Azeroth Campaign

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Re: Azeroth Campaign

Post by Archengeia on Sun Nov 03, 2013 8:45 pm

Would like some feedback on a few things.  I'll start with something that will also affect the Primus campaign possibly.

First, in the Magusien rules I broke down the number of Knowledges significantly primarily for the same reason a lot of the Skills were condensed (and I still agree with the general idea) but I've been having what is effectively the opposite idea for Knowledges specifically lately.  The idea here would be you have Knowledge ______, but what that blank is isn't really... limited.  You could have it be sweeping Knowledge, like History or Politics... or you could choose something specific like Aluvian History or, hell, Holtburg History for example, which even with a lower score and roll would obviously give you more info.  Similarly if there's something else you think your character would be well versed in, it could go there and be used applicably; Knowledge Commerce, maybe?  Or Knowledge Weaving Theory?  Curious what you guys think.

Second, specifically pertaining to the Azeroth setting, I'm debating utilizing a Factions system at all.  In brief, Faction is an optional thing you can choose at character creation (or join / leave during a campaign obviously) that has gameplay benefits and detriments.  To make it clear; simply being a citizen of Stromgarde or Ironforge would not qualify, in lore terms this would mean being an active, ranked individual of some import within that faction.  To use a specific example: Let's say you're playing a Human who's chosen Stromgarde (obviously prior to its decimation by the Demonic Horde).  The Benefits in that case, off the top of my head, would involve the ability to call upon troops for planned operations/adventures, military supplies such as ammunition food resources etc., and things along that line.  The Detriments in the case of Stromgarde would be fairly simple; you would have to answer THEIR call just as they would you (especially if a superior officer ordered you to do something), and there would be a tax you would have to pay to maintain standing.  In short, any given Faction you have to show them the same loyalty they show you, and in almost all cases there would be a tithe of some type (souls for the Twilight's Hammer, magical artifacts for the Kirin Tor, blood for the blood god... wait wrong setting) and the Benefit you would gain would vary based on the Faction.  And yes it would be possible to be a Faction of two, MAYBE three at the same time in gameplay terms, but those would be special cases and I'd need good lore reasons to justify them.  So, given all that, what do you think; use the system, or no?

Third, races.  The Races I already did 'stats' for are the playable races in World of Warcraft, but I'm one of those people who tends to like the idea of virtually any race being playable within reason, so I'm not opposed to the idea of someone playing a Nerubian or a Murloc or an Ogre.  The question is, thus, obvious; do you think Races should be limited, or no?

Fourth and finally, related to point three there, do I limit class selection based on race?  This one I'm seriously torn on; in lore there are good reasons why a Human can't be a Shaman (to use a specific example), and so on.  But I've also been a long time fan of the idea that, as I like to put it, not all Chromatic Dragons are evil.  So I'm torn.  Thoughts?

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Re: Azeroth Campaign

Post by Kolson on Sun Nov 03, 2013 10:32 pm

1. I'm fine with the change if you want to make it, but Knowledge skills are always kind of nebulous in their usefulness, making it hard to say when the specifics will be useful. I mean, Knowledge (Holtburg) is probably going to be million times more useful than Knowledge (Janwall) outside of corner cases simply because it's our hq and more important in the setting in general.

2. I don't really have a comment here because I don't know what kind of scope you are shooting for. I mean, factions aren't all that important if all we are doing is defending our free ogre clan from the next clan over. They are suddenly very important if we are trying to pull together an impromptu Alliance to fight the Demonic Horde. In other words, I'd need to know what kind of game we are interested in doing.

3. I'm fine with any and all races being playable within reason. If a person can justify it with a great story and some consistent lore, then who am I to tell them they can't play a Nerubian or whatever?

4. Yes, I think you should limit classes by race. Those limitations are Warcraft to me. I'm not opposed to changing history but I still want the cultures to remain intact and keep their essential character because that's what I love about Warcraft. Or any setting really.
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Re: Azeroth Campaign

Post by Archengeia on Sun Nov 03, 2013 11:35 pm

In response to the Factions thing, I went through and made a list of all the Factions, past and present, that I felt at least warranted some significance on a medium to large scale.  It was a gargantuan list but the point remains as to whether or not I allow it as a mechanic at all or not.  It's worth noting that, if I disallow it, it's still incumbent upon the players to decide if they owe any loyalties or allegiances to anyone lore/roleplaying wise, and if so why they are adventuring and why they're with the party.

