[2d20] Dune - help and advice needed (from any 2d20 GMs).

Dom

Administrator
Staff member
#21
Response on moving from Facebook:

I post you the answer that Nathan gave us in oficial forum: Early in design, the intent was that all attempts to move an asset required a choice to move boldly or move subtly. But during early concept testing, it became apparent that this wasn’t working quite as intended: there were situations where neither option really fit.

Thus, the structure of moving was changed so that basic movement didn’t require a test, but characters could choose to take a risk with a ploy of being subtle or bold to gain an additional, valuable benefit at the risk of stalling your own progress (you can’t spent Momentum to move further, and you can’t keep the initiative) and giving an opportunity to the enemy. Indeed, the penalty for failing one of these ploys was made more severe here as part of this restructure.

These ploys have a base difficulty of 2 because that was the right break point for the risk and reward available: a base difficulty of 1 was too easy that the risk became too trivial, while a difficulty of 3 or higher made the reward too costly to reach.

However, as with all test difficulties in the game, it can be modified by circumstances, and these circumstances are typically represented by Traits (which include Assets, as Assets are essentially a sub-category of Trait).

The same also applies to the basic move: a trait that makes things more difficult could reasonably be applied to make an action require a test when it normally wouldn’t, or to prevent you from attempting some actions at all. In a skirmish, an obstacle or area of difficult terrain might be applied this way, making movement more difficult as you move along a particular route.
 
#22
Thus, the structure of moving was changed so that basic movement didn’t require a test, but characters could choose to take a risk with a ploy of being subtle or bold to gain an additional, valuable benefit at the risk of stalling your own progress (you can’t spent Momentum to move further, and you can’t keep the initiative) and giving an opportunity to the enemy. Indeed, the penalty for failing one of these ploys was made more severe here as part of this restructure.
Thanks, Dom! That's a perfect answer to the movement question.
If only they'd included that in the errata! :)
 

Dom

Administrator
Staff member
#24
Facebook consensus on the asset (the pistol on the floor) is that most GMs would let a player pick it up as a temporary asset as it is already created, provided that it didn’t exceed the asset limit for the player.

There’s also a large minority that would let you give the GM threat in place of momentum BUT one of the designers has been explicit that this isn’t RAW (In Dune, you can only use Threat in place of Momentum when specifically stated, with GM's permission). Several of those advocating for this pointed out that this is especially appropriate if the player’s use of that asset could escalate things.

I’d go with the first option on the basis that you as GM have made that asset available.
 
#26
I haven’t asked the NPC question yet because I need to get my head around it.
No problems.
If you want shorter versions then maybe you could ask something along these lines...?

Q1: It says on p136 that a supporting character not controlled by a player can "Follow Orders" - a variant of the assistance rules. Does issuing those orders use up the PC's turn in the initiative, or does this count as an action by the supporting character?

Q2: also on p136 it says uncontrolled supporting characters can be used as a trait for lowering the difficulty. Does this just mean for a bunch of NPCs working together? Like three House Troopers reduce their collective difficulty by 2. Or can PCs also use uncontrolled supporting characters as a trait? So a PC hanging out with a House Trooper lowers it by 1. If a PC can do this, does that "use up" the supporting character's turn in the initiative?

Q3: Can PCs move supporting characters around conflict zones as assets? Or do they treat them as an ally? And instead use the "signal an ally" rule in skirmish to move them?
 

Dom

Administrator
Staff member
#27
Response on moving from Facebook:

I post you the answer that Nathan gave us in oficial forum: Early in design, the intent was that all attempts to move an asset required a choice to move boldly or move subtly. But during early concept testing, it became apparent that this wasn’t working quite as intended: there were situations where neither option really fit.

Thus, the structure of moving was changed so that basic movement didn’t require a test, but characters could choose to take a risk with a ploy of being subtle or bold to gain an additional, valuable benefit at the risk of stalling your own progress (you can’t spent Momentum to move further, and you can’t keep the initiative) and giving an opportunity to the enemy. Indeed, the penalty for failing one of these ploys was made more severe here as part of this restructure.

These ploys have a base difficulty of 2 because that was the right break point for the risk and reward available: a base difficulty of 1 was too easy that the risk became too trivial, while a difficulty of 3 or higher made the reward too costly to reach.

