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1994 Toyota Celica
Sep 11, 2008

by Nyc_Tattoo


I don't remember much from the dragonlance novels i read as a kid, but i dimly recall the minotaur empire being cool

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Everyone
Sep 6, 2019


Dragonlance minotaurs are basically Klingons with wooden pirate ships - so they are absolutely cool.

Warthur
May 2, 2004

WEIRD LOOKIN' DICK

Libertad! posted:

We know that as a deity Raistlin has the Evil and Magic domains, but little beyond that.
I guess it'd need to be homebrewed because it isn't one of the SRD Domains, but I feel like a deity whose apotheosis came about as a result of timey-wimey bullshit and whose symbol is an hourglass really ought to have some sort of "Time" domain too.

It tickles me that we've got six alternate Krynns to play with there and none of them have the guts to say "And by the way the Kender are extinct in this timeline". Because let's face it, if you were going to write an alternate version of the setting with an eye to making it an appealing option for people to use in their games, the Kender are the first thing you'd take out.

Big Mad Drongo
Nov 10, 2006







Grimey Drawer

Hourglass in the Sky seems like it could be a fun scenario to adapt to Fellowship. You've got an Overlord, the gods can represent Sources of Power, and you have the Raistlinites as the base army and General with the resurrected Dragonarmy as an eventual Overlord Advance.

E: You'd have to throw out the existing Dragonlance lore to let the characters define their own cultures, but given that this is the game that begat Kender and Gully Dwarfs I see this as a plus.

SirPhoebos
Dec 10, 2007

WELL THAT JUST HAPPENED!

My first exposure to Gully Dwarves was from the 2nd Ed player supplement The Complete Book of Dwarves. They were total garbage, and I could never figure out why they were presented as a player option. They weren't just garbage mechanically, they seemed completely uninteresting to role-play.

Robindaybird
Aug 21, 2007

Neat. Sweet. Petite.



Terrible Opinions posted:

Honestly if an RPG is going to go in on half races it really should just go full Galaxy Quest. Yes he is aware that his girlfriend is a squid, not a woman with squid costume items, and everyone is just okay with that.

there is very unfortunately a 3.5e splat book that's all that, it's very much peak "Because you can make a splat book of it, doesn't mean you should"

Green Intern
Dec 29, 2008

Loon, Crazy and Laughable



Man, Raistlin sucks, and the special conditions for the alternate history where he's killing gods sound miserable to experience.

SirPhoebos
Dec 10, 2007

WELL THAT JUST HAPPENED!

I remember from old articles of Dragon Magazine that Ed Greenwood expanded his dumb "Elminster hangs out in my living room" stories to "Elminster, Mordenkainen, and Raistlin hang out in my living room". Except at a certain point Raistlin gets replaced with some other Dragonlance mage that even setting fans were writing in asking "wait, who is this person?"

At the time I assumed the reason was some metaplot nonsense. As I learn more about Raistlin, my headcanon is now that Ed got sick of writing for him. And if Ed Greenwood thinks your super-wizard is a tool, you've reached new levels of shame.

Everyone
Sep 6, 2019


Review: The Fabled Lands Gamebook Series Part Two

Continuing into the Fabled Lands, at character creation, you pick a Profession from a list of six: Mage, Priest, Rogue, Troubadour, Warrior and Wayfarer. While there are points in the books where Profession is important (certain Quests can only be taken up by certain Profession and sometimes Professions give bonuses (Warriors have an easier time fighting Pirate in ship-to-ship combat)), mostly the Professions determine which of your Abilities is highest and lowest. Mages have a high initial Magic but a very low Sanctity, for example.

I think I'll stop here as far as the game system goes. It's okay. It has its flaws (the 2d6 is absolute, so if your Defense is at least 12 points higher than an enemy's Combat, it can't hurt you) but works reasonably well for a solo-player gamebook. Still, let's move on to the unique parts of this series.

First, the Fabled Lands books are organized geographically instead of chronologically. In most other gamebooks the adventure takes place fully within the specific book. Lone Wolf might use the Silver Bow he got in Book 6 to snipe some enemy in Book 9, but all of the Book 9 adventure occurs in Book 9. He can't decide that he really could have used a Silver Bow and travel back to Book 6 to get one.

