Jun 28, 2015

Going Gold

Backer digital copies have been sent. There'll probably be an update with whatever typo fixes still linger around sent out at the same time the print editions ship.

I'll upload the free rules-only version soon. It is not a LOT of work but it still takes time and I don't want to just toss up a bunch of text into a file and call it a day.

Jun 21, 2015

Final Tally of Changes. Part III: Bosses.

Forty minutes until Sunday ends here so I'm still on time for this one. You know how it goes by now, a whole bunch of this has been discussed in the comments section before but with a handful of entirely new additions.

Boss Powers

  • Do you Desire the Power? is now usable only once per Round per target but, if the target has no Genre Points left, they must take the second option and only if they have no Allies alive do they hurt themselves: More of a clarification than a change, really. This was more or less how it was always supposed to work.
  • Useless! now blocks 5 Damage plus the current Tension per use but may be used once per Round: So you can't toss up a 15 damage barrier up while you're about to die, but each activation itself is much stronger - twice as strong as early as  Turn 1!

Boss Upgrades

  • Adaptive Morphology now grants 5 and 10 Defense at Levels 2 and 3 but can only choose between Beam and non-Beam: So an additional five defense is A LOT, but can still be overcome by barrier-piercing effects and can't counter melee/shooting specialists anymore. It is stronger to ensure its impact is felt even at high power levels but less versatile so nearly everybody should have a way around it.
  • Bullet Hell's Level 3 and 4 triggers now deal half your Systems + Tension and Systems + Tension instead: This is the opposite of the above change, making it less extreme. The total amount of Damage is considerably lower, from around 30 to around 20, so it still hurts a lot but won't obliterate everyone standing right next to it when it goes down.
  • Eye for an Eye adds Tension to all triggers: This was okay but is now more respectable as an alternative to Bullet Hell, adding up to an extra 5-10 Damage total, but it is still lower than what Bullet Hell can put out when it gets multiple PCs in its area of effect. Still, it is direct damage against whoever needs to be protected the most right now and doesn't depend on any stat.
  • Nanoskin Shell's damage shield now adds Power Level to all triggers: A curious variable to add, I know. A 15 damage shield is juust enough for survivability at low levels, but not so much for the higher ones. The 3 or 6 extra points won't make the boss unbeatable for PCs just starting out, but adding 15 more HP to a superboss is much more noticeable.
  • Phantom Predator's Level 4 ability imparts two Disadvantages to attacks from Weapons that aren't Blasts, Bursts or Lines: Stealth Field got changed so it is only fitting that the Boss-tier equivalent does too.
  • Three Times Faster now chooses one Enemy each Round to gain against them a bonus to Might Tests of half Speed at Level 2, half Speed to Defense at Level 3, and full Speed to Might Tests and Defense at Level 4: This was just plain overpowered. Now it is comparable to Bloodlust in that you single out one target and overwhelm them with raw power. You can change the target each Round, but the bonus depends on Speed so it is lower than the baseline bonus Bloodlust gets you.

Boss Weapons

  • Suicide Swarm is a Blast 3 with Long Range and the Damage taken increases the result of the Might Test: This should be able to catch at least two PCs per attack now, and because the bonus is a flat up boost to the result of the Might Test it'll be a hit. Still doesn't have the raw power of something like Overfreeze or Merge but the controlled self-damage means it can be used to maximize the effects of something like, say, Bullet Hell to hit even harder.
  • Ultimate Bomb is a Blast 5 but gains two Advantages to its Might Test: This is pretty straightforward. We're reducing the sizes of all Blasts and the largest Blast in the game got its radius halved. The huge area of effect was its selling point though, so now it hits much harder to compensate. Ultimate Bomb still hurts the user though, so it is a double edged sword that just got a lot more vulnerable to duelist lockdowns.
  • Overfreeze loses Blast and Long Range to become a Line Weapon: As a Blast, this was just too strong against low level PCs who rarely had a way to survive a constant spam of beam attacks plus difficult and extreme terrain. As a Line, it still hurts quite a bit but doesn't spell doom for the whole of them.

