Sunday, February 11, 2018

Patch Notes for Heroes

We're working on our final clean-ups still, as Anne said in her last update. Which of course means the playtesters are suddenly getting all those cleaned-up things dumped on their heads. Instead of a more formal update post today, I figured I'd just share the patch notes for them so you can all see how the tweaks are applying to gameplay.

Also I like bulleted lists and patch notes.

John enforcing the rules of creation on helpless playtesters who asked for it


  • If two Heroes tie the roll for who goes first in combat, they may now decide who should go first on their own.
  • Heroes may no longer wield non-weapon objects with Weaponry unless they have the Blessing that does that. (Well, they can, but they won't do any damage so probably better to just punch the baddies.)
  • If a Hero is knocked unconscious by damage, their active Blessings no longer automatically turn off.
  • Unconscious Heroes may now spend passive Talent points to help their buddies as long as they're still alive.
  • Pain penalties are now applied to a Hero only if they have less than half their total number of health boxes open, and they can never have more than two (one for fatigue and one for lethal).
  • Spending Brawn to ignore pain penalties now lasts for the rest of the Episode instead of being spent per action. Let your mortal wounds fuel your battle rage.
  • PC vs. PC combat that happens during contention no longer spends any resources. Taking damage is optional if you really want to have cool scars and realistic suffering afterward.


  • Heroes who spend Mettle to avoid exhaustion penalties now completely prevent the penalty from being applied this time, rather than just ignoring it for the Episode.
  • Heroes may now spend Reserves more than once per Episode. Yes, Nick, you can Innervate yourself three times in a row if you really want to.
  • Heroes no longer lose Archetype dots when calling down Divine Interventions. Mom and Dad love you even when you're a fuck-up.
  • Divine Interventions now heal all damage suffered by Heroes rescued by them. Sorry, team that Skadi slingshotted across the highway. She's just excitable.
  • Spending Brawn now applies a flat bonus to any Athleticism roll, once per roll, and a flat bonus to any damage amount if a Hero hits an enemy. Yes, Miguel, you can indeed spend Brawn to shoot someone harder, don't think too hard about it.

Magic Stuff
  • Portals to other places are no longer considered invisible to people with low Mysticism rolls, just unobtrusive or easily mistaken for normal items or doors.
  • Figuring out what requirements a portal has for passing through it now require a Hero to use the Riddles & Codes system.
  • If a Hero's magic item loses all its durability and breaks, it no longer provides its magical bonuses until they fix it.
  • Magic items crafted by Heroes no longer universally leave play at the end of the Saga (though individual Blessings used to enchant things may have time limits).
  • Heroes who roll Mysticism to understand an object or place's magical purpose and fail may still recognize that it has magical potential, even if they don't get details.


  • Heroes now roll Enlightenment instead of Sight to recognize that someone is lying to them.
  • If a Hero fails their Enlightenment roll to see through a lie, they now automatically believe what they are told (but may still roll Empathy to see if the person they're talking to is acting suspicious).
  • Heroes also now roll Enlightenment instead of Sight to recognize someone who is disguised.
  • Heroes who use Persuasion to convince someone of something still roll against their opponent's Enlightenment if they are lying, but now roll against their opponent's Determination if they are telling the truth but simply not being believed.
  • Long or multi-part performance art now uses multiple Vision rolls instead of an extended roll with cumulative difficulty.


  • New Mortal Heroes now start with 2 dots of a Domain and 2 dots in the Spheres within it, instead of 1 each.
  • Heroes now gain a point of Divinity when they Triumph.
  • Fated Downfalls no longer exist; Heroes who simultaneously Triumph and Tragedy are affected by both outcomes simultaneously.
  • Exhaustion penalties from not eating or sleeping now just apply normal penalty rules. Take a nap, losers.
  • Fatigue damage suffered from exhaustion is now a flat one box per day, and can be healed normally.
  • Running/jumping/lifting/climbing all now use a normal Athleticism roll vs. difficulty set by Destiny, and no longer automatically require Brawn (but you can still spend Brawn to be better at them).
  • If a Hero might be about to reproduce, contention is now automatically invoked to figure out the outcome.
  • Diseases now mostly inflict fatigue damage; poisons now mostly inflict lethal damage. Deviations from this model are uncommon.
  • Heroes who roll high enough on a resistance roll to fight off the effects of an intoxicant or drug may now choose whether or not to feel its effects (so yes, Valencia, you can get crunk now instead of suffering because your Willpower was Too High for Fun).
  • The situational damage rules have been updated to do a better job of modeling various painful emergencies. Throw yourself off a building to find out how!
  • Distraction penalties are now resisted by Determination instead of Sight. Sight is not a resistance roll and we were drunk the day we wrote that.
  • Following a trail now uses a series of Tracking rolls instead of one extended roll with a cumulative difficulty.
  • Cracking codes, completing puzzles, and answering riddles no longer require an entire Episode of work to succeed (though they probably still take multiple actions).