In Fabled Lands you can. Book One details Sokara, a land experiencing a rebellion after a general deposed the old king. Book 2 two details the lands just to the west. Book 3 centers around the Violet Ocean and this is where you get a lot of use from a ship you'd obtain. So during the course of your Fabled Lands adventures, you can (and generally should) travel back and forth between the various books. In fact, there are a considerable number of quests that start in one book and require you to go to one or more other books in order to complete them. Traveling can be accomplished by ship, by gates or teleports or simply by walking far enough within a book to reach a border.

However, along with geography, the books are organized by Rank. Book one starting characters begin at Rank 1 Book 2 at Rank 2 and so on. The various challenges and encounters (along with possible treasures) in each book tend to be gear toward the Rank of the book. Can you take your Rank 1 character into Book 6? Sure, but it's very likely he'll run into something that'll cut him up for snack food. And this runs in reverse. A character starting in Book 7 begins at Rank 7. Aside from increased Defense and Stamina the character's starting Abilities generally increase by one in the odd-numbered books. A Rank 7 Warrior in Book 7 starts with a 9 in Combat instead at a 6 as per Rank 1 (and that's out of a maximum of 12) As you can see, most of the encounters in Book 1 will likely be a cakewalk for him.

Beyond the geography, is the story of Fabled Lands. The story of Fabled Lands is your story. You choose your own goals and the quests that support them. Book One has as its background the coup and rebellion. In a conventional game book, you'd be working with the rebels supporting the son of the old king in taking back his father's throne from the evil general who usurped it. There might be some side quests, but your main goal would be overthrowing the general.

You could still work toward that in Fabled Land. Or you could work for the general in suppressing the rebels. Or you could mostly ignore both sides and do something unrelated, like making yourself rich trading cargo between areas using a Ship. Or just leave Sokara completely with an eye toward coming back later if you wished to choose sides. Fabled Lands has a definite lack of infinite Kapak draconians trying to force you onto the path of the One True Quest. You decide what your "One True Quest" is. Or what your "Multiple True Quests" are.

Everyone fucked around with this message at 21:19 on Dec 5, 2019

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

FATAL & Friends
Walls of Text
#1 Builder
2014-2018



...I mean, yes, that’s generally how collaborative fiction works? Is the game trying to present personal agency as an innovation here or are you?

E: oh, wait, this is a cyoa series, isn’t it

Libertad!
Oct 30, 2013

You can have the last word, but I'll have the last laugh!

SirPhoebos posted:

I remember from old articles of Dragon Magazine that Ed Greenwood expanded his dumb "Elminster hangs out in my living room" stories to "Elminster, Mordenkainen, and Raistlin hang out in my living room". Except at a certain point Raistlin gets replaced with some other Dragonlance mage that even setting fans were writing in asking "wait, who is this person?"

At the time I assumed the reason was some metaplot nonsense. As I learn more about Raistlin, my headcanon is now that Ed got sick of writing for him. And if Ed Greenwood thinks your super-wizard is a tool, you've reached new levels of shame.

Said mage was Dalamar, Raistlin's apprentice.

PurpleXVI posted:

I think probably the alternate Krynn I'd be most interested in would be Kingpriest Ascendant, in part because the Purified remind me a lot of Divinity: Original Sin 2, which I'm absolutely in love with.

Mind you, do any of these alternate Krynns acknowledge Taladas at all? It feels like the response to, for instance, Istar's ascendance would be to visit Taladas and tell the minotaur empire there that the Kingpriest is responsible for their deities being gone and their clerics no longer worky, whip them up into a frenzy to put him down.

@Taladas: No, unfortunately. Also I don't think the minotaurs had an empire yet pre-Cataclysm, but did have 2 kingdoms Mithas and Kothas.

Libertad! fucked around with this message at 19:28 on Dec 5, 2019

Robindaybird
Aug 21, 2007

Neat. Sweet. Petite.



SirPhoebos posted:

I remember from old articles of Dragon Magazine that Ed Greenwood expanded his dumb "Elminster hangs out in my living room" stories to "Elminster, Mordenkainen, and Raistlin hang out in my living room". Except at a certain point Raistlin gets replaced with some other Dragonlance mage that even setting fans were writing in asking "wait, who is this person?"

At the time I assumed the reason was some metaplot nonsense. As I learn more about Raistlin, my headcanon is now that Ed got sick of writing for him. And if Ed Greenwood thinks your super-wizard is a tool, you've reached new levels of shame.

or the Weiss and Hickman objected to Greenwood writing Raistlin.

