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Subject: Let's Read QuestCore rss

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Welcome to Let's Read QuestCore, wherein I do a running commentary/in-depth review of, you guessed it, QuestCore. This is inspired fairly directly by dysjunct's new(ish) GeekList of the same name.

I liked the path that he and others laid before me and thought I would try my hand. This, not coincidentally, is one of the shortest games I own (I just checked and only The Extraordinary Adventures of Baron Munchausen and Sorcery & Super Science! are shorter). One, I thought I should start small. Two, I'm not sure I gave QuestCore a fair shake when I gave it a rating of 5.

All the cool kids start off their posts with a ToC so I'll hop on the bandwagon. I'll be using QuestCore's capitalization and spelling even though I'd normally write all of the following using Title Caps and American spelling. I may accidentally spell things correctly that are misspelled in the book. You have been warned.

I'll also be linking sections as they're done so you can jump straight to whatever bits may strike your fancy. The sections are short enough that there will probably be one per update. The review will also be padded with useless fluff art talk and character building where I think it may be appropriate.

As always, feel free to comment, review my review, or otherwise ridicule and banter as desired.

Intermission: Artwork

tdphillips' Intro to QuestCore

What is QuestCore (2 pages)

* Players and the QuestMaster
* Optional rules
* Time and scope in QuestCore
* Dice
* Attributes, Skills, and Abilities
* Attributes
* Level


Creating a player character (Part 1) (3 pages)

* Improvement points
* Place attribute bonuses
* Place skill bonuses

Creating a player character (Part 2)

* Choose your starting abilities
* Starting money
* Buy equipment
* Carrying capacity and encumbrance
* Choose name, background, and personality
* Other information


Skills (2 pages)

* Using skills
* Attacks and passive defence
* Attribute test
* Advantage and disadvantage
* List of skills


Skills descriptions (2 pages)

* Fighting skills
* Mundane skills
* Special skills


Damage and effect (1 page)

Equipment (3 pages)

* Using weapons
* Ranged weapon rules
* Pre-modern weapons
* Pre-modern armour
* Modern weapons
* Modern armour


Conflict (Part 1) (3 pages)

* Actions in a conflict
* Physical attacks

Conflict (Part 2)

* Grapple (like all good RPGs, the grapple rules are longer than the physical attack rules)
* Other actions in a conflict
* Zone of control
* Free actions


Conditions (1 page)

Mystic arts (2 pages)

* Damage with Mystic arts
* List of mystic lores


Abilities (1 page)

Open abilities descriptions (5 pages)

* Attack abilities
* General abilities


Restricted abilities descriptions (6 pages)

* General abilities
* Mystic spell attack abilities
* Mystic spell abilities


QuestMaster section (2 pages)

* Experience points (XP)
* Level 0 creatures
* Money
* Treasures
* Equipment
* Travelling
* Darkness
* Water
* Fire
* Making money


Game terms (2 pages)

Appendix I: Fantasy equipment (4 pages)

* Tables Fantasy equipment
* Weapon descriptions
* Armour and shield descriptions
* Equipment descriptions


Appendix II: Fantasy creatures (3 pages, featuring a bestiary rivaled in shortness only by Appendix IV, and with less alphabetical ordering)

* Scorpion, giant
* Orc warrior
* Rat, giant
* Skeleton warrior
* Goblin warrior


Appendix III: Sci-fi equipment (6 pages)

* Tables Sci-fi equipment
* Weapon descriptions
* Armour and shield descriptions
* Grenade descriptions
* Equipment descriptions
* Drug descriptions


Appendix IV: Sci-fi creatures (3 pages)

* Bulk
* Cyborg
* Psion
* Scavenger goblin
* Xenokynegos


Kickstarter backers 2015 (1 page, arguably the most important)

Character Sheet (1 page)
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Quote:


One of my favorites



Back to ToC

It's time to get this show on the road. And I'm going to do that in my first update by... not reading the book!

Intermission: Artwork

The quality of the artwork in QuestCore varies wildly. I was unable to find art credits (I'll keep looking), but the Kickstarter mentions "art by Andrei Pervukhin (and some other artists)". I'm not going to take lots of screenshots but if you want something to look at, the store page on DriveThru has some pretty good examples we can cover quickly.

Most of the styles I'll be talking about are displayed prominently on the cover. The three individuals at the top and the left-most genre shot (You'll see this periodically - there are only three genres that QuestCore seems to know of, fantasy, sci-fi, and horror) show off the very best of mid-'00s CG. That theme persists in most of the other pieces of single-character artwork throughout the book. The other two images, which I've been calling "action" or "scenery" shots in my head, show off how good the artwork can be. There are many of these throughout the book, and I'm mostly okay with them.

The third type of artwork present is of things. Weapons, a book on a pedestal, a pile of skulls. Again, different styles show themselves Some appear hand-drawn. Others have what I can only describe as shiny CG. The only example of this in the quick preview is a book on a podium. It's got a nice hand-drawn style with lots of detail.

I'm not the best person to discuss graphical arts so I'll keep this short. The wide variety of styles and quality was just something that stood out to my untrained eye and I wanted to at least mention it at some point during my review.

Quote:


I wish I were in Black Ops
Quote:


This image is a bit worse than the others -
the others were snipped from the v1.0
release PDF, while the sword was only this
shiny in my v0.99 release hard copy.
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Before we Begin

QuestCore entered my sphere of awareness as a Kickstarter project on October 9, 2015, with a fairly modest 2000 SEK (~250 USD) funding goal. It ended 31 days, 137 backers, and 22174 SEK (~2783 USD) later, with an expected delivery date of December 2015. I wasn't keeping super detailed acquisition notes at the time of that Kickstarter but I seem to recall it not being super late.

It was published by Megaton Games in 2016. Before this time, their DriveThru store page included a name generator, several soundtracks, five titles containing maps, and one lone D&D3.5/Pathfinder adventure. Since then, they've produced a handful of QuestCore products and three more map titles (one of which is for their StormRing setting, set to come out later this year, 2016). QuestCore is a fairly cheap system, weighing in at $10 for the PDF (but 30% off as of the time of this writing, presumably to celebrate the release of the Swedish version).

Skip Williams' name (of D&D 3.0 fame) is all over this product, with an artist credit on DriveThru and introductory scenario credit on the credits page of the book. That makes sense as, according to the Kickstarter, QuestCore is...

Quote:

Made for players who like d20 based games, like Dungeons and Dragons, but want better and faster rules.


This is just a little intro so I won't comment on it now, but we'll be revisiting "better and faster" throughout the review.

What is QuestCore?

QuestCore, like most other RPG core books, begins with a "what is roleplaying" section. You need one or more friends (though 3-5 players is usually best), a d12, pencils, and paper. It then mentions the requisite three genres and a short note that, while QuestCore offers most of the rules you need to play, you might want additional background material or more rules. I suspect StormRing will add some of this when it comes out – I'm honestly pretty curious to see how Megaton Games manages splat books.

Players and the QuestMaster: We then define a few terms – one person is the QuestMaster (abbreviated QM, also known as the Game Master), while the rest are players. Each player assumes the role of a "player character", abbreviated PC. The QM handles all other creatures (non-player characters, or NPCs). There are no winners or losers – the QM and players create a story together.

