DDMv3 Alpha

Hi DDMers.

As you know, we've been trying a more comprehensive approach to DDM that will eliminate corner cases, clarify what a power is, clarify what an act is, and even an attack, for those bizarre corner cases that crop up from year to year. This can help to guide exactly how you manage your match in a game that now has well over 1500 distinct creature options for your sessions. I have no idea how many powers there are.

On top of this, I want to expand the game somewhat to permit players to use a style of play reminiscent of the 2003-2008 era. I took the opportunity to balance a few things, Nobody likes not rolling dice, and so I think it was important to have options to attack even invisible creatures. Pits are less anemic with the new Hanging status, but not the lethal-creature eaters they were in the spring of 2008.

The core of the game is the same. Many things are simply spelled out in more exact terms.
The biggest changes are streamlining of some common conditions (like petrification), new rules for mounts, and a significantly major role for minor actions. (Physician, heal thyself...)

Its not final. Everything won't make the cut, and some things will be delegated to a future publication.
But the more we include here, the better for writing the next books.

For your feedback:

DDMv3 Alpha.

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tried's picture
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An open alpha is not really my style. But this is a big thing. I want to get it right, and make sure that folks agree with my vision for the game. Not constantly expanding, but with enough core rules that options can be written quickly and easily, scenarios are quick to write, and we can offer a game that is somewhere between OE and RE when we want to bring everyone together. (flavor of OE with the Flow of RE).

I also want a game that supports tournament play, rare as it currently is.

Ira's picture
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I think we've seen from the success of the design contests that the community has a huge amount to add. I'm sure the final v3 rules will be better with more eyes on them earlier rather than later.

Since I expect we'll get a variety of feedback, it will be valuable to keep that feedback organized. It's great to post your thoughts in this thread directly, but if you want to get into the nitty-gritty and give more targeted feedback, you can using the Comment feature on this google doc:

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1fS_8ApQ6Krm6uPMvehF-JneT5fJR7HcfEkG3...

Simply select the passage that you want to comment on, and then go the Insert menu -> Add Comment.

Note that the formatting of that document is still in progress, and some images didn't come through, etc. But, the core of the doc is there, and you can refer to the linked PDF above if you're wondering about anything.

As Dwayne noted, this is an early Alpha where things are still rough around the edges!

skyscraper's picture
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Cool! I look forward to reading this.

Is it possible to have a Word version (assuming Word was used to type it) of the rules? Typos and other corrections are easier to correct directly in Word, and all modifications can be made apparent for you to see all suggested modifications easily. This also makes it much easier for you to review instead of having to find page/paragraph/line numbers to find a word containing a typo, for instance. Unless you wish for an later version for this kind of microscopic review.

Comments on rules and other macroscopic issues can be posted in the Google doc.

skyscraper's picture
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Can you discuss what is the intent of (Attack + Minor) for Charge?

Perhaps it is to prevent Dazed creatures from charging? Then would restriction in Dazed work similarly?

Perhaps it is for future creature design?

What are your thoughts about the existing creatures that have minor actions (e.g. healers) that will now be restricted in their use of these minor actions during a turn where they wish to charge? (e.g. the Earth Shujenga)

Reading the reasons by the rules desginers will help me review relevantly.

tried's picture
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I think they would be more restricted in charging.
To be honest, charging healers is not particularly a big problem in any match I've played.

This mechanic will limit charges insofar as you will have to plan them more in advance (as in OE).
Charges are crazy flexible in the current game, and perhaps just a bit too good.
Consider what it does to, say, the Drow Scout, which is currently thought to be toooo good.

Other thoughts:
The loss of charge as an option for the Dazed was a point of debate.
Still not certain I am happy with it, but I think it will influence the meta the way I want it to go.
The increased importance of other minor action powers will make for interesting choices.
It does provide a lot of room for future design, as do most of the new conditions, the new mount rules, etc.

Ira's picture
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Skyscraper, if you use the Comment feature in google docs, you can add specific comments/suggestions that way, just like MS Word.

skyscraper's picture
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Okay Ira, I should have looked before commenting. Thanks.

Dwayne: thanks for the reply.

I'll reserve additional comments to after reading the full ruleset. I wanted to hear what you had to say because, well, I'm curious Smile But you hint at other uses for minors, so I'll read on before discussing.

skyscraper's picture
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I've done a first look-through, without reading every word yet. Cool - stuff - guys! A lot of small innovations, many of which sound nice.