PurpleXVI
Oct 30, 2011

Spewing insults, pissing off all your neighbors, betraying your allies, backing out of treaties and accords, and generally screwing over the global environment?
ALL PART OF MY BRILLIANT STRATEGY!


SirPhoebos posted:

I remember from old articles of Dragon Magazine that Ed Greenwood expanded his dumb "Elminster hangs out in my living room" stories to "Elminster, Mordenkainen, and Raistlin hang out in my living room". Except at a certain point Raistlin gets replaced with some other Dragonlance mage that even setting fans were writing in asking "wait, who is this person?"

At the time I assumed the reason was some metaplot nonsense. As I learn more about Raistlin, my headcanon is now that Ed got sick of writing for him. And if Ed Greenwood thinks your super-wizard is a tool, you've reached new levels of shame.

Don't forget btw that Elminster gets to Ed Greenwood's living room from his personal death star battle station orbiting the same star as Faerun(or is Faerun the continent, and Toril the planet? Whatevs.).

Everyone
Sep 6, 2019


Mors Rattus posted:

...I mean, yes, that’s generally how collaborative fiction works? Is the game trying to present personal agency as an innovation here or are you?

E: oh, wait, this is a cyoa series, isn’t it

It is. RPG mechanics but basically CYOA. And if you've read much CYOA you'll note that most of the time you really don't actually get to "Choose Your Own Adventure" except in terms of playing the book or not playing the book. You might have some agency in choosing how you play through the book (though many times there's one "correct" path and everything else leads to death/bad endings). So, looked at that way, personal agency really is kind of an innovation. And that innovation occurred back in the mid-1990s and didn't really spread all that far.

One thing Dave Morris has noted is that Fabled Lands had some trouble because a lot of players couldn't deal with an unstructured adventure setting and personal agency. The Kapaks had trained them against that.

Everyone fucked around with this message at 21:01 on Dec 5, 2019

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

FATAL & Friends
Walls of Text
#1 Builder
2014-2018



Yeah, as a CYOA it’s fairly innovative, I was just reading it as some heartbreaker at first.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

We'll start,
like many good things,
with a bear.


Also for Inklesspen's sanity you should put a bolded header and a post number on your review posts.

Everyone
Sep 6, 2019



Dalamar? Granted that Raistlin wasn't exactly cuddly or personable but what exactly did Dalamar accomplish aside from loving and then later killing Kitiara? That's an accomplishment, but not exactly an archmage-level accomplishment.

Mors Rattus posted:

Yeah, as a CYOA it’s fairly innovative, I was just reading it as some heartbreaker at first.

The thing I love about FL is that your choices are generally meaningful and will have consequences. But they won't be punished. If you side with the rebels and do what they want, there will be parts of Sokara in the cities where you might get hunted down and slain or imprisoned. Likewise if you side with the general and try to to get to the rebels again, they'll attack. But those are consequences of the choices you made and the actions you took. What will not happen is you getting harried and attacked until you do something the book story wants you to do (like haul rear end for Qualinost). Because the book's story is ultimately your own story.

BTW, what does "heartbreaker" mean in this context?

Night10194 posted:

Also for Inklesspen's sanity you should put a bolded header and a post number on your review posts.

Done.

SirPhoebos
Dec 10, 2007

WELL THAT JUST HAPPENED!

PurpleXVI posted:

Don't forget btw that Elminster gets to Ed Greenwood's living room from his personal death star battle station orbiting the same star as Faerun(or is Faerun the continent, and Toril the planet? Whatevs.).

I've heard about the Forgotten Realms Starbase, but did anything interesting ever happen there?

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

We'll start,
like many good things,
with a bear.


SirPhoebos posted:

I've heard about the Forgotten Realms Starbase, but did anything interesting ever happen there?

It's the Forgotten Realms; the whole setting is about nothing interesting happening.

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

FATAL & Friends
Walls of Text
#1 Builder
2014-2018



Everyone posted:

BTW, what does "heartbreaker" mean in this context?

Essentially? Someone trying to sell their RPG that is 'what if D&D plus some houserules and maybe one good idea that just breaks your heart to see in this lovely-rear end fantasy RPG clone.'

e: "Ah, but in MY game you have personal agency" is the kind of sales pitch you tend to see for these, where it feels like the person has never read any other RPG except, possibly, D&D.

MonsterEnvy
Feb 4, 2012


SirPhoebos posted:

I've heard about the Forgotten Realms Starbase, but did anything interesting ever happen there?

It was taken over Githyanki and Red Dragons in the Undermountain Adventure path with a portal that led there.

