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 Post subject: Some questions from a newbie
PostPosted: Wed Aug 30, 2006 5:57 am 
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Far-Sighted Wanderer

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Hello everyone,

I'm new here :D . I'm from germany, and my english is really not the best, so I please to excuse some faults of wrighting, I will possibly make...

Some people discussed about Etherscope some time ago, and I couldn't really imagine, what Etherscope should be. Never heard of it before. But then I read the "Keyword" Steampunk, and it seemed interessting for me :wink:

I must really say, that I like what I've seen and heard about Etherscope so far.

Now, I come to my questions:

1)Are there any efforts, that Etherscope and its Soucebooks will be translated into german soon?

2) Why did you (the developers) choose to use the D-20 System for Etherscope? I know a lot of people here in Germany who really hate the D-20 System...I don't count to the people who hate the D-20 System, but I don't like it as well ( made some really bad experiences with it)

3) is there anybody who has tested Etherscope with another System than the D-20 System, yet?

4) What is the difference between Etherscope and other Steampunk-RPGs, for example Castle Falkenstein?

5) Are there any other german members in this forum here?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Aug 30, 2006 9:54 am 
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Hi! Welcome to the forums.

Let me have a go at answering your questions...

1) This isn't really my area. Joseph..?

2) There are a number of reasons we chose to go with D20 when we were designing Etherscope:

Firstly, it is the system we play most regularly (although not exclusively, and not our favourite).

Secondly, at the time we started writing Etherscope D20 was at its peak of hugeness and dominating the market in a way I don't think it does any more. It made commercial sense, and we could propose the idea (as the designers) to a wide range of publishers who were established in the D20 system market place.

Thirdly, we'd already had some well-reviewed D20 PDF products out, so we were confident at designing systems and classes for D20 system games.

and as a side note on this issue, without numbers to hand, there are probably as many people if not more who won't play any system other than D20 as who hate it (although I cn't speak for Germany :) ).

3) I think Kris4000 has posted a Storytelling system (new World of Darkness) conversion somewhere online. I posted a rough outline for a conversion to the Storyteller system (old World of Darkness), using Adventure! as a starting place, on these boards.

4) The difference between Etherscope and other Steampunk games is that Etherscope isn't really Steampunk. To me, steampunk is pulp adventure set in the victorian era, with a bit of extra technology and maybe some magic. Etherscope, I don't think, has such a strong pulp adventure element. It's a lot more of a combination of victorian themes (imperialism, industrial opression, etc) and cyberpunk themes (punk rebellion, music, along with the technology, such as the Scope and cybernaughtics).

5) I don't know of any, but there may be some lurking...?

Cheerio,

Ben

4)


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 Post subject: Re: Some questions from a newbie
PostPosted: Wed Aug 30, 2006 9:35 pm 
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Cold-Hearted Immortal

Joined: Sun Dec 01, 2002 2:41 pm
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Location: San Jose, CA
5thMusketeer wrote:
1)Are there any efforts, that Etherscope and its Soucebooks will be translated into german soon?


Possibly. I spoke with a German agent at Gen Con who was very interested.

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Joseph Goodman
Goodman Games
www.goodman-games.com


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Sep 18, 2006 4:49 am 
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Far-Sighted Wanderer

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Until my last post I have received my Etherscope Core Rulebook, and I like it. This Weekend I'm going to to master my first Etherscope Adventure at Celtic Con (www.celticcon.de). I think I have everything necessary for mastering, but never the less I'm missing a GM-Screen.

Haven't discovered one yet...and so I would like to ask if there exists a GM-Screen yet (for example in one of the Sourcebooks?) or will there be a GM-Screen soon?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Oct 31, 2006 10:37 am 
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Far-Sighted Wanderer

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Hi everyone,

first of all I must say that I'm really disappointed that no one in this forum can reply me such an easy question like if there exists already a GameMaster-Screen for Etherscope or not :( . Over one month has passed since I've asked this question. And during this long time no one could give me an answer...this is unbelievable!

Secondly, this Saturday i'll try to master Etherscope the first time at a Con.
I thought about mastering the adventure "Compound 13" from the Rulebook.
Has anyone mastered this adventure yet and can give me some hints or advices?

And what would you recommand generally for the first time mastering Eterscope?
Any hints/advices? Any suggestions? Something I should have an extra look on it?


