Saturday, January 28, 2012

Playtest Damage Report: 1/27

(EDIT BY KELLY: By the way, I made Joseph, aka Dakaptin, an author for the blog so that he can post results for games he will be running at FSU, since he's 3 hours away from me. Huzzah!)

I finally got my copy of FRAG and FRAG: FTW today, so I decided that I'd waited long enough to start running the FSU playtests! We had bronies, non-bronies, and parasprites all getting in on the action, and everybody had a lot of fun. Anyway, on to the actual report...

EDIT: My apologies for the length of this post. I tend to want to record EVERYTHING that happened, and can become a bit long-winded in the process.

The Ponies (listed in turn order)
Joseph as Applejack/Twilight
E-way/Kevin as Pinkie Pie
Jordan as Rarity
Chris as Fluttershy
Devin as Rainbow Dash

The session started with me (playing Applejack), E-way, Chris and Devin. Kevin and Jordan joined us about mid-way through. Nobody but me had ever played FRAG, but everybody was able to pick up on both the general rules and the pony abilities relatively quickly. We used the open board from FRAG: Gold edition (the one with one-way doors).

Applejack - 2 Frags
Poor, poor Applejack. Once again, my pony was the first frag of the game. (I may be cursed!) Anyway, AJ started the session relatively well. She was doing reasonable damage, and she spent a good deal of time unencumbered, so she was able to get into Apple Bucking range pretty well. Apple Bucking didn't pinkmist anybody this time around, but it did reasonable damage. At one point, AJ acquired a chainsaw, with every pony in striking distance. However, once everybody spread out, AJ couldn't get into striking range of ANYPONY. Certainly, I was being stubborn about hauling that chainsaw with me, since I wanted to do some eviscerating. But, about mid-way through the session, AJ was on one side of the map, and everypony else was on the other. Nopony was brave enough to venture within range of an Applebuck, and the two successful attacks that AJ DID make were thwarted by Pinkie Sense and by a Teleport card played by Fluttershy. (Actually, funny story about that Teleport... I was frustrated by not being able to reach anypony, so I equipped a machine gun and moved within 6 squares of Fluttershy, who was camping in a spawn room. I played the What Wall card, rolled a 6 for accuracy, and was about to roll for damage...only to have FS teleport out. I was NOT a happy panda.) There were several ponies that took potshots at AJ (RD used her speed to make quick strikes, all of which failed to do damage, and Pinkie Pie missed four consecutive shots with the electromagnetic cannon), but everypony deemed AJ too big a threat to tussle with. After four straight turns of being unable to get within range of anypony, I decided to swap for Twilight Sparkle.

I didn't have a good opportunity to use Bull Rush (despite being on the most open board, everypony ended up congregating in a cramped area where the maximum Bull Rush damage was less than a full-health Apple Bucking). Apple Bucking is much more fair from when I last saw AJ (as stated above, she did solid damage without pinkmisting every opponent she faced) but the reduction in speed was grievous. Toward the end of the game, AJ couldn't get within range of anypony to save her life! Not that it was unfair; equipped with a chainsaw, if she'd been able to close with anypony easily the game would've been a route in her favor. It just appears that AJ isn't well suited to such an open map.

Twilight Sparkle - 0 Frags
Twi didn't get too much playtime (only two turns, in fact) but she managed to do pretty well, despite failing to frag anypony. Her first spawning landed her in the same room as Rarity. After picking up some weapons and items, Twilight used her Telekinesis to throw Rarity four squares. As Rarity was flush against a wall, she took 4d6 damage. It was looking good, until Rarity played Adrelaline Surge. It went from Twi rolling on a +1d6 advantage to rolling on a -2d6 disadvantage. Needless to say, Twi's awesome slam failed to do any damage to Rarity, and Rarity made sure to leave Twi's corpse behind her as she exited the room on her next turn.