Optional rules: QuestCore has optional rules. Unlike other books, which usually have cutesy faces or icons to denote which rules are optional, QuestCore simply precedes the rule name with the text "Optional rule:". These may be a more complicated version of the standard rule or an entirely new rule. They might also add more realism.

Time and scope in QuestCore: There are a few more general RPG terms that we need to define. The world you play in is called the "setting" or "campaign setting", of which the upcoming StormRing is an example. Game sessions are the real-life stretches of time that you play. They can be divided into scenes (meeting at the inn, searching an abandoned factory). Important obstacles or challenges might result in conflict. Conflicts have rules and are divided into rounds and turns. Every participant gets one turn per round. A series of sessions make up an adventure. Several adventures can be connected to make a campaign. So far, we haven't really learned anything new and the text I've written for this section is almost as long as the section itself.

Dice: QuestCore uses a d12. You can fake it using two rolls of a d6. 1-3 on the first, keep your second result. 4-6 on the first, add 6 to the second.

Man, this first section is kind of boring. Hopefully it gets more engaging once we get to the next section, Creating a player character. But for now...

Attributes, Skills, and Abilities: People and creatures in QuestCore are described using these.

Attributes are covered immediately following this so I won't talk about them.

Skills should be self-explanatory. Fire bows. Make things.

Abilities are the special things your character can do that not everyone can. Sweeping attack, animal communication, darkvision, all of that good stuff.

Attributes: QuestCore attributes do pretty much what you think they will if, as the Kickstarter suggested, you like d20 games.

Something I've noticed across several role-playing games that feature attributes is that there is generally a physical/mental spilt and the number of attributes in each category is the same. I can think of two reasons this could be – there is a desire to limit attribute dependency, or D&D did it first and everyone else is playing Follow the Leader. Compare/contrast the 3.x Monk and Wizard to see how well the former potential reason worked out. QuestCore uses the same basic 3:3 spread as D&D but splits dexterity into Agility and Dexterity. We'll have to wait for the skills section to determine if this was a worthwhile split or if it's an IP (we'll define this in the next update) sink.

Strength combines physical damage with personal endurance. ConstitutionStamina is how much damage you can take and also measures endurance. We haven't covered endurance yet, but let's just get that out of the way now. Endurance is a skill. It's based off of Stamina and has nothing to do with Strength. Agility covers body movement, examples being dodging and jumping. Dexterity is also movement, but of the more fine variety – picking locks, shooting arrows.

Intelligence is used for all things memory and reasoning, like learning languages and casting spells. Will, or willpower, covers mental strength and your ability to concentrate. Skills like search are based on Will. Finally, we have Charisma. It's the dump stat, as usual (Editor's note: We don't actually know if this is true yet. Hold your horses.) used when you want to manipulate people, as in bluffing or holding a rallying speech.

Level: Rounding out the chapter, we have levels. More levels means the creature is either more experienced or otherwise has special, innate abilities. Unskilled people might be level 0. A master smith or high ranking officer might be 5 or more. PCs start at 1.

That was super boring highly engaging, I know. Most of the definitions should be over with. The next section should make up for it – Creating a player character is one of the first things you do in an RPG so we'll finally get to see some mechanics.
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(Editor's note: Sorry if this looks a little weird. It looks fine on my screen but floats can be weird.)

Creating a player character
(Part 1)

We finally get to do some stuff! Throughout this chapter, my wife and I will be creating some characters. I cheated and read that The Road to Damnation is for 3-5 1st-3rd level characters who could plausibly be guards for a priest and his retinue of pilgrims. I am undecided if I'll give that the same treatment as the core book or if we're just going to play through the adventure and then write a normal review.

Improvement points

As a first-level character, you get 20 improvement points (IP). These are used for everything - attribute bonuses, skill bonuses, and abilities. You gain three more with every additional level. There's a note that you can save IP for later, but you can only use your saved IP the next time you gain more. I don't know that I've seen a system that uses both point buy and character levels before.

As we'll see in about a second, you're going to have to work to stretch these points a bit.

Quote:
I don't know what the numbers mean but let's throw some around, try to make a swordsman, and see what happens.

Athrond Willowriver (thanks to Megaton Games' name generator I mentioned in update 2)

Attributes:
Strength +1
Stamina +1
Agility +1
Dexterity -1
Intelligence 0
Will 0
Charisma 0
8/20 IP used

Skills:
Fighting:
Attack Melee (Agi) +2
Defence (Agi) +2

Mundane:
Endurance (Sta) +2
Perception (Will) +2

16/20 IP used
Place attribute bonuses

The first thing you do with your IP is assign attribute bonuses. They all start at 0. It takes 3 IP per level to raise a bonus to 2, then 6 IP from then on. Lowering one from default gives you 1 IP.

One thing D&D has going for it is that the idea of "dead levels" - levels in which the character gained nothing - was bad. As you can see here, at 3 IP per level and a cost of 6 IP to increase an attribute of a certain level, you'll have a bunch of character levels in which you do nothing but store IP.

There's a default minimum/maximum of +-2 but there's also a note that the QM can modify this for campaigns of a certain power level. There's no mention of the QM allowing the PCs more IP when starting out so you'll get maybe one good bonus if the QM ups your max bonus to 3 - maxing out one bonus will cost (3 + 3 + 6 =) 12 of your starting 20 IP. The absolute highest attribute bonus listed here and later in the character creation section appears to be 4, so maybe that's actually a really great bonus. We'll see if we can find out once we've got some fleshed out characters.

Place skill bonuses

Now that we've got attribute bonuses, we buy skill bonuses. They cost 2 IP per 2 skill bonus. The next rule is verbatim:

Quote:
At least one of three skills must be a mundane skill (see skill list).
That's a little awkward, but I think that means at least 1/3 of your skills must be mundane. I snuck a peak at the skill list - if I'm correct, that means that, for every two fighting or special (mainly appears to be magical) skills you have, you must have one mundane (craft, knowledge, stealth, and so on).

Continuing from there, we learn that every four character levels you gain, you also gain one level in all skills. I assume this means literally all skills and not just those you've trained as it goes on to say that

Quote:
you must still be trained in a "special skill" to use it.


Otherwise, no one would be able to have a skill of 1 in anything. A chart would be helpful here as well.. A strict reading would mean you gain another skill bonus at character levels 5, 9, etc. If instead it means "level % 4 == 0", then you gain another bonus at character levels 4, 8, etc.

Once you've trained a skill, you can purchase the "Specialise" ability to improve it further. I'm not touching this for now - I snuck a peek and I think I need time to digest what I read.

This is actually running a little long. Up next: abilities, money, equipment, and other tat.
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Creating a player character
(Part 2)

If you can't tell, I cheated a bit in the last update. Rather than bore you with skill lists, I just skipped ahead and picked some. Spoiler: I'll be doing the same immediately, when we...