Everyone
Sep 6, 2019


Night10194 posted:

It's the Forgotten Realms; the whole setting is about nothing interesting happening.

It's pretty much the other generic AD&D setting aside from Greyhawk. It exists to give Drizzt do'urden a place to stand while he kills stuff and looks cool.

Everyone
Sep 6, 2019


Mors Rattus posted:

Essentially? Someone trying to sell their RPG that is 'what if D&D plus some houserules and maybe one good idea that just breaks your heart to see in this lovely-rear end fantasy RPG clone.'

e: "Ah, but in MY game you have personal agency" is the kind of sales pitch you tend to see for these, where it feels like the person has never read any other RPG except, possibly, D&D.

Well, Fabled Lands isn't that. Or if it is, it definitely has more than one good idea. Like, there are elves and goblins in the setting, but they aren't the bullshit D&D versions. They're the Fair Folk of Celtic/English/Norse folklore and they one reason to keep your Sanctity somewhat high.

Bieeanshee
Aug 21, 2000

Not keen on keening.




Grimey Drawer

MonsterEnvy posted:

It was taken over Githyanki and Red Dragons in the Undermountain Adventure path with a portal that led there.

Halaster is such a card.

Freaking Crumbum
Apr 17, 2003

Too fuck to drunk




Everyone posted:

It's pretty much the other generic AD&D setting aside from Greyhawk. It exists to give Drizzt do'urden a place to stand while he kills stuff and looks cool.

forgotten realms is so generic fantasy that for a good portion of my adolescence, i thought FR was AD&D and that any other setting was a completely different game. like, it didn't make sense that any of those other settings were AD&D because FR was the most bland tolkien fantasy and that's obviously what AD&D was so they were clearly the same thing.

mostly i'm bitter as an adult that i never got to play dark sun or ravenloft or anything else cool when i was young and had a dedicated gaming group and near limitless freetime

Everyone
Sep 6, 2019


Freaking Crumbum posted:

forgotten realms is so generic fantasy that for a good portion of my adolescence, i thought FR was AD&D and that any other setting was a completely different game. like, it didn't make sense that any of those other settings were AD&D because FR was the most bland tolkien fantasy and that's obviously what AD&D was so they were clearly the same thing.

mostly i'm bitter as an adult that i never got to play dark sun or ravenloft or anything else cool when i was young and had a dedicated gaming group and near limitless freetime

I'm 51 now. I was lucky to have landed in college with a group and GM that rapidly decided that D&D was gently caress-off boring and rapidly moved on to other games and systems. I was even luckier to have been able to maintain a friendship with that GM over the years. So, I got lengthy campaigns in Feng Shui, Deadlands, Fading Suns and Warhammer Fantasy. Plus some exposure to White Wolf WoD, West End's Star Wars (still the best incarnation of that setting as an RPG IMHO), TORG, Gurps Car Wars and just a poo poo-ton of other stuff so I never labored under the delusion that D&D was the be-all/end-all of RPGs.

Terrible Opinions
Oct 17, 2013





Robindaybird posted:

there is very unfortunately a 3.5e splat book that's all that, it's very much peak "Because you can make a splat book of it, doesn't mean you should"
I'm aware of bastards and bloodlines. Which is more about the weird eugenicsy stuff that should really be avoided. I'd just prefer if the baseline assumption, for games not explicitly about fighting prejudice, was that two sapients of different species can be attracted to one another and gently caress without there being any weird explanation needed.

Everyone
Sep 6, 2019


Terrible Opinions posted:

I'm aware of bastards and bloodlines. Which is more about the weird eugenicsy stuff that should really be avoided. I'd just prefer if the baseline assumption, for games not explicitly about fighting prejudice, was that two sapients of different species can be attracted to one another and gently caress without there being any weird explanation needed.

That's fair and reasonable as far as it goes. If a drow elf and a beholder are adventurous enough to get their freak on together, I'm cool with it. But no, you don't get to play their magic resistant offspring who also has a Disintegrate gaze. At least not in one of the games I'll run.

Terrible Opinions
Oct 17, 2013





I'd just say pick where you play as a drow with funny hair or a beholder with elf ears.

U.T. Raptor
May 11, 2010

Are you a pack of imbeciles!?



