First Look At New Beta!
September 15, 2017
Good afternoon everyone!
How has everyone’s week been? Looking forward to the weekend?
We’ve been working hard again this week, on Carnevale, RUMBLESLAM, and now (you may have seen the announcement) we’ve taken on Relics too from Tor Gaming. Don’t fear though, as other than a little disruption to everyone’s work schedules this week (most of which was staring at the new miniatures in the cabinets), we’re still all chugging along on the Carnevale train. Relics will be a great new project for us in the future, but for now we’re just transferring stock to our warehouse, and the design team is still all chained up to their gondolas.
Unfortunately, not much of the work we’ve done this week make for very interesting pictures! So instead I thought I’d use this week’s update to talk a little bit about some of the new rules from the coming edition of the beta rulebook. How does that sound? Well, you don’t have much choice, because I’m writing it anyway!
New Beta Rules
Today we’re just going to look a little bit at the very basics of the game: movement. If everyone enjoys it, then we can go into more aspects of the new rules in later updates!
Carnevale is all about movement, so it seems a great place to start. One of the most exciting and key elements to the game that Vesper-on designed was freedom of movement. It’s so important to the game, and is something that outside of traditional RPGs isn’t really seen very much. And as we started writing rules and playtesting, we realised why! Freedom of movement is really hard to make work in a solid ruleset! But a great foundation of rules is one of the main things we wanted to bring to this new version of the game.
So how have we done that?
The biggest change we’ve made to moving in Carnevale is by making it simpler. In the last edition of the rules there were no fewer than 11 ways of traversing Venice. Whilst that made for some varied options, they all tended to boil down to very similar mechanics, but we often found ourselves referring back to the rulebook multiple times per round just to check.
So our basic movement is as above. You move your movement value in inches, and if you want to move vertically, you make a DEX roll. If you succeed, you move vertically. If you fail, you don’t. This incorporates all sorts of climbing up and down, sideways, and everything. Of course, climbing is a little more dangerous than walking, so comes with the penalty that a failure means your character just stays in place or falls down, and a critical lets them climb that little bit faster. It’s very much a risk/reward situation that will be a better idea for some characters than others.
You’ll also notice that characters are free to move over smaller objects like boxes, barricades, and railings. That means you’re not wasting your Action Points jumping small distances, and represents awesome cinematic moments like running along walls.
Next up, jumping.
We talked earlier this week in the comments about removing running leap from the game. This was mainly a narrative reason. We figured that no person is going to make a decent jump from standing (and that’s already covered by the 1″ obstacle thing above), and although we split the game into rounds and activations, that is an abstraction of a story in which our characters are constantly on the go. So every jump is assumed to be a running jump.
Now, jumping isn’t an exact science, and sometimes your characters will go further than other times. Maybe they time the jump just right, or maybe they slip a little on the run up. This is covered by gaining or losing distance depending on your roll. An average citizen of Venice will be able to make an average jump of around 3″, which is a decent distance, but not enough to leap over a canal, which sounds about right! However, that one time you really need to, your character can summon extra courage and leap further than they thought possible (that is, if the Destiny Dice agrees with your story-telling!).
Jumping onto objects and debris is something we were all really keen on adding in. Previously debris would allow you extra distance to your jumps, but we wanted to get characters really moving around the streets, so once per activation, if jumping onto an obstacle or debris, the character may make another free jump! We’ve found in playtesting that this mechanic really encourages people to use the environment, and most people use it as the start of an epic free-running activation!
You’ll also notice that Controlled Landings allow you to jump downwards a little easier. Rather than making it its own action, you can just declare that any jump will be a Controlled Landing. Nice and straight forward!
However, with jumping we now encounter some of the harder aspects of 3D miniatures games: falling.
Falling is a little tricky to make work, I’ll be totally honest! But we’ve got a system now which covers a whole load of different situations, including lowering yourself down from a high place, tripping off a rooftop, and even swan-diving from a balcony into a canal!
The hardest part of making this work is when a character falls from one height to another height, and none of them are on the ground! For example, if your Capodecina is jumping from the roof of a three-storey building onto a balcony across the street and two floors down. In that situation, we’ve found that the easiest way to measure is from point to point for distance of a jump. Then measuring from the ground up to the roof, ground up to the balcony, and subtracting one from the other. It’s a really straight forward method that covers all situations!
It’s worth noting here that each of our movement actions has a little table showing what happens for successes, failures, criticals, and fumbles. This is something that we’re really excited to put into the rulebook, so there’s no more reading through the entire rule to figure out what happens – all you need to do is work out whether you pass, fail, crit, or fumble, and then follow the rules written for it! There’s a table like this for each of the actions in the rules, meaning you’ll easily and quickly know exactly what happens. Each of the critical and fumble states relate directly to the action being performed. If you fumble a jump you trip (and potentially fall) if you crit an attack you do extra damage. It’s straight forward, and easy to remember.
So there we have it! Lots of rules to mull over and talk about! We definitely encourage discussion about the rules, but bear in mind here that we’re only just scratching the surface of the new Beta, and there are a lot of other things that work in conjunction with these!
We’ve got two more types of movement in the game, but considering how long I’ve talked for already, I think we’ll leave those for another day. For now, I’ll sign off with a new picture I snapped earlier today. Arrivederci, fellow Venetians!