Quote:
Athrond Willowriver, continued
16/20 IP used

Abilities:
Attack:
Tactical strike
General:
Lock opponent
20/20 IP used

Equipment:
Weapons:
War hammer (12 sc, 7 lbs)
Armour:
Leather armour (40 sc, 15 lbs)
Large kite shield (25 sc, 10 lbs)
Gear:
Backpack (2 sc, 2 lbs)
Pouch, belt (0.6 sc, 1 lb)
Oil, 1 pint (0.4 sc, 1 lb)
Lantern (1 sc, 2 lb)
Clothes, traveling (4 sc, 4 lb)
85/120 sc spent
42/260 lbs
Unencumbered
Choose your starting abilities

Abilities cost 2 IP each. You can have (level+1) abilities, so our first-level PC can have two. We've got four IP remaining so let's grab two. The character sheet I'm using has a section to write in your ability level but the ones I chose don't have levels so we'll ignore it.

I chose Tactical strike, which gives us Advantage (we don't know what this is yet) after an attack regardless of success, and Lock opponent, which gives you +3 on attack and +1 on damage every time you make a bonus attack against someone moving in your ZOC (we also don't know what this is).

Starting money

Fancy rules for starting money are hard. My ideal rule is "You start with $X", as in GURPS. QuestCore is a good runner up - you start with (6 + Int + Cha + Will) * 20 coins. There's still a problem here - the people who need lots of expensive stuff to start off (front-line fighter with good armor, a weapon, and a shield, for instance) may have to decide between adventuring gear and rations, and being able to survive a fight. It's a bit better (in my mind) than the D&D (3.5, maybe later versions as well?) method - the fighter gets 6d4 * 10 gold while the monk gets 5d4 (no * 10, just 5d4).

We have no bonus in the smarts section of our sheet, so we get (6 * 20 =) 120 standard coins.

Buy equipment

Super short section here. The QM might apply restrictions on what you can buy.

Buy things and write them down. Note any bonuses and which skill is used.

The intro scenario appears to be generic fantasy so I'll say Athrond can buy any of the fantasy equipment in the book.

Carrying capacity and encumbrance

This section is titled, in part, "Carrying capacity" but that is never discussed. The first section discusses "Lifting capacity", which is described as the weight that your character can lift and still be able to move slowly. This is followed by a table of lifting capacities.

I'm not going to reproduce the entire table here. To put it simply, you can determine your lifting capacity by calculating "Str * 60 + 200", meaning we can lift (1 * 60 + 200 =) 260 pounds.

What happens if you exceed your Lifting capacity? According to the first section, you would no longer be able to move. What if the character we're building is carrying 200 pounds? Surely that would be encumbering in some manner.

The only encumbrance rules are in terms of equipment. Light armour doesn't do anything. Medium armour makes you encumbered, which affects certain skills and manoeuvres. Heavy armour makes you heavily encumbered, giving you an Agi penalty and making you unable to swim.

Large shields adds to your current encumbered status - unencumbered to encumbered and encumbered to heavily encumbered.

High strength reduces one step of encumbrance.

Taking all of that into account, Athrond is unencumbered. He has light armour (no effect), a large shield (1 encumbrance level), and high strength (-1 encumbrance level).

Choose name, background and personality
Other information

Finally, we should add some fluff to our character - background, personality, and such.

Other info covers statistics that probably won't have mechanical effects - height, weight, gender, age, etc. Extremes probably have Abilities that they should take (examples given: giant sized or very small creatures).

And now for something completely different...

A question for the peanut gallery:
Now that we've read through a full section featuring game mechanics (despite some of the terms being undefined), what do you think? Would you purchase and/or play QuestCore thus far?
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Skills

Confirming my assumption from a few updates ago, you can generally use a skill (except for Special skills) if you haven't trained them.

There are three groups of skills:

Fighting skills, covering all things attack and defense
Mundane skills, covering all things not Fighting or Special (what is Special? I'm glad you asked)
Special skills, covering all things magical (divine or otherwise) and foreign languages

Using skills

This section describes how to roll your lone d12 but it doesn't do it correctly. To learn how to read your d12, we need to sit through this and two more sections, which all do it the way you would assume you should read a d12. That's wrong, however.

This should feel familiar if you've played D&D. The numbers will just be a bit smaller. The QM decides on a DC. Simple is 4, normal is 6, hard is 8. You roll your d12 and add your skill, attribute, and any equipment bonus you may have. If you meet or exceed the DC, you succeed.

Example: Using skills

There's an example here that I'm not going to bother talking about. I will say, however, that it mentions masterwork lock picks. When perusing the equipment section, I didn't see masterwork listed. Doing a text search on the PDF, the only other reference to masterwork is the Manipulation skill, where it is mentioned that you need something to use as a lock pick and that masterwork lock picks give a +1 bonus if you're trained in Manipulation.

Optional rule: Take set value

There are a few values you can pick. You can...


* Take 3 whenever
* Take 5 when the situation is calm
* Take 10 when you've got lots of time and failure has no consequence (why even roll, though?)


Attacks and passive defense

This section notes that you generally don't have to roll when defending - the DC to be attacked is 6 plus "the skill value". It doesn't say which skill or where the different armors take effect. In the example that follows, however, the enemy's DC is 6 + agility + defence. QuestCore generally capitalizes skill and attribute names but these aren't. That's definitely the Agility attribute but I'm not sure if "defence" refers to some armor quality or the Defence skill.

The example also says that the "QM rules that he gains +1 for being on higher ground than his opponent." I'm just going to assume modifiers like this are covered in the Quest Master or combat section. I'm making a note here just in case.

Attribute test

This really doesn't need to be its own section. If no specific skills apply, you roll 1d12 + a relevant Attribute. This is the same roll you'd make with a Skill of 0.

Advantage and disadvantage, wherein we finally learn how to roll 1d12 QuestCore style.

This is my least favorite section. Lots of games have advantage/disadvantage systems of some type but this one is just weird.

You roll your d12 and get an 11 or 12. Pretty good, right? Not really. See, an 11 or 12 doesn't mean 11 or 12, respectively, but 4 and 7. If you get an 11 or 12, replace your roll with its real value, and succeed, you get Advantage. If you fail, you get Disadvantage. Advantage lasts until the end of your next turn or until you spend it, whichever comes first. Disadvantage doesn't expire.

Advantage can do some pretty interesting things. At its most boring, you get a +2 on your next skill roll or defence (I thought defence was a skill...). The more interesting options are spending your Advantage to cancel the advantage of another creature, or spending your Advantage to reload an attack ability (we haven't discussed this yet - it'll probably get described two chapters from now).

Disadvantage is boring. It gives a -2 on your next attack or defence roll.

What say you? I described it to some gamers elsewhere and they called it "definitely weird."

List of skills

QuestCore's skill list is deceptively short - several skills are general and must be specialised when you use the Specialise Ability.


Fighting skills Mundane skills Special skills
--------------- -------------- --------------
Attack melee (Agi) Concentration (Will) Divine power (Will)
Attack ranged (Dex) Craft (Int or Dex) Foreign language (Will)
Defence (Agi) Manipulation (Dex) Mystic arts (Int)
Melee damage (Str) Endurance (Sta) Spellpower (Will)
Mental resistance (Will) Knowledge (Int)
Missile Damage (Dex) Manoeuvrability (Agi)
Resistance (Sta) Mobility (Agi)
Throw damage (Str) Perception (Will)
Will power (Will) Personality (Cha)
Stealth (Agi)


We can finally answer the question I had way back about the Agi and Dex split. Let's count how many skills are based on each attribute!