However, as with all test difficulties in the game, it can be modified by circumstances, and these circumstances are typically represented by Traits (which include Assets, as Assets are essentially a sub-category of Trait).

The same also applies to the basic move: a trait that makes things more difficult could reasonably be applied to make an action require a test when it normally wouldn’t, or to prevent you from attempting some actions at all. In a skirmish, an obstacle or area of difficult terrain might be applied this way, making movement more difficult as you move along a particular route.
This was also a good response;

Since it is opening of the scene an guards are dead pistols were assets on the last scene where they were used by the guardas. If dead guards would be in sam way relevant to the new scene I would give "Dead Guard X" trait.
Character can obtain pistols from enviroment as per rules on 191. (They can use the trait to their adventage). Lot can happen here - from additonal momentum (and eg. finding bettter quality pistol) to additional threat and complications like another guards arrival or one not beeing quite dead yet shots/stabs character with his last dying breath. Or even realese poison gas from fake tooth. 😉

I would use this aproch even without new scene.
Game is not exacly clear of how assets works one one hand they are traits and traits are connected to scene. One the other hand assets usced by PC are rather thieir traits not scene. They can be made permament transfer from scene to scene etc. There is also cap on assets an the end of scenario.

So intepretation about just takin an asset that exist is good enough - simple and logical. But it creates lot of of problems with looting mentality. Hey there is an asset just lying in the scene - lets take it no roll needed, no risk of complication. It may come handy somwhere. With that come need for lots of assets management.
 
#28
The amount of jargon and verbiage just to handle moving my sorry asset from A to B.. I read the Dune combat section twice in an attempt to understand how they had managed to extract every drop of fun from it. A stillsuit couldn't have done a better job.

Also this line for me in Nathan's answer gives away what for me is the core problem with 2d20:

'These ploys have a base difficulty of 2 because that was the right break point for the risk and reward available: a base difficulty of 1 was too easy that the risk became too trivial, while a difficulty of 3 or higher made the reward too costly to reach.'

That's exactly what I found myself facing continuously when GMing 2d20 star trek. The task resolution system has its maximum coarseness right at the level where most tasks are happening. My lever to adjust task difficulty are either drop it to 1 (too easy) or increase it to 3 (too hard). It's a problem some other dice pool systems have as well, but most operate at a larger number of default dice to get around this.

2d20 resolves design issues like that by liberal fudging with metacurrencies - 'well that was unexpectedly hard so you generated threat which allows me as GM to do things (things I was going to do anyway because.. adventure & excitement)'.

Apologies, I realise sniping about the system wasn't the point of this thread - I just can't help myself :( Things like OP's issues came up *all the time* for us and yet one constantly hears the refrain that 'it plays better than it reads'. I really suspect some of that is because people are playing a different game from what is written, which is quite a common phenomenon in RPGs.
 

First Age

D&D h@ck3r and Hopepunk
#29
Apologies, I realise sniping about the system wasn't the point of this thread - I just can't help myself :( Things like OP's issues came up *all the time* for us and yet one constantly hears the refrain that 'it plays better than it reads'. I really suspect some of that is because people are playing a different game from what is written, which is quite a common phenomenon in RPGs.
Hey, no problem with the snipe, it is born from your actual play experience, so is quite valid and confirms that 2d20, at least in the games that you have played, isn't for you.

I have felt completely supported by 2d20 as a GM, and players have really enjoyed using the gears (Momentum and Doom/Heat) as part of exciting Conan and Infinity play. As per above, I think Homeworld simplifies further to a core base that I can get on with even easier. The Dune iteration appears to abstract much further, and possibly to a degree that even I, a happy 2d20 GM, might pale at.
 
#30
I have felt completely supported by 2d20 as a GM, and players have really enjoyed using the gears (Momentum and Doom/Heat) as part of exciting Conan and Infinity play. As per above, I think Homeworld simplifies further to a core base that I can get on with even easier.
That's cool. I do enjoy discussing the perceived merits and flaws of systems, but yes its important to remember that people - and groups - respond differently and want different things from their games.

Should also add, I actually thought the system worked much better in Conan than Star Trek. Really, if running a Trek game again, I would probably use Fate for narrative play, or (more likely) just kick any sense of TV episode simulation to touch and enjoy using Traveller for it, like we used to back in the day..
 
#31
Supporting Characters... I asked on RPG Stack Exchange and got an answer which makes things a lot clearer!

