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Andor

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Everything posted by Andor

  1. Hmmm.... My system specs are superior to yours, but I have definite lag issues. As far as I know I'm running pretty clean, I guess I'll have to start taking a closer look at my processes. Ugh. Maybe after I stop the antibiotics.
  2. I've noticed that too, but I don't think it's a memory leak, I think it's just the database growing more and more complex as the school year goes on and everything starts interacting and linking. I could easily be wrong of course.
  3. Tell me about it. I've been playing RPGs since you had to ink your own dice with a crayon. But I've spent the last 5 years damned to the nethermost depths of Florida and people around here don't like to do anything that involves words.
  4. If you were to try and run a PnP Academagia-ish game, what would you use? Do you think you'd need to make a new game for it, and if so what would you use as the basis? Or would use use an existing system, perhaps with some adaptation? I think D&D (particularly the current 4th edition, ugh) would be a poor fit, although magical academy games have been done with it. (The name of the game escapes me at present.) Personally I's either use Ars Magica, or an adaptation of it. It's already similar is structure and even the stat range. For those who don't know, Ars Magica uses a Stat + Skill + Die roll mechanic for task resolution. For magic it uses a Verb + Noun system. So to (for example) fly you might use Rego + Corporum (Control/Move + Body) to levitiate your own body. It would be quite easy to turn the Academagia Arts in Verbs. The nouns aren't quite as good a match for phemes, but I'm sure a little thought could resolve it. Hmm.. Apparently you can now download AM 4th edition for free. Have fun everyone.
  5. I have started a godina Student and rather annoyingly when I use Practice room #4 it only increases his harpsichord skill. A 50% chance to increase a skill by one step? Not a good use of my time.
  6. My perception of what's happening with the delay when opening menus it is it has little to nothing to do with graphics or the UI, but rather with the program parsing the database to populate the action list based on your characters stats/abilities each time you click to open the lst. The trick to massive databases like these is controlling which portions of it the program is keeping in RAM vs accessing on the disk (which is much, much slower.) This is not trivial programming however. Personally I think the best way to handle the menu lag would be to pre-load the list during the processing of the previous turn. That would do little to correct the games general lag of course, but it would certainly make each turn less frustrating.
  7. Stenchtastic is amusing. Sadly it fails to mention that it can be removed by resting. How about by adding the 'Suds' pheme to a spell? Heh. That actually reminds me of one of my favorite PnP RPGs. One of my major gripes with RPGs like DnD and Palladium has always been the focus of magic. Or as I put it "10,000 ways to blow things up, not one spell to heat your house." Magic that is actually useful in day to day life is vanishingly rare. The exception I'm so fond of is World Tree. It's basically the impecable Ars Magica game system with an unbelievably thoughly thought out world wrapped around it. And hundreds of useful day to day spells including 'repair your shoe' and for practical jokes. Thankfully Academagia is closer to that than to D&D.
  8. Andor

    Review

    More reasons why skills make my head hurt. Why is Wit linked to Finesse? I have never observed a link between quick repartee and good hand-eye coordination. Decit and Lying are seperate skills. *headdesk* Why?
  9. Andor

