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Ryan M.M. November 30, 2015

     Version 0.2.93 took a bit long, but it brings pretty substantial changes, the most dramatic of which is that characters now get 6 action points on thier turns instead of 5. That might sound like a normal sort of tweak, but it has wide-ranging effects on the game and thus required quite a bit of playtesting. After two and a half months I would have liked to have a bunch of new baddies and character options, but this update really is more about nuts and bolts (though there is the new Sophisticated trope, with a very unique Cinematic Action). So, with expectations in check, let's take a look at what this update is all about.

Game-wide changes and additions
  • Critical Successes and Critical Failures have been rebranded to Lucky Breaks and Tough Breaks. 20s and 1s in StVHS aren't actually automatic successes/failures and the new terms are much more accurate.
  • Characters now get 6 AP on their turns. Your turn just got a bit more action-packed!
  • Added a much better chart of AP costs. This comes with some new explanatory text, particularly regarding unlisted actions.
  • Added a bit about delaying actions. The AP system makes this very intuitive.
  • Got rid of "One Liners" as a Cinematic Action (see my comments below). On a related note...
  • Eased up the criteria for earning Epic Dice Tokens.
  • The game now suggests that the Director adds a "complication" to Script Changes that are just too powerful.
  • The "Anything" Script Change is gone. Typically, players either ignored it or chose it exclusively, and the addition of complications makes the give and take of "Anything" seem redundant.
  • The Speed chart has changed (yeah, again).
  • The cost of ranged weapons has been raised a bit. This was done to balance out the fact that ranged characters can more easily get in two attacks in a turn now.
  • The "Arc" customization for ranged weapons now has a x4 price multiplier instead of the old x3 multiplier.
  • A melee weapon customization that previously gave a blooper die to the weapon's target anytime it hits, now requires that the hit deals 5 or more damage.
  • Added a short paragraph to the beginning of the Directing 101 section, discussing "the most important rule of all".
  • Cleaned up and tweaked the Difficulty Levels chart. Much improved.
  • The Disarm action can now be done with ACC or STR.
  • Tweaks to the "Yeti" baddie and the "Bearborg" villain.
  • Updated Character Sheet!
Trope/Perk changes and additions
  • Added the "Sophisticated" trope.
  • The "Beastmaster", "Haunted" and "Monkeyman" tropes have new text regarding how replacements for dead followers are gained (basically, it's much less arbitrary now).
  • The "Beastmaster" trope has more AP to share between Beast and Master.
  • "Monkey Man" got additional tweaks.
  • The "Doctor" trope's end-of-scene healing ability now heals 5 + number of montages. Before, it doubled a characters normal end-of-scene healing, which was problematic when that normal healing was 0.
  • The "Haunted" trope now stipulates that your Ghost can not pick the "Dramatic Reveal" perk, which can lead to overly complex situations or even an infinite army of ghosts!
  • The "Werewolf" trope includes a weapon bonus for claws and teeth now.
  • The "Crime Robber" and "Talking Animal" tropes have both gained an epic die-earning Cinematic Action. Give in to your animal/criminal instincts!
  • The "Elite Shooter" Perk got tweaked.

     I wanna touch on the removal of One-Liners as a cinematic action. I found that as a cinematic action, it caused a couple problems. The first is that players would sometimes force themselves to come up with a one-liner each scene to take full advantage. On the flip-side, players would sometimes ration their own snappy lines to one per scene, so as to not "waste" them. So, I set one-liners free. This coincides with an easing on the rulebook's suggestions for when Epic Dice Tokens ought to be awarded. The practical outcome is that when and if a player busts out a sweet one-liner, they can earn an Epic Dice Token and they don't have to worry about it as some stuffy game mechanic that you feel you have to remember (and which takes up character sheet space).
 


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