Things We Do Not Love About B5 RPG (please get involved!)

Discuss Mongoose RPGs here, such as the OGL rulebooks, Jeremiah, Armageddon 2089 and Macho Women with Guns
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Things We Do Not Love About B5 RPG (please get involved!)

Postby TheAuldGrump » Sun May 15, 2005 5:58 am

First off, I really do like the B5 RPG. I want to run it again sometime soon (after my OGL Steampunk game and the Iron Kingdoms game that comes after that).

But I hate the ship combat system. Well and truly hate it - enough that I left it out of my first B5 game entirely. And will leave it out of the second as well. I was hoping that A Call to Arms would fill the niche, but no, it does not.

This is intended as constructive criticism, I like the rest of the game, but that one bit is like a piece of tin foil in your chewing gum.

The Auld Grump, who wants a vectored combat system...

*EDIT* The 'We' means to add your own complaints as well as commenting on mine. I want to see what everyone else thinks as well...
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Re: Things We Do Not Love About the B5 RPG

Postby frobisher » Sun May 15, 2005 9:14 am

TheAuldGrump wrote:The Auld Grump, who wants a vectored combat system...
Sorry to be a pedant here, but what you want is a vector movement (and momentum) system in the combat system.

But, yup, I would love a more detailed starship combat system; ACTA is way too basic for the task, the current RPG one is rather lacking (compared to the former B5W game); Something above the B5W level of detail would be great, with a proper momentum based movement system.
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Postby MongooseMatt » Sun May 15, 2005 3:59 pm

Hey guys,

I am actually grateful for this thread - I want to hear what you chaps do not like about the B5 system, as we have been mulling over a possible 2nd edition.

And yes, space combat is my number one bugbear :)

So, what else do you chaps want to see changed?
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Postby Kizarvexis » Sun May 15, 2005 4:47 pm

More realistic cargo capacities for ships. Three thousand pounds (3,000 lbs) for 'Liberty's Fortune' in 'Firery Trial'? Ten thousand pounds (10,000 lbs) for a freighter with another 50,000 lbs per cargo container? For a commercial freighter with 8 cargo pods that's 410,000 lbs of cargo or only 205 tons. Fifty thousand pounds (50,000 lbs), 25 tons, is a truck load. Real world container ships can carry 4-8 THOUSAND truck size cargo containers. At 25 tons per container, that works up to 100,000 tons (200 million pounds) for 4,000 containers. Changing the lbs rating to tons or changing it and dividing by ten would be better.

A straight change would mean that a commercial freighter with 8 cargo pods would carry 410,000 tons (820 million pounds) of cargo instead of 410,000 pounds (205 tons).

Converting to tons and dividing by ten would mean that a commercial freighter would carry 41,000 tons (82 million pounds) instead of 410,000 pounds (205 tons).

I think the lbs to tons and divide by 10 conversion works the best. YMMV.

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Postby frobisher » Sun May 15, 2005 8:01 pm

Kizarvexis wrote:More realistic cargo capacities for ships. <snip>
I'd go a bit further and diminish the reliance on the d20 way of doing things and list cargo volumes primarily instead.

A leaf from FASA's ST:RPG book would be the way to go (They used SCUs - Standard Cargo Units based on the standard combat square (1.5m x 1.5m) extrapolated to a normal deck height of 3m. Obviously for d20 purposes make that 5ft x 5ft x 7.5ft.

Another thing to fix for "2nd Ed" is the d20 thing - Please make it OGL, and that way we get B5 specific examples for rules and the like (when describing combat etc, you can use pictures from the series or indeed of your forthcoming 28mm range (he said hopefully :) ) illustrating how you'd handle things.

I'd also welcome a move to the combat, damage and hit point system from Jeremiah - it would really suit the B5 setting. Something just strikes me as wrong accumulating even limited hit point increases with experience.
Last edited by frobisher on Sun May 15, 2005 8:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby lastbesthope » Sun May 15, 2005 8:12 pm

msprange wrote:Hey guys,

I am actually grateful for this thread - I want to hear what you chaps do not like about the B5 system, as we have been mulling over a possible 2nd edition.
That 2nd ed wouldn't make all our source books incompatible would it?

It had better not :evil:

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Postby TheAuldGrump » Sun May 15, 2005 11:56 pm

msprange wrote:Hey guys,

I am actually grateful for this thread - I want to hear what you chaps do not like about the B5 system, as we have been mulling over a possible 2nd edition.

And yes, space combat is my number one bugbear :)

So, what else do you chaps want to see changed?
Thank you! :D

I really did not want this to seem like an attack, but the fact that I was leaving one of the most important parts out of my B5 scenarios rather than use the system was bothering me.

The Auld Grump, and yes vectored movement would have been more precise...
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Postby Barbara » Mon May 16, 2005 12:11 am

Save DC's for Telepaths. Possibly two different saves, depending on whetherthe subject can tell an ability is being used on them, ie if they can't tell something is being used on them, how can they actively resist it(get a d20 added to their Will save) Like Resist scan is a full round action, that they have to consciously do.
Currently unless you are P10 or more and Level 10 or more, it's really easy to save against abilities.

Humans is general are worried about telepaths picking up stray thoughts by accidental scan but unless they are high P rating, with an automatic save of Will + d20 ,there's not much chance of it. If an unknown ability use(ie person doesn't know that they are being scanned) was on base Will save without the dice, then it would be more likely. Also a change to the listings of which ones subjects can tell are being used on them. Some are obvious but others aren't and that will affect whether they try to resist.


