The Expanse.   Posted by The Ageless One.Group: 0
HollisOataheir
 player, 1 post
Fri 28 Jun 2019
at 17:33
The Expanse
I think it's a good match of system and setting.

Let's assume the plot of the show through season 3 happened. Where / how can a game be set up to not copy the show's characters/story arcs.

My first idea:
   Someone experiments with the protomolecule to develop more advanced tech. In essence "feeding" the molecule with both
   [spolier redacted food source] and particular types of technology to see if/how it might improve that.

  Whomever did this fails in some way, isn't around anymore.

   Characters are asked to do a "milk run" salvage on some undocumented research facility in the farthest reaches of the belt.

   They discover the lab where this advanced tech was researched created. Get the horror vibe as they realize what they've found.

   Did their sponsor know what was in the lab?
   Do they use this tech? Try to investigate it? Try to sell it? What are the consequences of these decisions?
   Is it still "connected" to the overall population of protomolecule?
   Who comes after them because of this discovery?
   What was the purpose of this research? (commercial success, political power, etc)?

Thoughts? Feedback? Other story ideas you'd care to share?
The Ageless One
 GM, 6 posts
 The name is ironic
 Don't get many games
Fri 28 Jun 2019
at 20:34
The Expanse
If I had any idea about the expanse, that'd be cool.
jamat
 player, 3 posts
Fri 28 Jun 2019
at 21:02
The Expanse
I have to admit I'm coming to expanse as a newbie I think I was the first episode and that was about it

I bought the rules to see how age handled Sci fi as I love it as a fantasy set of rules.
The Ageless One
 GM, 8 posts
 The name is ironic
 Don't get many games
Fri 28 Jun 2019
at 21:05
The Expanse
I saw the book when I was in Florida. The only thing I know about it is:



Which is a list of the odds of hitting a given TN across a given total roll modifier.

Useful for AGE in general.

This message had punctuation tweaked by the GM at 21:05, Fri 28 June 2019.

HollisOataheir
 player, 2 posts
Fri 28 Jun 2019
at 22:06
The Expanse
The Expanse is a great show. I can't speak for the novels, as I haven't read them.

It's mostly "hard" sci-fi.

The primary tech exception is the "Epstein Drive", which is an incredibly efficient engine that allows the show's spaceships to escape the tyranny of the mass to acceleration equation that makes real world space travel at any kind of speed problematic. Basically, it's orders of magnitude more efficient at turning fuel mass to thrust.

The other exception is the show's primary maguffin - the protomolecule. I won't spoil what happens with at, as it's one significant part of the show.

My favorite part of the show is all of the relationships, the politics, and and how those change based on the consequences of prior actions. Choices seem to logically snowball into consequences that change any given character's next set of available choices.

It's really worth watching if you like sci fi and ensemble, character driven drama.
jamat
 player, 6 posts
Sat 29 Jun 2019
at 19:43
The Expanse
Haven't had much time to read through the book but it's great to have a Sci fi setting that doesn't have the need to have rules for gifts, powers, psionics whatever you want to call them.

This is hard science with the edges just slightly rounded so as not to kill just maime lol
jamat
 player, 12 posts
Sun 30 Jun 2019
at 06:49
The Expanse
No sure if people are aware but expanse has a totally different damage rules than the other AGE games.... No hit points

Instead it's this example from book

Bobbie hits a thug with strike style doing 1d6+str damage say 7

Now you follow these steps

Subtract toughness including armour
Spend fortune points
Take an injury or wound
Any damage remaining takes you out

So 7 damage minus thugs tough / armour reduces it to 5

Thug is a nobody so has no firtune but if he did he could take enough off to take all the damage down to 0

So he's still got 5 damage he desides to take an injury rolling 1d6 for 2 reducing damage to 3 he now decides to take a wound 1d6 for 2 leaving 1 damage at the end he has 1 damage and is taken out

The player now narrates what happened so instead of killing him she could have knocked him unconscious and the wound could have been her breaking some ribs for example etc