I talk a lot about how the Kickstarter rewards are coming along but not a lot about the version of the rules that is going to continue being free. So here's the brief version: If things go well this week and I don't get swamped by work at the end of the month, I'll be uploading that next Sunday. Until then!

Jun 15, 2015

Final Tally of Changes. Part II: Mecha.

Oh boy oh boy it is update time! A day late, yes. Sorry about that but I spent the whole afternoon yesterday under the weather. The good news is that we're printing test copies already so we are very close to the finish line. As usual, what you'll read in the rest of this post shouldn't be much of a surprise if you've been following the blow. I'm going to paste the main dish of the most recent Kickstarter update here, changes in italics are from the Experimental Rules PDF while changes in bold are modifications of the experimental rules or entirely new.

General Changes

  • Cores can no longer use Upgrades and Weapons after ejection: The core ejection is meant to give the PC one last chance to retreat in battle, possibly using another Genre Power or two to help their allies before leaving at most. Builds focusing on Support Upgrades and The Beast could use it to keep fighting after being defeated. Especially with the case of The Beast, this was an unfair advantage.
  • Impassable Terrain now deals damage to units that are forcefully slammed into it: There's going to be more ways to move enemies around in the expansion, this makes those better and makes Impassable Terrain something more interesting than just a barrier.
  • Shooting Weapons no longer gain a +5 range bonus from Aiming, that bonus goes to Long Range Weapons instead: This helps out the melee weapons with reach a little. More importantly, it is now possible to balance guns like Riot Weapon and Bombardment around having short range, which were never intended to be used from the safety of your side's back row.
  • All Blasts now have their own unique blast radius between 1 and 4. All other area of effect weapons have been keyworded as either Burst (those that attack enemies around the user) or Line (those that attack all units in a straight line): Most Blasts are size 2, going up to 3 with Artillery Frame. Bursts got a bit of a buff since the experimental pdf in that they only target enemies now.


  • Stealth Field is 2 Disadvantages to non-Burst, Blast or Line Weapons: This makes it function like Interference Terrain from the expansion and is a good defensive boost that does not, you know, make you completely immune to like three of every four Weapons in the game.
  • Artillery Frame works with all Blast, Burst and Line Weapons and costs 5 less but has the blast radius bonus reduced by 1: Giving the advantage bonus to Bursts and Lines means more options for your build and it is cheaper to compensate for how most blasts lost a 2-3 zone radius overall.
  • Invincible Alloy is 20 MP: As per the poll discussed a week ago.
  • Guardian of Steel has a reduced range of 1 Zone around the user: Still very strong, but now conditional since it requires proper positioning.
  • Resupply can spend multiple uses at once with one Action: As of the preview v2 it takes a while for Support types to get going, but once they do they can pull some really nasty moves and even combo them together... Once per fight. This lets them do multiple combos each Operation, making them more fun to use.
  • Supports have a reduced range to just plain Systems: Buuuuut just to be on the safe side, we don't want them pulling those combos from 10+ Zones away while they keep running away from anything threatening, so we're reducing their range to keep them from outshining snipers at their own niche.
  • Expansion Pack holds 30 MP and costs 20: I went pretty in depth into this one last update.
  • Combining takes up one Action from one participant, not one Action from everyone: It is a small buff, but one worth having for combiners that deploy without combining first.
  • Unison Combination costs 10: Just a small buff. I figure there's enough downsides to being combined that this doesn't need to cost 20.
  • Component Unit replaced with Super Combination which costs 10 for everyone involved and averages Might, Guard, Systems and Speed: This is a big one, and I'm not a fan of it, but the old Component Unit just wasn't cutting it. One Component Unit attached made your Mecha stronger than a Boss, two made it near invincible and it just got worse from there. I haven't given up on dedicated Component Units though, they are going to make a comeback for the expansion, so I can get them right.