Last edited by 5thMusketeer on Tue Oct 31, 2006 1:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Oct 31, 2006 11:36 am 
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Far-Sighted Wanderer

Joined: Wed Aug 17, 2005 6:09 am
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Location: Manchester UK aka the Great Metropolis
Don't get bogged down in the rules.... make it flow, focus on the drama, make it cinematic... not a dugeon crawl.

There is no GM-Screen yet but I'm sure the D20 modern one is the best to use.

Have fun fellow Scope rider

_________________
Einstein, don't tell God what to do. (Niels Bohr in response to Einstein's 'God does not play dice)
How wonderful that we have met with a paradox. Now we have some hope of making progress. (Niels Bohr)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Oct 31, 2006 11:44 am 
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Well, in answer to your GM Screen question, there's not one available right now, but maybe they will be working on one? I

have been thinking about creating one of my own, will share on the Yahoo! group if I do so...between the writing of the story and the character sheet I had been working on, I haven't had the time to properly explore making the GM screen though.

As far as running the game, haven't had the opportunity to do so yet. Only real way for me to do so right now would be online.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Feb 22, 2007 3:11 pm 
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Far-Sighted Wanderer

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Hello everyone,

i have a question again, concerning equipment in Etherscope. First of all, I must say, that the idea, acquiring items&stuff with a acquisition-check instead of just buying it, is really nice :)

and that some weapons and other stuff have a restriction makes sense, too.

But: A Player could come and say " I make an acquisition-check for all weapons&stuff which is free and/or not restrictied for my character..."
and so he could dice 10 times or even more for purchasing weapons&items...

Is there no limit, how many weapons a character my posses -at least at the beginning?

And what about "normal" money in Etherscope? Does it exist or not? If it exists, has it relevance for gameplay, or is it just "Flavour", but has no effect for the gameplay?

Normaly, Characters expect beeing paid and get experience points for completing the order(s) given to them. If "normal" money doesn't exist in Etherscope, how could characters be rewarded instead(except experience points)? If I read correctly, Wealth bonus can only be increased with the Windfall feat...


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 Post subject: Interesting question
PostPosted: Thu Feb 22, 2007 3:57 pm 
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hello there

an interesting question
Fielding it how I would address it as a GM

First off, I would point out, Can you actually carry all those weapons?
Secondly I would address the idea of a shoot out with the local police and making the news as an insane gunman taken out with predujice
Barring those from working, I would make a house rule relating to what weapon proficiencies they actually have, then stick it to them with encumbrance and weight rules till they lightened their load.

While this is a Cyberpunk influenced game, Still it is Steampunk and Victorian and so an appeal to being a Gentleman (or Lady) might work as well.

Let us all know how that goes

TK


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Feb 23, 2007 1:56 am 
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Hello, #5,

Let's see if I can help out any at all, or just ramble madly...

The Wealth score represents not only how much ready cash the character has on hand, but how many favors they can pull in getting "stuff" as well. Remember that Influences play a role in acquisition checks too...

The acquisition check actually IS buying the stuff, later on after character creation...just not the extra bookkeeping involved...

No, there's no real limit to how many weapons a character can possess aside from what you as a gamemaster sets with the tone and style of the campaign you are running (as opposed to how many they can carry, which is pretty much limited by their Strength and the encumbrance rules).

As far as the "dice 10 times or even more for purchasing weapons&items", there's a couple of ways to look at it depending on what you are actually meaning by that. If you are talking about 10 times for DIFFERENT weapons&items, I say go for it, as long as they are prepared to face the consequences, depending upon what style of game you are running.

Firearms have always been pretty hard to get by with in England, from what I understand. It's not like there are gun shops on every street corner, usually right next to liquor stores (like here in America). And the legality of much of the heavy artillery is pretty questionable as well. They just have much stricter controls in place.

So therefore, in a street-level Imperial game, the "buy a million different guns" character is packing heat in literally two different forms with each gun they have. The more artillery, the more trouble...slap them with that as often as possible (which is to say, extremely often if you are the disapproving GM).

Now, if they want street-level improvised weapons, cool. Straight razors, billy clubs, truncheons, butcher knives, whatever...

But if it's a military campaign, or the characters are in America, or they are wilderness explorers, then there shouldn't be any problems there.

On the other hand, if you are saying they want to dice a million times for the same item over and over again, let's look at that a different way. Just because they CAN buy 150 zipguns because their Wealth score is high enough and it won't be affected by said expenditure at all, who says that those 150 zipguns are currently available, just lying around waiting for the character to pick them up?

That kind of thing is a sensibility issue, really. Saying no to a player is possible, especially when it's something that's patently dumb like that. EVEN if it's supposedly "in the rules".