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Re: Azeroth Campaign

Post by Rory on Sun Nov 03, 2013 11:46 pm

1. Here's what I'm hearing: a PC could study history extensively and still be limited by the factual information that's made available to him and the information that conflicts with other records. He could pick a specific geographical area to specialize in, granting him more complete and impartial knowledge of that area's history. Doing that would eliminate what would normally be the results of lower rolls and add in special information granted at higher rolls, things most people without the specialization he chose wouldn't be able to roll for. There are two things you could do with this if you wanted to implement it.

A. If you want, people who invest in enough points in a Knowledge skill could pick a geographical area or topic to specialize in, a Knowledge: History specialization.
B. You could make the rank investment a requirement for a custom feat made for this.

One more thing. I was gonna say Skill Focus already does this...but it only grants the PC who takes it +3 in the skill, which stacks each time he takes it, so that's not the same thing at all.

2. HAHA "blood god", I see what you did there. I'd have to be interested in a faction to even want to be a part of it, but let me see if I can help.

If it would help make it simpler, I'd offer that the PC have to have the tithe ready before they make use of the exemplary benefits of being a member of the faction. On the flip side, taking advantage of the benefits would pile up tithes in the long run, which they could pay after every consecutive use of the benefit...or not, which may add up to the point where when they come to collect and the PC doesn't have the tithe(s) ready. That could pull the player out of the campaign to do some time for the faction. This could be good, and it could be bad.

It would be good in the sense that you could take that and do fun things with it like you do with members who go NPC and come back, like in the Primus campaign. The downside is that the player wouldn't be able to play his character. How the individual takes that could make or break this idea. Nobody likes feeling left out of the game. Of course, you could spend time with their solo out-of-party assignments, but that would mean more work for you, and you've said on several occasions that you aren't interested in doing that for lengthy intervals.

Alternatively, in the same vein as paying the tithe first, you could have the faction shut down on the player(refuse to give them further aid) after each consecutive use of the benefit until they pay the subsequent tithe of each use. Either possibility would eliminate the potential debt incurred, and prevent the proverbial Fingers(factions) of God from striking the player down for abusing their benefits. After all, you only want to use Fingers of God when the player is at fault, not the system. Personally, I'm in favor of the Tithe or No Benefit/Tithe First option. Seems to be the simplest, and prevents the player from spamming the benefit of his faction.

3. I agree with Kolson. The only reason a race should be off-limits should be due to a lore reason or a spoilery reason. Even then, you could make an exception if the player is willing to accept the limitations of the race itself(I remember this well). I mean, all of the races in the Primus campaign have stats that work with the system, right? Makes me wonder if I wanted desperately to play a Dericost Pure instead...but that would likely have some severe roleplay restrictions tied to it.

4. I think this would also apply under number three. Who says a Human can't be part of the culture centered around Shamanism? I'll admit I don't know what the lore reason is, but if a Human, in the case of choosing a player character, can't be a shaman, they must literally be physically/mentally/magically incapable of doing it, it can't simply be because "Culture", and this should apply to every other scenario. A cheetah can't "gore" an animal, cuz it'd need horns to do that, and I'm not aware of any abominations of science/magic running around Azeroth that--not sure where I'm going with this, but I think I've made my point.
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Re: Azeroth Campaign

Post by Essoje on Mon Nov 04, 2013 1:43 am

1. Sounds good, but since there's now as many knowledge skills as you can think of, the amount of skill points you can put in skills now becomes a worrying point. A way to solve this would be passing each knowledge by the GM, who gives it 'skill ranks per point' cost, something between 1 and 3 (no need to be rounded) depending on how focused this knowledge is, so Javan could have Knowledge Dragoons at 9 ranks by paying 3 skill points (just an example), which makes perfect sense from a character perspective, and I, the player, wouldn't feel that bad for having this extremely focused skill.

2. A faction should look after one of their members if such member can show they are doing their part. Depending on how much of 'their part' is, they could raise in the ranks and have more saying on the matters of the faction, and then be able to move men and resources, but always risking his name and rank when doing. So while I'm against pure mechanical rewards in this case, if a character makes their fame by representing their faction as they should, they should be rewarded in proportion.

