A few questions

The culmination of 24 years of pen and paper design. A balanced classless system designed from the ground up.

Aspect has an easy to learn combat system that uses the same basic mechanics for physical, mental, and social combat - allowing you to play as a diplomat, sage, warrior, or anything you can dream of, and still contribute to the adventure in exciting ways.

Moderator: Heather Gunn

A few questions

Postby RobertSlaughter » Thu Sep 22, 2011 10:31 am

I picked up Here There Be Demons as part of Free RPG Day, and have read through it several times. To my eye, Aspect is a better implementation of a 4E game, and I am considering buying a copy of the beta edition. I've read through most of the posts in the forum.

1) Where are you in the playtest cycle? I have no regular play group, but might be able to cobble one together at one of my local stores. If you're only a month or so away from ending the beta-testing, then the need for 'play' in the playtest is minimized.

2) One of the things I liked about 4E was the change in advancement -- instead of getting 'wider' with more capabilities, in 4E characters become 'deeper' in their existing capabilities, by swapping out powers for more capable versions. One side-benefit of this was you didn't need a huge multi-page document for your character's capabilities. How does Aspect character's long-term growth look? Do characters just stack on more powers, or do they swap out or upgrade existing powers?

3) One of they annoyances for me with 3.XE and 4E games is the lack of consequences for being hit in combat, aside from occasional conditions, and just the countdown on the death clock. It appears Aspect continues that tradition -- have I missed something? In some other games (True20, GURPS), there are penalties/consequences from almost every hit, because being hit hurts! :)

4) I like the addition of Mental and Social encounters, but in the module I didn't see anything like a 'skill challenge'. Is there something like that in Aspect? I like skills to be useful outside of quick in-encounter usages, and like the extended-usage idea (if not the implementation) in 4E for skills. Perhaps a 'Skill Encounter' option?

Thanks in advance for answering these. I do think Aspect has promise.
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Re: A few questions

Postby Cal » Thu Sep 22, 2011 5:46 pm

1) It'll be several months before we're ready for the finished edition. Any productive feedback we get in these forums will be taken under consideration.

2) Aspect avoids level mods, which means we don't have to resort to a shift in rules or retiring a character when they reach "epic" level. Also, the powers you took at level 1 remain useful as the character grows. Advancement is by adding new powers, talents, and skill points. At one power's worth of character points per level a single page character sheet lasts awhile. As far a breadth in characters, Aspect lets you mix talents and powers from different "power sources" at will, limited only by prerequisites and available character points.

3) Some of the powers in Aspect have effects beyond simple damage, including shoving enemies around, immobilizing them, daze, and stun. When a character is wounded sustaining effects becomes harder. At the front gate in HTBD, if you mentally or socially wound the guard then persuade effects last longer, needed to get him to open the gate.

4) Skills are useful outside combat encounters, and some have associated powers that are useful for a mental or social challenge. The rules for badly missed skill roles effect a sort of fatigue from continued exertion of a difficult task, which should work well for a skill encounter.
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Re: A few questions

Postby Heather Gunn » Sun Sep 25, 2011 7:51 am

I picked up Here There Be Demons as part of Free RPG Day, and have read through it several times. To my eye, Aspect is a better implementation of a 4E game, and I am considering buying a copy of the beta edition. I've read through most of the posts in the forum.

Welcome to our forums! Glad to see we haven't scared you off yet.


1) Where are you in the playtest cycle? I have no regular play group, but might be able to cobble one together at one of my local stores. If you're only a month or so away from ending the beta-testing, then the need for 'play' in the playtest is minimized.

We have several months before the book is finalized, and a portion of your purchase of the open beta book goes towards the final book. That said, if it turns out that the game needs a massive overhaul, I am not afraid of pushing back release a year or so until it is done. We are not beholden to shareholders, just our players. =D

We are also working on lots more content for the game, so even if the game's release date slips, we will still have new stuff here in the forums and on our website in the interim.


2) One of the things I liked about 4E was the change in advancement -- instead of getting 'wider' with more capabilities, in 4E characters become 'deeper' in their existing capabilities, by swapping out powers for more capable versions. One side-benefit of this was you didn't need a huge multi-page document for your character's capabilities. How does Aspect character's long-term growth look? Do characters just stack on more powers, or do they swap out or upgrade existing powers?

Aspect lets the players choose which direction to go. Talents and skills let you go deeper while powers (and some talents) let you broaden yourself. Since you use points to buy social ranks, skills, talents, and powers, you get to choose the direction for your character's growth. As mentioned above, Aspect does not use level mods, so when using standard advancement, monsters never go out of style and even the basic goblins you fought at level 1 are still providing some challenge (though much less) at level 20. That said, we also have an optional style of advancement where you do gain stats every level up (eventually making fodder negligible), we just prefer the other method.


3) One of they annoyances for me with 3.XE and 4E games is the lack of consequences for being hit in combat, aside from occasional conditions, and just the countdown on the death clock. It appears Aspect continues that tradition -- have I missed something? In some other games (True20, GURPS), there are penalties/consequences from almost every hit, because being hit hurts! :)

Having damage on you has several consequences, including difficulty in sustaining powers or abilities (such as flight), greater susceptibility to suggestions (see Suggestion on pg. 4 of Here There Be Demons), and generally being flagged as "wounded". I have been considering other possible consequences such as a global -2 penalty to attack/skill rolls when wounded. The other thing I am considering is having just a single scratches pool for all three aspects, which ties the three combat aspects together better (and would make Suggestion much simpler mechanically).


4) I like the addition of Mental and Social encounters, but in the module I didn't see anything like a 'skill challenge'. Is there something like that in Aspect? I like skills to be useful outside of quick in-encounter usages, and like the extended-usage idea (if not the implementation) in 4E for skills. Perhaps a 'Skill Encounter' option?

Cal mentions the fatigue/damage rules for skills and that is one way to handle skill encounters. We also present a few other methods for them in the book such as the variant used in The Derriston Fire (our other one-shot intro adventure) which is much more like a normal combat. All of the methods fall naturally from the basic ruleset, which means that a combat encounter can easily involve a skill encounter at the same time, for example during the final series of encounters in the Here There Be Demons module (binding the altars).
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Re: A few questions

Postby RobertSlaughter » Tue Sep 27, 2011 9:38 am

Than you Cal and Heather. I have some comments and some follow-up questions, but I've been too busy to write them up. But I wanted to thank you for what you've done so far and not have that wait.
Last edited by calin on Wed May 14, 2014 12:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Name misspelled
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