(Yeah, I had a guy who wanted to dice for 100 rolls of duct tape in my first d20 Modern campaign, just because he had the Wealth and it would never go down by buying them. I said "piss off, you get 5 rolls...deal with that...")

If they are going through character creation doing that maybe you should focus them more towards buying their expensive equipment first and the cheapos last.

Enough on that...

"Normal" money does exist in Etherscope, and can be described in the roleplaying aspect of the exchanges being made if you want to roleplay it out. There's a section of the d20 Modern rulebook that gives out some $ values for Wealth scores, once I get home I can post a listing here if you like (or if any of our friends here have that handy maybe they could? It'll be another week before I get to it, being in San Jose right now). I realize that it would actually be pounds, etc., so it would reflect differently.

Here's some various ways I would use to handle the expectations vs. the lack of a real rise in Wealth bonus in Etherscope:

-Make an item available to a character who previously failed an acquisition check for it (either they rounded up enough money after the job or the person/Influence they were checking with "just found what you were looking for off the back of a truck" and gave it to them at a reduced rate)

-Give them spoils in the form of items they might not have quite enough Wealth to acquire before

-Give them Influence bonuses with the crowd they completed the job for, making it more likely to be able to acquire goods from those persons specifically and allow those specific groups to have more of the items available for purchase

-Have the characters be "gifted" with an item or two in thanks for a job well done by the guilty parties...ermm, their employers...

Etherscope is a setting in which upward mobility should be very very difficult, except for those already on top (and they really don't have much higher to go), so giving out Wealth bonuses really isn't appropriate unless something really special happens, thus the Windfall feat being required.

I'll post something before too long, some variant rules I use for buying feats and skill points with experience points based off of some Spycraft variant rule. I'll have to adjust them a bit for Etherscope, but they make for a different kind of reward you could give as well. Prolly put them on my site as well...still working on it, but it's where I will end up putting all my junk.

Think I am done for the night, if you need me to elucidate on any of my rambling further just let me know :)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Feb 23, 2007 5:45 am 
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Far-Sighted Wanderer

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Hello,

because I don't have plenty of time (to take a 20 :wink: ), i make it short.
I will master on sunday-at last- my first Etherscope-Session and only have a bit of today and a bit of tomorrow for preparing...

@tadk:
the point with "can your character carry all these things" is really a good point. But up to now we have neglected rules concering weight/ how much a character can carry- even it was supposed in the rules.
I had an idea about making an house rule for the limit of possesing weapons&other items. I thought about make it dependent of an trait or sth. else...i'm still thinking of it and let you know, If I'll have found a good solution for that :wink:

@maded: I know, that influences play an important role in acquisitions checks, too.

And yes, I mentioned to dice 10 times or more for different weapons &items. The availability of weapons&items is surely a good limitation, but makes only sense in game and not at the beginning, doesn't it?

and the background :arrow: Victoriana is a good limitation, too. So that some weapons are forbidden or sth. like that, and the character has to suffer under possesing that weapon or item...

and the points you've listed concerning "awarding the characters" are good and helpful. I think, I will take them over.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Feb 25, 2007 3:45 am 
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Far-Sighted Wanderer

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A new question from my side, and you be sure, that even more questions will follow :wink: , but for the moment it's just this one:
In some hours i'm going to master my first round of Etherscope. I have chosen the Adventure Compound 13 from the book for mastering Etherscope the first time.

The players will may choose from some of the supposed characters, described at the end of the adventure.
There are a "Reich Team", a "Britain Team" and a "American Team".

My question now is the following: Do the players have to play characters, who all belong to one (and only one) of those teams? Or ist it possible, that one player plays a "Reich-Charater", one player plays a " Britain Character" and one player plays an " Amercian Character"? So that the charcaters come from and work for different nations but although work together as one group?
Or is this impossible?

I would be thankfull for responses till 1 pm.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Feb 26, 2007 2:13 am 
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Hard-Bitten Adventurer

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Location: The Great Metropolis
5thMusketeer wrote:
The players will may choose from some of the supposed characters, described at the end of the adventure.
There are a "Reich Team", a "Britain Team" and a "American Team".

My question now is the following: Do the players have to play characters, who all belong to one (and only one) of those teams? Or ist it possible, that one player plays a "Reich-Charater", one player plays a " Britain Character" and one player plays an " Amercian Character"? So that the charcaters come from and work for different nations but although work together as one group?
Or is this impossible?