*Edited to remove comments, now embedded in the document.*

skyscraper's picture
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I've read the entire Alpha rules.

Firstly, congratulations Dwayne and Ira, on a very nice set of rules updates for the DDM game.

I will provide some comments, in the Google Doc (or perhaps here sometimes, for discussion), for your consideration. I realize that you both (and many others) are much more knowledgeable than I am in this game, and my questioning, recommendations, critisism, are meant to be constructive and are based on my humble, limited knowledge and understanding. Take what you will, ignore what you want; and I will be glad for any correction or erroneous interpretations that I might have made, or to discuss any of my suggestions.

At first read, many clarifications appear appropriate to address the ambiguous elements of the previous version.

I also like many of the new elements introduced into the rules.

I will be providing some feedback into the rules themselves, gradually.

Ira's picture
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Skyscraper, if you don't mind, please embed your comments on each of the features you mentioned into the doc itself. Link again:

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1fS_8ApQ6Krm6uPMvehF-JneT5fJR7HcfEkG3...

That way, when we're going through the doc, we'll get to the Immobilized section and see "Why doesn't this also cause -2 attack if Slowed causes -2 attack?" And then we can respond directly to that, and not lose track of anything.

Thanks!

skyscraper's picture
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Okay.

Laurian's picture
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So far I have read parts of V3. It is very well done, the rules are much clearer and easier to find. I also like most of the changes and the increased role of the minor actions. Great work!

I agree with Skyscraper that some minor changes cause trouble while they do not improve the game (-2 attack slowed, Conceal 10 / 11, Dazed now grants combat advantage only to adjacent enemies).

That dazed creatures cannot Charge is a major change, but I see the reason behind it and I agree with it.

The requirement to use also a minor action for a Charge is a significant nerf of almost all creatures with minor actions which were designed prior to V3 - "Ragnara Ethereal Hunter" came first to my mind. I am not sure whether this a good idea.

Following question concerning "Aimed Attack" and "Attack Unseen Enemy":
What happens when the "Elf Stalker" uses "Twin Strike Bow" (R: sight, 2 attacks, +10 vs Ac, 5 damage each) with one of these powers?

1. He can make only one attack instead of two(what I assume)
2. He can make two attacks
3. He cannot use one of these attacks with Twin Strike Bow because the text in V3 refers to a single attack and Twin Strike Bow is an attack action with two attacks and therefore cannot be selected with Aimed Attack or Attack Unseen Enemy.

tried's picture
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The correct answer should be 2.
You use the attack with the new Power - just like you could make two basic attacks with a charge.

skyscraper's picture
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Hmm. I would have thought the same thing as Laurian, i.e. #1.

For me, the confusion comes from the wording of Aimed Shot, Attack Unseen Enemy (and Charge) powers: they require you to use an attack action + minor action, but allow you to make a Ranged Attack attack (or Basic Melee Attack attack). The v3 rules define that attack actions allow use of attack powers that in turn allow one or more attacks. I was under the impression in reading V3 that you voluntarily restricted the use of Charge, Aimed Shot and Attack Unsees Enemy to a single attack.

If that was not the intent, then does this post that you made Tried, not suggest that Aimed Shot, Attack Unseen Enemy and Charge should then say "use a Ranged Attack attack power" (to make one or more attacks) or "use a Basic Melee Attack attack power" (to make one or more attacks) instead of "make a Ranged Attack attack" or "make a Basic Melee Attack attack"?

Moraturi's picture
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I will be late to this discussion. I should have some comments in a week or so but my other life is in the way right now.

Laurian's picture
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Tried - thanks for the clarification!

This is the best solution gamewise; only the wording in the rules could be clarified to "attack power" - as Skyscraper said.

matelkobb's picture
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hi. nice work with new rules.

but Smile

i don't like note on page 11 about warband building

"Note, however, that unless the card explicitly says that it allows Good and Evil in the same warband, the default rule that you may not have Good and Evil in the same warband is in effect. For example, a card that simply said “All elves are legal in your warband” would not allow both good and evil elves to be included in the same warband. Both are legal, but since the power doesn’t specify that good and evil are legal, that rule trumps. "

for example:

LORD SOTH - Warband Building: All non-Good Undead creatures
are legal in your warband.