So that's the basics what do people think bit more complex than other age rules but I quite like them
HollisOataheir
 player, 6 posts
Sun 30 Jun 2019
at 14:22
The Expanse
I like the damage rules - especially for more realistic / gritty settings. It enforces the idea that violence shouldn't be a first option generally in theses types of stories.
The Ageless One
 GM, 19 posts
 The name is ironic
 Don't get many games
Sun 30 Jun 2019
at 14:37
Re: The Expanse
jamat:
So that's the basics what do people think bit more complex than other age rules but I quite like them

It's hard to say at a glance, but it looks like a more complicated version of Modern AGE's rules which state that you make a Toughness test of TN 13 + Damage according to a table + Ability Bonus + Extra Damage. Failure indicates gaining an injury mark, with cumulative effects based on the amount you've gained, and the stunt die result of the Toughness test (with 5-6 being just the mark, 3-4 means you're limited in action, and 1-2 means you might start dying depending on mode).

Looks a bit FATE-y which I suppose can be cool in its own right, but I've always been sketchy about. Personally I prefer the Modern AGE method.
jamat
 player, 13 posts
Sun 30 Jun 2019
at 20:05
Re: The Expanse
Another addition is fortune you start with 15 points but can up it to 20 depending on character when choices.

These points can be used to increase dice rolls so say you roll a 1,3,3 and the last 3 was the drama dice you can spend fortune points up to a Mac of 6 so say the target number was 10 you could spend 4 fortune to flip the 1 to a 4 , you spend the amount of fortune equal to the number you want on the dice in this case you succeed and get 3 stunt to spend

Now say you rolled 3,3,1 with the 1 being the drama dice. To alter drama dice you need to spend twice the amount of fortune so I'm this case to raise it to a 4 will cost 8 points but you now succeed with 4 stunts to spend.

And of course you can spend fortune points to reduce damage

Not quite sure how they regenerate or how you get more fortune points will have to continue reading to find out
jamat
 player, 14 posts
Sun 30 Jun 2019
at 20:26
Re: The Expanse
Ok regaining fortune happens in interlude periods basically rest times you regain 10+level every 8 hours.

With the approval of the go you may choose a favoured activity so say if your character is a boiler he might choose research as his favoured activity so when you are doing this you still get the 10+level every 8 hours.

If you decide to do something other than resting or your favoured activity you gain 5+level

So for example the players have just got off world after a hectic fight and chase across the spaceport

You are all low on fortune the th days the space travel is an interlude period

One player tests for 2 8 hours periods and gain 10+level back twice.

One player decided to use her flute to relax her favoured activity then rests for 8 hours she to gains 10+level twice.

The last player decides the engine needs to be maintained not his favoured activity and only gets 5+level in fortune back though he may rest for 8 hours and gain 10+level
The Ageless One
 GM, 20 posts
 The name is ironic
 Don't get many games
Mon 1 Jul 2019
at 05:08
Re: The Expanse
jamat:
say you roll a 1,3,3 and the last 3 was the drama dice you can spend fortune points up to a Mac of 6 so say the target number was 10 you could spend 4 fortune to flip the 1 to a 4 , you spend the amount of fortune equal to the number you want on the dice in this case you succeed and get 3 stunt to spend

Now say you rolled 3,3,1 with the 1 being the drama dice. To alter drama dice you need to spend twice the amount of fortune so I'm this case to raise it to a 4 will cost 8 points but you now succeed with 4 stunts to spend.

I'm confused... I can see increasing 3 to 4 being 4 points, and it looks like you pay for each increase, but increasing to 2, then 3, then 4 looks like if you follow that logic it should cost 9?

Also, I've configured the dice roller, and I noticed something:


Dice Roller:
00:04, Today: The Ageless One rolled 12 using 3d6 (4 stunt points) with the AGE System with rolls of {4}, 4, 4.

00:04, Today: The Ageless One rolled 13 using 3d6 (1 stunt point) with the AGE System with rolls of {1}, 6, 6.