Sorry if this is a bit late a response for you, but the characters at the back of the book aren't designed for the players. They are there for you to construct a team of villains to face your players. From memory, they are ordinary characters and as such do not have the full range abilities a player character should have. You can make them up to full character equivalents by giving them extra feats and talents, though.

Ben


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Feb 26, 2007 4:48 am 
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Far-Sighted Wanderer

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malladin_ben wrote:
Sorry if this is a bit late a response for you, but the characters at the back of the book aren't designed for the players. They are there for you to construct a team of villains to face your players. From memory, they are ordinary characters and as such do not have the full range abilities a player character should have. You can make them up to full character equivalents by giving them extra feats and talents, though.
Ben


ah ok, than I have misunderstood that. That they're not "complete" characters is what I thought first by studying those characters before the session started. For example some have zero exellence points, or some have remarkable less hit points(7 instead of 8+).
I have changed that for the players, and we began to play.
So I've masterd my first Etherscope-Session :D

We did not came to far in the adventure, but that didn't matter. But there still remain some questions resulted from the session:

1) These characters, listed up at the end of the adventure, they have a value( I do NOT mean a minor or a major value here), which is abbreviated by " Mas". What's that? What stand "Mas" for?

2) in combat, the character kann do in one round an attack action and a moving action. Can he use an attack option and a defending option in one round? Can a defending option be seen as a moving action?

3) What, if the character wants to use an active parry...for example dodging? Is it possible that a character uses a active parry?
If yes, what kind of active parrys are available?
Concerning to that: Were the hell do I find skills for an active parry? Under skills for example I don't have found "dodge" or sth. else which could be used for an active parry...

4) Concerning to defence: A Armour gives the character who weares it a maxium dex bonus. For example the Leather jacket give a max dex bonus of +8. So a character (normal humanoid) with a Dex of 12, wearing a leather jacket (in combat) has normally a DC of 10+1(Dex-modifier)+8(Armour-modifier) = 19, right?
And why is it (called) a " maximum dex bonus"? Are there any cases, in which the armour does not give the maximum dex-bonus?

5) What about languages? Which is the main language spoken in Etherscope (if there even is any?)? And what languages do a character speak? Can a character only speak or even write and read a foreign language? For example: A Britain- can he speak/write/read german?

6) Somewere in the CRB is said, that a character even may get more attacks than one per round, if his strength-modifier is high enough. Unfortunately I don't have found, how high a strength-value or a strength-modifier has to be, that a character gains 2 (or even more )attacks per round?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Feb 27, 2007 12:30 am 
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I'll work on answering these for you...

1.) 'Mas" is for Massive Damage...a stat all characters have based off of their Constitution. It's how much damage they can take from a single hit before they are likely to just die.

2.) Total Defence is an action you can take instead of an attack action, and you still get a move action as well. Your Defence improves by 4 for taking a Total Defence. You can also fight defensively, which does not take an action but imposes a -4 to your hit rolls in exchange for +2 to Defence.

3.) An "active parry" would be seen as a Total Defence, I would think. There are no skills purely for combat use, but you could use Tumble to gain a bonus of +3 (instead of the normal +2) when fighting defensively or +6 (instead of the normal +4) using Total Defence, if you have 5+ ranks.

4.) Max Dex Bonus does not determine any bonus to the character's Defence; rather, it's a reflection of how flexible the armor is. If the character's natural Dex bonus to Defence is higher than the Armor's Max Dex Bonus, the character can only use up to that number rather than their natural Dex Defence bonus.

5.) All characters automatically speak the language of their home country. See the chart on Pg. 70 for list. For every 2 ranks in the Knowledge (linguistics) skill that they have, they know one additional language as well. Also, not all characters can read and write, see the social templates for that info. If the template is illiterate, then the character can take the Literate feat to negate that.

If there were any main language, I'd say it would be English;)

6.) Strength bonus doesn't determine number of attacks, just the power behind those attacks, as far as anything I have read in the d20 or Etherscope rules. That's level-dependant; most classes get a second attack after their Base Attack Bonus reaches +6.

Whew, there...hope that gets it all...and good luck with your game!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Feb 27, 2007 2:17 am 
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Ed beat me to it. Everything he says is correct, although I'm not sure from memory if the Tumble check stuff is Etherscope cannon or just a standard D20 system extra rule...