Anyway, I STILL haven't had the chance to try out Twi's EXTREME Focus, but it looks like Telekinesis works swimmingly. Save that damnable Adrenaline Surge, Twi would've wreaked havoc on Rarity's pitiful 1 health. But, alas, such is the way of the cards.

Pinkie Pie - 2 Frags
PP's day didn't start too well... On her second turn, she picked up a portable nuke, but due to a misunderstanding of the rules, she didn't put it into play immediately. She failed to frag RD with her equipped needler, and was promptly pink-misted by RD (10 points of damage!), who picked up the nuke on her next turn. (More on that later.) Anyway, for the first half of the session, PP was the favored frag dummy of everyone on the board. For the second half, PP fared quite a bit better. She scored both frags early in the second half, and spent the remainder of the session being a poor sniper. At one point, she tried to fire a Missile Launcher at AJ, who was 3 squares away, and rolled a 2 for accuracy.

Pinkie Sense did see some success, though there was some confusion as to when and how the +1 to Pinkie Sense was applied. Hop Skip Jump makes a ton more sense now, and Pinkie picked up quite a few good weapons with Where'd You Get That.

Rarity - 1 Frag
If Pinkie's day started poorly, Rarity's day was far worse. On her first turn, Rarity rolled an 8 for movement, which she spent trying to pick up all items and weapons in the room. With her Resourceful ability, she was still only able to pick up two items and one weapon. After Rarity's turn, Fluttershy spawned in the same room, picked up a needler, and painted the room rosy red. Rarity's next turn, she spawned in an empty room, rolled a 9 for movement, and tried to pick up more items and weapons. Despite having 6 rolls for items and 2 for weapons, Rarity picked up NO items and ONE weapon. I've never seen so many ones rolled consecutively. Anyway, on Pinkie Pie's next turn, she spawned in the same room with Rarity, picked up an Assault Cannon, and left a massive hole in Rarity's chest. Her third turn, she respawned, managed to pick up some items and a Machine Gun, and (after making it outside the spawn point for the first time) tried to do some damage to FS. Four attacks landed, all of which did 0 damage. FS killed her with kindness on her turn. Her fourth turn, she failed to leave the spawn room AGAIN and had Twi spawn almost right on top of her. Sadly (for Twilight), Rarity said, "It. Is. ON!" and took no damage from Twi's Telekinesis.

Resourceful didn't help Rarity one bit, but only because Jordan had some of the worst consecutive rolls I've ever seen. Armored didn't keep Rarity from eating it quite a few times, but it did keep her from being an easy kill. Rarity never attacked an armored enemy, so Know the Weak Spot didn't see any use.

Fluttershy - 4 Frags
FS' started off VERY strong. She was the first to three kills, and she looked unstoppable...until RD played No Carrier on her. After losing all the weapons, armor and items she'd acquired, FS came back down to Earth, scoring only one kill (where she did a ridiculous 25 damage to PP, thanks to the STARE and a defense roll of 1) for the rest of the session. Still, she ended the game in 2nd place. She succeeded in I'm a Tree once, avoiding all damage from a Heavy Assault Cannon, and she survived not one, but TWO Sonic Rainbooms AND the two following attacks. The first one, she played two Adrenaline Surges, and barely survived the damage from the three attacks. The second time, she took NO DAMAGE from the Sonic Rainboom (despite rolling 6d6 against RD's 9) and escaped the remainder of RD's attacks unscathed. Not only that, but early in the game, she survived a Portable Nuke and Flamethrower (took 1 damage from the nuke, healed by medpack, and 0 damage from the flamethrower, using a blood splot to heal the bonus damage)... Somehow, FS has become best tank!

The STARE saw a few successes, which led to one pony disintegration. Might have been more, but Chris forgot to use it for almost the entire first half of the session. I'm a Tree was successful once, but there was some confusion as to whether or not it could be used to avoid damage from a Sonic Rainboom. Fight or Flight was used once, allowing FS to escape the onslaught that was RD towards the end of the session.