00:04, Today: The Ageless One rolled 10 using 3d6 with the AGE System with rolls of {3}, 1, 6.

00:04, Today: The Ageless One rolled 11 using 3d6 with the AGE System with rolls of {2}, 4, 5.

00:04, Today: The Ageless One rolled 11 using 3d6 with the AGE System with rolls of {2}, 3, 6.  no reason.


It seems to me that we could use this shorthand (referring to the drama/stunt/dragon dice as {number}) notation so we don't have to phrase out in long form, which die is which.
jamat
 player, 15 posts
Mon 1 Jul 2019
at 05:37
Re: The Expanse
The rules state you pay the value of the number you want on the dice so if the dice was 1 and you needed to bump it to 4 you pay 4 points

And I should say you can't alter more than one dice in a roll in this way

This message was last edited by the player at 05:45, Mon 01 July 2019.

The Ageless One
 GM, 21 posts
 The name is ironic
 Don't get many games
Mon 1 Jul 2019
at 21:09
Re: The Expanse
It appears I have confused the mixing of a drama dice, and a non drama dice? One of them you pay 1x the intended total and the other you pay 2x?
jamat
 player, 16 posts
Mon 1 Jul 2019
at 21:18
Re: The Expanse
Yes that's right sorry if I didn't explain it fully
jamat
 player, 19 posts
Tue 16 Jul 2019
at 15:39
Re: The Expanse
Just saw this review on rpg. Net and wondering why the reviewer only gave it a the following scores


Style: 2 (Needs Work)
Substance: 2 (Sparse)

https://www.rpg.net/reviews/archive/18/18204.phtml

What do people think I think this is unfair though I understand individual opinions are just that but still
The Ageless One
 GM, 27 posts
 The name is ironic
 Don't get many games
Tue 16 Jul 2019
at 17:53
Re: The Expanse
jamat:
Just saw this review on rpg. Net and wondering why the reviewer only gave it a the following scores


Style: 2 (Needs Work)
Substance: 2 (Sparse)

https://www.rpg.net/reviews/archive/18/18204.phtml

What do people think I think this is unfair though I understand individual opinions are just that but still

Eh... Dunno, you didn't say anything in particular about it and it's a wall of text so... here goes?

quote:
Well, an interview with the games author on the Kickstarter page featured his answer to the question: "What are you most happy with about the game?" His answer, "Getting rid of hit points". He didn't. Fortune points are also hit points.

I don't necessarily see that he said Fortune Points are hit points, but judging by what you (jamat) told me earlier, "Injured/wounded/taken out" are the hit points. Which is a feature I don't like in general. I'm cool with it being done that way in horror though, and even outside horror, I'd still play it, I just don't particularly like it.

I can't really speak to the amount of the source material should have been included, but he said it was a little thin. That's kind of a touchy prospect too though. I wrote a game based on a fusion of GTA V online and Saints Row 3-4 so I had to nod to them a lot, but like not really overtly copy anything from either game. Whether that's a substance demerit is probably more subjective to one's understanding of how much of The Expanse's substance you could include without running afoul of copyright or trademark law breach.

quote:
The default method is to birth your PCs with random tables; making choices is also valid but slows the process down, particularly if there are min/maxers around.

So far I've found the opposite, and explicitly allow choices because I've repeatedly found the opposite. This may be a thing related to forum play though.

quote:
Step one is called Concept: "Come up with an idea of the character you're interested in playing". Don't waste your time doing that until the end of the process if you're going down the path of the random character, your concept will almost certainly be wrong.

It's not related to The Expanse I'm sure, but the Modern AGE Companion has freeform character creation that looks like it would work really well with "come up with a concept" first. So in that regard it kind of depends.

quote:
One of the final steps in the process is to determine your character's Income, a single value used for making a purchase test; abstraction is good, there's no need for the players to track their character's credits. I know these tidbits because the rules for making purchases are included here. In the character generation chapter. Odd. Perhaps the equipment or rules chapter might have been the spot?