Everyone posted:

Kender are at least cute. Fine, the halflings of Krynn are an entire race of 9 year olds (who still have sex to make more kender but whatever). I'm surprised we don't have half-kender running around because the human "punishment" for pedophiles in Krynn is exile to the lands of the Kender or something.
You will probably not like this, but there is actually a half-kender in one of the short story collections.

quote:

Is there anything that humans won't gently caress?
You say that on the Internet, exhibit A for "no, there is not".

potatocubed
Jul 26, 2012

*rathian noises*


Terrible Opinions posted:

I'm aware of bastards and bloodlines. Which is more about the weird eugenicsy stuff that should really be avoided. I'd just prefer if the baseline assumption, for games not explicitly about fighting prejudice, was that two sapients of different species can be attracted to one another and gently caress without there being any weird explanation needed.

I like the take on it from the Planarch Codex for Dungeon World, which is something like 'with a bit of effort, any combination of sentient creatures can establish a sexual relationship; with a bit of effort and a blessing from a moon priestess, they can have a child'.

PurpleXVI
Oct 30, 2011

Spewing insults, pissing off all your neighbors, betraying your allies, backing out of treaties and accords, and generally screwing over the global environment?
ALL PART OF MY BRILLIANT STRATEGY!


potatocubed posted:

I like the take on it from the Planarch Codex for Dungeon World, which is something like 'with a bit of effort, any combination of sentient creatures can establish a sexual relationship; with a bit of effort and a blessing from a moon priestess, they can have a child'.

"you come across an inn run by a gelatinous cube and her husband, an iron golem. their clanking iron cube children play in the yard out front."

90s Cringe Rock
Nov 29, 2006
:gay:


PurpleXVI posted:

"you come across an inn run by a gelatinous cube and her husband, an iron golem. their clanking iron cube children play in the yard out front."
The cutest little d6s.

Tuxedo Catfish
Mar 17, 2007

You've got guts! Come to my village, I'll buy you lunch.


PurpleXVI posted:

"you come across an inn run by a gelatinous cube and her husband, an iron golem. their clanking iron cube children play in the yard out front."

finally, an explanation for Modrons more plausible than "the gods of logic and order are also completely bugfuck insane"

Everyone
Sep 6, 2019


U.T. Raptor posted:

You will probably not like this, but there is actually a half-kender in one of the short story collections.

You say that on the Internet, exhibit A for "no, there is not".

I'm reminded of the bit from Doctor Who.

Rose: "Wait, you mean we just go out into the the universe and..."

The Doctor: "Dance."

And the half-Kender doesn't really bother me all that much. I recall reading another short story with Fewmaster Toede (from Dragons of Flame) getting involved with a Kender resistance movement and one girl Kender in particular with the implication that there would likely be some hybridization occurring between them in the near future.

Bieeanshee
Aug 21, 2000

Not keen on keening.




Grimey Drawer

90s Cringe Rock posted:

The cutest little d6s.

Paging Platonicsolid...

Halloween Jack
Sep 11, 2003

Let your word be "Yes, Yes" or "No, No"; anything more than this comes from the evil one.




Everyone posted:

That's fair and reasonable as far as it goes. If a drow elf and a beholder are adventurous enough to get their freak on together, I'm cool with it. But no, you don't get to play their magic resistant offspring who also has a Disintegrate gaze. At least not in one of the games I'll run.
The answer to that problem is that if someone wants to play a beholder, fine, but they don't get all its abilities at level 1. Granted, writing a balanced monster class from scratch is easier said than done. In 4e I think I would treat special attacks as alternate power picks. A beholder ray would be maybe an alternate Lvl 13 encounter power.

Althalin
Nov 19, 2019

Putting the ham in Chamon


Pork Pro



A Song of Ice and Fire Roleplay: Why Are IP Tie-In Games Always So Clunky?
Part 3: Combat

I realize it might seem like I’m going a bit out-of-order in terms of the layout of the gamebook, what with covering Intrigue, Combat, and Warfare (hereinafter generally “conflict resolution”) before character creation



You’d be correct! I’m doing it this way primarily because I want to cover the core mechanics of conflict resolution here, and then go into them in more detail when we get to character creation and how decisions made there actually affect playing the game. We’ll also build an example character, to showcase some of the more Murphy-ish issues with the system.


Anyway, Combat.

If you’ve played a tabletop RPG before, especially in the flavour of D&D or Pathfinder, you probably know about what to expect. You roll for Initiative, wait for your turn, and then get to take some actions.

