Author Topic: review: Northern Crown  (Read 1730 times)

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review: Northern Crown
« on: August 19, 2005, 10:28:35 AM »
reference: http://www.timewastersguide.com/view.php?id=1135

I'm really excited about this one.

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Re: review: Northern Crown
« Reply #1 on: August 19, 2005, 10:52:40 AM »
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At 166 pages the game introduces a lot of new concepts to the standard d20 system. First there is Social Rank decided by your nationality and starting class, and improved upon with each level you gain. Its an interesting twist that affects how you peers relate to you, Social rank also applies to First One characters.


Actually, this idea was introduced in Original Dungeons and Dragons.

Not sure what to think about this. It seems a lot like AEG's Seventh Sea D20.
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Mad Dr Jeffe

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Re: review: Northern Crown
« Reply #2 on: August 19, 2005, 11:06:05 AM »
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It seems a lot like AEG's Seventh Sea D20


Except there is a lot less kitchen sink stupidity.
I love 7th Sea, but there is way too much going on supernaturally, pollitically and so on. I think the general idea was great, but it suffered with too many people going ...
Yeah this is great, but wouldnt it be more great if we did this....

Because of that I dont think it really found a niche, I mean it was supposed to be a piratey game, but then you travel pretty far afield and turn it into more of a Rennaissance game with very little weight added to being a pirate,... oh yeah I know its a "swashbuckling game" but I think thats where Northern Crown varies, its much more of an enlightenment, explore the new world and do epic things kind of game, sure theres an opportunity to swash but it isnt the games focus.
« Last Edit: August 19, 2005, 11:21:42 AM by ElJeffe »
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Mad Dr Jeffe

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Re: review: Northern Crown
« Reply #3 on: August 19, 2005, 11:17:19 AM »
Two comments, on further reading... I love the take on the Witch Character, they have to be lawful, but dont really cast magic, instead they bargain with the dark powers and get an evil imp who allows them to cast spells and who tries to tempt them to become evil. The imp is GM controlled. So there is a pretty good reason the Commonwealthers dont like or trust them.

Also Guns are underpowered, sure they are supposed to be on par with 1660's firearms, but if my guns gonna take 4 rounds to reload I want it to hit harder misfire less and be affected by fewer spells.
The commonality of guns means that quite a few mages have developed low level spells to cause guns to misfire, not fire, or explode. Granted guns can be magically enhanced, but still.

I mean there is a historical precident for guns supplanting longbows, I mean by the 1760's almost all the indians were using guns to hunt instead of bows (and that says something)

Anyhow thats an easy fix,... Just porting the gun rules from D20 modern will fix it I think.
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bosssmiley

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Re: review: Northern Crown
« Reply #4 on: August 22, 2005, 06:07:19 AM »
Quote
Two comments, on further reading... I love the take on the Witch Character, they have to be lawful, but dont really cast magic, instead they bargain with the dark powers and get an evil imp who allows them to cast spells and who tries to tempt them to become evil. The imp is GM controlled. So there is a pretty good reason the Commonwealthers dont like or trust them.

Is the Witch's Imp mechanic anything like the old Sha'ir (sp?) and their jen from the 2nd Ed. AD&D "Al-Qadim" Arabian Adventures setting? That was an interesting take on the 'supernatural ally' style of magic I wouldn't mind reviving in a contemporary d20 Past game.

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Also Guns are underpowered, sure they are supposed to be on par with 1660's firearms, but if my guns gonna take 4 rounds to reload I want it to hit harder misfire less and be affected by fewer spells.

The 2nd Ed. "Mighty Fortress" Historical Sourcebook had some fixes that dealt with this. Basically gunpowder weapons ignored the first few armour classes at close range (leather was useless at medium ranges, chainmail at short IIRC) and allowed open-ended damage roll-ons. It was historically accurate in some respects - a buff coat, even a steel breastplate were largely useless against the 15mm musketballs that were common in the 17th c.

These mods were used to counteract the effective one-shot nature of 16th-17th c. gunpowder weapons in combat without allowing them to fire at an unrealistically fast rate. It also prevented the introduction of anachronistic revolvers or percussion cap rifles into a 'musketeer and pirate' setting.

Quote
The commonality of guns means that quite a few mages have developed low level spells to cause guns to misfire, not fire, or explode. Granted guns can be magically enhanced, but still.
<trim>


Regarding masic and gunpowder weaponry. I suppose that if magical affects can be enchanted onto guns (they use the crossbow enchantment costs in D&D3.5 IIRC) minor contingent protection spells could be ensorcelled onto the lock or barrel as well. You know "Protection from Dampness" on the firing-pan, etc.

D&D-style high-power magic would be able to cause effects like soaking a firing pan or prematurely sparking a volatile like gunpowder without too much difficulty. To make the weapons useful counter-spells would doubtless be rapidly devised, based either on counter-spelling or blanket dispelling/negation techniques.

That's notwithstanding wizardly ideological politics regarding such alchemically-derived power as gunpowder in the hands of uninitiated mundanes. Interesting dirty-tricks opportunities present themselves...  :)
« Last Edit: August 22, 2005, 06:14:48 AM by bosssmiley »
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Mad Dr Jeffe

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Re: review: Northern Crown
« Reply #5 on: August 23, 2005, 12:54:45 AM »
nice take, and thanks for reminding me about a mighty fortress,... one of my favorite D&D supplements ever.

I think I see some plusses on the NC gun front, and a few more minuses.

A long bow does 1d8 and has a max range of 100 yards

Guns range from 1d8 to 1d12 (2d12 for a wall gun) but have a max range of 70 yards (only sixty for most). However to crit with a longbow you can only do it with a 20 of course thats a x3 crit.
guns crit on a 17-20 (which is a big range) but you can only do a max of double damage. Longbows fire every round, where a gun fires every 4 rounds (3 if you have the rapid reload feat)

The problem is convincing someone that hideously expensive, inefficient, short ranged guns are worth it.

problem is damage of d12 is about right, I mean a 1st level fighter has up to 10 hp and a gun has a good chance of taking one out in a shot. 0 level fighters even more so.

Magic guns do exist which means guns with plus signs and big numbers are not foreign to Northern Crown. I'd extend the range of guns I think, Im sure the idea was to reflect the inaccuracy of a gun at range (hence volley fire) but arrows are hard to shoot down range too, wind affects a larger arrow more than you think at 100 yards.

So I'd make guns hit at 120 yards, and not 70. Rifling (which is an invention that can be added to a gun later might extend range to 175 yards and add a +1 to hit.

Its not a huge advantage, since a gun still takes 4 rounds to reload.
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Mad Dr Jeffe

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Re: review: Northern Crown
« Reply #6 on: August 27, 2005, 03:24:43 PM »
I got it...

It was right in D20 modern all the time...

Massive damage.

Each player has a max damage threshold = to their con...
if that number is surpassed (either by a crit or by normal firing) then they immediately go to -1 hp.

This will only apply to guns.

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