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I like Savage Worlds as a whole, I hate the mini-math

 
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Gundark
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Joined: 30 May 2012
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 27, 2012 11:26 am    Post subject: I like Savage Worlds as a whole, I hate the mini-math Reply with quote

What do I mean by mini-math? For me it's the little +1 modifier for this or -2 modifier for that, most of the time they're not too terrible, however frustrating when multiple effects are in play (ie. 3 round burst, wound modifiers, cover, adding up exploding dice, Dodge edge). Now granted the example was an extreme case, however even minor examples (exploding dice & wound mods) that happen more often are irritating

I know the most common response will be "meh! doesn't bother me" , however for me and my group it slows down play.

Am I stuck with it? Or are there alternatives?

Suggestions?
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Kythkyn
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 27, 2012 12:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

What exactly is bogging you down about it?
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Dracones
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 27, 2012 2:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Eh, it's sort of a part of the game. Ex/ you wild attack and then a mook does an agil trick so now you have +2 attack, -4 parry, etc etc etc.

The mod math in this game is pretty light compared to most. I mostly bog down on the raise math myself.

Fate is a rpg that's pretty mod light. You typically only have aspects that are compelled(-2) or tagged(+2) and most of the time it's just one thing being worked with. If you're looking for something less math crunchy and still has some system crunch you might consider that a read.
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ValhallaGH
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 27, 2012 3:39 pm    Post subject: Re: I like Savage Worlds as a whole, I hate the mini-math Reply with quote

Gundark wrote:
Am I stuck with it? Or are there alternatives?

Suggestions?

One way to avoid it is to not choose actions that apply modifiers. Then you just have to worry about wounds, fatigue, lighting, cover, and edges / special abilities. If you're the GM then you can eliminate most of the lighting and cover issue, as well as the special abilities; heck only using extras and undead / construct wild cards will keep you from worrying about wounds or most kinds of fatigue.

The options are tactical choices available to characters and players. Using the options can increase odds of victory and survival, rewarding thoughtful play, but are not necessary to play the game.

If you want a system that lacks such options then you may want to look at something like FATE, or the Dragon Age RPG, (possibly) D&D Next (I've heard they're trying to eliminate in-combat math), or something other than Savage Worlds.
Acing dice, static modifiers, and numerical rewards for good tactics are too central to the system design to remove without disrupting everything.
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Clash957
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 27, 2012 7:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I know what you mean sometimes. I would say its not so bad if you are one of the players with one character, but when I ran the Moscow Connection One Sheet, I have all kinds of modifiers (Full Auto, Aim, Lighting, Gang UP, etc) that had to be applied to all of the Extras differently as some didn't have SMGs or were in melee, some were firing at PCs in the light, while others were shooting in Dim lighting.

Here the best I can think of to limit the number of modifiers broken up whether you are a player or a GM:

Players' Advice:
* I would simply write all of your permanent Edge modifiers right next to the Skill they modify. Write any Dodge modifier by your Parry.
* As for tactics, an unmodified roll (No wild Attack, No Full Defense, No Double Tap, etc.) is always good generally.
* For conditional modifiers (Fatigue/Wounds), use paper clips on the character sheet. That's why their laid out on the edge like that.
* Start at Novice, 0 XP. I'm not sure if this is a thing you are doing, but players known their characters abilities better if they start with only a few and build them up over time. D&D knew what they were doing there.

Game Master Advice:
* Limit the number of environmental effects going on and make them basically a blanket effect (foggy everywhere, very cold/hot, etc.).
* Give the extras the Edges that remove any penalties for rolls their likely to make (i.e. if they have a Automatic weapons give the Rock and Roll Edge). Chances are you'll forget anyway, so they might as well have it.
* Don't get fancy with special tactics rules. If you want to show off them to the players, use only one of them for demonstration. Try to make them effective so the players will use it certain applications.
* Limit the number of Wild Cards in the fight and don't make Uber Characters. The more Wild Cards on the battlefield the more you have to track with Wounds, Fatigue, and other things (Edges). This gets worse if you try to make Super Billy Badass with every combat Edge the game. Worse yet, Billy won't get to use but a fraction those abilities and still might go down like a punk if the players target him or get really lucky. Better to give players a bunch of extras (or Henchmen/Minion house rules) that a bunch of Wild Cards with too many Edges.
* Have the players run their allies. Why worry about them when they will basically follow the orders of the players anyway. Additionally, if any of the Player Characters are incapacitated (and no Ally Wild Cards are available), you could have them take over for one of the enemy Wild Cards for you. This will free up more mental processing power for you and the player has something to do during the battle.
* Eye ball modifiers for rolls. You don't need to check exactly what the penalties are for picking a lock in complete darkness, with a bobby pin, in sub zero temperatures, on 3 hours of sleep. You know its going to be really hard. Give the player a -8 and call it good.

I don't know if that helps any. I really don't think getting rid of roll modifying Edges (like Marksman), or even other rules will work very well. Most of the modifiers that exist are found in some form or another in other traditional RPGs. Outside of that, maybe ValhallaGH is right, another game would be more your thing.
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tigerguy786
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 27, 2012 10:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Clash957 wrote:
I know what you mean sometimes. I would say its not so bad if you are one of the players with one character, but when I ran the Moscow Connection One Sheet, I have all kinds of modifiers (Full Auto, Aim, Lighting, Gang UP, etc) that had to be applied to all of the Extras differently as some didn't have SMGs or were in melee, some were firing at PCs in the light, while others were shooting in Dim lighting.