It pains me that they're not in both places actually, but of the two I agree it would make more sense in the equipment chapter. That looks like a stylistic demerit, and one I don't disagree with.

quote:
Take the highest Income value and reduce it by one, that is now the new income value for all party members. [...] Let's say I have ten dollars, I give up one dollar and now have nine dollars and so do you. So I went from having ten bucks to eighteen. Awesome. I must have misread that surely? Nope. A party member with equal Income can increase your income by +2 when helping to make a purchase; you've given up one point of income but now get a bonus of two. This one missed the sanity check on its trip through proofing.

Don't get it myself. If it really works that way, I could potentially have something better soon.

quote:
The chapter is rounded out with a list of goodies your character earns when a new level is gained. How does this happen? A single line in the entire book is devoted to this, arguably important, topic. It reads: "The GM decides when the characters gain a level".

Horseshit. I left the UESRPG development boards explicitly for this reason. You would have to come up with something really impressive to sell me that the game is even worth a positive substance score at this point.

I'm cool with "there are no levels, but sometimes you can gain points/perks/advanced moves" like GURPS and PBTA do. But you have to be more specific about when levels/points/perks/advanced moves are gained or I'm out.

Short of them telling me what things are worthy of experiential gain, I would just use the Modern AGE experience/level scheme unless there's just some obnoxious idea specific to The Expanse what a level actually means. He goes on further to say that Modern AGE appears to be the basis of the game, so it looks like I was on the right track with that idea.

quote:
Vehicle combat is included, again, short and sweet which is just as well because you can't buy or hire a vehicle and there are no statistics provided for these non-existent modes of transport.

While I've never been satisfied with the vehicular rules, it hasn't stopped me from playing any other AGE game.

quote:
This game has a lot of stunts. [...] I mean a LOT. In total the Stunt count is, 59. Yep, 59. [...] Combat just went from fast and furious to, "Hang on a mo, let me check one of these charts for a nice tasty Stunt". This is overkill

My only objection to the volume of stunts was something I pointed out on Reddit where you can't do any grappling unless you generate 1 or more stunt points so you're stuck using Stunt Attack every turn if you want to maintain any grapple.

quote:
Exploration really only covers the rules for getting hurt outside of combat but does have a subsection entitled "Investigations". [...] It lays out a method for providing the characters with leads and clues some (most) require a test[...] The author warns us against using a path that leads to a dead end. Good advice too, except if progress relies on a dice throw, a failed test is a dead end unless the GM wants to fiddle with rules.

Disagree. A failed test could very well just be a confusing clue that isn't a dead end, but framed deliberately by the GM in a way the players don't understand right now... This used to be a point of pride for me, but I don't always run investigation games, so I haven't had much chance to see if I can do it still.

quote:
towards the back of the book in the GM's section we're told that actual roleplaying is a good thing and should be attempted if everyone feels comfortable; I would say if you didn't feel comfortable, play a board game. If I was a brand new player I would only be required to read the Player's Section and would be left with the impression that roleplaying is an exercise in dice rolling and, frankly, pretty dull.

I'm neutral about that. I generally prefer people who speak in volumes, but I can't be too picky or I have no game. I would also hazard that if you only read the part of the volume you're obligated to read, your false impressions are your own fault. I don't fault the game either way though.

quote:
Here's what the rulesmeister tells us, "...be sure to communicate openly when (NPC) social Stunts seem to take away the players' agency..." Not only is this another terrible example of the rule system promoting dice-play before role-play but I'm pretty sure the nature of roleplaying gets bent if not completely snapped in two.

It's not really any different than telling a player "ok, you've been hit with a confuse spell" and they fail a save. Also you can say "NPC is attempting to use ____ stunt, so you should hit ____ TN to avoid having this stunt used on you." so thinking the nature of roleplaying is snapped in two is a little bit short sighted.

quote:
Thrust, gravity, mass, spin, apoapsis and periapsis; plus a bunch of other propeller-head stuff. It's good material since The Expanse is what I would call Hard Sci-Fi (aliens and protomolecule hybrids aside). I learned some interesting facts here and the material is well presented. Either the writer is keen on his science or a darn good Googler. Sadly none of this is of any use in the game - spaceships run on their own science-free rails; no room for hard sci-fi here.