3. Sure, why not. If it makes sense, the player should be able to play a race.

4. Sir Zeliek, undead paladin (not in control of his actions, but remained a paladin even in that state). Highlord Demitrian, human shaman. Those are some lore cases of rare exceptions to rules.
So while most NPCs should follow the lore limitations, no doubt about that, the players should also be able to play something that's an exception. Tauren rogue? WoW players are laughing right now, but there's more than stealth to a rogue, and this is not a MMORPG, so there's all kinds of trickery that could used in place of hiding to make this combination work.

That said, if I end playing this, and probably will, my guy is going to be an undead warrior, probably on the aggressive spectrum of the class. Because of reasons. And me remembering Guardian Heroes.
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Re: Azeroth Campaign

Post by Snarg of Wildpaw on Mon Nov 04, 2013 2:54 am

Knowledges
These are a pretty hard thing to do and I haven't really seen a perfect system for knowledges yet. It's hard to track exactly what someone knows on a piece of paper. If we're going to name knowledges to use that are that specific, I really fear that it will end up being like professions, where you get so specific that it only comes in to play very rarely and the rest of the time they just sit there doing nothing. I hardly know anyone that uses professions because of that reason unless the GM specifically states professions that will come in useful. I like the concept of more specific knowledges, don't get me wrong, but I really think having a couple of defined, general knowledges to put skill points in is easier on both the players and GM. You can be sure that someone will/won't have a knowledge because you know what's out there.

Something that was also brought up in a previous post are the lack of skill points. If we're really going to make it so specific, it would probably be useful to do some sort of knowledge skill points so you're not trying to spend regular skill points to define exactly what your character would know. If I am making a character and I want to really define his knowledges, I'm not going to have enough skill points to do that if I don't use general knowledges. Biology, Holtburg, Aluvian history, water elements ... and unless I just dip a small amount of skill points in those, I've already hit on more knowledges than I normally might have, and now have no knowledges outside of those specific ones now. You could be an expert on Holtburg, but suddenly if you step outside of it, you have no idea have any other city works. That honestly seems way more artificial than just having a general knowledge of all politics and locations.

I guess what I'm saying is that I probably would be against having knowledges split into specifics. I would offer another suggestion though, which may help distinguish knowledges among players without revamping the current knowledge skills: there are other systems where you essentially buy knowledge using skill points, just like now, but you also choose a specialization from a list when doing it. That differentiates between characters having the same knowledge skill and could potentially make rolls easier on certain topics for certain people. I think something like that would work a bit better for make knowledges among players more specific without doing a complete overhaul of the knowledges as they stand now.

Here's an example: let's take this list of knowledges: politics, elements, creatures, and psionics. If I had to just make up specializations for them, it could be something like this:

Politics: area knowledge
Elements: essences analysis
Creatures: magical beasts
Psionics: tech operation

Doesn't make anyone change their current knowledges, provides some specialization, and gives everyone a chance to add something cool to their sheet. I might actually have a list of specializations, since they would probably be easier to balance out though.

Anyway, just some thoughts on that. After having said all that, I'm equally in favor of leaving it as it is right now.

Factions
That sounds like something that doesn't even really need a separate "system" per say, but could just be a list of possible factions you could work in to your backstory - additions that you could use. Unless you're planning on actually making their benefits usable effects or anything actually worked in to the system, it sounds like everything could just be roleplayed out, no?

Races
Limit races? Unless the campaign setting would really not work with it, I don't see why it should be limited. Obviously you can't play a demon from the Burning Legion in a party of Human adventurers or anything, but I don't see why it should be limited to just, for example, the base WoW races. There are examples of different races working together (yes, including Murlocs) in the games, so I don't see why it should be limited here. However, the player should really be aware that choosing a race who is traditionally at odds with the others will cause some problems. e.g. if you just walk in to a Human town as a Murloc, you're probably going to get shot and stabbed when they see you coming.

Class Restrictions
I don't really see a reason to limit classes unless there's a specific lore reason why they absolutely cannot be that class. I don't mean just rare, I mean absolutely cannot be that class. For example: let's say that due to how it "just works", you cannot be a druid if you are one of the Forsaken. Even if you follow the druidic path, you cannot gain its powers because of your undeath, you cannot be blessed by Elune, etc. That's an actual race  limited rather than: undead druids are very rare because they normally become warlocks due to their nature. I'm more in favor of the former rather than the later as far as restrictions go.
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Re: Azeroth Campaign

Post by Archengeia on Mon Nov 04, 2013 11:48 am

Overall I'm probably going to leave Knowledges alone, because the in between idea I came up with involves adding a new mechanic and frell to that!  I guess I'm one of the only D&D players I know who used to really go hog wild on Knowledges as a skill I'd raise heh, but ultimately that's because I always liked being able to turn to the GM and say, 'what do I know about this, oh and by the way I can prove my character knows about this type of thing', because I like to play (no pun intended) knowledgeable characters.  I do like Snarg's pseudo specialization thing, and I'm thinking about doing something similar in the form of a custom feat or whatnot to be handed out to people who have demonstrated usage of their Knowledges in character (which would basically allow more information to be garnered about that spec).