Str: 2
Sta: 2
Agi: 5
Dex: 4
Int: 3
Will: 7
Cha: 1


This is actually a pretty meaningless statistic given my earlier "deceptively short" comment. We'll discuss a few choice skills once we start the next chapter.

Which we'll do right now!

Skills descriptions

All of the Attack * skills cover all weapons of their type and must be specialised at some point. The only thing that stands out to me right now regarding attacks is that Attack ranged covers all ranged weapons but the damage component for ranged attacks is split between Missile damage and Throw damage. We don't know how damage works yet either so we'll see in a later chapter (the next one!) how skills affect damage.

Something of note: Will power is used to determine the damage you deal with spells and mystic abilities. Mystic power (printed Spell power in the list from the last section...) is the skill used to determine the damage you deal with mystic arts. As Mystic arts is what you use "to attack someone with supernatural powers (such as magic)", I don't know what the difference is.

Concentration can be used as a standard action (this is the only location that the text "standard action" appears in the book) to gain Advantage. Seems pretty cool, but I'm not sure how to use it. Athrond would probably never use it anyway - he's already got an ability that gives him Advantage on an attack regardless of result.

Have you noticed a lack of first aid skills? Craft has you covered. It covers just about everything else as well - smithing, fishing, painting, wilderness survival, and more. I'm learning more and more that I'm not sure how skills work. You only specialise with the Specialise ability once you've trained a skill, which makes it seem like a starting caracter who picked up Craft can do first aid, blacksmithing, disguise, and everything else contained within the skill.

Optional rule: Craft and bruises
What are bruises? We don't know, but we know it's apparently an optional rule that's presented later. Possibly in the Damage and effect chapter?
If you're using this later optional rule, you can reduce a wound to a bruise instead of healing. Good to know.

Remember that quip I made about Cha being a dump attribute? See how there's only one skill that uses it? If anything, the exact opposite is true. The Personality skill description has a few examples of use - gathering information, convincing others, acting, and handling animals. This is one skill I do understand that's not covered by the comment I have below (denoted by ).

And now let's look at special skills. You might notice entries for Divine power and Mystic power. This distinction is an annoyance that will probably cause you to have to redo your whole character. We'll discuss it after we go through four more chapters.

I've already skipped ahead to read the description for Specialise but let's pretend I'm reading the book front to back and making a character as we go. Nothing we've read thus far implies you need to specialise in a skill when you take it. Reading the ability invalidates much of my first impression of this chapter and I'm really not sure why they did it this way. There are also five chapters between now and when we get to discuss abilities. Sit tight and enjoy the ride.
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tdphillips wrote:
A question for the peanut gallery:
Now that we've read through a full section featuring game mechanics (despite some of the terms being undefined), what do you think? Would you purchase and/or play QuestCore thus far?


Honestly, it doesn't look like my kind of game at this point. I'm not that into generic systems, and if I were to use one, I'd go with BRP or some other system that I already know.

I'd play it if someone in my group were really hyped about running it.
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tdphillips wrote:
What say you? I described it to some gamers elsewhere and they called it "definitely weird."


This is weird. Why not just do a "critical confirm" like in 3e? If you roll a 12 and succeed, roll again. If you succeed again, you get advantage. Wouldn't take much longer than figuring out your "real" value and redoing the math.
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dysjunct wrote:
Why not just do a "critical confirm" like in 3e? If you roll a 12 and succeed, roll again.


I don't want to sound like a broken record and keep complaining about the same feature but I feel compelled to point out that the only other discussion in the QuestCore forum is regarding this same feature. It includes some rationale (if you can call it that) from one of the authors.
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Wow, that explanation makes the mechanics really clear, and the game design rationale even less clear.
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Let's talk about damage!

Damage and effect


Back when we created Athrond, you may have noticed that we didn't generate any kind of statistic called "health", "HP", or anything like that. We start off this chapter with the answer to why that is. The QM can rule otherwise but, in general, only Stamina, Will, and Charisma can be damaged.

Your damage roll has a DC of the target's passive defence (6 + skill). If you succeed, you inflict 1 damage. For every 5 DC you beat the target's defence, you do an additional 1 damage. This damage gets applied to one of your attributes (determined by the type of attack, I guess; we'll talk about that in a bit). Different attack skills have different damage rolls and skills used to defend. This combined with the image shown above and the optional rule located at the end of the chapter should mean that combat will be somewhat lethal.

Let's do some sequence breaking and talk about the aforementioned optional rule!

Optional rule: Bruise
Missing the defence DC by a max of 2 means you thump the guy good and leave a bruise. Three bruises equal a point of damage. Combining this with the Craft skill from last time, we see that first aid won't just completely heal damage. It can drastically reduce it, however.

Given two starting characters with a 2 in the relevant attribute and a trained attack/defence, the attacker is rolling 1d10+4 vs a defence of 10. We don't yet know how armor would muck with that so let's pretend they're not wearing any. That will result in a 2 in 5 chance of doing one point of damage (the max that can be done; there just aren't enough points to play with at that level to get a good margin of success). Using the bruise rule, your chance of at least doing something raises to 3 in 5. As the example mentioned Stamina damage decreasing the recipient's Stamina bonus, each successful attack (or three bruises) should make subsequent attacks easier as well.

This chapter never explicitly says which attribute gets damaged but the Examples of common damage rolls and the example combats appear to agree with my assumption - the attribute tied to the defence skill used.

There are five opposed skills listed here:

Melee damage (Str) vs. Resistance (Sta)
Missile damage (Dex) vs. Resistance (Sta)
Will power (Will) vs. Will power (Will) - mental attaks
Spellpower (Will) vs. Will power (Will) - mental spell attacks (again with this weird distinction; maybe we'll find out in the combat or mystic arts chapters?)
Personality (Cha) vs. Personality (Cha)


As we found out in the skills chapter, throwing damage is separate from missile damage. I'm assuming that makes a sixth entry in the above table.

This gives us a rough guideline; physical attacks target Sta, mental attacks (magical or otherwise) target Will, and talky attacks target Cha.

So we know how to damage creatures. How do we take them out, though? Reducing a creature to -4 Sta or Will renders it unconscious and dying. It must make a check (DC 6) of that attribute every round until it reaches -10 (and dies) or gets stabilized. It would quickly get basically impossible to pass this test using your modified attribute bonus so I'm assuming this is against your base. This chapter doesn't say, however, so I could be wrong.

Reducing a creature to -4 Cha, however, just renders that creature unable to use Cha-based skills or abilities. That's how debates work - the first to reduce the other to -4 Cha wins.

Rounding out my reading of this chapter are a few sentences on healing. You heal one point of damage per day of rest. If you don't rest, you heal one point every two days, max.

All in all, I think I like this chapter.
I was never fond of ever-increasing hit point numbers so having a max of eight (-3 to +4) is an interesting divergence for something that claims to be d20-inspired.
I think I understand damage but I'm not actually sure.
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Equipment presents us with another short chapter. We start off with a description of...

Using weapons.

