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Re: New Quickstart

Wed Jan 11, 2017 8:50 am

The Wanderer wrote:I'm not sure if we discussed this before or not.

The Quickstart only has ascending AC, but with how the license works now, we can't claim compatibility with S&W if there is no descending AC. So should we add it in? Thoughts...

Yep, I agree. Add it in. Even if purely for the sake of legality.

Re: New Quickstart

Wed Jan 11, 2017 8:14 pm

I have the combined file ready now, so I moved the schedule up a bit. I have added the new file to the drive and removed all the other drafts.


This is the final draft to be made. So please review and make comments!

Also, please look over the turn undead section. I updated it with an alternate version that was discussed on this forum here: https://snw.smolderingwizard.com/viewtopic.php?f=7&t=160 Let me know what you think about this.

I also added the descending AC information so we can claim compatibility with Swords & Wizardry. So please review the combat and attacking sections. I'm hoping it won't confuse new players.

And I'm wondering if we should remove the level 2 stuff. By the book, the characters shouldn't raise a level after the adventure. But I put it in there because, it would make new players feel like the accomplished something and maybe that would better hook them. What do you think?

Thanks so much for being a part of this! I appreciate all feedback.

Re: New Quickstart

Fri Jan 13, 2017 6:05 pm

Might be a couple of days before I can review, but lemme take a gander.

Maybe just a text box or something mentioning the possibility of raising characters to level 2? Dunno.

Re: New Quickstart

Fri Jan 13, 2017 7:56 pm

I'm thinking about keep Turn Undead the same as the rule book. But fixing the issue with HD examples.

I'm not sure when I'll get to updating the rule books and updating multiple PDFs and print from 3 different locations is a pain in the arse.

So this way, when the quickstart is released it will at least pretty much match up with what is in the rule book.

Re: New Quickstart

Sat Jan 14, 2017 4:12 am

Points to consider:

The existing Quick Start uses the term "Game Referee" — and in one case, an inadvertent "Game Master" — where the base game uses just "Referee." Think about whether the new Quick Start should be consistent with the base game. Besides consistency, "Referee" will simplify layout very slightly; longer paragraphs tend to cause more layout problems than shorter paragraphs.

The existing QS has a few instances of "mage" that should change to "magic-user." And its uses of "magic-user" should always include the hyphen.

Consider updating the spell descriptions to match the current version of the base game. Hold Portal refers to magic resistance, which is not defined in the QS (and could maybe be confusing to someone trying to learn via the QS), so either eliminate that reference, or add a note like, "The base game has details on magic resistance."

S&W has been sloppy about the definition of "an adventure." In the original game text, the term "adventure" means a _foray_ into a dungeon, or wilderness, or some other place. The "adventure" is not the _site_, but just one _expedition_ into that site, kinda/sort of matching the real-world use. The earliest pre-made sites were called "levels," "dungeons," or "modules." Around 1980, TSR started including the word "adventure" on the cover, as a descriptor of the content, but left "module" on the cover too. Eventually they dropped "module." S&W continues the practice of calling a pre-made site an "adventure," so it's consistent with the "modern" use. While I much prefer _other_ terms for pre-made sites, at least the Quick Start is consistent with the base game, so that's not horrible. However...

The QS uses the term "adventure" with its product-specific meaning long before it explains the nuances of the product specific meaning:
"The Game Referee Quick Start presents a very simple adventure for you to play, as well as some pointers and guidance on how a Game Referee can run a Swords & Wizardry session." (Does this imply the "game" is more like a play?)
"you get to pick if you want to be a Magic User or a Fighter for this adventure." (This is in the character creation session; the notion of "this adventure" is pretty hazy here; does it mean the must operate as the same class every time it goes into the Dungeon of Akban, even if he goes into other dungeons in between forays into Akban?)
"Playing Swords and Wizardry is very simple! You act as the characters in an adventure that you and the Game Referee create together." (Wait, I thought the adventure was the pre-made thing; but this says you create the adventure. What's the deal?)
"the players will do something unexpected during the adventure." (This implies the adventure is a time-based entity, matching the common definition of "adventure.")

Scrutinize all the QS's uses of "adventure," and look for ones to remove/change. While it's fine to use "Adventure" to mean the pre-made dungeon, take care to avoid excess confusion.

Re: New Quickstart

Sat Jan 14, 2017 3:13 pm

A couple of things jumped out at me.