COUNT STRAHD VON ZAROVICH, VAMPIRE - Warband Building: All Undead creatures are legal in your warband.

question:
what is different between All non-Good Undead and All Undead with this note?
they are evil both.

skyscraper's picture
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Hi Matelkkobb,

There is no difference between Soth and Strahd in its application.

The newer cards now all specifically address this, for example by stating "Elves of any faction are legal in your warband". This still does not break the good/evil rule, i.e. you still can't have both good and evil elves in the warband.

Old cards are not always that specific, and this is the reason for this rule note.

Ira, Dwayne: with some background, the warband building note is obvious for those who are aware where that comes from. Perhaps it could be clarified in the rules to mention both that (1) unless state otherwise, warband building allows to pick creatures from any faction, while (2) not allowing to break the good/evil restriction. (As opposed to only stating #2.) (Please ignore, upon inspection, this is already clearly stated in V3.

matelkobb's picture
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thanks for reply Smile i get it but i still don't like it Big smile

"Elves of any faction are legal in your warband" this is not good example. its not talking about Alignment so its absolutely clearly u can't mix good and evil. But in case of Soth and Strahd must be a reason for all non-good undead and all undead.

So its a big change in the rules i think.

skyscraper's picture
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Hi Matelkobb, I understand your point.

However, the exception-based rule states the order of precedence of cards vs rule text. The following is DDM RE 2011 Beta rules, but they are repeated in V3 also:

1. Permissive rules on cards.
2. Restrictive rules in the Battle Rules.
3. Permissive rules on cards that explicitly break restrictive rules.
4. Restrictive rules in card text.

Where the greater the number, the higher up on the hierarchy the rule is.

In this case, you have:

a) base rule in the Battle rules:

"Each creature in your warband must belong to the faction you chose."

This is the base rules assumption. All creatures must belong to a same faction.

b) Permissive rule on the text card:

"All Undead creatures are legal in your warband."

This is a permissive rule on the card text. It is located at #1 in the hierarchy. It trumps the base rules assumption, the same way that a creature might take an extra attack action or an extra move action where it is normally only allowed one (the examples given in the rulebook). So, per this card text, you may have creatures of any faction in your warband.

c) However, you still have a restrictive rule in the Battle rules:

"Good and Evil creatures may not be included in the same warband"

The "may not" text is what positions this as a restrictive rule. This is #2 above. It is higher up in the hierarchy, and consequently it trumps the permissive rule, but only with regards to alignment.

Now, I agree with you that the warband building text of Soth and Strahd is confusing. The reason why this is the casse, is because the cards are old. New cards address this, and I know that it is a project of the guild to update all old cards to new card format, correcting this kind of incongruity while doing so. In time.

Also, please note that the rule note you mention in V3, has been an existing ruling for a long time now and has been used as such in its application in V2.

matelkobb's picture
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thanks for explanation i get it better now Smile

it was really confusing and i think changing text of the cards is batter way then making unbreakable rules on any position in hierarchy Smile cause in all games with cards the card can change the rule in specific case. so the wording of the text is a key.

thanks a lot Smile

tried's picture
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The reason we need the rules is because DDM has so many powers, on so many creatures, that interact in so many possible ways....

Really, its pretty amazing.

There needs to be an ultimate way to determine which rules take priority in a given situation.

matelkobb's picture
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yeah i understand this Smile it was not offense against your work. its pretty hard make everytink work in this number of creatures Smile and more comming. You doing good job there Smile thank u all.

bakterius's picture
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Thankyou for new rules. I asking for other play formats.. nowhere i see 500 epic format. Will be in optional rules or 500 epic is gone? Interresting changes in dazed and slowed conditions. Helples adjacent can shoot ranged attack and crited automatic and nonadjacent creature with reach 3 must throw +4 attack?

tried's picture
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Formats will be included.
500/8 will be a supported, but secondary format.

The helpless rules aren't really changing from what they are now....

There are many parts that will be simplified, while keeping the same structure.
Ira and I just redid mounts this morning, for example.

skyscraper's picture
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I think that one of the strengths of DDM is to allow custom formats.

I would encourage the Guild to consider distinguishing the rules, in which any format can be identified, from card design where one format can be prioritized but all formats can still be considered, and from the tournament scene, where restriction to some or even a single format may be considered.

For example, I am personally a fan of 300 and 400 point games but my play groupd and myself have played some 150, 200, 300, 400, 500 and 1000 point games, with anything from 4 to 12 creatures.