    Mystery Stat

    What is Glory, and why should I care? Also why can't I see it, if it matters?
  10. I'm not sure the best student in the worst college should 'get hammered' but it would certainly be fair for the last place colleges to lose a few points of merit or some such. But bear in mind that some of the college might get screwed by their mandatory calsses, since some classes generally get lower grades than others.
  11. Even in the Harry Potter books no one is killed until, what, Year 4 with Cedric Diggory in the maze? And the HP books are about a full blown war in the wizarding world. So no, there probably should not be deaths in year one. Now that having been said, the nurses in Academagia don't seem to be on quite the level on Madam Pomfrey or Dr. Sun Jen-dijeh so is would be both plausible and dramatic to have someone die in a non-plot related accident. Perhaps even appropriate given the rather blasé attitude the staff hold towards building leveling explosions.
  12. I think 10 points feels about right. There is a tension in character creation between what you want and what you can have and that tension follows through and flavors the rest of the game. While there are some arguements in favor of mandatory category picks, it think it should be pretty limited. Sure, everyone may be born under a sign, but what exactly is the big deal of being born under the sign of the dispeptic wombat? Not everyone gets to be the hero of destiny, someone has to be the greengrocer too. There are I think only two things that ought to be mandatory picks. One is a cultural background. It would add more depth to the world if everone had a greater sense of belonging to it. If that were to become mandatory however I would suggest making them all about similar and then removing the point cost from them. The other 'mandatory pick' and for the same reason is familly, or at least 'who raised you'. For that category however I would add some options like 'abandoned at the monestary door' or 'raised by weasles' and have the category include a full spread from a 2 point "Your parents are famous ninja/pirate/cowboys" to normal 1 point picks, to one or two 0-point "your parents are Ted and Wilma Everyman" choices to the -1 point sucktacular picks. The one point spending area that I think is very weak right now is familiars. Familiars in general are weak, like bits of fog. So you can either spend a point to choose between variously shaped bits of fog, or you can save your point and get Moaning Myrtle who offers no functional differences between the cat shaped bit of fog or the lizard shaped bit of fog. So why spend the point?
  13. Andor

    Books

    Several actually. Mostly Law books. The action to study them would show up on the list under my characters attributes, but greyed out, and it was never selectable from the action or abilities lists, nor did the books show up under 'use item'.
  14. Andor

    Books

    Books. Are books bugged right now? Because I don't seem to have any way to utilize them. I can't read them, or study them whether or not they are in the 'book' slot on my paper doll. What gves?
  15. Heh. I started to read the Vlad Taltos books in order. I read the first one and went "Wow! That was awesome!" I read the second and said "Wow! That was even better!" I read the third and said "Even better! If this keepss up this will be the greatest series of all time!" I read the fourth book and said "Wow. ... He just had a really horrible divorce." I read the fifth book and said "And because of that horrible divorce he really needed the money." I stopped reading at that point although I understand things picked back up again, I just haven't got around to revisiting the series.
  16. Anything by Lois BuJold is wonderful. She as two fantasy series, the Chalion books (Curse of Chailion, Paladin of Souls, The Hallowed Hunt) and the Sharing Knife series (Beguilement, Legacy, Passage, Horizon) as well as a stand alone fantasy novel called The Spirit ring. All of them are well worth reading. The Sharing Knife series in particular is very original. The Ethshar books by Lawrence Watts-Evans are good explorations of different types of magic with "The Night of Madness" in particular being by far the most in-depth and interesting exploration of the purposes and methods of a mages guild I've ever read. And while it's not a book I can't resist recommending "Spirited Away", a wonderful fantasy film by the inestimable Hayao Miyazaki which is an interesting mix of western and eastern fantasy tropes and just good fun. Come to think "KiKi's delivery service", another film by Miyazaki and his Studio Ghibli, is actually a very good fit for Academagia being an adventurous year in the life of a 13 year old witch and her familiar trying to make her way in the world.
  17. Ahh that explains a lot. I wasted many actions trying to train up a a capped familiar skill then, because I had no way to know that other than by reading it here. Also I too spent many actions trying to Groom Pamela (god only knows how) and yet never saw an increase in Bond skills. Is this a facet of Pamela not being a proper Familiar?
  18. Andor