Or a list of saves for most people, are they "0" level characters or are all people assumed to have levels in something eg worker.
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Postby ShadowScout » Mon May 16, 2005 7:52 pm

But, yup, I would love a more detailed starship combat system; ACTA is way too basic for the task, the current RPG one is rather lacking (compared to the former B5W game); Something above the B5W level of detail would be great, with a proper momentum based movement system.
Yeah, that would be great!

I can't very well comment on the rest of the system (as I spend a lot of effort converting it into GURPS for me to play anyway), but what I would really looove to see would be a better integration of spaceship/vehicle combat...
- for one a detailed system to play out those encounters most likely to happen in RPG's (a handful of fighters and small craft, with maybe one big ship around, no fleet actions like CTA seems to be made for; detailed combat for both ships and fighters so that players can really get into it);
- for another more and better "interfacing" between character-level combat and vehicle-level combat (like, reasonable hit-point relations, best different "damage classes" - as in "one ship HP equals 100 character HP; so you shouldn't get hit with a ship weapon...)
- and then of course more ship deckplans; especially for all the small ships (and maybe even as download in editable format - gif or jpg - so GM's can customize deckplans as their adventure demands...)
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Postby lastbesthope » Tue May 17, 2005 12:11 am

The only thing I dislike about it is the amount of space it takes in my shelf unit. But no I don't want pdfs, I like real books! Especially shiny hardbacks!

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Postby scottmage » Tue May 17, 2005 12:43 am

Please take this as constructive :D

I must agree with Barbara on the Telepath rules NEED revision (I would even pay for FIXED copies of the books I already have) OR maybe when you publish a Second Edition, you could publish a Space Combat book, a Psi Book, etc. That way if someone wants the changes in a certain area, they don't have to buy replacement books for Season for example.

The P-rating system in this game needs serious re-writing. I would be happy to help based on the show, not D20.
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Postby Perturbatio » Tue May 17, 2005 1:13 am

Things I'd like to see changed/added
A lot of things to do with telepathy need to be clarified (for instance, targetting without LOS)
The index could do with being more comprehensive ( http://www.mongoosepublishing.com/phpBB ... ght=#40417 ) ( http://www.mongoosepublishing.com/phpBB ... ght=#40609 )
Space combat has been mentioned before, but I'll mention it again (I think it needs a balance between simplicity and realism).
The problem with going the whole ACTA road is that I don't want to spend my entire evening running a wargame, I want an RPG. But at the same time, I don't want to roll two dice and say "you win" or "you lose".
Perhaps more descriptions of technical skills and their uses.
A character sheet without the class skills already filled in.
Something about laws on the station would be good to know.

Can't think of anything else right now, too tired.
Last edited by Perturbatio on Mon Nov 07, 2005 1:10 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Kizarvexis » Tue May 17, 2005 2:33 am

Perturbatio wrote:A character sheet without the class skills already filled in.
Well, if you don't care if it's official... :)

Character sheets

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Postby Tegman » Tue May 17, 2005 6:00 am

I would like to see customization rules for small starships, like fighters and up to medium freighters, or something. Pricelists for weapons, armor, engines etc.
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Postby Ben W Bell » Tue May 17, 2005 7:31 am

I'd like to see a little more time spent proofreading the material and checking for consistency within the line and with the TV series. The spelling and grammatically poor sentences is a real problem I find, and this isn't just in the B5 line but across the board. To be perfectly honest this is the number 1 bugbear people have with the Mongoose material. Good presentation and material, but needs just slightly longer in editing to make perfect.

Also glad you've changed away from that plastic covering on the books, it's peeling off and bubbling on most of my older books.

One thing I don't like about the current rules, and this could just be me, is that the Prestige Classes are a little too specialised. Players have to adhere to so many tight conditions to take one that unless you're running a specialised game there are very few prestige classes they can take.
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Postby MarkNorfolk » Tue May 17, 2005 8:02 am

Space combat: I'm raising my hand for a more abstract space combat system for the RPG, ideally without the need for counters/figures - it's not a wargame after all, thats ACTA, and my players don't want to get bogged down in a different kind of game.

Telepaths: Will saves make it a little too easy to evade their powers so that might need a look, and a better way of choosing your P-rating.

Races: a picture of each with their description.

That's about it, I think.

Cheers
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Postby MongooseMatt » Tue May 17, 2005 8:24 am

Hi guys,

Just a quick note - first off, yes, we were going to make this one OGL.

Second, we have _no_ plans to invalidate the past supplements. As much as we can, we will make them all compatible with the next edition.. . .
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Postby Tegman » Tue May 17, 2005 8:36 am

OT: My only experience with d20 is B5, so can someone enlighten me and tell me what OGL is?
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Postby Catlion » Tue May 17, 2005 10:20 am

So far I really like the b5-system, although there are a few changes I would appreciate.

-a better index in ALL the books. Sometimes it is really hard to find specific information, especially since some of the info isn't in the labelled sections, but somewhere along the episode guide.

-pictures of all the races, ships, equipment etc. It adds a lot of flavour to the game if you can actually show your players how things look like. Pics from the series or your own artwork.

-A minor thing I had a problem with in "Fiery Trial": The length of day/night cycles on particular planets.
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Postby Eryx » Tue May 17, 2005 11:30 am

Theres only three things that I really want to see...

1. Ship customisation rules.
2. A better ship combat system.
3. Pictures of all ships, races, and vehicles.


One poster (sorry, I forgot to take note of user name) mentioned changing the HP system, but please don't. The B5 HP system works perfectly for the game as is.
Last edited by Eryx on Tue May 17, 2005 5:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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