In this section, we get a bit of misinformation regarding the Specialise ability again - you can use it to specialise into bladed or unarmed attacks, for example. It then describes the difference between Light, Medium, and Heavy weapons. Each has a different strength requirement. That's it.

Ranged weapon rules

As usual, ranged weapons have range rules. These are pretty standard - there are penalties for attacking from close combat and attacking at greater than your weapon's range.

Grenades

Grenades are kind of weird. They're thrown weapons and thus use the Attack missile skill (I'm pretty sure it's referring to the Attack ranged skill). Unlike thrown weapons which use Throw damage to determine damage, grenades use Missile damage.

As far as I could tell, the * damage skills add damage on a 1-for-1 basis. I'm not sure what purpose the decision to have grenades use a different damage type would serve.
I'm not really a fan of per-character damage rules for weapons like grenades. An untrained person lands a grenade at someone's feet and does +0 damage (in addition to their MoS and the base damage of the grenade). Someone who pumped up the skill a bit (let's say they trained the skill and specialised in it) will do +3 damage.

Following this are a few optional rules.

Optional rule: Automatic fire
To put it simply, spend several rounds for multiple attacks, or spend even more rounds for multiple attacks and double damage.

I flipped ahead to the gear section (this one is only a listing of examples; the latter section gives more stats). Many weapons have enough ammo capacity. Does that mean they can all be used for automatic fire? There's no quality listed there (or here, for that matter) that would denote that.

Optional rule: Suppressing fire
Spend a bunch of ammunition to make automatic attacks (at a penalty) against anyone who enters an area.

The authors appear to flip a coin to determine if they should use the word "round" or "bullet".
For this optional rule in particular, nothing limits the amount of targets you can hit. You spend nine rounds to protect an area and can presumably attack more than nine people if that situation presents itself. Cribbing from GURPS, I'll just assume this is a gameable abstraction.

Finally we get descriptions of weapons and armour (both Pre-modern and Modern). Weapons range from -3 to +5 damage. Armour gives +1 to +5 Resistance. Shields give Defence, parry, and have damage ratings for bashing. I'm not going to cover any of them individually, only commenting on weapons in general.

The Damage and effect chapter didn't say if you can reduce weapon damage to zero (and neither does this one). That's quite possible with the weaker weapons (dagger at -1 damage or unarmed with a penalty ranging from -1 to -3).
There are rules regarding having enough strength to wield a weapon with one hand instead of two. This appears to have no mechanical effect besides allowing you to use a shield.
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Updates will probably be a bit slow as our baby is putting free time at a premium. Enough excuses, let's talk about doing things.

Quote:

Heyyeyaaeyaaaeyaeyaa. I'm more curious about spiky head guy in the background than the He-Man impersonator.


Conflict

We're informed that conflict isn't necessarily combat. It encompasses things that take more than a simple skill roll, like fighting, competing, or diplomatic shenanigans.

Before we begin, however, we need to

Decide who acts first.

This is done using the Perception skill. You know, the one whose description is as follows:

Perception (Will), p. 14 wrote:

Used when you are trying to figure out when someone is lying. This skill is also used to detect hidden dangers in your surroundings or when you're searching for something hidden.


I'm not sure how that meshes with two armed groups joining battle where each is aware of the other. I could see it being used for surprise rules, but we'll discuss surprise later (and it's not what you think).

Actions, rounds, and turns

On your turn, you can do two actions. These actions can be the same or different.

It's not defined as such but I'm assuming one of these actions is what the Concentration skill describes as a "standard action".

When it's not your turn, you can use defensive actions and skills.

The previous section had the attacker rolling against 6 + Defensive Skill, not the defender rolling an opposed check. I don't think defensive skills are things you can "use" as such.

Surprise

You probably thought this is what happens when one side surprises the other and gets a free round. Good guess. Completely wrong, however.

Before you get your first turn in a conflict, you're surprised and at Disadvantage.

I get that they're probably trying to replicate "flat-footed" from D&D. They probably should have just used that term.

Being surprised probably sucks. Luckily, Athrond chose the Perception skill without knowing its combat utility.

Actions in a conflict

This section is just a listing, no descriptions. I won't discuss any of them in-depth right here. I will note, however, that there are a few actions in the list that aren't defined in this chapter. They should be self-explanatory, however.


* Use an ability (unless part of another action)
* Use a skill (unless part of another action)
* Stand up from prone
* Reload ability


Physical attacks

There are some notes here regarding penalties for your target being behind cover. It's a small-ish -2 when at least half of the target is behind cover and an absolutely massive -6 (and you can't use Advantage to help) if the target is behind heavy cover (looking through an arrow slit is the example given).

There are several methods of gaining Disadvantage as well. Most are fairly self-explanatory (paralyzed, surprised, attacking in melee with a ranged weapon, and so on). One of them, however, is "flanking" in all but name. If you're next to two or more armed enemies, you get disadvantage until the start of your turn. I believe this means you're basically going to be disadvantaged on defence and nothing else.

I get that systems like to distinguish themselves from their inspirations, but there is some fairly standard terminology that every system should use.

The sole sentence under Dodge attacks is "Normally you automatically use your passive defence when attacked."

Maybe this is nitpicky but I'm somewhat annoyed by all of the instances of "Normally ..." in this book that are not then followed by the exceptions.

If you take the Parry action on your turn, you can parry one attack after your turn. If an attack hits (beats your passive defence), you get to make an active defence roll.

I kind of like the Parry rules.

I'm cutting off the chapter here. For some unknowable reason, I thought I'd do at least one chapter per update. We covered about half of this one in and around baby's crying and fussing, though. Up next, we cover grappling, we finally define Zone of Control (hint, it's not as good for Athrond as I thought when I gave him Lock opponent), and a few other bits and bobs.
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When we left off last time, I mentioned grappling. Let's continue from there.

Grapple, the longest subsection in this chapter.

There are lots of rules in a very small area.

You initiate a grapple by rolling Grapple vs. the opponent's defence. The defender gets a free attack if they win this contest.

This does not appear to trigger Athrond's Lock Opponent. You can't win 'em all, I guess.

Skill penalties/bonuses are a thing for various size categories. I haven't seen any rules regarding nonhuman PCs so everyone is at +0.

Following that is a note that "most actions use the Grapple skill vs. Grapple skill" (Which actions? It's not enumerated below). One of the actions listed is Escape grapple.

It's at this point that I was going to make a quip about Athrond being in trouble in a grapple fight. I went to look up which attribute governs the Grapple skill. It was then that I realized. Grapple isn't in the skill list.

Since learning that there's no grapple skill, I no longer feel like talking about Optional rule: Simplified grappling. We could have learned that you can simplify grappling actions to "damage opponent" and "escape grapple" but now that's not going to happen.

Other actions in a conflict

Aside from attacking and grappling, there are a number of other actions you can take.

Defend - Using this action once gives a +2 to your Defence until your next round. Using both of your actions to Defend gives a +3.

Ready - Delay, Wait, or Hold Action in other games' terminology. Some games apply a penalty when holding an action. QuestCore doesn't, though you do have to specify what triggers your action.

Move
Run

Aid - You give a bonus of half of your skill, rounded down, to the target that you're aiding. There's a max of +3 regardless of how many aids there are.