As for Factions, the more I think about it the less I like the idea, and everyone has brought up excellent points as to why.  Which is just as well, the list of about 100ish Factions I came up with would be a pain to maintain, plus whether a Faction exists or not depends on not only the timeline but theoretically the actions of the party as well.  So I think I'm going to just nix it as a mechanic, leave it up to roleplaying on the characters.

Based on feedback I will be allowing theoretically any sentient race as playable.  Now, I will not be going through every single race and making stats for them on the go; rather they will be made on-demand as people request them, if you follow.  And as Snarg correctly pointed out, you need to go into a race with understanding; if you play an Eredar or a Gnoll or a Kobold, you're going to have an interesting time of it when you hit most civilized societies, nevermind something like a Fel Orc or a Fel Elf.  But there will be no artificial limitation.

Finally, I will not be limiting classes based on race, as long as you can come up with a reasonable explanation as to why your (race) is a (class) that fits with the lore and setting.

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Re: Azeroth Campaign

Post by Rory on Wed Nov 06, 2013 6:33 am

For those of you not on late last night, I picked a Worgen with greyish-black fur and orange eyes. The few people on Vent late last night while I was developing his backstory with Arch got to learn a lot about it, but the rest of you...sorry, all I'm telling you is that he was aligned with the Bloodfang, and that--since we seem to be leaning towards a spot on the timeline relatively close to this--he witnessed the destruction of Southshore. I'm not doing this to hurt you or because I want him to be super special, but because it's personal to him and big reveals are fun. And yes, there is one special thingy about him.

I'm really excited for some reason, and looking forward to playing a werewolf and possibly creating an alternate timeline in the WoW universe.
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Re: Azeroth Campaign

Post by Archengeia on Wed Nov 06, 2013 1:07 pm

Even if he does it alongside Laurel and Hardy.

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Re: Azeroth Campaign

Post by Snarg of Wildpaw on Wed Nov 06, 2013 2:39 pm

Oooohhh, I think a resurrection of the "tell it to me again" routine is in order.
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Re: Azeroth Campaign

Post by Gwydo on Wed Nov 06, 2013 3:00 pm


lol!
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Re: Azeroth Campaign

Post by Archengeia on Wed Nov 06, 2013 3:04 pm

So anyways, I mentioned this in vent last night but only 3 people were on.  I would like to know who else would be interested in

A: Playtesting the Azeroth setting.  This will literally be a purely mechanics test, I'll have prefab characters ready to go and you just pick one (kind of like Kolson's Toonmania game), and by all means try to break the system as much as you're able.

B: Playing for real in an Azeroth campaign.  I've formally decided that I want the starting point to be the year 28, approximately 2 months after the Cataclysm ripped through the world.  This will make virtually every class and race playable (no Death Knights or Monks, sorry), so please feel free to think about what you'd like to play.  I'm very open and willing to be flexible as long as I can make it make sense in the lore.  For example, right now we have Third playing a Gnome Priest, Kolson is a Goblin Warlock, and Rory is an Afflicted Worgen Warrior.  If you're unfamiliar with races, unfortunately there's no one cohesive list of the hundred plus races in Warcraft, but Wowpedia has plenty of good info if you feel like browsing and, of course, you can always ask me.  No race is disallowed automatically, but run it by me and (naturally) it has to make sense.

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Re: Azeroth Campaign

Post by Archengeia on Wed Nov 06, 2013 3:07 pm

Addendum: http://wowpedia.org/Human
This is a link to just Humans but skip to the very bottom and open the tabs for Sapient Species and Sapient titanic creations.  Those two will open up a fairly decent list of most of the major races.

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Re: Azeroth Campaign

Post by Gwydo on Wed Nov 06, 2013 3:31 pm

First, what day(s) are you thinking of playtesting? If we're replacing a Monday/Tuesday game, I can help. If it'll be a different day, I'll have to bow out.