Like in, for example, FFG’s Warhammer/40k games, you get two half-actions (“Lesser Actions”) or one full-action (“Greater Action”) per turn. You also get Free Actions, with the usual caveat that what does or does not constitute a free action is arbitrated by the GM. Helpfully, the book does specifically mention that drawing a weapon is a free action.

The list of choices is pretty exhaustive.

  • Standard Attack - Lesser action, swing a sword or similar
  • Divided Attack - Greater action. Attack multiple opponents, dividing your test dice between them as you see fit.
  • Two-Weapon Attack - Greater action. Attack with multiple weapons
  • Combining Attacks - Greater action. Combine a Divided and Two-Weapon attack.
  • Cautious Attack - Lesser action. Use one less die when attacking, but gain +3 to your defense
  • Charge Greater - Greater action. Move up to twice your normal movement, and attack with a penalty to hit but a bonus to damage
  • Counterattack - Greater action. Essentially a "Ready Attack" action, with the trigger of being attacked yourself
  • Disarm - Greater action. Try to disarm your opponent :aaa:
  • Mounted Attack - Varies, but generally you get a bonus from fighting on horseback
  • Pull from Mount - Greater action. Try to knock someone off of a horse.
  • Pin - Greater action. If you've successfully grabbed someone, you can try to pin them.
  • Aim - Lesser action. Gain a bonus die on your next attack.
  • Assist - Lesser action. Give a bonus to an adjacent ally's check
  • Catch Your Breath - Greater action. Allows for in-combat healing of up to 4 health
  • Distract - Lesser action. Reduce an opponent's combat defense
  • Dodge - Greater action. Roll away like this is Dark Souls. You make an Agility test for your combat defense, and must take it (even if it's worse than your normal)
  • Interact - Lesser action. Reach out and touch something. Interestingly, the book notes that you can combine this with a Move action to draw a weapon, with an attack penalty. Why would you do this when drawing a weapon is a free action? :iiam:
  • Move - Lesser action. Move up to your movement speed. If you take two of these, you can move double your movement speed! Who knew.
  • Sprint - Greater action. Move up to your Sprint speed (which varies, depending on your base movement, your Qualities (feats), and what armour you're wearing)
  • Stand/Drop - Lesser action. Stand up or drop prone. Notably, if you're wearing a lot of armour, standing up is a Greater action.
  • Ride or Drive - Varies. You use your mount to move or attack, but in a different way than a Mounted Attack.
  • Pass - Greater action. Gain a substantial +2 bonus dice on your next test.
  • Use Ability - Varies. Do something that's not covered by Interact or other normal actions.
  • Use Destiny Point - Free action. Spend the system's metacurrency to do something special. (These are Fate Points, for FFG players)
  • Yield - Greater action. Give up. Surrender. Place yourself at your opponents' mercy. You can rejoin the combat, but this is !dishonorable! and you take a penalty to Persuasion and Status tests with anyone who witnessed your treachery.

Whew. Generally, most combats will consist of movement, aiming, and attacking. Go figure.


I suppose now is as good a time as ever to go over tests. This is something I neglected to cover in my previous posts, and I apologize. This whole review is a bit haphazard, something I’ll chalk up to the game system and not my own incompetence. (it’s totally because of my own incompetence)

The only dice you need in this system is the classic, the OG, the staple of family board games, the humble d6.


Now available as an anklet

You roll a pool of dice determined by the governing Ability (like Endurance or Fighting), plus any applicable Specialty (a sub-category of the Ability, like Fighting (Long Blades)). These are referred to as Test Dice (+nD) and Bonus Dice (+nB). You keep the highest n dice in a roll, where n is the Ability score. So if you have Fighting 4, Fighting (Long Blades) 2B, you’ll roll (4 + 2) = 6d6, keeping the highest 4.

Various modifiers affect the number of Test and Bonus Dice you have on a roll, such as the Aim action, but you can almost never have more Bonus Dice than Test Dice.

Barring a test against another character’s Abilities or attributes, such as in combat, difficulty of tests is a sliding scale in increments of 3. The game is helpful enough to let you know how many ranks you need, at minimum, to pass a test, as well as the likelihood of passing a given difficulty at a given rank.







Damage

Damage in SIFRP is deterministic, unlike in many systems. Generally, a weapon will do damage based on the governing Ability, maybe with a modifier, in the form of Athletics + 1 (in the case of a Bastard Sword).

Notably, if you score higher Degrees of Success (as defined above), you increment a multiplier on your damage. So if you score two DoS on an attack, you’re dealing double the base damage of the attack. So, using the Bastard Sword example from above, you’d do (Athletics × 2) + 1 damage.




