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Author Topic: Toying with an idea, input wanted…. Underwater Frostgrave scenarios?  (Read 1163 times)

Offline Bloggard

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Re: Toying with an idea, input wanted…. Underwater Frostgrave scenarios?
« Reply #30 on: September 27, 2021, 12:24:16 PM »
good stuff for GG to ponder there.

But - I enjoyed Rich's erudite comments too - I wasn't having a go, so apologies to him if that's how it came across.

Offline Chief Lackey Rich

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Re: Toying with an idea, input wanted…. Underwater Frostgrave scenarios?
« Reply #31 on: September 27, 2021, 12:51:42 PM »
good stuff for GG to ponder there.

Indeed.  I'd still recommend looking at Deep Wars for some ideas on how to handle underwater movement and combat (particularly in three dimensions) even if you wind up going with different mechanics altogether.  The idea doing a scenario where the board gradually floods seems a good one, akin to some other ones where you're trying to stay ahead of flowing lava or collapsing floors/ceilings but with a vertical rather than horizontal impending threat.

Re: Underwater weapons on dry land, spearguns (at least the ones I've used) are nearly useless beyond a few yards when used above water, and even at that range they're wildly inaccurate.  They aren't much better underwater (at least range-wise) but their projectiles aren't stabilized to work well in air at all.  Really need a thicker medium for any kind of accuracy.  Light diffraction makes ranged combat underwater a limited-range affair anyway, even if you have really good light sources to work with.  Maybe restrict to LoS to 12" tops, going down from there in poor light and/or murky water.

Quote
But - I enjoyed Rich's erudite comments too - I wasn't having a go, so apologies to him if that's how it came across.

Honestly, I'm still not sure what you were trying to say.  If it was to caution me that some folks around here buy into the Atlantis myths that various con artists have come up with over the years, I can't say I much care about bursting their delusional balloons in that regard, nor do I care if they continue to invest time and money in that kind of thing.  Not my business - but I do think Plato (who was very big on Truth-with-a-capital-T) would have had something to say on the subject if he'd survived to see what other folks have done with the concept - particularly to the madmen who tried to tie it to Aryan race theory.

To be clear, I don't mind the (many) variations on Atlantis (and Mu, and Lemuria, etc, etc) that have cropped up over the years.  Many of them are downright entertaining, and pulp adventure as a genre would be much worse off without them.  But none of them are what Plato was talking about, and I appreciate them as works of fiction, nothing more.

Offline Grumpy Gnome

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Re: Toying with an idea, input wanted…. Underwater Frostgrave scenarios?
« Reply #32 on: September 27, 2021, 01:50:18 PM »
The real world physics of underwater combat are rather stifling for our enjoyment so rather than leaning towards simulation for this I would be inclined to lean into the game side of things using some magical handwaving (unlike my usual preference towards simulation).

The gradual flooding idea is interesting. Anything that makes time and terrain dynamic in a game seems good to me.

Verticality in gameplay is a key point in this as well so maybe looking at Deep Wars mechanics will help.
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Offline Bloggard

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Re: Toying with an idea, input wanted…. Underwater Frostgrave scenarios?
« Reply #33 on: September 27, 2021, 02:01:41 PM »
@CLR - I'll PM you a reply about my comment; don't want to derail GG's thread. Will Copy GG in too, so he know's what's what.


« Last Edit: September 27, 2021, 02:06:12 PM by Bloggard »

Offline Grumpy Gnome

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Re: Toying with an idea, input wanted…. Underwater Frostgrave scenarios?
« Reply #34 on: September 27, 2021, 02:24:26 PM »
@CLR - I'll PM you a reply about my comment; don't want to derail GG's thread. Will Copy GG in too, so he know's what's what.

Cheers mate.

Offline Chief Lackey Rich

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Re: Toying with an idea, input wanted…. Underwater Frostgrave scenarios?
« Reply #35 on: September 27, 2021, 03:30:26 PM »
Back on topic:

The gradual flooding idea is interesting. Anything that makes time and terrain dynamic in a game seems good to me.

You could make your terrain even more dynamic if some of it floats.  Wooden platforms (maybe a chunk of a ruin's floor) that could act as impromptu rafts, or a beached ship or submarine.  As the water rises they stay at the top, which is great for staying dry until they smash into the ceiling and squash anyone riding on them.  Or maybe they've got anchors or similar tethers that will let them rise partway but then get dragged under unless someone cuts them free?

Quote
Verticality in gameplay is a key point in this as well so maybe looking at Deep Wars mechanics will help.

If you want a simplified approach to depth/altitude rules, maybe an abstracted "flight band" system like GDW's Blue Max or Flagship's Starship! game used (or GW's Aeronautica Imperialis if that's more familiar)?  Have somewhere between 3-6 levels that figs can occupy above ground level, moving between one might take one or two actions depending on how fast you want vertical movement to be.  Makes it harder to block off enemy movement, which is probably the main reason you'd want to use 3D in teh game. 

