Tweaking Energy in Hammercalled
Yesterday I made some changes to how Energy works in Hammercalled that should give a little improvement to the system overall.
One of the big changes is that there's now three distinct ways to spend Energy:
- Before a roll to add +10 to the TN of a test (1 Energy)
- After a successful roll to add 1 to the Margin (1 Energy)
- Before rolling to automatically succeed on a possible test with a Margin of 0 (3 Energy)
The last is one that I've been feeling most iffy about, but I've decided that I really want an instant-win mechanic in Hammercalled.
That may sound somewhat like bad game-design, but there's a real cause for it.
So the 1 Energy abilities all are represented currently by a talent of one sort or another. For instance, there's a bonus that gives +5 to Energy expenditures' bonus in combat. Twist the Knife allows an extra 2 damage on a melee attack, being stronger than the single Margin you could otherwise get.
However, the big thing that I found is that players don't usually spend through all their Energy. When that happens, they don't always get the most out of an Energy spending build. They also just add +10 to everything, since that was the only option in the old system.
Since Hammercalled plays so quickly and downtime is relatively common unless a GM really aims to deliberately prevent it, this meant that there was no real point to the Energy system; everyone just always had a +10 unless they really exceeded their limits.
In the upcoming downtime rules, I'm going to rule that Energy is recovered at a rate amount equal to the tens place of Presence each day. There may be a Talent to allow characters to improve this, but I haven't settled on that yet.
There are a few things I'm considering changing going forward.
Weapons right now and gear in general are overly complex compared to their use cases. I'm considering blending all weapons into a single Weapon category, removing the distinction between melee and ranged weapons. I'm also considering dropping Wear. Mathematically speaking, it's not something that has ever become significant in playtesting, and it may be an example of a module that could be added to the game easily instead of something that is important in the core ruleset. It's definitely going to be excluded from The Legacy of Eight.
Naturally, that means removing location status effects (or, rather, making characters either Engaged or not, and removing the In Melee status effect).
Also worth noting, these talents for The Legacy of Eight: Still rough. Really unhappy with Psionic Reach.
Psionics (2 Talent Points)
You may spend Energy twice when boosting a roll. Either on a single effect, or on the same effect twice; any modifiers are applied both times if an effect is duplicated.
Psionic Reach (1 Talent Point)
You may spend 1 Energy when you undertake a roll to have an action take effect on something that would normally be out of reach.
You must have an idea of a specific target.
Psionic Reach allows the character to ignore, in order, the need for line-of-sight (in which case precise location must still be known) or the need for precise location to be known. Spending 2 Energy by using the bonus from Psionics permits otherwise line-of-sight restricted actions to be taken against an entity which can be clearly identified by the character. It can also duplicate the Sniper or Remote Effect qualities for a desired action, even if the character is not using Gear for that roll.