  • Creators with the Empowerment Endowment no longer use instant Blessings, and instead can spend a Reserve to call a Lull independently at any time a Lull could normally happen. They are also able to take actions during a Lull without losing the effects of resting. The name will change but Anne's in charge of that so waiting on her.
  • Lovers with Faithful Allies now automatically begin the Saga with them present.
  • As long as a Faithful Ally is within a reasonable range of the Hero and can be contacted via normal means, they may now be called in from elsewhere without requiring the Hero to spend a point of Reserves.
  • The Caretaker Faithful Ally type has been clarified to note that they cannot repair vehicles (that's the Mechanic's job).
  • Faithful Allies no longer automatically suffer damage when their Hero is injured.
  • If a Hero with a present Faithful Ally would be knocked unconscious, they now suffer a number of boxes of fatigue damage less equal to their Archetype dots, and their Faithful Ally jumps in the way and is knocked out instead. If they would be mortally wounded, the same occurs, but the Faithful Ally is killed.
  • If a Faithful Ally is knocked unconscious, they must now rest during a Lull Episode to recover (or be remanded to a hospital or other healthcare facility for a minimum of one Episode).
  • If a Faithful Ally dies, their Hero may not call up a new one until two Chapters have passed. Have some respect.
  • Sages with the Focus Endowment now gain the ability to do yet one more thing during a Lull without losing the benefits of resting if they also have the Empowerment (or whatever) Endowment.
  • Sages with the Focus Endowment now heal all damage they have suffered when they use the Innervation Endowment.
  • Tricksters who roll the Altered Reality Gambit now regain all Labors they spent during the Episode.
  • Tricksters who roll the Surprise Switcheroo Gambit now heal any damage they (and their buddy) suffered during the Episode.
  • Tricksters who roll the Convenient Discovery Gambit no longer regain a Saga Labor, and instead automatically use one Trickster Saga-Labor-Cost Blessing for free (if they don't have one, there's a backup option).
  • Tricksters who roll the Enemy Emergency Gambit can now escape from dangers that aren't literal enemies trying to stab them (like earthquakes, for example). Anne will rename it.
  • Tricksters who roll the Abrupt Judgment Gambit no longer lose the ability to call for Divine Interventions, but now lose the use of one Divine Favor for the remainder of the Saga.
  • Warriors with the Innervation Endowment now regain twice their Archetype dots in Brawn and Episode Labors (instead of all of them) and their Archetype dots in Chapter Labors. The Labors are still "phantom" and last only for the Episode, but the Brawn is now normal Brawn and can be saved.
  • Leaders with the Sway Endowment may now use Blessings on the assistants they call up as if those assistants were Heroes.
  • Assistants called up with the Sway Endowment now have stats based on their Hero's Archetype dots instead of their Leader dots.


  • We're no longer referring the the Talent web separately from the Sphere web as the "Web of Fate". You were all bad at this anyway so this won't change your lives at all.

More official updates to come!


  1. Looks good, lots of fine details; looking forward to seeing the finished product soon-ish-ish.

  2. 1. So, what exactly does Brawn do? Cuz I can see references to a bunch of applications ranging from ignoring pain penalties to adding bonuses to Warrior rolls.

    2. "Magic items crafted by Heroes no longer universally leave play at the end of the Saga (though individual Blessings used to enchant things may have time limits)." As somebody who is giving serious thought to making a crafter someday, I would be extremely pissed if all my hard work in making items went down the drain at the end of every Saga... while I can understand taking away random items Heroes find in their adventures, it would really have sucked to be a Creator who finds his handiwork dissapearing regularly... imagine being a Warrior and finding out that enemy you definitively killed last Saga is back to life. So I am very haqppy this is now a thing :D

    3. As an addendum to the above, could we have a post highlighting the crafting rules please?

    4. "Heroes now roll Enlightenment instead of Sight to recognize that someone is lying to them." & "Heroes also now roll Enlightenment instead of Sight to recognize someone who is disguised." ... wait, they weren't doing that already? What were people using Enlightenment for beyond actual magical illusions before this patch?