That said, I understand that card design may be made with some specific formats in mind, specifically the 200 point format for balance purposes. I also understand that the Guild is the same for rules and tournament organization and that it might have a single agenda. I simply voice my personal preferences, namely to keep all types of custom formats in mind when designing rules or cards, in the hopes that the message will be heard. While a strong look towards 200 can be had when designing cards in particular, perhaps knowing that some players play something else can incite the desginers to think about those other formats too.

I know that I recently started to play with another member that visits these distinguished forums (whose identity will be kept secret *cough*Flipp*cough) and he mentioned also having varyied formats when playing with his usual play group. So I might well not be alone Smile

There you go! Smile

skyscraper's picture
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I've added/removed/amended my comments in the Google document that Ira provided. If you wish, you can consult newer comments.

Cheers,

Louis

Laurian's picture
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I have read the full document. Excellent work and also very inspiring! Overall a great improvement for the game.

In addition to my previous comments I have the following questions / remarks (Google docs does not work on my PC):

page 5: Epic Format is missing
page 11 / page 45: warband Building and duplicate powers. I assume that warband chaining ist also under the new ruleset impossible, but this could be made more explicit
page 15/16: creatures act phase: These are the only passages I find very difficult to understand - why not just say "starting player activates one creature on the first turn of a round, afterwards every player activates two creatures".
pages 24 /25: aimed attack and attack unseen enemy needs the clarification "use a r attack power"
page 24: aimed attack: can only be used when no enemy is within 5, so how could it provoke opportunity attacks?
page 29: cover vs. area attacks: Who chooses squares? I assume the attacker
page 34: Invisible - Duration: invisible instead of bloodied
page 36: Hanging - Dazed like state: hanging instead of confused
page 40: does forced movement provoke opportunity attacks?

I would support Skyscrapers proposal to add an overview / a table with all new minor actions Smile

skyscraper's picture
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I've re-read yesterday the V3 rules on ridge lines and ridge terrain. They came out more clearly this time, and apart from one question I had, I think they are fine (contrarily to my initial impression that they were too complex).

I'm curious about the actual application: will an updated Gazetteer be issued, where some ridge lines (including cliff lines) and ridge terrain appears (e.g. on Market Square)? And will the cool Thieves Quarters map then become legal? That would be awesome. I assume the buildings would then have a cliff line corresponding to their wall, and a ridge line to their apex?

Market Square could be modified to including similar stuff?

That will make cool spots for snipers? Smile

And... what happens when you are on either side of a cliff, i.e. two creatures each on the roof of a building facing the roof of the other creature's building? The rules presently suggest, if I understand them correctly, that LOE or LOS could not be traced between the two, even though each is on the high side of respective cliff lines.

Would climbing per cliff line rules, only be allowed where a ladder is? Or, would climbing be allowed anywhere, but the ladder allows to skip the movement penalty for climbing?

This should be fun in any event Smile

What are the plans in this regard?

skyscraper's picture
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I've proposed alternate Mounted Rules. Please see the Google doc.

skyscraper's picture
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Changed a few details about the suggested alternate mounted rules. Now the following trio of powers is suggested:

Quote:
Spur (new power): During each rider’s turn, riders can replace their move action with a move action by the mount.
Burdened (new power): the mount cannot take more than one move action per turn, except where special powers allow it. Since charging is not a move action, the mount can move and charge on its turn, and the rider can also move (with the mount) and charge on its turn. I.e. this power prevents replacing an attack action with a move action either on the mount’s or the rider’s turn.
Minor actions from riders can be used to Focus Move or Charge as usual during the riders’ turns, even if the mount is the one doing the moving. A charge during the rider’s turn comes from the rider of course.

What I see as likely consequences of this:

a) the mounting could to occur on round 2 on large maps, to allow a double-move on round 1. I kind of like this.
b) the mount cannot double move, and then further move another time to have the rider attack at triple distance (per my previous rule proposition).
c) the rider can still move before it attacks, as does the mount, which IMO grants more flexibility and mobility to the mounted unit.
d) Since the mount and the rider can both move and charge on their turn, they still keep interesting mobility. However the opponent has some control over this mobility: if they are able to prevent a charge, the mounted mount is limited to a single move action per turn.

Feedback?

