[free] Alternity Science Fiction RPG Beta Test Edition

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[free] Alternity Science Fiction RPG Beta Test Edition

Post by Big Mac » Fri Mar 10, 2017 11:55 pm

The Alternity Science Fiction RPG Beta Test Edition has gone up on DriveThru RPG:
DriveThru RPG wrote:Alternity Science Fiction RPG Beta Test Edition
From Sasquatch Game Studio

Image

Welcome to the new Alternity Science Fiction Roleplaying Game, the game where you get to create your own future! The game shares a name and heritage with a popular RPG from the 1990s, and is a game that embraces all genres of science fiction, from low-tech post-apocalyptic wastelands to ultra-tech space opera.

This Beta Test Edition contains the latest snapshot of the Alternity game rules still in development. In it, you'll find an overview of the Alternity rules, an adventure scenario, and 6 pregenerated characters so you can get straight to the action. We've included a full color version and one that's a bit more printer-friendly, if that's your thing. We've also included an initiative tracker you can print out to keep your game running smoothly.

The initial release includes The Magellan, the sample adventure used in our first playtest, appropriate to run for groups of seasoned RPG players. In the near future, we'll add The Institute PDF, an introductory adventure suitable for newer players.

This packet does not yet contain any rules for character generation, as we want to focus on how well the system plays, and we'll include those rules in a later update. Also, please note that nothing in this document is final, and any element may be changed at a later date as we continue to iterate and incorporate feedback. As we make updates to the system, we'll also update the files in this title, so you can always get the latest playtest document.

About the Alternity Team: The three Sasquatches are David Noonan, Richard Baker, and Stephen Schubert. Together, they bring over 50 combined years of RPG experience. Rich was one of the primary designers on the original Alternity game back in the 1990s, along with Bill Slavicsek, who is also helping out with this relaunch. As a company, Sasquatch Game Studio created the Primeval Thule sword and sorcery campaign setting for multiple game systems (available on DriveThruRPG), the Princes of the Apocalypse adventure for 5e, and the Ultimate Scheme board game.
I've never played Alternity before, but hopefully some of you who understand the system can check out this beta product and see how you think it compares to previous editions.
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Re: [free] Alternity Science Fiction RPG Beta Test Edition

Post by Knightfall » Sat Mar 11, 2017 1:46 am

Holy moly! How did i miss this news back when it was first announced?
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Re: [free] Alternity Science Fiction RPG Beta Test Edition

Post by RobJN » Sat Mar 11, 2017 1:11 pm

I am... underwhelmed, sorry to say. In their effort to streamline the core mechanic, they "flipped" the math, going from "roll low" to "roll high." While this is great for everyone who's been playing d20, it skews the math differently, and just feels... clunky.

Alternity_2.0 uses 20-(stat+rank)= skill score, with Excellent and Stellar results if you beat it by +5 or +10 on a roll of the d20. To this, you add or subtract bonuses or penalties. (d4, d6, d8, d12, or d20) So, let's say, a hero with 4 Agility and two ranks in Combat: Firearms, for a skill score of 20-(4+2)= 14/19/24. Good luck getting that Stellar hit, even with the +1d4 bonus with your hero's specialized type of pistol.

Classic Alternity uses a stat+rank +/- situation die, roll under, with the roll bounded by your stat+rank. Roll under that number on d20, and you make an Ordinary success, half of that is a Good success, half of that is an Amazing success. To this, you subtract or add bonuses or penalties of increasing die steps (d4, d6, d8, d12, d20) So a hero with a 10 Dexterity and three ranks in Modern Ranged Weapons-pistol has a skill check breakdown of 13/6/3. An Amazing hit is not entirely impossible, unless the odds are heavily stacked against our hero.

Maybe I'm just used to the classic system, or haven't played enough d20, but I rather like the elegance of roll under/under half/under a quarter. Yes, it seems counter-intuitive at first, that bonuses would subtract from the roll, while penalties would add to it. My main gripe with d20 was the increasing ridiculousness of the ever-ascending Difficulty Class. ("Armor Class forty-what now?" :o )

And... impulses? Yeesh. Give me my Action Check, actions per round, and four-phase combat round, please.
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Re: [free] Alternity Science Fiction RPG Beta Test Edition

Post by Havard » Mon Apr 17, 2017 9:37 pm

I caved in and became a backer of the kickstarter.

