Saturday, June 29, 2013

Edition Wars

I first played 7E just over a year ago. I had not wish to change from 5E but when I changed I found that I, and my players, liked 7E better. We have never thought about going back to 5E, even though we always loved it. Really, it's not so very different a gaming experience, probably because the dominant factor is me as GM!

I play in a 5E game by skype and there are a few things I don't at all like - for example, having a 1 in 9 chance of a critical failure on a saving roll regardless of who skilled my PC is and how simple, relatively, the task is. The GM would be killing PCs all over the shop but that would ruin the game - failing a SR ends up not being a big deal and I think that is rather dull (and it is not the GM's fault - he is very good).

If I did prefer 5E, I'd have the same attitude to dT&T that I had to 7E - how very interesting, I hope it has lots of new ideas as that will be good reading and I don't mind at all what Ken puts in because I'm going to play 5E and add house rules to my taste.

Would I fret because it will blur things for new players? No, because I do not think even a perfect, updated, very pretty 5E book is going to have people throwing out their computer games.

I hope we have new editions every few years (we won't) because I like the debates :)

Whatever you play, may you long enjoy it! One woman's meat is another man's poisson....

Friday, June 28, 2013

dT&T Rules for Rogues

Piecing things together, I gather that all rogues are dextrous but some are luckier than others, some are smarter and some are more personable but none of them have their roguery talent based on their defining attribute.

I am wondering why I write so much about rogues...they feature in my games less than warriors and wizards. Maybe it's because I want them to be on a par with the other two...

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Under New Management

So what did the Wizards' Guild do once they had acquired the Rogues' Guild?

They slashed membership dues and cut teaching prices - very popular with rogues and wizards of Khaboom were in uproar.

Then the Wizards' Guild protested vigorously at public meetings but could not come up with any proposal that would stop rogues just teaching other rogues any spell for any price.

The city was on the brink of civil war with wizard vigilante squads searching after dark for rogues - who, of course, were highly competent at surviving after the sun went down.

Whatever next?

Saturday, June 22, 2013

The Wizards' Guild and the Rogues' Guild in the Great Walled City of Khaboom on the Kraken Continent

The Wizards' Guild provides free schooling in a magical lore principally as a means of providing social structure and order. They like being paid for spells but are not dependent on that source of income. They like wizards not to undercut them and they don;t officially like wizards teaching rogues spells but they accept that it is going to happen.

They like the Rogues' Guild because it brings order to those not in the Wizards' Guild who can do magic. They like control over rogues.

Recently in Khaboom, the Wizards' Guild backed the incumbent Mayor in his re-election campaign in return for him not interfering when they bought out the Rogues' Guild. Now the Wizards' Guild has subsidiary and pretty much a monopoly on magic in the city. The hold the equity and the membership fees the Rogues' Guild receives flows on to their coffers and they have the final say in Rogues' Guild regulations and bye-laws.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Only Cats Have 9 Lives

Yesterday's game gave rise to a new talent - calling birds. This soon developed into calling dragons - with disastrous results, although for one poor soul a bucket proved more deadly.

Master Bob was an elf who was born unlucky and he stayed unlucky. He hooked up with some desperate wanna-be heroes in the Karangahake Gorge and had spent the night holed up in a shack. When dawn came, things turned to custard.

A gang of kobolds attacked, with wizards capturing the others with HTP spells. Master Bob had not known them for more than 24 hours and felt no compunctions about fleeing. He ran through the forest, pursued for 2 hours by kobolds, and when he finally lost them, he came out onto  a road where he met 2 fairies and a centaur.

These were friendly enough but almost immediately turned and made for Mackay Town as fast as they could. Master Bob signed  started running again, following the centaur and the large, slow fairy, Bulky Boy.

No sooner had he set out after them but three tree spirits (with alligator jaws) sprang out and attacked. The centaur kept running while Bulky Boy HTP'd one, leaving Bob to fight two himself. He took a scratch and then set about them in earnest before centaur and fairy returned to pulp the spirits. stealing his glory.