Rainbow Dash - 5 Frags
RD was utterly ruthless with her attacks. Early on, she failed to score many frags, despite using her Quick Trigger with reckless abandon. However, once she got two frags, a good set of weapons, and two frags (and after disconnecting the might FS) she took over the game. Thanks to Devin being such a devious person, he'd keep his distance while everypony else did damage to each other, then swooped in and picked up the clean-up kills. By the end of the session, RD had a Heavy Assault Cannon, a Beam Pistol, Heavy Armor, two blood splots, two Medpacks, and one Advanced Medpack; nopony was gonna kill her any time soon.

RD used her abilities a LOT. Quick Trigger was used in every attack that didn't involve Super Speed. Super Speed was only used a few times, and she failed to Sonic Rainboom each time, only getting ~18 movement. However, she DID pull off two Sonic Rainbooms, both using items or game hacks, which allowed her to use her Quick Trigger on top of the Sonic Rainboom. Still, doing that didn't result in a single frag...

Recommended Adjustments - Determine whether or not Pinkie Sense or I'm a Tree *squee* can avoid damage from explosive attacks like Sonic Rainboom or explosive barrels, and modify those abilities to reflect that determination. Also, there was some confusion about how Rarity's Armored status works. I interpreted the rule to say that she just had a bonus 2d6 for defense rolls, but it was argued that it meant 3 damage had to be done to frag Rarity (in other words, she had permanent Heavy Armor). The wording for that ability needs to be clarified.


  1. That... is very detailed. I guess I just stick to the highlights. But this is good, I got something to work with here ^_^

    Apple Jack: If AJ was going to parade around with the chainsaw, she may as well have picked up a gun as well. Sure, only an accuracy of 1, but I am assuming that having some kind of range would have helped.

    Pinkie Pie: A successful Pinkie Sense causes the attacker to "miss." Therefore, if an explosive still causes damage, even if it misses, that damage applies to Pinkie Pie. Yeah, the rules are worded differently, but I'm going to change that now.

    Rarity: I think Rarity is cursed. Everyone who plays Rarity gets terrible rolls. I am thinking she needs an more effective offensive ability.
    As for that bonus 2d she gets for defense rolls, it does not apply to Health, the armor is just there to make it harder to score any damage. But when she takes damage, she's down... Cause, ya know, she's Rarity. Keep in mind that she is always considered armored, so a Needler should have only done 2d damage. I don't know if it needs clarification, but she can wear armor over her armored dress.

    Fluttershy: I can't figure out how it is that she always becomes such a brute in this game. Though you didn't use "I'm a tree" the I intended, I think what you did is probably better. We'll talk about that.

    Rainbow Dash: I am wondering if Quick Trigger needs some adjustments. Say, second attack is halved, so instead of rolling a d6, it would be a d3. Just a thought.

    1. AJ DID pick up a gun, and landed a successful attack on a camping FS. FS played a Teleport before rolling for damage, though. Even with a gun, though, AJ's max range is 6, and everypony around her has a speed equal to or greater than hers, so if they're 10+ squares away, they can easily keep the gap open. Once the quarry escapes, it's better to just drop everything for Unencumbered rather than hope to Celestia somebody screws up and puts themselves in range of you.

      You can easily argue that PP can avoid explosive damage with Pinkie Sense. She does break the laws of physics on a regular basis.

      I told them that was how I read the ability, and they didn't argue me down over it. You could always add a line to the ability that points this out specifically, i.e. Does not increase health, but grants +2d6 on health checks.

      I forgot that I'm a Tree is supposed to be rolled on FS' turn. However, it does make a bit more sense rolling for it when attacked, now that I think about it. She shouldn't be able to avoid a barrel explosion (or a Sonic Rainboom) though. She can *squee* away her opponents' will to fight her, but she can't overpower concussive force with cuteness.

      I don't really want to nerf RD... She didn't go on a kill streak until she was both well-armed and played the God Mode game hack. It's still worthwhile to test out the modified Quick Trigger. If it doesn't work, we can reset it to a double attack.