Appears to be a substance objection couched within a style complement. Or vice versa. Not sure which

quote:
I have no problem with this approach but it veers sharply from the "hard" approach of the books. We aren't treated to deck plans, we don't know what to expect on board a ship. Ships have no character.

Looks like a job for a good GM honestly, not an actual problem as such.

quote:
The reason I mention the perceived shift in writing style is because I find the text of the main rules quite dull, the writing doesn't inspire, it doesn't make me want to get out the dice, gather some friends and take the game engine for a spin. Also there's my pet bugbear; the style is a mixture or instructional material and conversational writing. A rulebook is a text book, I really want to see lots of flavour text but when I'm learning or referencing the rules I want clear, concise writing. The conversational tone pads out the rules; if I could remove every superfluous "Generally speaking", "In general", "Generally" and "As a rule" from the book I'd have a much shorter and easier to read book.

Weird flex bro.

quote:
Back to the Guide. Something has happened in the solar system. Something big. The biggest something in fact. Everyone knows about it, it's on the news, the subject of system wide speculation and if you want to find out about it as a player or GM you'll have to search for it. The most important part of this game's story is hidden, buried in the descriptions of the various locations of the solar system. This is wrong.

No it isn't, it's letting the GM have their own game. This is excruciatingly common in RPG splat books, and honestly, no not so much of a problem.

quote:
The GM's section opens with a bunch of additional rules including combat modifiers such as high ground, obscured target et cetera. I can't see a reason why this information doesn't live in the Action Encounter section.

Other than the writer not being Bob Ross, I agree.

quote:
There's also three pages devoted to the different types of role-players and how to deal with 'em. Holy moly...do we need to categorise our friends?

Yeah, if you want to come up with a game that is fulfilling for the greatest number of them you do. This is really only inapplicable for groups where people are getting paid to play the game (I'm looking at you Geek & Sundry) so their personalities and character motivations can take a back seat. It's a pretty standard practice in games without regards to the AGE system.

quote:
There is some good work here but two areas stand out and not in a good way. The first is entitled Dealing with Canon; there are three options and each gets between seven and four lines. The last these is to ignore the background completely. Um? I'll save the second gem until we get to chapter 15. The Churn is revealed for the first time and it's something new for me. The GM tracks Churn as a numerical value that increases as the game progresses, when Churn reaches certain thresholds something bad happens for the party to deal with. Interesting. It represents the hand of fate that slaps the party in the face just when they thought everything was going well. Although the GM is offered the opportunity to spend Churn points to slap the players sooner rather than later, this time with an automatic test failure. This seems a tad adversarial for my tastes; is the GM playing against the players?

I'm slightly less adversarial leaning, but sometimes adversarial is needed. We'll call it neutral.

quote:
if the protomolecule never happened, why am I playing this game? Why not play Traveller instead? Bonkers.

Probably a fair point. I dunno about the game, or the source material.

I can't say much further, but I HATE games that don't give you progression guidelines, and I'm not super happy about the system lacking HP.
jamat
 player, 20 posts
Tue 16 Jul 2019
at 18:36
Re: The Expanse
Don't disagree with some of his or your comments I was just surprised that from the mainly positive tone of his review where he said a lot of good things about the system that he only gave it a 2 for substance

I'll have to check later about progression as I've not yet finished the book so not sure what's in it for leveling up characters.
The Ageless One
 GM, 28 posts
 The name is ironic
 Don't get many games
Tue 16 Jul 2019
at 18:41
Re: The Expanse
jamat:
Don't disagree with some of his or your comments I was just surprised that from the mainly positive tone of his review where he said a lot of good things about the system that he only gave it a 2 for substance

Don't know how much he expected to have be pure canonical Expanse to be honest so I don't know. Also I'm not sure if this is out of 5 or out of 10. I actually like the style in which MA is written, and by extension The Expanse (as noted though, copy-pasta errors abound. Same with the transition between DAGE and FAGE), so the style complaints are what surprise me.
jamat
 player, 21 posts
Tue 16 Jul 2019
at 19:00
Re: The Expanse
This is the general marking system on rpg net

Style: 5 (Excellent!)
Substance: 5 (Excellent!)

