Saturday, February 20, 2016

MEST 2.0 :: Recent updates Again


version 2.45 as of 2016.02.20 [link]

Overview

  1. Expanded the Table of Contents into two columns to make room for more of the content. Missions are listed now.
  2. Expanded the section on how to build an assembly.
  3. Game sizes are "Small", "Medium", and "Large". The term "Standard" game is now a "Medium" size game.
  4. Introduced Variant Common Archetypes. These are trait-based variations of the Common Archetypes which allow for quick comprehension because their stats don't vary from the base-line archetypes.
  5. More properly craft the phrasing for how "hands" are used during game-play when assigning weapons or when using certain actions.
  6. Rephrase the "Hindrance" entry yet again to make it explicitly more clear.
  7. Break out the "Playing the Game" sequence into smaller digestible sections by adding headers to each section.

Actions

  1. Made the new action "Overreach" be an Advanced Rule. It is still a very interesting action which will be used a lot during game-play but it has too many exceptions to be included as a Basic Game rule.
  2. Clarified the use of Bonus Actions and detailed especially how the use of some Bonus Actions might affect multiple Passive characters beyond just the target model.

Advanced Rules

  1. I began a small expansion of the Magic System so that I can begin to add some MEST-specific flavor text. This is in preparation for some of the genres which would use Magic and allows me to build out the spells lists a bit more.
  2. Finally added Lighting to allow players more control of the environment depending on the Mission, and perhaps any Tactics cards brought into play. Lighting can be Atmospheric (external to the battlefield) or Point-light (via Torches or Lamps).
  3. Introduced Gas and Fire rules.  Gas in general can be Smoke, Mustard, or Knock-out. The genre books will likely introduce new types of Gas ... Nerve, Acid, Sarin, etc. Fire itself is interesting but in the scope of the game, the time-scale is too small for Fire to spread unless it is a feature of a particular Scenario.

Optional Rules

  1. The concept of "Optional Rules" is that they are interesting to use but probably more trouble than they are worth or that they are too-specific or limited in their application for most game-play session.  I scrubbed through my years of emails and notes to pull these out. I think the entries are about as complete as I can make it.  Once I bring in the rules for Factions, Champions, and Campaigns I may need to tweak the phrasing here but it probably is near final. I tried to make the phrasing as clear as possible.
  2. Low-light Effects are an interesting addition for some Missions. These rules regulate movement within pitch-black and other night-time environments.
  3. Shadow-casting is sort of a variation on Low-light Effects. Basically useful during Twilight lighting, or in Night environments with Point-lights. Essentially targets in the shadow-area behind an obstacle which blocks LOS to a light source should be treated with lower Visibility.
  4. Facing. I buckled and added this, but it is very light-weight and much different that what other game-systems do because it relies upon the status effects; whether a character is Distracted, Disordered, or Outnumbered.
  5. Wind. I'll be adding Wind as a factor for the Advanced Missions, and Wind can be introduced when using Tactics Cards.  I think it is an intuitive addition though it will probably be rare. It is mostly used to move around Gas markers.
  6. I've added several new actions which will help me build out some Advanced Missions as follows:
  7. "Drag-Carry" action is introduced to be able to move KO'd models about the field. I couldn't determine any way to write it simpler and still be able to be general enough for use by non-standard archetypes. So a Hero could carry a Horse, or four Dogs could drag a Human. 
  8. "Disarm" action is useful for some Missions and for some genres.
  9. "Take" action is useful for some Missions as well. Taking a Gas mask or a Grenade from your opponent for example.
  10. "Grapple". This is also for some Missions to subdue instead of kill a character.
  11. "Yield!". Again this is useful for some genres. This will also be beneficial during Campaign play as it will mess with Glory.
  12. "Knock-back". Primarily used for some genres. I think it is more cinematic than realistic.

Traits

  1. Keyword traits added; Fizzle, Electronic, and Energy. These will be referenced by certain Tactics cards and Missions.
  2. Altered [Coward] and also [Beast] to prevent use of Overreach. Makes sense, right?
  3. [Signature X]. This is an Optional Rule and is useful for Night fighting missions. Essentially it should be easier to target a model which used a Firearm with full-auto at night.
  4. [Upgrade:Item] to assign behaviors to existing items. This is because I've added a generic Equipment list. An example would be to Upgrade:Ammo for armor-piercing bullets to a Firearm.
  5. Boxer X. Added to round out the Fight trait. Used by a Variant Brawler archetype.
  6. Burn X. Works with the Gas and Fire rules. 
  7. Expendable. Used by some Variant archetypes, and as an optional trait for use by Custom Archetypes. Expendable characters don't count and are not used for determining Bottle Tests.
  8. Fire X. Used with the Gas and Fire rules.
  9. Flicker X. A variation on Light X. Assigned to Torches and Lanterns of Ye Olde Wurld to make Point-light sources not behave consistently.
  10. Fume X > Type. Generates Gas:Type. So a Smoke Grenade will generate Gas:Smoke for example.
  11. Gas:Mustard, Gas:Smoke, Gas:Knockout. These three basic Gas types I think cross most genres
  12. Immune X:Trait. Primarily assigned to Gas masks, but this establishes a base-line for future traits.
  13. Light X. For use by Point-light sources like Candles, Torches, Flashlights, etc.
  14. Machine. For assignment to Cyber-kin or Constructs. Makes them ignore Morale for all purposes.
  15. Radio. I added this for the Comm-link equipment item. Right now it is generic. I've also added the Radio traits to the Archaic Hardsuit so that Near Future genres can be prepped.

Miscellaneous

  1. I refactored the ones I've used for the Retropocalypse scenario we did at the various gaming conventions. These revised ones use more of the Faction concepts that I've been working on. Basically if your Agenda matches the needs of your Faction, then it will reward more Resource Points.
  2.  I added the Variant Common Archetypes. These are intended for Advanced game play.  There are about 50 of them. So, an Average Cultist is just an Average Common with the Insane trait added to it.  There are others and now I can purchase a Brawny Brawler, or Archer Marksman, or even a Mystic Cult Leader.
  3. There are now two types of Dogs; "Hound" and "War". Hounds are smaller, cheaper, but have Detect 3 instead of Detect 2. With the introduction of "Dog, Hound" players can now field a huge pack of them.
  4. The Weapons table introduces the new grenades (Knockout, Mustard, Smoke) and also a Fire-bomb ("Molotov Cocktail"). These can be used for many Modern, Post Modern, Near Future, or Ultra Modern genres.


Follow-up

I've got a bunch of more technical writing to accomplish to add the rules for Campaigns, Factions, and Champions. These will be done soon enough and I get to solidify all of my notes. I've reminded myself to generate some AARs and also posts for using many of the new features.

And then I need to paint and build.  This hobby sure requires a lot of effort. Whew!