Posts tagged ·

dnd

·...

Four against One equals a fair fight

Comments Off

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?

Related Posts:

Comments Off

How to easily make d20 “gritty”?

Comments Off

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.

Related Posts:

Comments Off

Kiltayre: GM notes

Comments Off

We’re about 5 sessions into the arc. It’s based on a few concepts:

A group of small-town, quite naive, friends adventuring together.

A “destiny” for the characters.

Play-style that is about the characters actually making it to the end of the main-plot.

Dangerous environment that requires co-operation, resource-tracking and planning to survive.

 

Given these influences on the game the style is a bit of a departure from our previous games. They were more about action and tactics than about heroics and interplay. That is still a part of the game but it’s dominance in the fore of attention has waned. They players are well aware they are potent for their level but understand that they can encounter threats far beyond their own combat capability. However, as GM I’ve committed to keep the base meta-game in play. That is encounter levels/CR are within the stated guidelines of the core books.

 

In combination with the game-rule elements of Fate Points and the in-game phylacteries, the PCs have a very strong case for making it to the end of the main plot. The challenge is to keep them motivated to pursue the main plot. So far it’s working well.

 

Last session was a bit of a “haunting”. With strange noises, slamming doors that shifted which way they opened, and the “ghost” in the crypt. Although the end of the game had them pointed straight back at the crypt it was great mental cliff-hanger (IMO) and it seemed to have the effect on the players’ faces.

 

Next session the grand plot will start to become visible to the players. Hopefully it will really push their buttons and get them motivated even more. For me, if an RPG is not about emotions then it is only about tactics and one may as well play miniature war-games instead.

Related Posts:

Comments Off

Shields in d20: alternative mechanics

Comments Off

Shields are great – particularly when your opponent doesn’t have one. There’s a few ways to better model this in d20-based systems (like DnD, OGL, SRD, etc).

 

1. Instead of the shield’s AC bonus you can use the shield to “soak” damage. Convert the shield’s AC bonus to Damage Reduction. You become easier to hit but harder to damage. This is the willingness to take a hit on the shield.

 

2. Forfeit the AC bonus of the shield. Instead make a roll to “soak” the damage with the shield if you are struck. In v3.x roll vs. a DC of 10 + Opponent’s BAB + weapon specialization (and the like). The shield-wielder adds their BAB + shield specializations (and the like). Each point of success reduces the damage by an extra point.

Eg. DC is 19. Roll a total of 21. Reduce damage by 3 (19, 20, 21).

 

2a. Shields can be given a maximum damage they soak before they “splinter”.

Eg. a buckler might be able to soak 15 damage before it splinters (is made useless).

 

3. When one has a shield and the opponent does not double the AC mod.

 

The point here is that with a little bit of thought shield function can be better reflected in any system.

(Image from: http://etc.usf.edu/clipart/58600/58671/58671_kite_shield.htm )

Related Posts:

Comments Off

Khara Thel d20?

Comments Off

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.

Related Posts:

Comments Off