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Four against One equals a fair fight

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It suddenly dawned on slow-old me that the meta-game premise for d20 in general is that four CRx vs. 1 CRx is a fair fight (for the four). Why? They will almost certainly win, barring terrible luck synchronising with the one’s bad luck, and lose very little resources. As soon as  you look at it the other way, say the PCs are the monsters and the NPCs the heroes, it becomes quite bizarre and truly gamist.

 

The assumption that many d20 players make is that all their encounters will be within the CR guidelines as presented in the DMG. This automatically prevents sandbox play if the GM adheres to that formula. If party of 4 level 1 characters goes deliberately hunting the great-dragon-sitting-on-treasure-mountain then the CR of the dragon has to be CR5 or less. What that does to the internal-causality of the world is nothing less than defenestrating.

 

Sure it’s preference and all that but basic logic shows it to be nothing more than an insurance policy against player death. If that’s the meta-game you want when you play why bother with rules of conflict at all, since ultimately the player has to win?

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How to easily make d20 “gritty”?

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d20 is designed, in a meta-game sense, for the PCs to end up as deific beings with manga-comic super abilities. That is great fun except when you don’t want those beings to be possible. One might say that d20 is the wrong system however I say it’s an okay system that is like learning blues on guitar. It lets you jam with anyone.

 

Gritty is just code-word for “dangerous”, or the possibility that you can die quickly in combat: kind of like real life. So here’s some options:

1) Hit points max out as Str + Con + Base Fort Save

2) Critical strikes automatically inflict maximum damage

3) Death starts at –1 HP.

4) Heal spells aren’t instantaneous – they’re overnight; thereby forcing them to be combined with rest.

5) Any critical strike (regardless of if you use 2 above) requires a Fort save of DC 10 + damage inflicted, or the target is stunned for 1 round.

 

And one can go on.

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The End of an Arc; the End of Hastus Rimechaille

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It’s been a long time coming; the end of this campaign. The mighty evil was defeated.

My character, Hastus Rimechaille, was a diplomat and tax-investigator He was very well-suited to the game  because of the influence of nobility on the plot. In combat-style he was somewhere between a duellist and a traditional rogue, but he was quick to talk in most situations.

Hastus was also my first character built with Eclipse that I gamed with at the table. He was not very optimised but did have a lot of presence when I gamed with him. I think the other players quite enjoyed Hastus or at the least found him an identifiable character. Hastus survived the battle with an ancient evill dragon god and finished the campaign at level-12. He is one of my most favourite PCs of all time.

 

 

imageWhat comes next though it that toughest of things: deciding what kind of game we all want to take part in.

Hastus Rimechaille, tax-investigator to the Duke of Karrakis and secret-agent of the King of Kubuldar

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Khara Thel d20?

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I’ve been resisting for a long time but it’s such a massive market to deny. After playing a bit of d20 (DnD) with the Eclipse: Codex Persona, I’ve found it fun for the first time in years. There are still some core ideas that I find rather silly and the spells tend to have far too great a range, but I’ve got it in my head that making Khara Thel for d20 would open it up to a much larger audience. It’s a lot of work, though, and I’ve got no idea how long it’ll take me to do.

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