Here the best I can think of to limit the number of modifiers broken up whether you are a player or a GM:

Players' Advice:
* I would simply write all of your permanent Edge modifiers right next to the Skill they modify. Write any Dodge modifier by your Parry.
* As for tactics, an unmodified roll (No wild Attack, No Full Defense, No Double Tap, etc.) is always good generally.
* For conditional modifiers (Fatigue/Wounds), use paper clips on the character sheet. That's why their laid out on the edge like that.
* Start at Novice, 0 XP. I'm not sure if this is a thing you are doing, but players known their characters abilities better if they start with only a few and build them up over time. D&D knew what they were doing there.

Game Master Advice:
* Limit the number of environmental effects going on and make them basically a blanket effect (foggy everywhere, very cold/hot, etc.).
* Give the extras the Edges that remove any penalties for rolls their likely to make (i.e. if they have a Automatic weapons give the Rock and Roll Edge). Chances are you'll forget anyway, so they might as well have it.
* Don't get fancy with special tactics rules. If you want to show off them to the players, use only one of them for demonstration. Try to make them effective so the players will use it certain applications.
* Limit the number of Wild Cards in the fight and don't make Uber Characters. The more Wild Cards on the battlefield the more you have to track with Wounds, Fatigue, and other things (Edges). This gets worse if you try to make Super Billy Badass with every combat Edge the game. Worse yet, Billy won't get to use but a fraction those abilities and still might go down like a punk if the players target him or get really lucky. Better to give players a bunch of extras (or Henchmen/Minion house rules) that a bunch of Wild Cards with too many Edges.
* Have the players run their allies. Why worry about them when they will basically follow the orders of the players anyway. Additionally, if any of the Player Characters are incapacitated (and no Ally Wild Cards are available), you could have them take over for one of the enemy Wild Cards for you. This will free up more mental processing power for you and the player has something to do during the battle.
* Eye ball modifiers for rolls. You don't need to check exactly what the penalties are for picking a lock in complete darkness, with a bobby pin, in sub zero temperatures, on 3 hours of sleep. You know its going to be really hard. Give the player a -8 and call it good.

I don't know if that helps any. I really don't think getting rid of roll modifying Edges (like Marksman), or even other rules will work very well. Most of the modifiers that exist are found in some form or another in other traditional RPGs. Outside of that, maybe ValhallaGH is right, another game would be more your thing.


I could not have said it better. I always thought SW was really light on midifiers, but then I was comparing it to 4th Edition, which has a rule and modifier for EVERYTHING
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sablemage
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 28, 2012 1:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Most of my players are math-averse, so I ran SW without modifiers at all for a couple of years. It works just fine.

Some of them are now at the point where they're complaining about shooting people being so much easier than hitting them (target number of 4 rather than Parry) so it's time to introduce cover and lighting effects...
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Enno
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 28, 2012 3:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

- Use one or more of the numerous GM screen inlays and cheat sheets available.
- Use one of the numerous mobile apps out there, like the Savage Worlds Combat Tracker.
- Use physical representations for wounds, fatigue, power points, ammo, shaken, +2/-2 action modifiers. We use glass beats and colored paper clips mostly, but there are numerous professionally made products available.
- There is always a rules buff at the table, who knows all the fine print and isn't mentally challenged by just adding and subtracting a few numbers. Delegate all math/rules stuff to him or her and give him/her a benny for the good work! Wink
- Give every player a copy of the Combat Survival Guide and eventually a printout of the Test Drive Rules
- If you have problems of calculating Target Numbers and Raises, uses the Wheel of Raises

All the mentioned tools and files could be found in the forum, pinnacles download page, or internet pages like Savagepedia.
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kaltorak
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 28, 2012 5:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

What about keeping only the worst modifier?
For example, a Wounded (-2), Fatigued (-1) hero is fighting in Pitch Black light condition (-4).
He considers only -4 and not -7.
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Dracones
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Location: Fort Pierce, Fl

PostPosted: Fri Sep 28, 2012 9:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Clash's Game Master advice is fantastic. I know for my games I don't recall ever bothering to give a NPC an edge. I pretty much just threw more mooks at the players. 10-15 was an average fight, maybe 20 was a harder fight and the big finale might see 30 mooks.

They'd all be really generic and I'd only worry about gang ups. Doing that there was nothing for me to track, the game was really easy despite having lots of tokens on the table. D6 skill/vigor/spirit and 1 wound. Maybe have the tough guys d8 instead, etc. I'd just wing it.

For wild cards I'd just give them 1 or 2 interesting abilities, so again nothing to really track. For wounds I'd put a die next to them to track how many wounds they had.

PC edges were up to the players to track and manage.

So I don't know if it's edge creep giving you hassles, but if it is just throw them out for your guys. Just use numbers to challenge the PCs.
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Maine
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Joined: 01 Jan 2009
Posts: 124

PostPosted: Sat Sep 29, 2012 7:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I suggest using modifiers, but limit how many you apply, and for the most part just wing it. Most modifiers are flat +/-2. Once you get the hang of it, as GM you can pretty much call the modifiers on the fly as one of -6/-4/-2/0/+2. Simply add up the number of negative and positive things that apply (-1 for negative, +1 for positive), multiply by 2. A couple things are worth 2 steps (Long range, the drop).

E.g

Medium range with low light, in cover? That's 3 things again, so -6.

Wild attacking while prone? Net 0.

Long range (worth 2), aimed shot, target is unaware (worth 2)? +2.

For wounds we use markers, and those apply separately.
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