Master Bob was loathe to be alone on the forest road so he asked the centaur for a ride - she agreed readily enough but Bob had no experience of riding and no saddle...his CON was down from a high of 6 to 5 and he soon found out that it was taking all the DEX and STR he could muster to hang on to the galloping centaur. He did well until his mount has to leap over dead bodies in the slaughter that was Mackay Town whereupon he came off, banged his head and lost another point of CON.

He decided to indulge in a spot of looting since everyone in the town seemed dead and broke into a candlemakers. Getting candles and matches was no problem but when he tried to break into the strong box he was bitten by a diseased rat in the thumb (CON now 3) and he decided that, rather than risk infection, he would cut his thumb off with his kukri...

The first blow was not very accurate but he he succeeded with the second (CON now 2) only to find the fairies had summoned dragons...who incinerated the shops in the town including the candlemakers. His leather armour was scorched off from his back and he took a fair roasting (CON now 1).

Master Bob was in a bad way. He crawled out of the shop and found a well which he flopped into to avoid the dragons and their fire storm. As (his) LK would have it, it was a long fall - but he took no damage. He doggy paddled for a while but then grew too cold and too tired. He tried climbing up the well wall but it was slippery and he fell back down (rolled 1 and 2, critical fumble, but kind GM gives no penalty).

He wondered where the rope and bucket were? Could he climb up the rope? Fortune was not smiling. With LK 7, he needed doubles for the bucket and rope to be within reach...another critical fumble! The well was hit hard by a dragon up above and the bucket unreeled horribly quickly, cracking poor Master Bob on the head (CON minus 1), who was knocked unconscious.

Drowning while unconscious was a comparatively painless ending to a truly miserable day for an elf who never actually made one LK SR in his adventuring career.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Levelling the Playing Field (with a Bulldozer)

There have many polarised debates where after listening to one point of view I'm swayed but then listening to the other side sways me the other way. Then I tend to go back to want I think/like. I'm swayed by the Deviadasi, Sligo and Cram ideas and comments but I think I will carry on with what 7E gives me because it gives a good game consistently - it ain't broke so I won't fix it.

For me, all rules are optional. You can call them paragons in the rulebook but I prefer warrior-wizards; you can put them in the optional section but if someone rolls up 12 or better on all 8 stats they can have a W-W. Actually, for all the settings we've done, we have precisely one W-W and that PC is not particularly special in terms of abilities - ok so he gets double armour protection and more dice for fighting and he can cast spells but he often isn't the biggest damage dealer and his CON can go to minus 10 just as easily as the next guy...

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

How Big Do The Monsters Need To Get?

Firstly, my apologies to Fang - the Excel spreadsheet paste isn't pretty. I have added the careers of Dworphie the Dwarf and Alphie the Elf and if anyone would like an emailed copy just let me know.

G'noll (Paul H) pointed out quite correctly that I am only looking at levels and that the attributes of 7E PCs tend to be better.

Moving on, here are two posts I made today on Trolhalla in response to two postings there -

Deviadasi said... " What would the MR of a monster need to be to challenge a party of three characters...

Let us suppose the warrior has a 6d6 sword and is L10 so gets 16d6 avg. 56 plus, say, 120 adds = 176; the wizard has enough WIZ courtesy of a battery and a staff to do, say, a L7 TTYF (I'm just going to multiply by 7) so 700 there; the rogue hits with the gun and does 10d6 avg 35 plus adds, say, 150 with DEX doubled (!) = 198 for a total of 233. That makes the warrior the poor relation of combat even with 1d6 extra per level, not just 7E's miserly 1 extra add. The grand total that the monster gets hit with is 1109. A monster with a MR of 1300 would get on average 1108.5 - phew! that's just too close to call :) Round 2 and the monster is down to 367 and will get 642 on average (because it loses no dice) - the monster creams the warrior will the rogue reloads and the wizard hides (the rogue's gun then backfires and kills her and the wizard - maybe).
For MR1300, I'd work out the average and probably roll a few dice, maybe times 1d6, and plus or minus it against the average - very little time, easy to run with. Mind you, I probably wouldn’t make this monster a sitting duck for the wizard or the rogue…