Page 4: Under Fighter, Level 1, "Roll 1dd+1 for hit points" should be "Roll 1d6+1 for hit points".

Page 5: Under Turning undead (new option), it says, "For example: if a Cleric faces 6 skeletons and successfully turns them and rolls a 4 (for HD) on 2d6, then 4 out of the 6 skeletons flee." But skeletons in White Box (as in OD&D) have HD 1/2 - that is, half a hit die, 1-3 hp, the same as kobolds - so surely a roll of 4 would turn 4 HD of skeletons, i.e. 8 of them. (Or in this case, all 6.)

Page 39: Skeleton HD again. The stat block (correctly) gives skeletons 1/2 (half) a hit die, yet the hit points listed for each skeleton have values up to 6. Perhaps you interpret "HD 1/2" differently from the way I do, but it strikes me as confusing.

I hope this is useful rather than irritating!

Re: New Quickstart

Sat Jan 14, 2017 3:33 pm

Clawcarver. ALL feedback is useful. Some stuff from the original Quick start has made it through to this point, including the skeleton HP. I will fix that

Keep it coming folks. I figure we have about a week to clean this thing up and then I'll turn it over to our editor; Guy Fullerton.

Re: New Quickstart

Sun Jan 15, 2017 4:10 am

On Descending & Ascending AC:

Since this is a White Box quick start, it doesn't need to indicate compatibility with Swords & Wizardry. (If a new player actually gets started with this, they can find out about Swords & Wizardry after they move to the full White Box.) If not indicating compatibility, then the new quick start doesn't need to include both ascending and descending AC. I admit it's been years, and my memory is hazy, but I believe Michael Shorten chose to include just AAC for simplicity; players could learn about descending AC when they landed on the full S&W. It's fine for White Box quick start to use a similar tactic.

In fact, the AAC "Quick Method" probably simplifies things further. Ignoring all other considerations — usability, intuitiveness, classic flavor, etc. — AAC Quick Method requires fewer words and less space to explain, especially in a quick start where all characters are first level, with a +0 base to hit bonus. (So the Swords & Wizardry Quick Start's awkward Player To Hit Chart with one row, and convoluted explanation, can be omitted.) You can even avoid an explanation of how monster HD translates to To Hit bonus by including the To Hit bonus in monster stat lines.

On Mechanics:

All mechanics, stats, etc. should match White Box unless you have a powerful reason not to. Since the original Quick Start was based on S&W _Core_, it has a number of mechanical details don't match White Box. For the new Quick Start, these should change to match White Box. Some examples mentioned upthread: Skeletons should be changed to 1/2 HD; turn undead should use 3d6; what else?

Re: New Quickstart

Sun Jan 15, 2017 4:31 am

Maybe the introductory material needs a brief explanation of a default goal of the game (acquire experience via killing monsters and acquiring treasure), and how that relates to making your character more powerful. Incidentally, both S&W and WB:FMAG kind of fail at making a clear connection between XP and level advancement. Both talk about how to gain XP, and (of course) show the class/level tables, but other than a tangential mention in the Hit Points section, neither one explicitly connects the dots in the _Experience_ section: When your character acquires enough XP, it gains a level, and all the commensurate advantages thereof: more hp, better combat odds, better spell capability, etc.

The 2nd level character rules in the new Quick Start feel ... awkward? Lacking context? The reference to the Elf not acquiring level 2 after completing Akban feels out of place, far removed from the (much later) explanation that characters can improve after finishing it.

Also, the quick start contains no explanation of experience, and the arbitrary leveling post-Akban contradicts the White Box rules, which feels wrong to me. I'd rather refer the reader to the relevant section in the White Box rules for how to calculate XP, possibly also pointing to the monster list for XP value. If you go this route, probably add a note to the before-play-starts section telling the referee to keep track of which monsters the characters kill and how much treasure they acquire.

Also, the pregens use the term "XP," but the quick start contains no definition of that term.

Re: New Quickstart

Sun Jan 15, 2017 4:39 am

On Alignment: This appears to be an intentional omission, which is fine. If so, remove Alignment from the pregens, and also strike the reference to alignment & faith in the skeleton monster descriptions.

Should probably mention very briefly that the Quick Start's Cleric class is assumed to be Lawful, and that this implication is explained in the full game. This could either be in the Cleric class description, or at the end, in a "Moving to the full White Box game" section.
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