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Re: [free] Alternity Science Fiction RPG Beta Test Edition

Post by Giorgio » Wed May 31, 2017 1:39 pm

RobJN wrote:I am... underwhelmed, sorry to say. In their effort to streamline the core mechanic, they "flipped" the math, going from "roll low" to "roll high." While this is great for everyone who's been playing d20, it skews the math differently, and just feels... clunky.
As someone who had the original game, and is math-challenged, let me say after reading and playing the new beta test rules, THANK THE UNIVERSE , that its a "roll high" system, and not a "roll low" or "negative math" system. I have a very hard time conceptual understanding and applying "roll low/negative math", as it is something that does not come easy to me (I mean I can do it, but its hard mental work for me). "Roll High" is something I understand easily and makes my gaming experiences "more fun/less work".

In addition, the developers state why they took this approach, and I agree with them. I can get the quotes if you are interested.

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Re: [free] Alternity Science Fiction RPG Beta Test Edition

Post by Giorgio » Wed May 31, 2017 1:41 pm

Havard wrote:I caved in and became a backer of the kickstarter.

-Havard
Sweet! I wonder if you have participated in the Alternity KS comments section... it wont take you long to figure out my KS handle by the time I post a few Alternity related threads here... :)

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Re: [free] Alternity Science Fiction RPG Beta Test Edition

Post by RobJN » Wed May 31, 2017 1:48 pm

Giorgio wrote:
RobJN wrote:I am... underwhelmed, sorry to say. In their effort to streamline the core mechanic, they "flipped" the math, going from "roll low" to "roll high." While this is great for everyone who's been playing d20, it skews the math differently, and just feels... clunky.
As someone who had the original game, and is math-challenged, let me say after reading and playing the new beta test rules, THANK THE UNIVERSE , that its a "roll high" system, and not a "roll low" or "negative math" system. I have a very hard time conceptual understanding and applying "roll low/negative math", as it is something that does not come easy to me (I mean I can do it, but its hard mental work for me). "Roll High" is something I understand easily and makes my gaming experiences "more fun/less work".

In addition, the developers state why they took this approach, and I agree with them. I can get the quotes if you are interested.
I've read the quotes, as I've been following the development since Rich announced it.

It took me a little bit to grok the math when I first purchased the game, back in '98, but once everything gelled in my head, it made perfect sense.

The "roll low" worked for me: the hero's stat or stat+rank was the cap: roll higher than that, and you've missed. Roll under it, and you've succeeded. No ridiculous 35+DCs to try to scrounge bonuses to hit. Half and half-again, to me, is the more intuitive approach. that isn't to say over or under is any better than the other, it's simply what I prefer.
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Re: [free] Alternity Science Fiction RPG Beta Test Edition

Post by RobJN » Wed May 31, 2017 1:49 pm

Havard wrote:I caved in and became a backer of the kickstarter.

-Havard
Yeah, that makes two of us :P
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Re: [free] Alternity Science Fiction RPG Beta Test Edition

Post by Giorgio » Tue Mar 13, 2018 12:21 pm

KS Update #23

Finally some progress, a new playtest document will be released soon. :)

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Re: [free] Alternity Science Fiction RPG Beta Test Edition

Post by Giorgio » Wed Mar 21, 2018 11:30 pm

KS Update #24

Playtest released! Finally some real movement on this project and I hope the various RPGs forums start seeing active Alternity RPG conversations taking place. :)

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Re: [free] Alternity Science Fiction RPG Beta Test Edition

Post by RobJN » Thu Mar 22, 2018 2:19 am

Downloaded mine just a little while ago. I know what I'll be reading on the way home from work today :D
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Re: [free] Alternity Science Fiction RPG Beta Test Edition

Post by Giorgio » Mon Mar 26, 2018 11:05 pm

I have been busy with work and university so I haven't had a real chance to sit down and read the new playtest, but this WED 3/28 I set aside on my planner a few hours to do so. :)

So far there has been little conversations about this game on the EN World and Alternity.net forums, but I hope that picks up soon.

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Re: [free] Alternity Science Fiction RPG Beta Test Edition

Post by RobJN » Mon Mar 26, 2018 11:10 pm

Giorgio wrote:
Mon Mar 26, 2018 11:05 pm
I have been busy with work and university so I haven't had a real chance to sit down and read the new playtest, but this WED 3/28 I set aside on my planner a few hours to do so. :)

So far there has been little conversations about this game on the EN World and Alternity.net forums, but I hope that picks up soon.
Part of that could be that the rules are still being digested... it is a hefty hunk of text that dropped, after all.
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