ForMarrkh Guh  Re: 7E game experience, I can see that because we do not play long campaigns but rather play one setting for maybe six or so sessions and then move off somewhere else with new characters, super advancement does not come into. We do pick up old characters again but settings are designed with them in mind, an outline story but with flexibility to move away from it fast if players and/or dice decree.
I am playing in a 5E game at the moment. Rapid rise to L3, then a slow down. I suppose when I’m up over 6,000 APs, I look forward to putting LK up by 8 but then I know it will be a slow crawl to L5 and it will just get slower and longer.
I like a variety of characters I neither want to play nor GM the same ones week after week. I am happy for players to make up a character with special abilities, not just brand new 3d6 attribute by attribute PCs (although it is nice to go back to that sort of game often). 
So, I’d say put 5E advancement in dT&T as an option and cater for those who play week in and week out campaigns with the same PCS. It would be sad not to cater for more than one type of game…

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Fang the Delectable advances to Level 2

It has often been suggested that 7E advancement is likely to produce heroes very quickly compared to the 5E system - I am far from convinced. I am playing a 5E game under a very experienced GM and my two wizards are pretty potent after 3 adventures and are both L3.

Below you will see how I imagine Fang might have advanced under 7E (I gave him average WIZ and SPD as he did not have these). It is clear that without kremm resistance that there is no reason to add to WIZ (unless you have a GM who likes to call for WIZ SRs). You might need to copy the details and paste them into a document.

APs gained Level STR-13 WIZ-10* INT-16 LK-10 CON-13 DEX-6 CHR-12 SPD-11* ADDS -2 APs spent APs in hand Comments
600 1

330 (13)
210 (9)

+2 540 60 Fang is desperate to increase DEX and also wants fortune

to smile on him occassionally; adds are now positive!

800 1

420 (16)
420 (13)

+6 840 20 Fang continues to boost LK and DEX - he is no longer

clumsy and can rely on fortune not to pick on him.

500 1 270 (15)

230 (13) +9 500 20 Fang boosts his other combat attributes - after 3 delves,

he is a very useful member of the party but still L1

750 1

130 (14) 270 (15) 250 (14)
+11 650 120 Fang continues to revel is great accuracy, etc and 

decides to keep 100 Aps in hand rather than boost WIZ

1000 2 150 (16)

680 (20)

270 (15)
1100 20 After 5 adventures risking life and limb, Fang finally gets

to L2! He gets an extra dice for his weapon and adds two

to SRs - now he can hope to make several L2 SRs and has

a good chance of surviving further adventures - fair

enough too as by now Fang is a member of the family

and much loved.

Ice Exile Goes Wandering

The Chimerae Group have just produced this:

Friday, June 14, 2013

Missile Weapons - A New Approach

Newly Developed House Rule

Key concepts:

1) No adds for missile weapons (too impersonal)

2) You can specify going for a kill shot (eg eye, heart) and that will generally be 2 levels higher than the straight ' to hit' DEX SR

3) Missing the kill shot does not mean you necessarily miss completely - either the GM rolls 1d6 to find which direction the missile strayed in or a LK SR can be called for

4) Once a kill shot has been sent successfully via the required DEX SR, the target may get a LK SR if L4 or higher for the kill shot to be slightly off target (this arises from L4 being the earliest level unlikely to be that of  a new character - dwarves and elves, etc with their kindred modifiers can easily start at L3)

5) Rationale for LK SR - powerful forces (eg wizard-gods) take an interest in heroes

6) the LK SR will involve the target making a higher SR on LK than the aggressor

7) for big battles, the GM can have group DEX and LK ratings for opposing forces

OK - we find that simple and pleasing...

New Model Army

As you twist the ring again, everything goes deathly quiet. Even your mind seems silent. You realise that you cannot move and then understand that this is nothing to be perturbed by as time is, for the briefest of moments, standing stock still...