Your question confuses two different things: Supporting Characters and NPCs. A Supporting Character is a PC. The distinction is laid out on pg.100.

I'm writing this answer on the assumption that you are referring to Supporting Characters: PCs that your players have created that they play in addition to their "main" character.

You have several options, but your best bet is to use the utilize the Supporting Characters as traits when narratively appropriate. Stop thinking of them as "characters" that have actions in the flow of combat.
Though everyone in the scenario at the end of the core rules is labelled as "supporting character".
 

Dom

Administrator
Staff member
#34
Should also add, I actually thought the system worked much better in Conan than Star Trek. Really, if running a Trek game again, I would probably use Fate for narrative play, or (more likely) just kick any sense of TV episode simulation to touch and enjoy using Traveller for it, like we used to back in the day..
I bounced off the original STA 2d20 rule book; it just wouldn’t go into my head. The Tricorder edition is much better written though and I felt i could run it (although the various meta currencies are things I think I’ll need time using to fully grasp).
 
#35
I was toying with the idea of getting 2d20 Dune, as it's a setting I love, but this thread has put me off it. It looks like it's going to be too much work to either rewrite the rules or shift my mindset (and that of my players).
Now that people in the know are answering questions, it is starting to make sense. It's just that whoever did their proof-reading ought to be pelted with angry sand-trout! :)

MOVE: I'm happy now that I know that there is a vanilla, no dice roll needed, version of movement. That will smooth things out a lot.

SUPPORTING CHARACTERS: The thing I wasn't getting is that while most games have 2 types of characters (PCs and NPCs), Dune has 3 types:
  1. PCs just like in any other game, created & controlled by the players
  2. NPCs just like in any other game, created & controlled by the GM
  3. Supporting characters. Created by the players. Played by the players when they are not using their main character. Have a very limited suite of actions if they are not being played by a player. They are definitely not Dune's version of an 'NPC' and definitely not controlled by the GM.
So if the Dune rules had just mentioned "troupe play", and not accidentally labelled all the bad guy NPCs in the scenario as "supporting character" I might have got this earlier! :rolleyes:

ASSETS: I've been pointed at rules which say the players can create assets by rolling dice, as well as by spending Momentum, so that gets out of the "we've run out of Momentum" dead end. Plus as various folk here have suggested - I can treat it like a CortexPrime or Fate game and just slap a temporary asset on the table.
 

First Age

D&D h@ck3r and Hopepunk
#36
Now that people in the know are answering questions, it is starting to make sense. It's just that whoever did their proof-reading ought to be pelted with angry sand-trout! :)

MOVE: I'm happy now that I know that there is a vanilla, no dice roll needed, version of movement. That will smooth things out a lot.

SUPPORTING CHARACTERS: The thing I wasn't getting is that while most games have 2 types of characters (PCs and NPCs), Dune has 3 types:
  1. PCs just like in any other game, created & controlled by the players
  2. NPCs just like in any other game, created & controlled by the GM
  3. Supporting characters. Created by the players. Played by the players when they are not using their main character. Have a very limited suite of actions if they are not being played by a player. They are definitely not Dune's version of an 'NPC' and definitely not controlled by the GM.
So if the Dune rules had just mentioned "troupe play", and not accidentally labelled all the bad guy NPCs in the scenario as "supporting character" I might have got this earlier! :rolleyes:

ASSETS: I've been pointed at rules which say the players can create assets by rolling dice, as well as by spending Momentum, so that gets out of the "we've run out of Momentum" dead end. Plus as various folk here have suggested - I can treat it like a CortexPrime or Fate game and just slap a temporary asset on the table.

It's almost always the case that Momentum Spends can use GM 'Threat' instead, stacking up the excitement for later in time, like neo-liberal economy management.
 
#37
It's almost always the case that Momentum Spends can use GM 'Threat' instead, stacking up the excitement for later in time, like neo-liberal economy management.
I asked on RPG Stack Exchange if I could use Threat. Only one reply so far, saying the the book doesn't mention Threat, only Momentum.

Between Dom's cheat sheet, my reading of the book and the GM at Stabcon, the Dune rules don't seem to be consistent on whether a thing costs Momentum or Threat. For example:
  • buying extra dice can be either Momentum or Threat.
  • buying off a complication is Threat only (that kind of makes narrative sense).
  • getting an extra move is Momentum only.
 
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