wrote:
I'm (1) a rules lawyer, and (2) a real lawyer.


Tom? Izzat you?


I'm not your fool.
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jpk
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 21, 2012 12:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

CitizenKeen wrote:
GranFalloon wrote:
CitizenKeen wrote:
I'm (1) a rules lawyer, and (2) a real lawyer.

Tom? Izzat you?

I'm not your fool.

Is it just me, or does anyone else suddenly hear Strangers in the Night?
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Clint
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 21, 2012 10:56 am    Post subject: Re: Generally Positive SW Thoughts; SWDEE Criticism Reply with quote

CitizenKeen wrote:
And the index in the SWDEE is the worst I've ever seen in any RPG product. I say that without hyperbole. It's a huge detriment in an otherwise incredibly awesome product. It's useless as an index. I don't know if you guys forgot to update it when transitioning from SWD or what, but it is, hands down, the worst section in a book I've ever seen. An incomplete index is less disruptive than an index that's reliably incorrect.


You say this is "without hyperbole," and then note the index is "useless" and "reliably incorrect." Then in a later post you said the index "points you to a wrong page" more than once.

I'm not trying to call you out, but could you perhaps give specifics?

I and others have done a spot check of the index in multiple locations, and we haven't found incorrect references much less anything that could be construed as if the index from the previous book was used which would make almost every single reference wrong. There are hundreds of references in the index, and if it was truly "reliably incorrect" I would expect most of them to be wrong or at the very least a large enough percentage that a random sampling would hit at least one wrong page out of the bunch.

Point is, this just doesn't make any sense. I could understand criticism of the "The index should list X not Y" nature as that happens with any index really, but saying it's flat out wrong throws me. It's almost as if there are two entirely different indices in the books, which would seem to be impossible... though I've learned the "impossible" is just something highly unlikely waiting to surprise you. #1eek1

So again, if you have specifics, it's possible to cross-reference and figure out what the issue is, so we can hopefully fix it in the future.
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