Zone of control

This is basically your threatened squares from D&D. No more needs to be said (aside from one bit covered a few lines from now).

Free actions

You can do some things for free and the QM can limit how many you can do without requiring an action.


* Lie down
* Speak a few sentences
* Draw a weapon
* Drop an item or weapon
* Sheathe a weapon
* Reload a bow or crossbow


Free attack

One final bit, and somewhat relevant to Athrond. This is what happens if a creature doesn't stop when it enters your ZOC. You can make a max of <Dex bonus> free attacks in a round, minimum one. That means, with Athrond's Dex penalty, he has to spend two level ups worth of IP to gain a second free attack. Knowing this, it might be a good idea to revisit Abilities and replace Lock opponent with something he can make a bit more use of.

And with that, we wrap up the chapter on Conflict. Next time, we'll look at a short section regarding Conditions.
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Conditions

This is a somewhat boring chapter. Common themes amongst the following items are preventing the character from dodging (lowers defence to 3), gaining Disadvantage on various checks, and a few others.


* Blind
* Dazed, exhausted or confused
* Paralyzed
* Prone
* Stunned
* Unconscious


I think Surprised is also a condition. It's not reproduced here for some reason.

And... that's it for Conditions, I suppose. Up next are the Mystic arts, where we can finally talk about that annoying distinction between magic sources that I brought up way back in the Skills chapter. Both of these are fairly short so let's talk about that right now.

Mystic arts

Mystic, magic and spells - a bit of weird wording on that heading but we're just going to define what we're going to talk about.

Mystic arts and mystic powers can be anything from magic spells to psionic powers to any other supernatural power not covered by another ability. The Mystic arts skill is used to hit things. Individual spells determine what you use to defend. Mystic power determines damage.

Mystic lores are various specialisations that may be required for a given mystic ability. These include the standard elements of Air, Earth, Fire, and Water as well as several you probably know from D&D (Astral, Force, Negative, and Positive) and two new ones, Mind and Body.

"The four elemental lores are sometimes treated differently." We're not given any indication of how that is so, because this is QuestCore and that's just not how we operate.

Finally, we learn about Divine lore. Or, we would normally learn about that.

I'll describe my experience with this using a very short story.

Quote:

When I asked my wife if she wanted to play through the intro scenario with me, she agreed and considered making a mage of some type. When I described the scenario, she understandably decided that a divine caster of some type would not be remiss. Then I went to learn how to construct a divine caster, only to read...


"Information about clerics, religions, and divine miracles can be found in campaign settings."

And that's all we need to know about Divine lore.

Damage with Mystic arts

The entirety of this section is a table giving the damage bonus provided by the different lores.

Fire, Force, and Negative all give +1 damage. Everything else gives +0 (two lores) or a minus (the remaining six, including "no lore specified").

List of mystic lores

We already listed these several lines above but QuestCore lists them again with a short description of each. I'm not going to do so here, except to describe Astral lore.

Quote:
This strange lore calls forth the dangerous purple energy of the astral world.


Just in case you ever needed to know what color the astral world was.


Are you tired of me whining in the previous updates about the Specialise ability and alluding to me not understanding how skills work? Boy, I am too. Up next, Abilities and Open abilities descriptions!
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I hope you will continue posting more! Looking forward to the rest of your in-depth review!
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Megaton wrote:
I hope you will continue posting more! Looking forward to the rest of your in-depth review!


Don't worry, I will. Things are a bit hectic at the moment.

I hope you don't think I'm being too overly critical - my intended conceit for this review is someone reading the book for the first time and making a character.
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I apologize for the delay. This post was mostly written. I got sidetracked with baby stuff and some actual games I'm running.

Abilities

Gaining abilities basically restates what we learned back in the character creation section so we won't talk about that again. After this, we learn what the different ability types are and some short rules for each.

Attack abilities

You can use these every five minutes, unless noted otherwise. These can be refreshed by spending both an action and an Advantage.

"Normally you can only use a specific ability once per round." Diverging from the norm of not telling us the special cases, we learn that two different Attack abilities or two different "Spell attack" abilities (I'm pretty sure that's exclusive - two Attack or two Spell attack) can be combined in one attack. I'm assuming that means using one of your two actions. That's pretty neat, though not very useful to Athrond. One of his abilities can only be used as an attack of opportunity so it's ineligible for this combo attack. I may allow him to go back and rethink some of his choices as I learn more.

Optional rule: Use any Attack ability
You don't have to buy an Attack ability to use it, but you've got -3 to the attack and -1 to damage if you haven't trained it.

I'm on the fence on this optional rule.

It keeps options open. If you're facing a heavily armed foe, for instance, and you need a damage boost, you can get one.
I'm assuming you can use the first level of an ability only, but that isn't spelled out.
Several Attack abilities don't require an attack roll, do no damage, and only have one level so there's really no reason to train them if you're using this rule.

Open abilities descriptions

I'm not covering all of these but we can talk about some interesting bits as they come up.

Attack abilities

None of these are very interesting (meaning they're perfectly functional, just not interesting to talk about). These cover all types of attacks you would be used to from your RPG of choice - Ki attack, Power attack, Sneaky attack, Two-weapon fighting, and many more. This makes the optional rule from the previous section feel a little weird in my opinion. You could choose to, as a raging barbarian, focus your ki to do extra damage. This would be completely suboptimal (combined, it comes out to -3 attack for a +1 to damage) but you could do it.

General abilities

These cover all of the special things your D&D class could do - being good at Acrobatics, having a Familiar, being able to Detect evil, Rage, and so on. We also learn about Specialise, which I was looking forward to. You'll finally stop hearing me complain about it!

Specialise

Once you've trained a skill, you can pick this ability to get a bonus to it every five minutes. Each time you choose Specialise, you pick a different skill or sub-skill.

This is the first time I've read that some skills can only be specialised in. These are the two Attack skills, Knowledge, Craft, and Mystic arts. I assume this means taking First aid (Int) instead of Craft (Int) (as opposed to being forced to take the Specialise ability to start practicing your craft of choice) but I'm not entirely sure. This also removes the weird bit I mentioned earlier regarding chefs being equally good at healing as metalcrafters.

This cleared up several annoyances I had in past chapters.
Some things are still unclear. QuestCore is a fairly light system, however, so I'm fine with a few house rules.
What is the point of having an attribute on a skill if the subskill you have to specialise in has a different attribute? See Craft (Int) vs. Metalcraft (Str).

Fixing Athrond (my sample character from a few chapters back, if you've forgotten) is as simple as swapping Attack melee (Agi) for Hafted (Str).

That's it for general Ability rules as well as abilities that any character can take. Up next, we'll talk about spells and abilities you need to ask your QM about.
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We're now on page 27, which means we're about at the halfway mark!

Restricted abilities descriptions

We're told that these abilities might be used on creatures created by the QM or a player asks for and receives permission to take them.

