We're ending the year right with the huge update to Straight to VHS version 0.3.9. The bulk of this update lives in the Tropes section, where lots of cool and streamlining changes have been made. The other big change is to what happens when a character reaches 0 HP. Also, improvised weapons should now be a more interesting part of the game.
There's gonna be a lot of stuff going on with Straight to VHS over the next several months. I hope you'll feel the inclination to bookmark lostcatgames.com or subscribe to our subreddit or like our facebook page in order to keep up with the latest and share your thoughts... Oh, there's a twitter account too! Alright, enough of that. On to the bullet points!
- Changed how characters die! In short, you're bleeding out but still conscious at 0 HP. While at 0 HP, you start filling death checks until you die or get healed. I think the new system is more fun, more sensible and more dramatic.
- Improvised weapons now have their attack bonus lowered by 1 after each time they're used. This is to encourage more dynamic and interesting use of improvised weapons, where the hero switches from one item to another. This was vaguely encouraged before with a line about how "improvised weapons tend to break" but this codified approach is overdue and ought to be a big improvement. See basically any Jackie Chan fight scene for an example.
- Added a comment to the Cinematic Actions section, making clear that cinematic actions can be used outside of action sequences. This might seem obvious to some, but might not have occurred at all to others.
CHANGES TO TROPES
- Batshit Crazy: The lie/truth-about-the-world mechanic has been retooled as a cinematic action that costs a token to use. However, the player now asks a specific question of the Director and an answer is always given. Additionally, the "Inappropriate" cinematic action now requires a "serious" moment rather than an "emotional" one.
- Batteries Included: The "Electro-Slurp" cinematic action now requires you to touch a powered device, and it grants one epic dice token, rather than two. Previously, it was far too easy to load up on tokens with this cinematic action.
- Beastmaster: This trope has been renamed and merged with "Monkey Man" to form the new trope, "Born Wild".
- Born Wild: New Trope! Well, sorta. It'll look pretty familiar, but improved.
- Bumbling Sidekick: Added the "Whoops" cinematic action. The trope no longer allows you to grant an epic dice token when you roll and use a 1.
- Chest of Wonders: Been renamed as Chesty. Otherwise unchanged.
- Coward: The "Meatshield" cinematic action can now be used once per scene, as opposed to only once per day. However, it now costs an epic dice token. A nice little buff.
- Die Hardly: A stat bonus was reduced from +3 to +2. Die Hardly's ability to stay conscious at 0 HP has been updated to fit the new death mechanics. The "Makin' Me Angry" cinematic action now grants two epic dice tokens instead of one.
- Doctor: At the end of a scene, the Doctor now has the option of erasing a death check instead of healing damage. Added the new "Check-Up" cinematic action. Also the "Patch Job" cinematic action now gives the option of using an epic dice token to heal double the amount. Doctor's stat penalties have been raised to 3.
- Dual Wielding: Removed the feature that allowed you to get in a defensive posture. You're now required you to get hit or miss an attack while wielding a single weapon in order to show weakness (previously, any attack or defense roll with a single weapon would show weakness). Changed the "Keep 'Em Coming" cinematic action to a once per scene ability (previously once per day) and capped it off at the third attack. Missing that first attack as a once per day ability was just awful.
- Famous: REMOVED IT. Flavor-wise, mechanics-wise, I just don't think it was a good trope.
- Haunted just got some wording changes, but I think this trope eventually needs something, or otherwise might follow in Famous' footsteps...
- Man/Woman of Action: The "Bull in a China Shop" cinematic action now grants an epic die token instead of 2 AP. Added the new "Bloodlust" cinematic action!
- Man/Woman of the Cloth: The "Gonna Need a Miracle" cinematic action now also makes any rolled 1 show weakness for the character that rolled it.
- Monkey Man: This trope has been renamed and merged with "Beastmaster" to form the new trope, "Born Wild".
- Net Hacker: The Net Hacker's ability to hack is now represented with the cinematic action "Hackatronic" with assist from another new cinematic action "Double Hack". Success is now automatic except in regards to "military-grade equipment". Altogether, Net Hacker feels more solid and approachable.
- Ninja: Now automatically shows weakness after a failed consequential acrobatics roll, as well as stealth rolls. Gained the once per day "Smoke Bomb" cinematic action.
- Old Geezer: The "Go On Without Me" cinematic action is now (basically) a more beefy version of the "No Body, No Death" perk. Much more interesting than another once per scene method of earning an epic dice token.
- Protagonist: The "Captive Audience" cinematic action now has an alternate result for use outside of action sequences.
- Road Rash: Minor change here. Previously, it said "If an enemy knocks you off a motorcycle or manages to destroy your motorcycle..." The wording has been changed to include your own damn screw-ups.
- Snot Nosed Brat: The Snot Nosed Brat can now erase a death check at the end of each scene instead of rolling to potentially avoid death.
- Sophisticated: Slightly higher stat penalty. The "Well-Connected" cinematic action no longer requires a good roll to use, but instead requires an epic dice token. A sister cinematic action, "Well-Endowed" has been added.
- Stoner: This trope gets another pretty heavy set of changes. Maybe we'll stick with 'em this time? Stoners no longer get Tough Breaks on rolls of 3 or less. The "Herbal Enthusiast" cinematic action is out; it was uninteresting. The whole getting snacks thing has been made into a proper cinematic action. A brand new cinematic action called "High-Jinx" has been added. And finally, both stat bonuses got lowered by one.
- Street Tough: Been rebranded as "Rock and Roller". Different stat loadout, new "Get Down" cinematic action and the "Get Rocked" cinematic action now has an alternate effect for use outside of action sequences.
- Vampire: Blood Sucking has been turned into the cinematic action "Blood Sucker", which is once per scene and heals you by the FULL amount of damage you dealt. Additionally, while transformed into a bat, the Vampire gains a second use of "Blood Sucker". A couple minor changes include that any two rounds of damage in one scene from vampiric weaknesses will show weakness (rather than two consecutive ones), and Bat Form clarifies that the transformation doesn't have to last until the end of the scene. Oh and the ill-fitting "animals" blooper is gone. In short, the Vampire trope isn't a mess anymore!
- Voodoo Master: This update brings a nerf to the "Voodoo Hex" ability. The blooper dice don't last until the end of the scene, instead they last until the target succeeds with the affected stat. Still really good, but not overwhelming!
- Werewolf: The "Awooo!" cinematic action now grants two epic dice tokens instead of one. Aside from that, took out some unnecessary words that were cluttering up the place.
- What a Scoop!: Been renamed to "Nosy Reporter". Increased the trope's stat penalty and added the new "Mightier Than the Sword" cinematic action. Also, the "Story of the Century" cinematic action has been renamed to "What a Scoop!" because I really love saying that phrase with an old-timey accent.
CHANGES TO PERKS
- Masochistic: This one has slipped by me for a while... It said you get a +2 to your next roll after taking damage and had a nice little caveat about how being hit multiple times didn't cause the bonus to stack into a bigger bonus. Still, as written, this meant if you were attacked three times before your turn started, you'd get +2 to the second and third defense roll as well as a roll you made on your actual turn. That's too much awesome for one perk. It's been changed from "your next roll" to "one roll on your next turn".
- Smack Talking: Previously this said your target only avoids the penalty on rolls that deal damage to you. I've changed this to any rolls that target you.
- Still Breathing: Brand new perk related to the new death mechanics!
- You Thought I Was Down: This had to get changed due to the new death mechanics. The result is a pretty insane perk that does something pretty incredible, but only after things have gone quite wrong... Smart pick? Probably not. Cool pick? Mmmhmm!