Offline Major_Gilbear

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Re: Toying with an idea, input wanted…. Underwater Frostgrave scenarios?
« Reply #36 on: September 27, 2021, 04:03:22 PM »
I enjoyed Rich's erudite comments too - I wasn't having a go, so apologies to him if that's how it came across.
Understood, and don't worry, I didn't see it as having a go - although I do understand a good discussion tangent has a habit of derailing a thread!  :)

[...] the (many) variations on Atlantis (and Mu, and Lemuria, etc, etc) that have cropped up over the years.  [...]  I appreciate them as works of fiction, nothing more.
Same for me - just fun works of fiction. :)

Anyway, back tot he topic at hand.

Re: Underwater weapons on dry land, spearguns (at least the ones I've used) are nearly useless beyond a few yards when used above water, and even at that range they're wildly inaccurate.  They aren't much better underwater (at least range-wise) but their projectiles aren't stabilized to work well in air at all.  Really need a thicker medium for any kind of accuracy.
Interesting, I didn't realise it was such a difference, although I suppose it makes sense - a bit like shooting an arrow from a bow underwater?

Notwithstanding, I was more leaning towards making (for example) spearguns short ranged, but unaffected by water; all other ranged weapons would be either severely penalised or not allowed to shoot underwater. I think we all agree that games need some abstraction, and something like this helps people playing the game think "Hey, this gun's not that great, but it still works well underwater. I should include a few for those scenarios where it comes up so I can still have some shooting".


Light diffraction makes ranged combat underwater a limited-range affair anyway, even if you have really good light sources to work with.  Maybe restrict to LoS to 12" tops, going down from there in poor light and/or murky water.
Yeah, I did think/consider this to be fair. I assumed that given the play area size and the presumed (relatively shallow) depths of the underwater areas this could be handwaved for LOS in general, and then tie smaller ranges to specific weapons.

Another consideration I briefly had was to have water depth/pressure factor into things, but with that sort of stuff the rules can easily get cumbersome quickly for little gameplay (i.e. fun) benefit.

Really, I think for something like this, any penalty needs to have a balancing benefit; otherwise such rules just build up and drag the game down without adding anything to the players' fun.

You could make your terrain even more dynamic if some of it floats.  Wooden platforms (maybe a chunk of a ruin's floor) that could act as impromptu rafts, or a beached ship or submarine.  As the water rises they stay at the top, which is great for staying dry until they smash into the ceiling and squash anyone riding on them.  Or maybe they've got anchors or similar tethers that will let them rise partway but then get dragged under unless someone cuts them free?
A great idea, as long as it's kept simple! Otherwise, it might lots of book keeping. I do like it though.  :)

Offline Chief Lackey Rich

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Re: Toying with an idea, input wanted…. Underwater Frostgrave scenarios?
« Reply #37 on: September 27, 2021, 05:09:39 PM »
Anyway, back tot he topic at hand.
Interesting, I didn't realise it was such a difference, although I suppose it makes sense - a bit like shooting an arrow from a bow underwater?

Not quite as bad, I think.  Bows and water don't mix at all well without modern synthetic materials and even then getting them wet will change the way a (say) nylon bow string works, nor will wet fletchings help an arrow's flight any.  Historical archers weren't as bad off as early gunpowder weapon users were but a good heavy rain still left them very unhappy campers.  That said, bows work okay at short range across the air-water interface, hence bow-fishing being a thing.

IME spearguns fired in air don't perform anywhere near as well as the countless cheesy murder mystery shows where some poor sap gets skewered seem to indicate.  :)  You could certainly kill someone with one, but you need to be close.

Quote
Notwithstanding, I was more leaning towards making (for example) spearguns short ranged, but unaffected by water; all other ranged weapons would be either severely penalised or not allowed to shoot underwater. I think we all agree that games need some abstraction, and something like this helps people playing the game think "Hey, this gun's not that great, but it still works well underwater. I should include a few for those scenarios where it comes up so I can still have some shooting".

I'd lean toward spearguns (or their fantasy equivalent - Crossbow of Poseidon or something?) having about a 12" range underwater and requiring a reload like a crossbow, perhaps with the same damage bonus (the projectile is pretty big even if it moves slower).  Maybe take a -2 to shoot above water with the same range?  Not great, but given how little shooting FG generally has it's better than nothing.  Might want to let them replace a bow or crossbow on a soldier, or maybe allow any soldier to carry one in their sole item slot?  Probably need to limit the number a single crew can take for the latter though, unless you want the game to feel more like Stargrave.

Offline fastolfrus

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Re: Toying with an idea, input wanted…. Underwater Frostgrave scenarios?
« Reply #38 on: September 28, 2021, 01:46:29 PM »
Of course the other setting rather than a difficult to pronounce Atlantisgrave might be the harder to spell R'lyehgrave...
Gary, Glynis, and Alasdair (there are three of us, but we are too mean to have more than one login)

Offline jon_1066

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Re: Toying with an idea, input wanted…. Underwater Frostgrave scenarios?
« Reply #39 on: September 29, 2021, 09:20:12 AM »
An underwater setting has two main issues (whilst sounding amazingly cool)

1. Rules modifications to represent the underwater environment
2. Scenery and physical representation of the underwater environment

The two are obviously linked but the crux for me is in effect altitude.  If you imagine the underwater environment as being akin to a flight game then anything that can swim also has to have altitude otherwise what is the point of the 3D environment. 