During this rift in the fabric of the cosmos, some things do move: the neatly stacked dead bodies rise from their stone slabs, ghost-like grey faces betraying evident excitement at this quasi-life that has been granted.

Once all the corpses are on their feet, the power of movement returns to you. Donjonetta's jaw goes slack and you can see that her mouth really is quite capacious.

Do you want to:

1) Give a command to the zombies? If so, be specific.

2) Grab Donjonetta's hand and get out of here through the entrance the Necromancer exposed?

3) Twist the ring back the other way again?

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Raising the Dead

Rocknarrat -STR: 13 (26), DEX: 16, SPD: 11, CON: 13 (260, INT: 10, WIZ: 11, LK: 8, CHA: 12 - Level 2 in Rockrat form

That first twist was good! What will the twist to the left do? Donjonetta looks on with eager eyes as your fingers do the business on the Necromancer's ring...

Try a L1 SR on the average of WIZ and CHR (and we'll allow rounding up).

As she sees the ring move beneath your digits, the dwarf utters another imprecation to the largely uncaring Gristlegrim. She's on the verge of taking vows of chastity.

Monday, June 10, 2013

One Good Turn Deserves Another

Rocknarrat -STR: 13 (26), DEX: 16, SPD: 11, CON: 13 (260, INT: 10, WIZ: 11, LK: 8, CHA: 12 - Level 2 in Rockrat form

With the words of the great spirit Nick Cave Troll echoing about the chamber, Rocknarrat commits both himself and the quivering Donjonetta to one particular strand of the intricate and endless web of future possibilities.

The demon reaches down towards them, its malodorous maw a ravening black hole, seemingly sucking at them, its claws extended just as their lives seem to recoil, like a supernova retreating into neutron star state.

The demon swoops and plucks up the body of the Necromancer and the once formidable sorceress becomes nothing more than a bubbling soup of amino acids.

And then - the demon howls and its baleful eyes fix you with a look of such malignancy that both you and Donjonetta have to make a L2 SR on CON as the Guardian explodes into green goop, splattering corpses, walls and delvers with absolute equanimity.

'You done good!' spits the dwarf, wiping ichor from her beard. 'Now twist the ring the other way,' she urges. 'After all, one good turn deserves another...'

You will need to roll for Donjonetta's CON with modifier (I will compile her stats next time).

Sunday, June 9, 2013

You're Gonna Do The Twist

With elephantine graace and thunderous footfall, Donjonetta pulls off the stunt of her life and lands, with a perfect '10' held up by a watching Gristlegrim, by your side. She looks excitedly at your finger, seeing the ring ensconced thereupon.

'Which way you gonna twist it, Rockky? That 'thing' has just chewed up the only banshee I ever cared about - whatever you decide, no recriminations, no hard feelings. I put myself in your hands, Wiggy!'

The sword of Damocles is about to descend, either on your heads or upon that of the Guardian. The Scales of Injustice will not yo-yo about any longer - they are about to dliver their judgement and from that we will discover the future not just of this ill-matched pair but of our game...

Clockwise or anti-clockwise. May Solomonic wisdom be with you.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Heads You Win

'Oh, jolly well done!' yells Donjonetta as she tries to pull poor Siouxsie out of the clutches of the Guardian - futile given the banshee's astral body but she's not one to leave her friends to wither on the vine. The Guardian burps messily as the banshee fades and shuffles off whatever coil she had wouund herself round.

With the ring on your finger, your either indicating you're unavailable or you're ready to perform magic. As the metal jams down as far as it can go, the ring begins to glow with two arrowheads, one pointing left, the other (unsurprisingly) to the right. Could it be that the ring needs to be twisted? You betcha!

