Feng Shui 2 second printing - rules changes

Going through the PDF of the second printing (thanks for putting it up on DTRPG!), and I've already found my first functional rules change (rather than clarification).

In v1 through v1.4, it was explicitly stated that characters could take actions that cost 3 shots or less in the final three shots of a sequence without worrying about the book-keeping. Now, in v2, on p101, that exemption has been explicitly removed, and any action that overflows the shot counter will incur an initiative penalty in the next sequence.

What do people think about this?

And what other substantive changes (rather than clarifications and spelling corrections) have you encountered, and what do you think of them?

That's an interesting rule change for the cost of actions, @dancefloorlandmine

I'm comparing the text from v2, pg 101, and v1.4, pg 101. I'm not sure how I feel about this change. I'll need to experience it in actual play to see how it affects the flow of the game. On first impression, it seems to not have a substantial affect on actions. A -1 or -2 modifier to the Hero's next Sequence initiative. I'll have to see how it plays out.

I think I prefer the new method as GM. In theory it seems as if the change slows high shot characters just slightly balancing the spotlight a little more and putting more of an emphasis on low shot character decisions as they set the tempo going into the next sequence.

I'm not sure if that was intentional or not. That was the original rules from 1.1 for the shots and it looks as if the archetypes are missing some errata as well. I just got the second print book and noticed as I was going over it. Goldenheart for the Supernatural creature is still on the Archetypes and Dim mak still shows allowable for the bosses on the Archetype sheet.

The short design notes on this is that the inconsistent handling of Initiative penalties (between standard actions, extra-long actions, and interrupts) at the end of a sequence was consistently confusing to players. We found that even experienced players were frequently forgetting the threshold at which interrupts start applying penalties instead of costing a shot.

When using the shot counter, we simply positioned tokens at 0, -1, -2 (even on counters where those were imaginary spaces) as characters wrapped their actions for the rounds and we found that the cognitive load was basically nonexistent. (Learning to jot down your penalty after your last action in a sequence had a slightly higher load, but not one that noticeably affected play.)

The change in balance is negligible. As borbetomagnus notes, it's unlikely to alter the number of actions a character gets in combat. But blindtesting suggested quality of play was consistently improved.

(The other option I looked at was eliminating the overflow penalty for extra-long actions, so that only interrupts were penalized. But that seemed to have significant balance effects, even if only because the perception of advantage caused players to "aim" their extra-long actions for the end of the round.)

Re: Other missed errors.... please ignore the heavy sighing coming from the direction of my computer.

So I had time to run a couple combats with the family over the weekend to try out the new rule change that places a penalty on the subsequent sequence for actions that "overflow" the shot counter in the current sequence.

We played through two fight sequences from Hong Kong Task Force Double Eight, "On the Dock of the Bay" and "Optional Fight: Flowers and Sparks" using the Maverick Cop, Magic Cop, and Karate Cop.

It worked fine during the fight sequences and I don't feel it had a major impact on the flow of combat nor in providing an unfair advantage to any hero. The Magic Cop used Banishment in the second sequence of "Flowers and Sparks" to attack featured foe Min. The initiative penalty seemed to be fair and easier on bookkeeping.