General abilities

There are a few here that you can probably convince your QM to let you take pretty easily - everything from Darkvision to Large and Small sizes. Also in this section, however, are Invisibility, Regenerate, and Undead. Most of these abilities have multiple levels as well. Some go a bit overboard.

paraphrased wrote:

Invisibility
Requires a concentration check.
I: Translucent
II: Invisible for 1 round
III: Invisible for 3 rounds
IV: Invisible for 1 minute
V: Invisible for as long as you wish. No concentration check.
VI: Invisible for as long as you wish. No concentration check. Your equipment also turns invisible.


Quote:

Natural attack
I: Damage 0
II: Damage +1
...
V: Damage +4


Each of these, if your QM allows them, require a massive commitment of IP. Remember, each level nets you 3 IP and each advantage costs you 2. You may remember from the character creation posts that you're also limited to a total number of attributes equal to one more than your level. At a minimum, it will take four levels to get a +4 to unarmed damage and five levels for invisibility that works when your character isn't nude.

H This might take some playtesting to determine how balanced it might be but I'd be tempted to houserule that the players may advance one ability (or possibly several distinct abilities) per level if they have one that has levels and isn't maxed.

Mystic spell attack abilities

I don't understand magic.

A sampling of abilities in this section:

Quote:

Attribute damage
Use Body lore or Mental lore to attack.
Body: Damage Str, Sta, Agi, or Dex
Mental: Damage Int, Will, Cha, or Dex (uh...)
With either, you choose which attribute is damaged.
I: +0 damage
II: +2 damage

If Athrond were a caster, he'd probably take this. Being able to target specific attributes seems like it could be a bit overpowered.

Quote:

Ranged spell
You can use mystic arts to make a ranged mystic attack. Cannot be combined with Line or Area.
I: 30 ft 1/round
II: 60 ft 1/action

I assume this means that, by default, spell attacks have to be in melee.

There are a total of nine abilities in this section. They're all similar to the above - either different ranged attack types or special effects. There's nothing like "Fireball" or "Shocking Grasp" here. Maybe those are just Fire lore with the Area and Knockback abilities (we can combine two in one action, remember) and Air lore (?) with no modifier, respectively. If so, that's kind of neat. I like mechanics that involve building blocks like that. It would also explain why each lore type has a different damage modifier.

I think that's how attack spells work. I like it.
This could really do with some reorganization. Not all abilities have lore specialisation requirements but those that do list said requirement somewhere in the text in the non-italic, non-bold font that most of the text uses. It's hard, if I've got Force lore, to determine which abilities are specific to my lore (there are none...).

After talking through this (and taking a peek at the next section), I think i understand magic now.

Mystic spell abilities

This includes all non-attack spells. Cantrips (see below), Fly, Heal wounds, and more.

Quote:

Cantrips
Cantrips can be used once per round unless otherwise noted.
Calm animal, Conjure water, Darkness, Ghost sound, Light a fire, Light, Wizards' charm, Wizards' mark, Sending, Gust of wind, Magic hand, Warmth, Tremble, Trackless, Find north, Feel magic


Let's take a quick look (heh) at what lores are covered by Cantrips. Some of those require one lore or another so this table will contain a higher sum than the number of spells. Wizards' mark and Feel magic doesn't require any specific lores.


Air II
Earth IV
Fire III
Water I
Force I
Positive II
Negative I
Mental III
Body I


The most glorious purple Astral lore isn't covered and Earth seems more represented than most RPGs. Contrary to what I might expect, Fire is not the most common. This isn't a critique, I just like calculating things.

This section was easier to understand than Mystic spell attack abilities. Each magical effect (besides Cantrips) is a different spell, which is what I was expecting coming into this.

And with that, we bring the abilities chapter to a close. Up next is some QM-specific stuff.

Anyone still reading, what do you think of the magic system in QuestCore? It's probably the most interesting thing I've covered thus far.
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dysjunct wrote:
tdphillips wrote:
What say you? I described it to some gamers elsewhere and they called it "definitely weird."


This is weird. Why not just do a "critical confirm" like in 3e? If you roll a 12 and succeed, roll again. If you succeed again, you get advantage. Wouldn't take much longer than figuring out your "real" value and redoing the math.


YWell. Using the d20 mechanic (crit confirm) gives you about the same result. The "4 and 7" result gives you a slight "bell curve" effect.

However: By using the d12/"4 and 7" and you are doing something fairly normal (DC6) and you are trained (+2) you will rarely experience a disadvantage by just trying.
And if you are doing something hard (DC8) and you are untrained (+0) you will rarely get an advantage by just trying - you have to get aid or do something tactical.

Also - using a d10 and use 4 and 7 as advantage/disadvantage is also almost the same result.
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tdphillips wrote:
Megaton wrote:
I hope you will continue posting more! Looking forward to the rest of your in-depth review!


Don't worry, I will. Things are a bit hectic at the moment.

I hope you don't think I'm being too overly critical - my intended conceit for this review is someone reading the book for the first time and making a character.


It's quite ok! I think I have to write some clarifications regarding some rules though. Glad you like most of the main concepts of the game.
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I guess we have enough for a QuestCore FAQ. Hope it helps!

tdphillips wrote:

Attributes
There's a default minimum/maximum of +-2 but there's also a note that the QM can modify this for campaigns of a certain power level. There's no mention of the QM allowing the PCs more IP when starting out so you'll get maybe one good bonus if the QM ups your max bonus to 3 - maxing out one bonus will cost (3 + 3 + 6 =) 12 of your starting 20 IP. The absolute highest attribute bonus listed here and later in the character creation section appears to be 4, so maybe that's actually a really great bonus. We'll see if we can find out once we've got some fleshed out characters.

+2 in an attribute is the same as a +4 bonus (an ability score of 18) in d20/D&D. +3 is the same as +6 (an ability score of 22). Maybe a bit expensive for +3 but as the attribute bonuses give a big boost to skills it must be rather expensive... maybe it could cost 4 or 5 as a house rule if you like a little bit overpowered games.

tdphillips wrote:

Starting money
There's still a problem here - the people who need lots of expensive stuff to start off (front-line fighter with good armor, a weapon, and a shield, for instance) may have to decide between adventuring gear and rations, and being able to survive a fight.

There is an Ability that gives you 300 extra standard coins.

tdphillips wrote:

Attacks and passive defense
This section notes that you generally don't have to roll when defending - the DC to be attacked is 6 plus "the skill value". It doesn't say which skill or where the different armors take effect.

A normal melee attack uses a DC of the Defence skill plus any bonuses (shield etc). Armor generally only gives a bonus to Resistace (to determine damage).

tdphillips wrote:

List of skills
QuestCore's skill list is deceptively short - several skills are general and must be specialised when you use the Specialize Ability.

Most skills are really broad in QuestCore - training (+2) gives you +2 on all uses. Specialization gives you a further bonus (once/5 min). Some skills have "sub-skills" (Attack melee, Craft etc) and then you must specialize in a sub-skill (e.g.craft/smithing, or Attack melee/grapple).

tdphillips wrote:

Damage and effect
This damage gets applied to one of your attributes (determined by the type of attack, I guess; we'll talk about that in a bit). Different attack skills have different damage rolls and skills used to defend. This combined with the image shown above and the optional rule located at the end of the chapter should mean that combat will be somewhat lethal.