The Guardian takes a swipe at the plucky dwarfette, who is no gymnast but attempts to pull off a back flip in this confined space. You can roll up Donjonetta's DEX and try a L1 SR for her while you decide which way to lean magically if not politically.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Deep in the Mire

Rocknarrat -STR: 13 (26), DEX: 16, SPD: 11, CON: 13 (260, INT: 10, WIZ: 11, LK: 8, CHA: 12 - Level 2 in Rockrat form

Donjonetta has a moment of inspiration or is possibly touched by the hand of Gristlegrim. 'This sorceress must have some means of controlling that 'thing' she gasps, desperately searching the Necromance's pockets. 'Blast it!' she cries. 'Nothing!'

Then Siouxsie cottons on, shouting 'Look at her fingers!' as she flies at the demon, silently screaming in it's ear. The silence is good for you and also for the demon. Not so Siouxsie, alas. The demon swallows her whole and burps.

'Here!' yells Donjonetta. 'Catch!' as she rips off a ring and lobs it your way.

You need to make a L1 SR on DEX to catch the ring and then try a L1 SR on SPD to jam it on a finger before the Guardian can digest its snack.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Lies, Damened Lies and Statistics

Here are our ever-changing friend Rocknarrat's vital statistics -

STR: 13
DEX: 16
SPD: 11
CON: 13
INT: 10
WIZ: 11
LK: 8
CHA: 12

I shall put them at the head of every post. Now for a bit of sunshine - as a rockingly hard (and cool) rat, STR and CON are doubled!!

Now those extra rolls called for came out like this -


LVL 1 SR LK = 2,3 = 5 + 8 = 13 (doh - failure) - on no! not good...

however, we had to find out the glamorous (yes!) Donjonetta's LK...

3d6 = 3,3,6 = 12

 and then we needed her to go where Rocknarrat couldn't, the Palace of Good Fortune...

2d6 = 5,6 = 11

And so, the moral: if you can't be good, be lucky and if you can't be lucky, get a lucky friend.

Ringing in the Dead

Rocknarrat sees the chance to flee this charnel house as the others are absorbed by the solidifying demonic presence but is of good heart and casts his lot irrevokably with his new allies.

Donjonetta jumps up from the Necromancer and lobs a corpse at the apparition only to see the body shredded by the demon vortex that begins to pull at all of you. The lightweight (no weight really) Siouxsie is struggling to keep back from the compelling suction.

Make a L1 SR on LK.

Also - throw 3d6 (TARO) and 2d6 (DARO)

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Out of the Frying Pan and into the Fire

You execute the move with rare aplomb. There is a distinct sound of breaking teeth as Rocknarrat drives a stone rat deep down the throat of the unsuspecting Necromancer. There is barely time for her to gag or to realise that she has bitten off far more than she can chew before Donjonetta drops as a deadweight onto the sorceress. You jump backwards smartly as the sound of cracking ribs join with the dwarf's wild cry of 'Tulta munille!' [Look it up]

Things are not looking too bright for the Necromancer and they get worse when Siouxsie whispers something dark and murderous in her ear. You might think of checking her pulse, searching her pockets and all manner of sensible things but you are stopped in your tracks by the ashen look that falls across Donjonetta's visage.

She is looking behind her, behind you all and begins mouthing that same battle cry soundlessly as she takes in a shape coalescing in the mortuary. The banshee uses her 'have a nice day' voice to inform you both that Donjonetta has, regrettably, spoken the true name of the Guardian she told you of and has summoned it. That she did not mean to and only wanted to impress her chums may not cut that much ice...

It looks a tough ask for you to get the Necromancer out of the road and scarper but you could try to make an undignified dash for safety and hope your new mates can buy you some time. This time there are no choices - you need to make a decision that could be pivotal. What will Rocknarrat do now?

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Giving Her A Mouthful

A head emerges from the stonework. You can see blonde hair and something red and sparkly. Just before Donjonetta drops down with her death-splat flop, you see bright red lips parting and a tongue beginning to flicker. There is no noubt in your mind, there is no hesitation in your limbs and your synaptic linkages are crackling as you shove a stone rat hard and fast into the mouth of the Necromancer.

This calls for a L1 SR on DEX and a L1 SR on SPD. It is a precise attack and one you need to execute accurately before the boot is on the other foot.