  • Boosted Lance can no longer be used to escape from Duels: It was better than Slippery Chassis at its own job. Yyyep.
  • Antiair Missiles got a buff of an additional Advantage to their use: This more or less doubles the power of Antiair Missiles to a pretty respectable +4 against aerial targets, but it is still a very conditional Weapon. Most flying Mecha can transform out of plane form or, you know, just land. And in space or underwater this is just barely better than a Default Weapon. I'm calling this balanced.
  • Rocket Punch has a bonus +2 to its Maximum Range: This makes it useful even with a Systems of 0, even with a meager investment of 10 points into Systems 4 this gets a respectable reach of 7 Zones. This should help duelists close the distance with snipers.
  • Assault Rifle now doesn't risk hitting allies in a duel: It is half a Crippling gun now! This should make it much more effective as a general use Weapon.
  • Electrosapper Pods is a One Shot that deals bonus Damage equal to your Systems: It is stronger and much more interesting to use now, especially since high Systems builds are the ones most likely to have ways to reload it.
  • Resonance Cannon is Slow instead of One Shot: Still an inaccurate gun with short range but now a lot stronger and the bane of Absolute Barrier tanks.
  • Superheavy Machinegun is now a Line with Long Range instead of a Blast: This represents the concept much better than a Blast, and while Line is arguably weaker than Blast, having Long Range and not hitting all of your friends with a -4 to attacks is a big upside.
  • Beams now have a base cost of 1 energy to their use, but cost 1 less to Boost: This was in the previous set of three polls. 

Jun 7, 2015

Final Tally of Changes. Part I: Characters.

We're 2-4 weeks away from release and that means I need to get you all up to speed on things! Today on the slate: Miracles and Genre Powers. As usual, you can read more about all these in the Kickstarter Update page, but if you're reading this blog (and, more importantly, the comments section) then much of this (but not all!) will should be familiar to you.


The biggest change here is that Miracle Specializations are getting changed rom being souce-based to being effects-based. As of the V2 Preview, the list of possible Specializations for Electricity include (but are not limited to):Thunderstorms, Powering Objects, Frying Electronics, Tesla Performances, ‘Tuning in’ to Digital Communications. Now the list is: Offensive Tests, Electronics Tests, All other uses.

Here's the list:
  • Electricity: Offensive Tests, Electronics Tests, All other uses.
  • Force: Fitness Tests, Intelligence Tests.
  • Fortune: Equipment Tests, All other uses.
  • Matter: Improving or breaking items, All other uses.
  • Phantasm: Offensive Tests, All other uses.
  • Phasing: Passing through objects, Self-Defense.
  • Probing: Telepathy, Mind-reading, Hypnotic Suggestion.
  • Sight: Investigation, other uses of Awareness.
  • Somatics: Offensive Tests, All other uses.
  • Temperature: Cold, Heat.
Notice the exception to the rule at the end. Temperature makes more sense if you divide users between fire and ice powers. There is a sidebar right below the text telling you to that it works just as well if you change both options to “Offensive Tests” and “other Charm Tests” though.

Four specific Miracles also got changed slightly:
  • Matter: It no longer makes all Craftsmanship Tests instantaneous, instead it reduces the required time for Extended Tests by one category (from one Week to one Day to one Hour to one Minute to Instantaneous) at the cost of one Disadvantage per tier you’d like to decrease
  • Phasing: Instead of making you immune to attacks on a high enough result, Defending yourself via Phasing adds your Fitness to your Defense then rolls a Fitness Test to inflict a Disadvantage to attacks against you for each multiple of 5 met with the result.
  • Sight: No longer a Help Test targeting yourself, instead it adds an Advantage to any Awareness Test.
  • Somatics: No longer a Help Test targeting yourself, instead it adds an Advantage to any Fitness Test.
The final thing to note is that the list of sample tests has gotten touched up a little too to make all miracles be closer in power to each other.

Genre Powers:

  • Believe in Myself: This Power's Antimaim lasts 3 rounds now
  • Come at me Bro: Now it has a range of 5 Zones around the user.
  • You are Going Down: No longer reduces the target's Defense by 5, instead it grants an Advantage to all Might Tests against the target within a 5 Zone radius from you.
  • Trump Card: Grants you one Weapon until end of operation but can now be repeated.
  • Mind Over Matter: It loses the Antimaim effect but, instead, it protects everyone in a radius of 5 Zones from stat debuffs.
  • Take One for the Team: It inflicts a Disadvantage to all Might Tests made against the Ally you just shielded for a Round.
That about sums it up. Next week we get a more sizable update with all the Upgrade and Weapon changes since the V2 Preview.