    Review

    It's fair to say that this is a 'Story generator' rather than a RPG. In fact the only way I even knew about the character/ethics things was that in my last game I chose 'secret family heritage.' When Eyunicia handed my character a book on gates he spent the next few weeks training ethcs up to max in a panic to make sure he wasn't doing the wrong thing by going back to study gates. I was then shocked when later on a moral challange called on his character rather than ethics. *facepalm* Oddly enough his interest in ethics then led him into law, where in the course of listening to the courtrooms he picked up two Mastery skills. He's not persueing Mastery however. He's probably going to start year 2 off in jail however since he ended the term by claiming that Gates was the best school of magic.
  19. One of the really high level competition awards in the 'minor bend light' spell. Which IIRC gives a -1% discovery chance.
  20. I'd think discovering subskills would be a very reasonable result of doing research on a parent skill, wouldn't it? Side note! I just now figured out why my character who never showed the slightest interest in forge skills keeps getting forge events! It is because courage is a forge skill and you keep earing courage through events. Funky. I know someone, somewhere was just defending courage being a forge skill on the basis that forges are scary but by that logic it coud fit under anything including botany given the number of man-eating plants in this world! And if it were under a different group there wouldn't be such visible wonkiness. Because I must have had at least half a dozen forge events for this character so far and he's never so much as glanced at a hammer. At least I know why it keeps happening now. BTW for my money glass blowing is much, much scarier than forge work. And yes, I've done both.
  21. Andor

    Review

    On topic, while that is a fascinating subject for research and debate, is the distinction between Ethics and Character as fields of study a fine enough distinction to be worth splitting them into seperate fields for the purposes of the game? As some one who used to work in the PnP gaming industry and who knows many game designers I'm inclined to say no. I do see a valid distinction if, as I said, one represents 'book knowledge' and the other is used to represent the practice of ethics/character in the face of temptation. But that's not what we have and so in the game some events test against ethics for moral behavior and others against character. If I'm trying to build a character who behaves ethically which do I want? Both? Neither? Having the distinction in the game doesn't add depth, it adds confusion. And of course I realize it's effectively set in stone at this point and cannot be changed, I'm just offering up my 2¢.
  22. Andor

    Review

    I wouldn't think we'll see sperm spell research untill at least year 3, let the poor kids get some pubic hairs first! ... Sorry, it was a fine post and that should be the only bit I reply to but I couldn't resist.
  23. Andor

    Review

    I'm not sure I like the idea of 'cross filing' skills actually. That opens up wierd possibilities where can wind up with high scores in skill groups your character never looked at because you end up leveling up their sub-skills while dabbling in other groups. That happens anyway actually, but... I dunno. My problem is with skill bloat. I've been playing rpgs since the red box set and 'adventure'. Skill bloat is very ... 1987. It strikes me as amatuerish in this day and age, and especially so when it lead to such an unwieldy database that my PC which can easilly handle small commercial databases or games like SC II or Dragon Age or Dominions 3 or Civ IV gets bogged down processing turns. You just don't need composure and patience and endurance and willpower and dedication, etc etc, etc... Pick any two! Having seperate Hide and Move Silently skills is fine, although having them under seperate parent skills is odd. Seperate skills for Ethics and Character? I could see a defence for that with one being a philosophical understanding of the rationale for ethical behavior and the other being the strength or will to behave ethically in the face of temptation. Perception and awareness and observation and whatever I'm forgetting? Not so needed.
  24. Andor

    Review

    Point taken and I withdraw the perjorative. Although at that moment it was the mildest thing I could bring myself to type. To fail a magical flower challange with a 10 in Botany and a 14 in Negation was annoying.
  25. Andor

    Review

    I saw someone else say that and I don't quite understand it. Balance is a non-issue in a single player game. Balance only exists in reguard to another human player who has the same limitations that you have. The computer always has the option to set the difficulty to (15 or whatever you have +5 whichever is greater) for any given roll. Consider the classic game Master of Magic. No one in their right mind would claim Gnolls were balanced with Halflings (Halfings would wipe the floor with Gnolls) yet both were perfectly valid starting races in a single player game because in the context of a single player game unbalnced races simply offers a way to fine tune your difficulty level against the AI. Likewise the fact that in Academagia I could start a character and select only 'blacksheep' and 'prodigy: Bad Luck' and start the game with 12 useless unspent points and crap stats and skills is not 'unbalanced' because I'm not in direct competition with any other human. Heck I don't even get the privilledge of being scored against the AI until the next game comes out....
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