Style: 4 (Classy & Well Done)
Substance: 4 (Meaty)

Style: 3 (Average)
Substance: 3 (Average)

Style: 2 (Needs Work)
Substance: 2 (Sparse)


Style: 1 (??)
Substance: 1 (I Wasted My Money)
jamat
 player, 22 posts
Tue 16 Jul 2019
at 19:39
Re: The Expanse
Ok page 45 advancement

The go decides when characters level up this will unusually happen after a major achievement, the end of an adventure, or even in a gaming session.....ok a bit hand wavy

Levelling up

Gain 3 points of fortune from levels 1-10 and 2 points from 11-20 total of 47 points by level 20

At level 4 can increase either defence or toughness by 1, and every 4 levels after that

ABILITIES 1 point per level to spend on an ability you cannot spend a point in the same ability on two consecutive levels but Loreto it than that but you get the gist

Ability focus 1focus per level but you can't choose a focus from the same ability two levels in a row at level 11 onwards you can choose the same focus and gain a +3 bonus rather than a +2

Talents each level choose a new novice talent or gaining a degree in the telegraph already have

Income as you gain levels you can regain 1 point of depleted income

So apart from the bit about when you level up there is definitely a defined levelling up system in the book

Then on page 109 while on an interlude there are rules for advancing within an organisation you belong to

So not sure where therefore is coming from saying there isn't an advancement system present
The Ageless One
 GM, 29 posts
 The name is ironic
 Don't get many games
Tue 16 Jul 2019
at 20:13
Re: The Expanse
jamat:
ABILITIES 1 point per level to spend on an ability you cannot spend a point in the same ability on two consecutive levels but Loreto it than that but you get the gist

I um... don't think I do actually.

quote:
So apart from the bit about when you level up there is definitely a defined levelling up system in the book

So apart from the only essential part to a levelling up system, there is... no essential part to a levelling system that doesn't exist in other AGE games. I say that because one of those games I mentioned don't nitpick about what you specifically gain, one breaks it down between levels 2-5 and 6-10, and the Expanse system's only feature that isn't copypasta from the age systems that include the essential part is your fortune gains... which again, sort of look like hit points.

quote:
Then on page 109 while on an interlude there are rules for advancing within an organisation you belong to

I like downtime rules in general. I do feel a little short with the rest of AGE on how you advance in an organization (short of taking the Executive in Modern, I feel like there should be another way)
jamat
 player, 23 posts
Tue 16 Jul 2019
at 20:35
Re: The Expanse
Ok will explain abilities more

Ability advancement attach level, you get one advance to spend on one ability of your choice. You cannot advance the same ability two levels in a row. The number of advancements needed to improve your ability score by 1 depends on the protectionism to obtain. For accord up to 5, it requires 1 advancement, for abilities from 6 to 8 requires 2. Disabilities 9-12 requires 3. You get no benefit from advancements until you've gained enough for the new score. So keep track of advancements spent.

That's a bit more info that I left out before me bad
The Ageless One
 GM, 30 posts
 The name is ironic
 Don't get many games
Wed 17 Jul 2019
at 00:41
Re: The Expanse
Turns out you actually didn't need to explain it further, you just missed, or completely disregarded typos. I was confused by one that would have been "More to it than that". And your explanation was worse in the typo department, but contained information I was already somewhat familiar with by chance.

Being watchful for that might help you avoid confusion in the future.
jamat
 player, 24 posts
Wed 17 Jul 2019
at 05:14
Re: The Expanse
Hi there apologies for the typos I was typing on my phone and was tired when I get tired my dyslexia kicks in more than usual :(

At least I managed to get the message across the second time lol

This message was last edited by the player at 05:21, Wed 17 July 2019.