Monday, June 22, 2015

A Gilded Mage

I'd apologize for these titles, but in the words of Lewis Black, "I don't give a fuck."

This is a an index for my M20 reviews I can point/link to as needed.

A New Mage Dawns
In which I record my first impressions.
Mage of Aquarius
In which I pontificate on M20's handling of reality/consensus and the cosmology and spirit worlds.
A Coming of Mage
In which I reflect on how M20 has been updated for the Century of the Anchovy.
Minimum Mage
In which I elect to punt rather than post a 4k word angry rant about something I love.
I will update this post if I put up another sub-review, so feel free to keep it for reference. System hacks will get their own list once I have enough up that I feel it makes sense.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Minimum Mage

Y'know what? Fuck it.

My M20 System Review, Abridged:

The Magic System: Slightly clearer than previous versions. Still very fiddly and prone to arguments. But arguing is part of the fun. I'll have a future post where I discuss system overhauls I might like to try, but for now, this section ranks "Pretty Good".

Chargen: Still has fucked up costs where overspecializing at chargen saves you a ton of XP down the road. Any GM who can do math can fix this themselves. Ranking:"Still White Wolf".

Everything Else Except Combat: You'll laugh, you'll cry, you'll roll your eyes, but you can play a game, and again, it has some solid improvements over the previous version, particularly around writing out rules that used to be extremely vague and often handed by the GM going "Uh... I dunno, here, try this". Final ranking? "Wordy But Playable".

Combat: A flaming dumpster of burning tires, combined with the wailing and the gnashing of teeth and the oh god no my eyes. Ranking: "Worse Than Watching Zardoz Sober".

It is the Year of Our Lord 2015, the Century of the Anchovy, 3181 YOLD by the Discordian reckoning. No one is re-rolling initiative every combat round. We have shit to do.

My advice for now is to run combat the way you run any opposed task: you and That Guy announce what you want to do, roll your opposed combat stats, and whoever gets more hits (sorry, successes) wins.

I'm working on a slightly more complicated combat engine that I'll post soon, now that I've gotten "actually review shit" off my to-do list, but needless to say, at no point does it involve rolling initiative.

I am so over that.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Whoops and Stuff

I'm sure you're all waiting for more Mage reviews, but this next post is a doozy and I'm breaking it up. And I'm trying to find a way to break it up that isn't all my complaints in one post and all my positive opinions and recommended fixes in the other.

Also Monster Hunter 4U.

And also Splatoon.

Y'know. Priorities.

Anyway, this project is not abandoned, merely challenging. I will be finishing the system review in 2-4 posts (at least one of which will be entirely about the Sphere system), then I'm going to move on to a series on things I'd fix and how (aka, How I Will Run Mage When I Run Mage Again). I don't yet know what form those posts will take (ie, whether they'll just be casual writeups or more formalized system documents). Let me know if you have an opinion!