Ben


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Feb 27, 2007 5:31 am 
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Far-Sighted Wanderer

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First of all, thank you for your responses.

maded wrote:
4.) Max Dex Bonus does not determine any bonus to the character's Defence; rather, it's a reflection of how flexible the armor is. If the character's natural Dex bonus to Defence is higher than the Armor's Max Dex Bonus, the character can only use up to that number rather than their natural Dex Defence bonus.


Okay, let's take again the example of the character(normal humanoid) with a DEX of 12, wearing a leather jacket. DEX 12 means a modifier of +1, the leather jacket gives a Max Dex Bonus of + Eight.
The case, that the characters natural Dex bonus to Defence (+1) is higher than the Armours Max Dex Bonus(+Eight) is NOT given here/ in this case, isn't it?

You've said, that the Max Dex Bonus of the armour does not determine any bonus to the characters defence...but what sense has the Max Dex Bonus of the armour then? Where/in which cases do i add this Max Dex Bonus? And where do I add it?

If you don't add its dex bonus to the characters dex bonus, why is it even called so?

Sorry, for the moment I don't understand the sense of this Max Dex Bonus of an armour


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 Post subject: Max Def Bonus
PostPosted: Tue Feb 27, 2007 7:21 am 
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Here is perhaps another way to look at it


Max Def Bonus is the MOST Bonus to Def that a character can derive from wearing that arm

So the Character has say a Dex Bonus of +4 due to a maxed out Dex.

If they are wearing an armor, like Tactical jsut guessing as my ES Rulebook is at home and I am at work, if they are wearing an armor that gives say a Max Dex Bonus of +2 then having that maxed out Dex is not the most economical for Def purposes.

So in that situation, a character with the Max Dex (to start and Human) bonus of +4 and they are wearing a heavy armor that only gives a Max Dex Bonus due to weight/builk/etc of +2 then the player only gets to count +2 of their Dex Def Bonus towards their Def.


So a person with like say leather armorjac style armor on, with that max dex bonus of +8 and then if they have a Maxed out Dex with its +5, then they count all +4


So it is the Armor (Equipement) bonus to Def per the type of armor
also the Dex Bonus = the bonus as long as the Armor Max Dex Bonus is = to that or greater

hope that helps, I know I can explain it better using actual examples but I dont carry the rule books around with me all the time

TK


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Feb 27, 2007 10:13 am 
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Perhaps Max Dex Bonus isn't the best terminology. If you think about it as "Max Dex" for an item of armour it might make it clearer - the highest dexterity you can have and still use all your dexterity bonus to defence.

A Leather Jacket (max Dex bonus +8) is the same as max Dex 27. If you have Dex 28 or higher you gain no more bonus to your def score from your dexterity than people who have 27 Dex.

Cheerio,

Ben


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Feb 28, 2007 5:44 am 
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Unfortunately not that kind of responses I've expected :(

I know, that a character with a DEX of 25 or 26 (and NOT 27 :wink: ) would gain no Dex Bonus from a Leather jacket (+Eight Bonus), because his Dex bonus is equal to the Max Dex Bonus of the armour. That's clear. But unfortunately not the rest. :(

On the one side you say, that the Max Dex Bonus of the armour doesn't affect the characters Defence(value). On the other side you say:
tadk wrote:

Max Def Bonus is the MOST Bonus to Def that a character can derive from wearing that arm



sorry, but this is a little bit confusioning for me.

Perhabs a question to make it clear: Does the Max Dex Bonus from an armour count to the characters Defence (if the Characters Dex is smaller/not greater than the Max Dex Bonus of the armour)?
Yes or no?

Quote:
So a person with like say leather armorjac style armor on, with that max dex bonus of +8 and then if they have a Maxed out Dex with its +5, then they count all +4


they count all +4? not +3? After this calcualtion
Quote:
So in that situation, a character with the Max Dex (to start and Human) bonus of +4 and they are wearing a heavy armor that only gives a Max Dex Bonus due to weight/builk/etc of +2 then the player only gets to count +2 of their Dex Def Bonus towards their Def.
It must be+3 or? If it would be +3 and not +4, I think I have understood this calculation and how the Max Dex Bonus of an armour works...


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 Post subject: apologies
PostPosted: Wed Feb 28, 2007 8:25 am 
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my apologies for trying to answer this without rule book on hand, I should check this at home some time


Ok for the Def,
If the character is wearing armor they get the Def Bonus of the armor
in addition to that they get their Def Bonus from their Dex Bonus (if they have a high enough Dex)
The MOST amount of the (in a manner of speaking) Dex Bonus they can have is up to or equal to the MAX DEX BONUS of the Armor


Is that better or not


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