    5. "New Mortal Heroes now start with 2 dots of a Domain and 2 dots in the Spheres within it, instead of 1 each." Me likey :)

    6. "Fated Downfalls no longer exist; Heroes who simultaneously Triumph and Tragedy are affected by both outcomes simultaneously." I feel like this would make better sense if we knew how Triumphs and Tragedies occur and how they can both happen at the same time.

    7. What's the difference between a series if rolls and one extended roll?

    8. "As long as a Faithful Ally is within a reasonable range of the Hero and can be contacted via normal means, they may now be called in from elsewhere without requiring the Hero to spend a point of Reserves." What is the actual effect of spending Reserves on an FA if not to summon them to your aid then?

    9. What's a Lull Episode, how do you call one and what's so special about the Creator's?

    10. So, given that you start with 2 Archetype Dots, that means Innervation gives you 4 Episode Labors right off the bat... I believe you'd mentioned somewhere that max for a Mortal Hero is 4, so that would return 8 Episode Labors... how many Labors are Heroes expected to have at Mortal tier? And given that Divine Heroes at max will be regaining 20 Episode Labors that's either severely overcompensating to ensure they top up their full supply, or Gods have access to a lot of Labors to spare.

    1. I hit reply.....but it just replied below. So its down there for some reason.

  3. I would guess that a Triumph and a Tragedy occurring at he same time would mean that [for example] you manage to heroically defeat the villain - but discover that your best friend was killed by accident in the destruction. Interesting to read some more concrete examples of rules [and having a glimpse at how many rules and systems are involved in this project]. Looking forward to more.

  4. 1. Brawn has a bunch of uses augmenting both combat and non combat scenarios. Annes got a blog series she's writing about each aspect that should explain.

    2. thumbs up. although Id reserve judgement til you see the blessings that creators make the magic stuff with.

    3. Yeah, probably same series as brawn above.

    4. Change that we made long ago but hadnt made it in to the official book yet. Just an update.

    5. thumbs up

    6. Not sure if anne plans a post on this, but for triumph and tragedy at same time: Think Apollo doing the most amazing discus throw of all time, but it also kiling his BF Hyacinth.

    7. An extended roll tries to hit a big difficulty. So to track my opponent Im rolling 10x to try got add up to 100. Series of rolls has small difficulties that you hit each time along the way. Something like roll 10x over the course of your journey, trying to get a 10 each time.

    8. Reserve gets them there immediately(instead of them having travel time) and gets them across magical borders they couldnt normally cross. If you get trapped in Alfheim with your faithful ally on earth, a reserve would get them to you. Or if you left your faithful ally in Texas while you went to japan. They might take actual game sessions to get to you. Or you can spend a reserve. They missed you so much they left long before you needed them and are there right now.

    9. Lulls are one of the types of episodes. The group gets 1 free one per game that the group decides when to take(and some blessings let you take additional ones when you want). A lull episode is a break in the game. Think the scene in a bar midway throught he movie. Everyone gets to rest, chill out, and heal. A group of blessings(many creator) have you use your lull, instead of healing and resting, to work on a project. This lets creators get benefit from resting while still always working on their projects.

    10. We used incorrrect word choice there. Innervation gives you "bonus" labors. These are on top of your own and dont worry about a "max". They also don't regain your labors. If you had 1 episode labor(2 arch dots) and then used Innervate. You'd have 1 all purpose labor and then 4 warrior labors.

  5. John, what's the expected page count at the end of this?

    1. Big. We've had several disagreements about how we'll redline to get page count down. Its at 300 right now before layout. Layout adds a LOT to pagecount. Once we're all done we need to sit down together and figure out some VERY hard cuts :(

    2. Good luck. I know these things can be tough, but I also know that 300 pages is huge, but you know the paizo's Pathfinder good is bigger and the 5th edition WotC DnD is about 300. So you know, it can be done! Goodluck