Friday, November 28, 2014

DD/Oe/BX Skills

Delving Deeper, like Oe and B/X, has lots of 1d6 skill rolls scattered throughout the rules—listen at doors, open a stuck door, detect traps. Except for the thief skills, DD's skills are pretty much the same as the early editions and other clones.

Being someone who would much rather learn a guiding principle than memorize/look up specific instances, I decided to gather all the skills together and see what I could do with them:

Listen at doors
Halflings, Elves, Dwarves: 2 in 6
Thief: 4 in 6
Everyone else: 1 in 6

Dungeon Architecture
Dwarves: 2 in 6

Find Secret Doors (takes 1 turn)
Elves, Thieves: 4 in 6
Everyone else: 2 in 6

Thiefy Stuff: Open Locks; Disarm Device; Climb sheer surface; Sleight-of-hand
Thief: 4 in 6

Stealthy movement/Hide
Halflings: “nearly invisible” “almost silent” = automatic? (B/X: 10% in underbrush, 2 in 6 w/ cover)
Thief: 4 in 6

Thief: 4 in 6
Everyone else: 2 in 6

Open Doors
Weaklings (STR 3-6): 1 in 6
STR 7-18: 2 in 6

Evade Pursuit (Dungeon)
Everyone: 2 in 6

Distract Pursuit w/ Food
Pursued by Unintelligent Foe: 5 in 6
Pursued by Animal Foe: 3 in 6
Pursued by Intelligent Foe: 1 in 6

Distract Pursuit w/ Treasure
“Inversely proportionate”

Evade Pursuit (Wilderness) (First success to gain ground; second consecutive success to lose pursuit)
If pursuers is 4x number of evader: 4 in 6
If pursuers is 2x number of evader: 3 in 6
Everyone else: 2 in 6
Pursuers surprised: +1
Low Visibility: +1
Side with >2x Opponent’s movement: +1

Everyone: High roll
DEX 3-6: -1
DEX 15-18: +1

Remain seated when struck in mounted combat: 5 in 6

Survive Drowning
Non-swimmers: automatic drowning
Swimmers: 5 in 6
For each heavy item retained: -1
Leather Armor: -1; Plate Armor: -4
During a storm: -1

Alright. Having them all in one place made them seem more coherent, and easier to boil down into a principle. What follows is how I plan apply them to my game. A couple notes:
1. My game uses the Adventurer, who replaces the Thief as the skilled expert in the party.
2. I'm ditching most of the mechanical differences between races. You can be an ogre, viking, or leprechaun, but if you solve problems by fighting, you're a Fighter.

DD/Oe/BX Skills
All player characters are considered generally competent and well-adapted to the campaign world. As such, it is assumed that they will succeed in any ordinary task they attempt.

When faced with a difficult task, the player should explain to the GM how the character attempts to solve it. Well-reasoned explanations should succeed.

Most tasks can be resolved without recourse to the dice. When the outcome is genuinely in doubt, the character succeeds when the player rolls a 6 on 1d6. This is a 16.67% chance of success.

If a character is in their native environment (City, Country, Wilderness, Sea, Underworld, etc.), they receive +1 to appropriate checks (hide, surprise, spot hidden, etc.). This is a 33% of success.

If a character has a 15 or greater in the most relevant attribute for a given check, they receive +1.

The GM can assess a +/-1 bonus or penalty based on significant environmental or circumstantial factors.

The Adventurer Class receives a bonus to checks relevant to their area of expertise (Communication, Craft, Knowledge, Physical, Subterfuge, Survival) based on level:
Levels 1-4 (Normal) +2
Levels 5-10 (Heroic) +3
Levels 11-12 (Superheroic) +4

A high-level Adventurer will find themselves in contexts where they are guaranteed success. They are still bound by the physics of the campaign world and the good sense of the GM.

Skill checks never apply to combat or magic.

If a character wants to have a particular incompetence—they don’t get along with horses or they can’t dance, this should be role-played, and does not need to be mechanically modeled.

