Goodman Games

XCrawl Questions
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Author:  mxyzplk [ Thu Dec 30, 2010 9:56 pm ]
Post subject:  XCrawl Questions

Hey, I recently got XCrawl and some of the crawls and ran Dungeonbattle Brooklyn. I had some questions come up though, maybe people can help me with them.

1. Grandstanding and mugging. It seems like there's a lot of rules surrounding these, but is the only game effect really "make 5 in a row to get a long term Fame boost?" It would seem like getting the crowd psyched would have some kind of short term effect. And even if not, making 5 in a row of anything in a d20-based system is pretty unlikely even with friendly crowds and high skills, and also it seems like if all the players are trying to get in 5 in a single crawl then someone's spending time on that about every other melee round. I feel like I must be missing something.

2. Death and incapacitation. Our crawl ended in the second room, sadly, as our three PCs were beat up by the five orcs (the note in the tunnel said three, but then the text said five... Bad luck on their surprise round meant they got wasted). But none got killed outright, they just got taken to negative HP. I assumed that they don't bleed out, that once the fight is over paramedics come in, patch 'em up, and send them to the hospital where they recuperate in their shame and at their unspecified expense. How do people handle this?

3. Losing. They only got to the second room so I wasn't comfortable just saying "oh yeah, you won" which seems to be what the game wants you to do. It kinda made me want a mechanic to roll to see how far the other teams got (the PCs got interested in who the other teams were and how they did, and were adamant that they didn't want the team of guys in drag with Bugs-Bunny-as-Brunhilda helmet-wigs to best them). Anyone done anything like that?

P.S. I enjoyed the game, a complete writeup of our first session can be found here: ... -brooklyn/

Author:  DJ LaBoss [ Thu Jan 06, 2011 4:38 am ]
Post subject:  Re: XCrawl Questions


Thanks for your interest! Sorry that it took me so long to get back to you, the holidays and travel ran me half ragged.

KK to answer your questions:

1. The grandstanding/ mugging rules never quite worked. I have been working on the new edition for a while and we completely revamped the "five in a row" rule. Here is a taste of the new edition to give you an idea of where the game is headed:
Grandstanding check: Grandstanding is always checked against the Crowd DC (See Crowd DC, p XX). If your check is successful the crowd gives you a big hand.

You can Grandstand whenever you want just to stimulate the crowd. Twice per combat encounter you can earn a temporary point of Fame with a successful Grandstanding check:

- Once during any given combat as a Move Action
- Once after a successful battle

A successful Grandstanding check during these circumstances grants you one temporary point of fame, making a total of two points of temporary Fame that can be earned per room in this manner. See Fame, p XX, for the complete fame rules.

Many factors can change boost or penalize your Grandstanding chances:

Circumstance DC Modifier

Third or more grandstanding checks in a given room -2

Attempt while you should obviously be helping an ally -4

Ally has died during the combat -5

Round after you single-handedly take out an enemy +1

Round after a particularly cool move +2

Round after an unforgettably cool move +4

How “cool” a move is is entirely up to the GM.

Action: Grandstanding is normally a move equivalent action.

Armor Check Penalty: Situational. Some Performance subsets, for example Dancing, Tumbling Tricks or Juggling, should certainly be assigned Armor Check Penalties.

Special: Some Fame Feats allow you to earn Fame points during circumstances other than those listed above. See Fame Feats p XX for a listing and description of Fame Feats.

That's the new stuff, which will be coming to a gaming store near you in the hopefully not to distant future.

2. Sounds like you handled that well. Yes, unconscious/ beat down Crawlers will get medical attention after the whistle blows and won't just be left to die. Unfortunately, there is no first aid for a smashed reputation. If you are running a long term campaign with characters that your players want to keep using you could contrive to give them a second chance at the same adventure (for example, the defeated adventurers all go to the hospital, but before they can take the Bus Ride Of Shame back to whatever burg they came from, they hear that every team was beaten in Level 1 and the Guild rules that they have do do it all over again). Or you could just make them suck it up and move on to the next adventure, hopefully after some soul searching about the meaning of team work . . .

3. I experimented with a few mechanics to deal with the question of "well we lost but who won?" I found that the simpler they were the better. The easiest way is to make a list of all the participating teams before the event and then if your players loose, just roll randomly between them to see who takes it. However, what I recommend is just faking it in whatever way best serves your story. Picture this: Your defeated players are sitting around in the hotel wondering what to do next when a concierge knocks at the door to deliver a huge Spear And Magic Helmet prize package from the winners, the Vermont Valkyries, complete with Shirley Temple wigs and a note saying "Better luck next time, Chumps!" A week later the team gets an invite to a new crawl and who are they up against in the first round but those cross-dressing, schmack-talking, too-big-for-their-britches bastards from Vermont (who are a bunch of bad-asses, lets not forget). Suddenly the player's have a world of motivation - not only to win, but hopefully to get into some fun pre-crawl shenanigans with their rivals in the parking lot. Feelin me?

I loved reading about your session. Xcrawl is all about team work, and I guess your player's learned that the hard way. Great job! And feel free to post any other questions you may have.

be well,


Author:  mxyzplk [ Fri Jan 07, 2011 6:39 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: XCrawl Questions

Hey, thanks for the response!

1. Question - amping the crowd gets you "temporary Fame." Is Mojo just temp fame now, or what benefit does temporary Fame confer? In the old rules, it's "nothing," I think.

2. There should be some "medical cost" as a penalty for near-death, I think. "100 gp per negative hit point" or the like.

3. Sometimes, story emerges from randomness. If I make up 5 teams to start a season, (and making up teams is a hell of a lot of work, I'd like to see many in the game or some supplement) then I don't initially care who wins/who loses and some kind of "roll it" mechanic would be welcome. Maybe just a DC for the dungeon and you roll d20+something vs it, hitting it means 'complete,' rolling over means "completed faster," and coming up short means 'got X way through."

Looking forward to the new XCrawl!

Author:  vagen [ Sat Jan 08, 2011 8:57 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: XCrawl Questions

What temp fame is good for, if your using all the optional rules, is for gaining endorsement deals in between levels. I always had a home rule I used, taking my cue from wrestlers like Hulk Hogan I said that getting the crowd to cheer for you gave you a temp bonus to saving throws, so for every temp fame you gained you got a +1 to saves but would lose one point each room you didn't work the crowd, and you lost half your points if you went unconscious, did something against your public persons, etc...

Author:  mxyzplk [ Sun Jan 09, 2011 8:59 am ]
Post subject:  Re: XCrawl Questions

Oh, you can get endorsements between levels? I just have the corebook and some of the crawls, not whatever that sourcebook on fame/endorsements/whatnot was.

I agree with your home rule, and think that the crowd being with you is worth actual performance bonuses in the Mojo vein as well. I'd like to see some integration of Fame and Mojo (maybe they should be two different things, maybe they shouldn't, actually).

Author:  DJ LaBoss [ Tue Jan 18, 2011 2:11 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: XCrawl Questions

Another slow reply!

In the new edition of Xcrawl there will be some crossover between Mojo and Fame . . .



Author:  mxyzplk [ Tue Jan 18, 2011 5:14 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: XCrawl Questions


Hey, is the new XCrawl still normal 3.5 d20, or related to DCC, or its own thing? I see older threads about "3.5 plus stuff" but wondered if that still held. No strong feeling on which, just wondering.

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