Actually it is not meant that you use your damaged attribute when using skills (including Resistance). For added "realism" you could make a house rule but we think it makes the game much slower.

tdphillips wrote:

Optional rule: Automatic fire
I flipped ahead to the gear section (this one is only a listing of examples; the latter section gives more stats). Many weapons have enough ammo capacity. Does that mean they can all be used for automatic fire? There's no quality listed there (or here, for that matter) that would denote that.

"AF" in the list means the weapon can use automatic fire.

tdphillips wrote:

There are rules regarding having enough strength to wield a weapon with one hand instead of two. This appears to have no mechanical effect besides allowing you to use a shield.

You can use your free arm for many things - grappling, holding a backup weapon, use two-weapon attack, holding a torch, holding a wand etc.

tdphillips wrote:

It's at this point that I was going to make a quip about Athrond being in trouble in a grapple fight. I went to look up which attribute governs the Grapple skill. It was then that I realized. Grapple isn't in the skill list.

Grapple skill is actually a sub-skill to Attack melee. It may not be very clear in the rules.

tdphillips wrote:

Divine Lore
"Information about clerics, religions, and divine miracles can be found in campaign settings."
And that's all we need to know about Divine lore.

The rules does not say but Divine lore can be used instead of Mystic lore in all cases in the rules. The only difference is that it uses Will intead of Intelligence. And if you want to, for some reason, have both Mystic lore and Divine lore - you sould separate which spells that are divine and which are Mystic (magic).

tdphillips wrote:

Ranged spell
You can use mystic arts to make a ranged mystic attack. Cannot be combined with Line or Area.
I: 30 ft 1/round
II: 60 ft 1/action

This is actually a mis-printing. The ability "Ranged spell" can be combined with Area but not Line.

tdphillips wrote:

Cantrips
Let's take a quick look (heh) at what lores are covered by Cantrips. Some of those require one lore or another so this table will contain a higher sum than the number of spells. Wizards' mark and Feel magic doesn't require any specific lores.

Just to clarify: You just pick the "Cantrips" ability once. If you are specialized in a Mystic lore (fire, earth etc) you get every listed cantrip for the lore (or lores if you have trained several lores).
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Megaton wrote:
I guess we have enough for a QuestCore FAQ. Hope it helps!


Thanks. Some of those definitely helped. It's totally my bad that I didn't realize Grapple was under Attack melee, and several other clarifications that you've made.

I would have finally realized what Am, AF, and a few other acronyms mean in the upcoming QM section. I'll be sure to note my prior mistakes when they come up in my review and I'll definitely take the rules as intended into consideration when updating my score.
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tdphillips wrote:
Megaton wrote:
I guess we have enough for a QuestCore FAQ. Hope it helps!

Thanks. Some of those definitely helped. It's totally my bad that I didn't realize Grapple was under Attack melee, and several other clarifications that you've made.


The part about grappling is missing the quite important information that Grapple is a sub-skill to Attack melee. When it was first written, Grapple was a separate skill.

One of the hardest things when writing rules is to make the reader understand what you mean.
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Back to ToC

QuestMaster section

Beginning this chapter is a paragraph that mentions that "is[sic] this section you can find basic guidelines, suggestions, and rules for the QM". Keep this in mind as you proceed.

Experience points (XP)

The first section in this chapter contains an XP chart/formula, and XP value chart/formula. The only thing I'll note on is that it takes -10 XP to reach level 0 and 0 XP to reach level 1. I get that "normal" level 1 starting characters should start with an XP score of 0, but I'm not quite sure what a negative amount of experience would mean.

I'm glad these formulas are included. I don't like the D&D/OSR method of listing numbers from levels 1-20. If you were the type of person to do in-depth system hacking, you could grab these formulas and create your own "Epic Level Handbook" and beyond.

Let's keep comparing to D&D, shall we? I know these are different games but QuestCore is a lighter-crunch homage so I feel it's apt. In D&D, XP tables are intended to be tooled such that each level takes roughly the same number of encounters to reach. Granted there's a bit of sway in that (anywhere from 12 to 35 encounters per level, depending on what graph you look at) but it roughly works.

I was going to complain that obstacle XP increases linearly while XP requirements are more exponential. While that is true to an extent, my argument fell apart when I did the math. Assumptions for the remainder of the paragraph: You've got a party of four, and as QM you've decided to only do same-level obstacles. That's a boring assumption but it makes math easy. A party of four level 1 characters need to resolve ten level 1 obstacles to advance. This holds for every single character level - ten same-level obstacles to the next advancement. This is actually even more consistent than D&D.

Optional rule: IP as Experience points
This rule removes XP from the system. For every major story milestone (or five normal encounters), the character gains one IP. After gaining three IP, the character gains a level.

There are several super short sections between here and the list of Game terms so let's do a few rounds of rapid fire thoughts until we reach it.

Level 0 creatures

Level 0 creatures start with less IP (only 7) and money. You'll remember that every level nets you three IP. Combine that with a level 0 character and we learn that a level 0 character that reaches level 1 has half the IP of a character that started at level 1.

Money

Like most generic systems, the definition of money can change. Whereas GURPS uses the $ (as of a specific point in time in the 90s, I believe), QuestCore uses the standard coin.

"In comparison (ed: to what?), a daily salary for a skilled worker is one standard coin."

Treasure

Monsters might have money. Monsters in heroic fantasy campaigns may have three or four times as much.

Equipment

See your campaign setting. Basic stats are in the Equipment chapter.

Travelling

More info is in world-specific supplements. If world-specific supplements existed as of the time of my review, I'd say QuestCore existed to sell them.

What follows are a few examples. I don't want to reproduce entire blocks of rules so let's summarize:

You can travel twice as far on roads than off. Double those respective distances if you're on a horse. Much more than that if you're on a boat.

You can try to push yourself further with the Endurance skill. Getting a 6 or less on a d10 + mods, you get one stamina damage.

Darkness

If you don't have Darkvision, you can't see in the dark.

Water

If you're in deep water, you have to roll your Mobility skill or start drowning. You can hold your breath for as many rounds as you have Endurance bonus, and then continue with an Endurance skill check with a cumulative -1/round penalty.

Fire

If you're a very stubborn person, you're immune to being set on fire. No joke.

Quote:

If exposed to a fire, the fire will make an attack versus your Will defence. A small campfire has an attack strength of +0, while <snip>. A hit means that the object is set on fire.


Making money

You can use a trained skill to make money. I guess any skill. Concentration. Will power. Throw damage. Success earns one standard coin. Failure nets just enough food to keep the character alive.

And, last but by no means least,
Game Terms

I accidentally wrote up the next chapter as well. It's a pretty short one. Hope you don't mind.

This section defines several things we've seen and had defined in earlier chapters - Ability, Attribute, Creature, ZOC (whose description, descriptively enough, is "Zone of control."), several things that will be used in the following chapters - AF (answering a bit of confusion I had much earlier, and we'll discuss it when it comes up in the equipment chapter; this means autofire) and Am (short for ammunition; "AM: B" is bullets, "AM: E" is energy packs), and one thing that isn't used anywhere - QC is short for QuestCore.

And those are the entire QM and Game terms sections.

Some good stuff, lots of weird.
Most of the QM section wasn't really QM-specific.

Up next, equipment and creatures!
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