Sunday, 16 July 2017

My New Task Resolution System

Came up with this for my White Star game (OD&D in SPACE!!) after being told Level was more important than Attribute in OD&D. Also was influenced by Lindybeige's Youtube criticism of typical D&D task resolution. My system:

Character Competence = Attribute (eg STR, normally 3-18) + Level (1-10 in White Star)

Task Difficulty is rolled:
Easy - 3d6
Medium - 4d6
Hard - 5d6
Very Hard - 6d6

If Competency equals or exceeds Difficulty, the attempt is successful!

Edit: Following feedback, here is an extended table with Long Jump example. Current world record long jump  is 29'. I went with 1' = 1 point of Difficulty, so your DEX 3 Level 1 PC can jump ("step") a 4' gap. :D

Task Difficulty is rolled:
Very Easy - 2d6 - eg jump a 7' gap
Easy - 3d6 - eg jump a 10' gap
Medium - 4d6 - eg jump a 14' gap
Hard - 5d6 - eg jump a 17' gap
Very Hard - 6d6 - eg jump a 21' gap
Heroic - 7d6 - eg jump a 24' gap
Formidable - 8d6 - eg jump a 28' gap
Amazing - 9d6 - eg jump a 31' gap
King of the Impossible - 10d6 - eg jump a 35' gap

For White Star (or S&W White Box) a maxed-out PC with an 18 attribute & level 10 has a 28 on their check, same as the average result for Formidable, and on average can make a jump just under the current world record.

Monday, 19 June 2017

A Good City Adventure

I think it really needs to use the city, not just dungeons set in the city. Rival battling power groups are important - think Romeo & Juliet for a good model. You want duels in the street, roof-top assassins, bands of thugs lurking in dark alleys, that kind of thing. The city itself needs a starring role, so design with that in mind.

The first two books of "Curse of the Crimson Throne" do a good job of this, with lots happening in Korvosa itself.

Opposing groups can be:
Noble houses
Criminal gangs
Churches & cults
The City Guard
Rival sorcerers or mage guilds
Merchant guilds
Artisan guilds
Knightly orders

Friday, 16 June 2017

Status Quo Sandboxing in 4e D&D

By default 4e is only really suitable for status-quo sandboxing within a demi-Tier. I am trying to stretch it to a Tier using Threats To The Nentir Vale, by Minionising many of the standard mook monsters in the level 4-7 range, eg level 6 brigand standard becomes a level 6 brigand minion, these are the most useable across the Tier. But a level 1 standard monster like an Iron Circle trooper needs to become a level 6 minion if he's to stay useable across Heroic Tier.

With giving minions 1/4 hp too, so far this seems to be working really well - I can use the same level 6, 18-21 hit point minion now with PCs at level 2-3, and at level 6, and even at level 10 with enough of them & keeping PC magic gear in the 1-10 range.
Level 11+ it'll break down though, so that's when I plan to transition to a mix of Domain Level play and high level questing, I have King of the Trollhaunt Warrens for that.

OD&D Quest Awards for 'Palaces & Princesses' Play

For the kind of "Palaces & Princesses" feel 2e AD&D was going for, I kinda think they would have been better off dropping monster & gold XP both and go for some kind of abstract Quest Award type XP system where you get say 1/10 of a typical level's advancement per significant achievement, or around 1/5 of a level per play session. At least as an option. They'd have needed a 9 or 10 level table of awards for achievements, much like the Monster Level I-X system, but I think it could have worked well for that edition. Something like:

Quest XP Awards per PC
Level      Major   Minor 
I                  250        50
II                500      100
III             1000      200
IV             2000      500
V              4000      800
VII           8000     1600
VIII        12000     2400
IX          16000     3200
X           20000     4000

Thursday, 15 June 2017

The Best Online Tools for 5e

My main online tools are - 5e NPCs - 5e Treasure Generator - generates generic fantasy encounters, NPCs, worlds and planes - pretty much everything, really.

Together with that's pretty well enough to run a campaign!

Tuesday, 13 June 2017

5e Primeval Thule Class System

While some study for years to master the arts of magic, the path of the Warlock is temptingly quick and easy...

Starting Classes
Warlock - Infernal or Old One

Eldritch Knight & Arcane Trickster
In order to become an Eldritch Knight, Arcane Trickster or other caster subclass the PC must already have the Ritual Caster (Wizard) feat. The quickest way to do this is to be a Variant Human with the Feat at 1st level.
Exception: High Elves have magic in the blood. They may become an Eldritch Knight or Arcane Trickster even without the Ritual Caster feat.

To become a true Wizard the PC must first have 3 levels in a caster subclass such as Eldritch Knight. This means the effective maximum 'true wizard' level is 15.

Example: Bob wants to become a Wizard.
At 1st level he is a Human Fighter with the Ritual Caster (Wizard) feat. He could also have been a High Elf.
At 3rd level he becomes an Eldritch Knight.
At 6th level he can multiclass and become a Fighter (EK)-5/Wizard-1.

Saturday, 10 June 2017

Is XP an Illusion?


I found running Classic D&D I could just hand out an amount of XP at the end of the session that felt right and that fitted roughly with the game's guidance of ca 5 sessions to level. I didn't need to do any calculating, just decide "This was a small/medium/big session" - and it seems to have all the positive benefits that use of XP gives over milestone/ad hoc levelling. Players get to write it down. They see how close they are to next level. They see a connection between achievement & reward.

This works equally well in 5e; the DMG even provides a handy table. Just hand out eg 1/5 or 2/5 the XP-to-Level for a typical session, then adjust up and down. Or go to a flat 20 XP to level and then give out 3, 5, 7 etc XP per typical session. 20 is a good number because you can give 1 XP per minor achievement & 2 XP per major achievement across the session, 1 XP per hour played, etc.