If you use a flight stand of some description then you have two distinct sets of characters - those that can swim freely and those that plod on the bottom.

Ranged combat effectively disappears as no above air weapons will work underwater much beyond normal spear thrust range. 

How characters can "breath" underwater could be a fun factor in the games.  eg if it is a spell or mechanical.  If a spell it can be dispelled.  So ranged combat and fireballs are replaced by dispelling the opponents Magic Gills.  Obviously a character won't drown straight away so the other wizard has time to try and reapply the spell.

Armour on swimming characters will be non existent so combat will be more deadly if hit but many weapons won't work so you are down to daggers and spears/tridents.

So you will have armoured plodding characters tramping around the bottom, lightly armoured swimmers moving much faster and able to access all the different levels but once encumbered with gold they will struggle to swim freely.  Chuck in some denizens (sharks attracted by blood?) that will be both armoured and fast.  Can the wizards also get some friendly dolphins on side or summon a sea spirit?

Slower movement and limited ranged combat means you could play on a smaller board so can lavish more attention to your scenery. 

Good luck - sounds like it could be fun. Keep us posted.

Offline Chief Lackey Rich

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Re: Toying with an idea, input wanted…. Underwater Frostgrave scenarios?
« Reply #40 on: September 29, 2021, 01:53:47 PM »
This is a little tangential, but I stumbled over this rather nifty idea for a small underwater setting on a roleplaying blog at thought it was worth sharing:

https://ancientvaults.wordpress.com/2021/09/28/new-encounter-bone-lake-trading-post/#comment-17268

If nothing else I like the concept as an explanation for how you're breathing underwater, since you're all skeletons for the duration of your swim and skellies don't need air, right?  Whether it'd be worth doing your whole warband over with skeleton heads and bony hands is a little debatable, though.  :)

Sure seems like the kind of weirdness Felstad is supposed to be full of, at least going by the little snippets of fluff McCullough's written.

Offline Grumpy Gnome

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Re: Toying with an idea, input wanted…. Underwater Frostgrave scenarios?
« Reply #41 on: September 30, 2021, 06:52:08 AM »
Rich, that is a clever bit of lore… but yeah, doing skeleton versions of every character is a bit daunting.

As a bit of an aside, I just saw this thread over on the Dwarven Forge forums with a brilliant concept presentation for an underwater terrain set up.

http://forum.dwarvenforge.com/viewtopic.php?f=62&p=203123&sid=c158730738a5c00b5b51e16fd162c7da#p203123

Expensive but beautiful.
« Last Edit: September 30, 2021, 07:00:58 AM by Grumpy Gnome »

Offline Major_Gilbear

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Re: Toying with an idea, input wanted…. Underwater Frostgrave scenarios?
« Reply #42 on: September 30, 2021, 08:16:01 AM »
@ GG:

Looks like a nice setup in that link! You could probably do a cheaper version yourself with some Hirst Arts moulds quite easily, and then just get some 3D printed corals and little details to dress it up. :)

Offline Chief Lackey Rich

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Re: Toying with an idea, input wanted…. Underwater Frostgrave scenarios?
« Reply #43 on: September 30, 2021, 11:56:50 AM »
Rich, that is a clever bit of lore… but yeah, doing skeleton versions of every character is a bit daunting.

A bit, although I admit I've done crazier things.  Played in a Werewolf the Apocalypse game back when where I did minis for all five forms of my character (some pretty heavily converted) and got about 60% of the way along on doing the same for a couple of the other players (on commission) when the game up and folded on me due to GM burnout.

Quote
As a bit of an aside, I just saw this thread over on the Dwarven Forge forums with a brilliant concept presentation for an underwater terrain set up.

http://forum.dwarvenforge.com/viewtopic.php?f=62&p=203123&sid=c158730738a5c00b5b51e16fd162c7da#p203123

Expensive but beautiful.

That's rather nice, but pricey as you said.  I lean toward aquarium dressing for underwater terrain, it's frequently on sale cheap and generally has a nice degree of verticality to it even if many pieces are a bit impractical for minis use and the scale is often bonkers.

There's also the Deep Wars scenery range, which is being made and sold by Dark Sword Miniatures for Antimatter Games these days.  Not cheap either, but some really nice stuff.  They've also been (ahem) dipping their toes in STL files for home printing, which might be helpful and more economical.

https://www.darkswordminiatures.com/product-category/miniature-lines/deepwars/

https://www.darkswordminiatures.com/product-category/stl-files-3d-printable/stl-scenery/underwater-scenery/

Offline SotF

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Re: Toying with an idea, input wanted…. Underwater Frostgrave scenarios?
« Reply #44 on: October 01, 2021, 02:13:50 AM »
For underwater terrain, one relatively cheap option is to look for sea creature/sea animal playsets. They often have a LOT of very interesting bits and pieces that work really well for underwater terrain.

Also, if you look for the rougher lava rock, it works great as coral reef structures if you glue it together

 

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