Beta Rev

So we’re one week into the beta phase of Technoir and already I’m getting some great feedback. You can see some of it on Eldritch Fire Press and the Saint Louis Sprawl blogs. There’s also been a great buzz on twitter of people reading the beta and planning play sessions.

There’s also a review up already on Roleplaying News Russian. As the name implies, it’s a Russian-language blog. If you scroll down to the bottom of the post, you’ll see that the authors were gracious enough to provide an English translation of the review. The review is largely critical, but that’s exactly what I’m looking for right now: constructive criticism I can use to make Technoir better.

In the vein of making Technoir better, I’ve just updated the beta with some minor revisions.

Technoir Beta – 434KB

Here’s a rundown of the changes from the 11.05.07 version:

1. I’m playing with what happens when multiple dice from your roll match the highest result. Before it said that you add 0.1 for each match. But that implies that rolling a 5.3 has some meaningful effect over a 5.2. But it doesn’t. There was a suggestion on to have matches result in a notation like 5+. I like that, but then I have to explain what a 5+ means: that it beats a defense rating of 5 but not a 6. And the GM has to explain that to her players. My solution now is to say if you have one or more matches, you append a ‘.1′ to the result. So having three 5s is a 5.1 and so is having four 5s. Hopefully it comes across less mathy, but it’s still something I’m experimenting with. See page 69.

2. I’ve added rules for overwriting current adjectives when you inflict new adjectives. See page 75.

3. I’ve added examples to the Instigation chapter. They start on page 55.

4. There’s some minor typo fixes, wording changes, and formatting adjustments throughout.

Thanks to everyone who is taking part in the beta and spreading the word about it.

Leave a comment ?


  1. As the one who coined the 5+, I’m in favor of it. I think it makes perfect sense. 5+ is better than 5, but less than 6. 5 < 5+ < 6.

    I'm an accountant, number formulas like that make sense to me :p


  2. My worry is that 5+ could mean any number greater than 5. Often it’s thought to mean greater by whole numbers (like if 5+ people are coming for dinner). But I do agree that once explained, it’s pretty intuitive.

    There’s some explanation even for the .1 (just to note that it counts when comparing the number to the defense rating) but it’s pretty short. Though I am still hesitant about it sounding mathy. There’s no addition or subraction really in the mechanic. It’s just adding and eliminating dice and then looking for the highest result. I’d like to make sure something like that doesn’t make the mechanics sound more complicated than it is.

  3. Strange. I’m not sure, but it looks likt previously this “.1 per double” was a little easier to understand. Btw, isn’t having 3×5 better then having 2×5? Before it was 5.2 vs 5.1, now they both are 5.1 and so, equal?

  4. Hey, get your logic out of here! We don’t want it here! :p

    I never thought of it that way. Why not just say that two 5s beat one five and let that be that?

  5. Guns_n_Droids,

    You’re always rolling against a static number, their verb rating (or 4, for the odd cases). You’re never rolling against another roll, so there’s never a comparison of 5.1 vs. 5.2.


  6. GnD: That would be true except that there are never direct opposed rolls. Whenever you roll, you’re always rolling against a whole number—usually one of the target’s verb ratings. So you never have to compare one decimal number to another.

    EF: That’s the way it originally was way back when. But it turned out that I ended up having to explain that every time people rolled multiples. The .1 worked to solve a problem.

    I’m almost thinking now of ignoring multiples altogether. Either saying that attacker lose ties no matter how many multiples they roll or just say that attackers win ties and make the game more offensive.

  7. If you’re going to get rid of the doubles/triples/etc, I’d say defender wins ties. In my (limited) experience, the game is already geared towards offense wins.

  8. Strange. What about PC-to-PC contests, when both rolled more then move, e.g., and one rolled 5-5, and the other 5-5-5?

    Eldritch, don’t say bad things about Lady Logic in front of me! %)

    well, Jeremy, if you want, drop the multiples, I just thought they were cute. Your game.)

  9. PC vs PC works exactly the same way. PC1 rolls against PC2, that’s resolved. Then PC2 rolls against PC1.

  10. Each multiple could 1 to the highest roll (Silhouette style)

  11. Personally, I think multiples fill the same niche as rolling a natural 20 in D&D. It’s awesome, and makes you feel better about your roll. But does it really solve anything?

    In Technoir, however, rolling multiple 5s, for instance, is rarer than a nat 20. So should it be rewarded? Does it represent that little bit extra skill/luck/item quality/etc that makes it “worth more” than a single 5?

    As a player, I went HELLS YEAH! when I rolled multiples that made the difference between success and failure. However, in order to increase one of your Verbs, you have to fail. So in that regard, ignoring multiples are a good idea.

    There are just as many reasons to keep the multiple stack (either the ‘+’ or ‘.1′) as there are to get rid of it. I’m for it, personally, but it’s your game!


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