That said, having never played WoW and having no info on the background of the universe, I'd be interested in playing. (Undead Mage)
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Re: Azeroth Campaign

Post by Archengeia on Wed Nov 06, 2013 3:43 pm

I would probably playtest on mondays or tuesdays.  I'd naturally volunteer my own game rather then interrupt Third's.

As for an Undead, unlike WoW you are not restricted to a human undead, so I have a few questions.  First, what was your original species?  The rest would probably be better to hash out on Vent now that I think about it; there are a lot of complications to Warcraft's setting, and I know them all heh (Ask Rory, he and I spent like an hour hashing out his character's backstory).

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Re: Azeroth Campaign

Post by Archengeia on Wed Nov 06, 2013 3:45 pm

Oh, one other point.  I've decided specs will be chosen at level 1.  Obviously you don't really know what that means yet but I'll give you some tidbits.  Each class has 3 (or 4) specs they can pick from, specializations that effectively determine that class's abilities.  Each spec can be slightly or wildly different from the others.  Now, ideally respecializing would not be possible, but for the sake of pragmatism I will probably allow one "Player comes to the GM and says I don't like this spec please let me change" respec, but the point here is I want you to put thought into it and really commit to one.  I will be drawing up class info soon as I finish recording a few more videos to have more info to share.

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Re: Azeroth Campaign

Post by Gwydo on Wed Nov 06, 2013 5:20 pm

Archengeia wrote:I would probably playtest on mondays or tuesdays.  I'd naturally volunteer my own game rather then interrupt Third's.

As for an Undead, unlike WoW you are not restricted to a human undead, so I have a few questions.  First, what was your original species?  The rest would probably be better to hash out on Vent now that I think about it; there are a lot of complications to Warcraft's setting, and I know them all heh (Ask Rory, he and I spent like an hour hashing out his character's backstory).
.....um.... Draenei?
And if you're going off the standard WoW specializations, I'd choose Fire.
Let me know when you want to chat on Vent and I can jump on. (After 6pm EST, weekdays. Weekends I'm pretty free right now. Nothing I can't rearrange.)


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Re: Azeroth Campaign

Post by Essoje on Wed Nov 06, 2013 5:22 pm

I will be available for both playtesting and campaign proper, so I would like to help, yeah.

I'd also like to talk about what I have in mind for my character and do the awesome hashing out of the character because I'm not a WoW player. Just tell me when you have the time for doing it on Vent Arch.
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Re: Azeroth Campaign

Post by Rory on Wed Nov 06, 2013 5:27 pm

It was a lot of fun, too. I'll stick to being part of the campaign, I don't think I'd be creative enough for the playtest.
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Re: Azeroth Campaign

Post by Archengeia on Wed Nov 06, 2013 5:33 pm

Couple things.  First, I'll be keeping my Google docs updated but here's the race list with changes and pictures: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1Yf_Vq6OT7GMT3uWblkH2jsGmtdHNP6bCO3pap8gdQ0E/edit?usp=sharing

Second, I'm on vent right now if anyone wants to hash out stuff, at least until I start streaming for the night.

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Re: Azeroth Campaign

Post by Zeiss on Wed Nov 06, 2013 7:05 pm

Well, just to clarify, I won't be participating in either the playtest or the campaign.

*Transforms into a butterfly and flies away*
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Re: Azeroth Campaign

Post by Rory on Wed Nov 06, 2013 7:38 pm

Question: How much time passes between the fall of Southshore and the start of the campaign? Any other events we should be aware of, affecting me, the Goblin and the Gnome?
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Re: Azeroth Campaign

Post by Archengeia on Wed Nov 06, 2013 7:52 pm

Depends on what point in time at which you define the fall of Southshore, as the campaign to take that area was not just one battle.  But pretty recently.

As for other events, yeah a few, I'll cover those later but the Cataclysm itself is the big one.

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Re: Azeroth Campaign

Post by Rory on Wed Nov 06, 2013 8:15 pm

Hmm, I wanna say the battle or siege in which the Forsaken overran Southshore and scattered the Bloodfang forces(if there's more than one time, let's say the first time), or one of those same events around the time Kolson's Goblin PC happens to be in the area to pick us up.
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Re: Azeroth Campaign

Post by Essoje on Wed Nov 06, 2013 10:13 pm

Oh right, forgot to post this. My character is going to be an undead shaman and everything that I needed to know was done in about 10 minutes or so.
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Re: Azeroth Campaign

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