More Notes
3. It's not granular at all. A +1 is a big bonus, worth working for, and significant enough that the GM should be pretty stingy with them.
4. There's no bell curve. I totally get why people like weighted results, but the percentages for this are easier for me to wrap my brain around on the fly.
5. Players might find it austere. Even if the percentages are same, it may feel better to roll d100 and feel like you have 16 chances of rolling a success instead of just one on a d6.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Delving Deeper/0e Character Class: Combat Specialist

Okay, so. While the Fighter can model a wide variety of character types—fencer, archer, pirate, etc.—it effectively punishes any player who doesn't follow the same arms race of more-better armor and most-magic weapon. I mean, I could turn my back on that +3 plate because I'm really set on the image of Robin Hood. And my twelth-level mage could decide to stick to cantrips. But more than likely I'd start stretching the image of the character until it looks like every other Fighter out there.

Let's let the Fighter be the professional man-at-arms. Whether thug, barbarian, knight, or infantryman, the Fighter is someone who has dedicated themselves to general study of combat. They know all the weapons, all the armors, and spend a lot of time in chat rooms arguing over tactics and strategy.

The Combat Specialist is anyone who focuses on fighting but without the broad martial education of a Fighter. Perhaps this is because fighting is only part of their job (say, a Pirate), or because they seek to perfect a single martial art (a Fencer).

The Specialist handles HD, XP, and combat rolls as a Cleric, and Saving Throws as a Fighter. They are restricted to leather armor and shields. They can wield any weapon, but may only use magic weapons appropriate for non-Fighters, or which relate to their Combat Advantage.

Combat Advantage
The Specialist chooses one aspect of combat for their specialization. When determining outcomes relating to their Advantage, the Specialist rolls two dice and takes the higher result.

The Specialist gains a new Advantage every odd-numbered level. If they take the same advantage over again, they roll an additional die when determining results.

Sample Specialists
Beast Master. Advantaged rolls in subdual combat and training of animals, and morale/loyalty/obedience checks for trained animals.
Goblin Hunter. Advantaged rolls to hit, damage, and parlay with goblins, hobgoblins, and bugbears. Can use magic weapons with a bonus against goblins.
Guerrilla. Advantaged rolls to ambush an opponent, and to hit and damage a surprised opponent.
Horse-Rider. Advantaged rolls to hit, to stay mounted when hit, and to evade pursuit when on horseback. Also, when selecting a mount, rolling the animal’s hp is advantaged.
Shield Bearer. When fighting purely defensively, this Specialist forces a disadvantage on any humanoid opponent (opponent must roll twice to hit or damage and take the lowest result).
Weapon’s Specialist. Advantaged rolls to hit and damage with a specific type of weapon. Can use magical versions of that weapon.
Wrestler. Advantaged rolls in unarmed combat and grappling contests.

All Advantages are subject to GM approval. If, at any time, the GM decides an Advantage is too broad, she may either reduce its scope or assign the character a Disadvantage, requiring the player to take the lower of two rolls.

Combat Experience
Saving Throw Versus
Specialist Points Hit
Wands Paralysis Breath
Level Required Dice Poison Rays Petrification Weapon Spells
1 0 1 12 13 14 15 16
2 1,500 2 12 13 14 15 16
3 3,000 2+1 10 11 12 15 14
4 6,000 3 10 11 12 12 14
5 12,000 4 10 11 12 12 14
6 25,000 5 8 9 10 12 12
7 50,000 5+1 8 9 10 12 12
8 90,000 6 8 9 10 9 12
9 160,000 7 6 7 8 9 10
10 240,000 7+1 6 7 8 9 10
11 320,000 7+2 6 7 8 9 10
12 400,000 8 4 5 6 6 8

Monday, November 17, 2014

Adam Dant has drawn your next post-apocalyptic city for you

Adam Dant, Shoreditch in the Year 3000
Adam Dant has drawn some lovely maps exploring the town of Shoreditch, including this one, based on interviewing the towns residents about where they thought things were headed in the next few centuries.