Hot on the heels of version 0.4, Straight to VHS takes a significant step forward today with version 0.4.01!

AP (or Action Points), have been in StVHS for a long while now, but have been growing increasingly vestigial. Earlier versions of the game leaned pretty hard on the AP system, with features like being able to turn in tokens to gain AP, and movement costing AP. But as the game has been refined over time, we've been narrowing in on StVHS' promise of being an easy to learn, and quick-moving RPG, with just enough mechanical meat to guide the players and give interesting choices.
So, what have we ended up with? AP has been replaced by a simple system of Major and Minor Actions (and the occasional "Super Action") that changes very little about what you can do on your turn. This new system loses two areas of fidelity granted by the AP system:
  • If something previously cost 1 AP or 2 AP, it's now a Minor action.
  • The small handful of items that cost 4 AP to use will now be either a Major or Super action.

Essentially, instead of five possible AP costs, we now have three action types. This results in quicker, less fiddly action sequences, and makes it easier for Directors to assign an action type to the crazy things players do.

While the new action system is certainly the headliner, this update brings more changes than that, including the brand new Survivalist Trope. Let's see that sweet sweet bullet list!

  • Replaced the AP system with a system of Major and Minor actions (along with the occasional Super Action). Much easier to explain, much smoother in play. Very little fidelity lost.

  • Cinematic Actions have been renamed to "Special Abilities". The reason is two-fold. "Cinematic Actions" was an intermediary term that required explanation. Twice, the rulebook introduced them by explaining that they were special abilities. Secondly, the new system of Major and Minor Actions made the term "Cinematic Actions" feel clumsy and clashy.

  • Fixed up the Weapon Workshop, tweaking values and correcting errors. Generally resulting in cheaper weapons.

  • Adjusted prices and some details on example weapons.

  • Included an updated version of the character sheet, now built right into the rulebook PDF.

  • Reintroduced bookmarks to the PDF.

  • Blind Master: Finally improved, and hugely so! This trope had been edging towards the chopping block for a while, but is now a Trope I'm excited about!

  • Born Wild: The "something to swing on" character feature has been turned into a a once-per-scene special ability.

  • Crime Robber: No longer has that silly feature about rolling a 15 when a cop sees you.

  • Cyborg: The "Calibration" special ability can now be used in action sequences as a super action.

  • Gangster: This one also had that feature about rolling a 15 when a cop sees you. Gone. Also, Gangster's special abilities now explicitly disallow your entourage members acting before your first turn in an action sequence.

  • Mad Scientist: I'm pretty sure I just goofed up the stat bonuses on the last update. They got nerfed a bit in this update.

  • Sniper: Removed. Wasn't very interesting to play, nor did it really represent a desired film trope.

  • Survivalist: BRAND NEW TROPE!


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