(Other rules suggestions for mounts/riders are not further proposed in the doc.)

tried's picture
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Unlikely to use burdened, as the main reason to use a mount is mobility. (which was the reason it was in the rules section generally related to movement).

I see the alpha as an epic fail, that has several rules that need to be readdressed despite good intention.

skyscraper's picture
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Epic fail is overdoing overstating it a bit. Smile

Re: the mount. The mount gets to move on his and his rider's turn. So the rider benefits from a move on his mount's turn, plus a move on his. Plus a possible move+charge on mount's turn, and move+charge on the rider's trun. Seems mobile to me no? Only restriction is on double-moves, to avoid the mount double moving, then moving again on rider's turn before rider attacks, which seems to opens to the door to excessive mobility.

skyscraper's picture
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(I think "overstating" would have been a better word than "overdoing".)

Dwayne, what do you believe is not workable in the proposed Alpha rules? I'd be happy to participate in a discussion on them if you accept to indulge me Smile

Also, what is being considered to be kept in terms of new mechanics, such as minor action usage? If you point to some, I'll playtest those when I play games, including one game that I'm playing tonight.

tried's picture
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Some are worried that the Score option will break the 100 point format.
Since most VAs on small maps are themselves small, I can't see it happening.

/d

skyscraper's picture
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We played a 200-8 game tonight with the new rules. It went well. I doubt that the new rules changed the outcome of the game in any perceptible way.

Aimed Attack was the most frequently used new rule option. At least half a dozen attacks with +1 (no enemies within 5) were launched. It required repositioning the archers about for half of those attacks.

Score was used to score about 6 VPs, including the game winning victory points - although the game's outcome would have been the same without them 1-2 creature turns later.

Roar was used 2 times to heal 5 HPs. But I think we forgot about it about 2 other times.

Recover was not used (I'm unsure if we had any save ends durations at all).

No other new rule was implicated in this game that I can recall (we had not pits, for instance).

*************

Re: Score minor action. It could be limited to a single use per creature turn; but you score 1% of VPs (rounded down) for that game whenever you use it. I.e. for 50 point games, Score is not an option. For 100 point games, you can score at most 1 point per creature turn. For 200 you can score 2 points; for 500 point games, you can score 5; and for 1000 point games, you can score 10.

Laurian's picture
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Dwayne, I suppose you do not mean "epic fail" serious - the Alpha rules are overall very good, only very few parts of the text need to be rewritten (in my opinion: "Creatures Act Phases" and Mount rules)and some minor rules questions must be solved. Nobody would expect an Alpha ruleset to be perfect.

The Alpha rules add nice new mechanics to the game but do not change the substance - for me the best way.

I like "Score" - it makes Victory Areas more important and enhances the strategical aspect of the game. Gladiator is limited to 2 creatures per warband - so you can not score too many VP with "Score" (max. of 6 per round when both creatures use all their three actions to score - while you get 5 Points for occupying the VA. In 200 your 8 creatures can score 24 Points, while you get 10 Points regular. So I see no issue with Score and Gladiator).

I hope we will see a Beta Version soon Smile

Wardude's picture
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Thanks to the team for your hard work on making a new rules book. I've had issues with the old rules book for some time and am glad to see there are now changes. I made house-rules for use in my own little group that I used to have to address them. It'll be interesting to compare my house-ruled edition of the old rules with this new rules book to see if anything similar to any of my changes wound up becoming official. Smile

hblasto's picture
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404: File Not Found

I cant download.

hblasto's picture
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Hello from Russia. I do not know if you able to see new/added comments in doc file, just in case I repeat them here.

I've always been sad, when minis in the melee get back and charge each over and over. You do the shift and attack, your opponent moves back a little and again crashes into you doing the charge. Or go round the corner and make a charge. You can not leave and not be charged today. The retreating creature must be able to avoid the beeng charged(if both have same speed ofc) .

Why not make a charge as "full round" action, in terms of ddm - require standart AND move action. Thus, we could avoid being charged on the round the corner, taking a tactically correct position on map, hiding behind obstacle.

I propose to make the bonus charge dependent on the number of squares passed, but not more than three(for example). 2 squares +1 attack bonus, 4 squares +2, 6 squares +3.

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Who can name the number of miniatures that go into the competitive warband? What is their percentage of the total number of released minis?
I dream that the new rules will open for me new tactics, new builds, new minis, which previously were gathering dust on the shelf.