1. For maintaining a spell, do you round up or down to determine spell points? And just to make sure I am calculating this right, I will give an example. Kristiana cast Mantle, and rolled d12 + d12 (the player wanted to conserve spell points, so the d10 was not rolled). A 3 + 3 was rolled. This resulted in 6 points added to her Deflect Defense Pool, at a cost of 3 SP (drop the lowest die roll). Then to maintain, it costs half of 3 (1 or 2?) SP to maintain the 6 points in Deflect. Right?
Yep, round down. 1 Point to maintain.
2. Firing a ranged weapon into melee. Any penalties/considerations? I wasn't sure if/how to use cover...
Cover penalizes Po-Harm, but which level to use is a matter of individual circumstance. Firing a ranged weapon into melee could endanger your friends. I'd so this:
If your target is full-fledged and uses "dodge" or "evade" to sidestep the arrow, decide whether an ally was too close for comfort. The game doesn't use a battlemat by default, so you may want to roll a random die for combatants within 5' or just come to a consensus about who might be in danger of "friendly fire". If the target has only a single hitpoint score (fodder up through exceptional creatures), then you might want to invoke the optional rule on page 32 and actually require a "to-hit" roll, with a miss indicating somebody might else takes the Po-Harm, if nearby.
Just some suggestions:
Moderate 2D4: firing into battle with two adjacent combatants.
Difficult 2D6: firing into battle with three adjacent combatants
Demanding 2D8: firing into battle with four adjacent combatants
Formidable 2D10: firing into battle with five adjacent combatants
Extreme 2D12: firing into battle with six adjacent combatants
note: (if there are six adjacent combatants, I'd bet their fairly small creatures...)
Missile Weapon Ranges...
Short 20 50 100
Long 30 75 150
Compound 50 100 300
Crossbow 55 115 200
Light Crossbow Small 75 150 300
Sling 50 150 300
Put it this way, if a shuriken can go 50 yards, so should a throwing knife. Or, really, even a decent rock.
Specialized weapons like shuriken and throwing knives, axes and spikes should be the same, about 50 to 60 yards.
Knives, non throwing, and rocks and most common but not specialized stuff, maybe 40 yards.
Swords and non-javelin polearms are not made to throw. Give them a MAX of 8 yards.
Remember we assume a heroic status, and that a person with the skill has at least the power to employ it. i.e. it doesn't matter if you are a skinny guy, you can still wield a sword at 3d6 harm if that is what your skill dictates. The same is true for thrown weapons.
If someone wants to chuck a sword farther, make THAT a FoS roll. Increasing the distance by 50% may be an easy roll, but may "cost" some po-harm maybe 2 points, or perhaps 1 point per die thrown, I dunno. A 100% increase in distance may be a med roll and cost a bit more po-harm. etc.
3. What Ability should be used for "Intimidate"? Using coercion (a trained ability) seems too restrictive. In this case, it was the cleric Kristiana calling out to a bandit to surrender. She tried to be intimidating, using her religious fervor... I went with Willpower, but I don't think that was very good. Maybe Skullduggery > Intimidate? It seems like anyone can TRY to be intimidating, so the Ability should be an untrained one.
I agree, make Coercion untrained.
In the adventure, I used 1 Troll against the party of 5 characters. Although a slow battle (lots of HP for the Troll!), the troll didn't stand a chance--no Toughness loss by any character. Even though it had a lot of HP, it couldn't dish out enough Harm to penetrate any of the Defense pools, let alone any armor or Toughness. I'll be meaner next time!
I am also going to give the players some more spells to use next week, as magic didn't get much use.
Yeah, the troll with a CS of 77 was facing a party that probably has a combined rating of 300
. Still, though the battle was slow (how many rounds), did it seem to devolve into "I hit I miss", or was the use of narrative Defense Pools enough to keep the players "in the action"?