Health

Minor scrapes and cuts are subtracted from your Health, which is your Endurance × 3. You regain all of your Health when a combat ends. More substantial hurt is in the form of Injuries and Wounds.


Injuries

Some attacks or criticals inflict Injuries by default, but you can also choose to take an Injury to reduce incoming damage by your Endurance rank. Each Injury gives you a cumulative -1 on all tests. You can have as many injuries as your Endurance rank. If you can’t take any more, you take Wounds instead.


Wounds

Wounds are major damage. They can be inflicted by critical hits, or you can choose to take a Wound to completely negate all incoming damage from an attack. Each Wound gives you a cumulative -1 die on all tests. This quickly turns into a (literal) death spiral, and even a single Wound can be a death sentence in close matches. You can have Wounds up to your Endurance Rank - 1. If you have as many Wounds as your Endurance rank, you’re dead.



Recovery

So you were reckless or unlucky, and now you’ve got an Injury or a Wound. How do you take care of these? By waiting and making a test, of course! Better hope you’re not planning on actually doing anything in your convalescence, because even light physical activity moves the necessary test to remove a wound up a notch in difficulty.

Injuries:


Wounds:


If you’re paying careful attention, you’ll notice that you can’t try to recovery from an Injury until the day after you receive it, and not from Wounds until a week after you receive it. We’ll get to the economy of in-game time in a while, but expect the GM to have to keep a calendar and track time’s passage more strictly than they might in a different system.



So with that out of the way, let’s take a look at the mechanics of recovery. You start with 2 in every Ability, and if you’re combat-focused you’ll likely have Endurance 3 or 4. This governs your Health, so it’s vital to melee combatants. With Endurance 4 (let’s be generous), you’ll have a 99% chance to succeed on recovering from an Injury if you just lie around all day, and a 76% chance if you keep fighting or riding.

Keep in mind that the penalties from Injuries (-1) or from Wounds (-1D) apply to your Endurance test to recover, so if you’ve got 4 ranks of Endurance and 3 Wounds, you need to score in the best case a 9 on a single d6. Not happenin’.


So how do you recover from severe cases of “being nearly dead”? Well, you get someone else to do it for you. Another character (or NPC) can use their Healing ability in place of your Endurance for the purposes of recovery. This is, by leaps and bounds, the best option in all cases. Unless they themselves are Injured or Wounded, you have better odds.


You posted:

:colbert:
Okay, you’ve covered what actions can be taken in combat, how tests work, and how to not-die when you are nearly-dead, but how do you actually mechanically play out a combat?

Right. That was the point of this post.

The last piece of the puzzle we’re missing before running through an example is the Derived Statistic of Combat Defense. This is your AC by any other name.

You determine your Combat Defense by plugging in the respective parts of your Agility + Athletics + Awareness - Armour Penalty + Bonuses. Certain equipment or Qualities can give you a bonus to this, though Armour makes you easier to hit (unlike in, say, D&D and D&D adjacents). In exchange, you get an Armour Rating that reduces all incoming damage by that amount. Full Plate, for example, reduces all incoming damage by 10, but reduces your Combat Defense by -6.


So with nearly 2,000 words of preamble, let’s look at an example combat.

In one corner, we have Ser Gerold.

Ser Gerold is a pretty accomplished fighter, having Fighting 5 (Long Blades 2B), Endurance 4, Agility 4, Athletics 4, and Awareness 3. He’s wearing Hard Leather armour, giving him an Armour Rating of 3 and an Armour Penalty of -2. His Combat Defense is (4 + 4 + 3 - 2) = 9.

His weapon is an Arakh, one of those funky sword-scythe things from a faraway land. It deals his Athletics as damage, +1 because he’s using it two-handed. So a normal hit with one Degree of Success would deal 5 damage.

Because his Endurance is 4, he has 12 Health.


An arakh



In the other corner, we have a Hedge Knight, a wandering man of dubious loyalty and moderate combat ability.

The Hedge Knight has Fighting 4 (Long Blades 1B, Spears 1B), Endurance 4, Agility 3, Athletics 4, and Awareness 3. He’s wearing Mail armour, which confers an Armour Rating of 5 and an Armour Penalty of -3. His Combat Defense is (3 + 4 + 3 - 3) = 7. This means he’s easier to hit than Ser Gerold, but soaks more damage.

