Monday, July 4, 2022

Let's Read: MTDAA the RPG (Legacy Edition) Part 3b

Now, let's read through the section on traits (pages 25-33)...

In general, this section is sharp. It's relatively concise, but it feels very complete. I can see a lot of options for things I could use, and opportunities here to build unique characters. Here is where I start to see the replay/long term campaign play possibilities emerge. I can see how characters get better, and how you'd be working towards improving traits to unlock other abilities. I like but don't love the idea of aspects here; it is a good solution, but not perfect. For some of the more wide-ranging traits, there are specialized application you can unlock and purchase once you get to a bonus of +3 in the trait. They are not all equal, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. I kind of want to change it so that for 1 point you unlock all of them, but then the idea of your character being a specialist in something diminishes. There's give and take with both options.

Mentalism and Mysticism are companion traits that suggest supermantural abilities; mentalism hews closer to Stranger Things, but doesn't feel like it fits as well as mysticism. I know that the idea is that mentalism would be the one where insects in secret labs are conducting experiments, while mysticism is the one you encounter in lost temples deep in ancient gardens. So, they are fundamentally different, but mysticism feels like it fits the vibe of the game and comic better. I know there is a place for mentalism, but I haven't really pushed it yet. I guess that's an opportunity for further growth of the game and comic... hmmm.

Technology BEGS for further clarification. I think that there is a lot of opportunity here to use technology as a debuff - you can  disorient foes with specialized sonic attacks, cause delays in enemy responses by disrupting their coordination, and sow confusion among enemy ranks by interfering with their communications networks. The foundation is here, but the game needs a number of options for specifics that would really push both this talent and the communications specialist to the fore and make them very useful. As written, there is some cool implied stuff, but not much concrete to sink your teeth into as a player. That is a definite opportunity for expansion. A creative player can probably make an argument that the rules allow for this and could push the GM to allow for these things, but the rules would be very helpful by spelling out exactly what this looks like. This is the first time I wish that I'd written one more paragraph - it would have added a lot.

The Speed trait is making me look at the basic movement rules again. I have learned in the intervening decade to grab existing mechanics and values to use in other places; you don't need a new number if you've got an existing number that will suffice. In this case, it seems like Prowess gives a good baseline; you should be able to move half your Prowess die cm in one round if you do nothing else. At Prowess D12, that allows you to travel 6 cm in one round. Since a round is 'a few seconds', I am going to interpret this as generally around 3 to 5 seconds; so you are running the equivalent of 60' in 5 seconds, which is not really that fast (but it's quick in a combat situation with full gear). This is better than the existing rule of 2... this is definitely an opportunity to make some updates. It's a small thing, but for a game that is presumed to be somewhat tactical in nature, movement rates and how fast you can travel are pretty important. I want to review this to get it right.

So far, at 33 pages in, I only see 2-3 minor things I want to update. I'm feeling great about this so far - it needs an Unearthed Arcana not a 2E to get cleaned up at this point. 

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