His weapon of choice is a basic Longsword, dealing Athletics + 1 as damage. This means a normal hit would be effectively the same as Ser Gerold’s, at 5 damage.

Because he also has Endurance 4, he likewise has 12 Health.



A hedge knight, according to the wiki. His horse looks so sad!



Let’s start by, as always, rolling for initiative. Ser Gerold rolls 4d6 from his agility, with a result of 18. The Hedge Knight rolls 3d6, and gets 14. Looks like Ser Gerold is going first.
Because I don’t want to deal with movement, let’s just assume that they were having an Intrigue and decided to duke it out rather than fight with words.


Ser Gerold is going to take an Aim action, giving him +1B on his next attack. He then makes a Standard Attack against the Hedge Knight, rolling (Fighting 4) + (Long Blades 2B) + (Aim 1B) = 4 + 2 + 1 = 7d6, keeping the highest 4. This results in a 20, which exceeds the Hedge Knight’s Combat Defense (7) by 13. Consulting the table of degrees of success:



We see that this is three degrees of success, considered an “Incredible Success”. Meaning he multiplies his base damage (4) by 3, (12), plus 1 from using his sword with two hands (13).

The Hedge Knight’s armour soaks 5 of this, meaning he takes 8 Health damage, reducing him to 4. Right away, we see that while this isn’t quite the rocket tag you see in high-level Pathfinder, it’s still pretty hurty.


Now for the Hedge Knight. He’s going to respond in kind, aiming and then attacking. His attack roll is 4 + 1 + 1 = 6d6, keeping the highest 4. His result is a 16, exceeding Ser Gerold’s Combat Defense by 7 - a “Great Success,” doubling his base damage. This results in a total of 9 damage, reduced by 3 from Ser Gerold’s armour, resulting in 6 Health damage to Ser Gerold. Ser Gerold doesn’t want to take the damage, and instead receives a Wound in exchange for completely negating it. This means he gets -1D to his future tests.

Ser Gerold, seeing how well his attack worked last time, does the exact same thing. He’s not a man of tactics, you see. 4 + 2 + 1 - 1 = 6d6, keeping the highest 3 (since the Wound he received removes one of his Test Dice, meaning he can keep one fewer). This time his attack roll is a 16. This is still enough to deal double damage on his attack, dishing out 9 total damage - 5 of which is soaked by the Hedge Knight’s armour. Coincidentally, this reduces the Hedge Knight to 0 Health.



Kind of boring? Yeah, and I’m being a bit of a prick here by using only the most barebones actions and rules possible. That said, this is a pretty true-to-life example of how a combat works out in SIFRP. It’s so lethal that generally the special rules don’t come into play, and unimportant NPCs aren’t afforded the same luxury of choosing to take Wounds as a player character.




With that wordy example done, I’ll wrap up.

Combat is incredibly deadly. I’ll give points to Green Ronin on this, as it does emulate the books very well. A skilled fighter can often massacre lesser combatants, and a moderately-optimized character fresh to the game can hold their own against the sample NPC given for a city guard.





Next time: Warfare! Or, how they tacked a clunky wargame on top of a clunky RPG and it’s about as you’d expect.

Althalin fucked around with this message at 16:31 on Dec 6, 2019

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

We'll start,
like many good things,
with a bear.


Ah, mass combat systems in conventional RPGs, always a bout of hilarity.

As extremely complicated as it was, I actually really liked Ironclaw 1e's Mass Combat System, since it wasn't about being a command so much as just getting stuck in a battle too big to play out in the normal combat engine. Where your main decision was trading off Glory Dice (which made it more likely you did something incredible) and Survival Dice (Which made it less likely you got murdered) and then testing them against your ability to fight and survive in abstract to see how hosed up you got in the battle and if you gave a good accounting.

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Everyone
Sep 6, 2019


Halloween Jack posted:

The answer to that problem is that if someone wants to play a beholder, fine, but they don't get all its abilities at level 1. Granted, writing a balanced monster class from scratch is easier said than done. In 4e I think I would treat special attacks as alternate power picks. A beholder ray would be maybe an alternate Lvl 13 encounter power.

That's your answer. My answer is "No, play one of the normal races. If you really want your backstory to be 'Mommy hosed a beholder and I came out.' that's fine, but in terms of abilities you're still playing a human/elf/etc." As a GM figure I'll have plenty of other stuff to do aside from building a custom monster class because one of my players wants to start with an overpowered character.

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