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 Post subject: Re: 3d6, in order
PostPosted: Thu Jun 16, 2011 5:14 pm 
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Chaos-Summoning Sorcerer

Joined: Mon Mar 14, 2011 5:28 am
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Aplus wrote:
There is also treasure in the form of magic items that improve ability scores. They've been around since the dawn of RPGs. Don't be afraid to use 'em!

Be very afraid to use them. Magic items should be as dangerous as the dark powers they come from.


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 Post subject: Re: 3d6, in order
PostPosted: Thu Jun 16, 2011 5:31 pm 
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finarvyn wrote:
bholmes4 wrote:
I think in long term campaigns I may allow characters to develop their abilities (ie. hidden potential) but stick to 3d6 to start. Mind you this is nothing major, maybe a chance for a +1 to one ability every 2 levels

Just a wacky idea, off the top of my head ... what if a character could get a +1 every two or three levels (say, at levels 3, 5, 7, 9 or 3, 6, 9 or whatever) and you make those plusses random. Roll a d6 to see which stat the plus goes on.

Or a hybrid:
Level 3 = +1, player choice
Level 5 = +1, random roll
Level 7 = +1, player choice
Level 9 = +1, random roll

Gaining +3 or +4 over the course of 10 levels probably wouldn't be a bad thing, particularly when starting with an unmodified 3d6 stat roll.

Just me thinking out loud.


Thanks for this. You may have cleared up an issue I was having:

I was considering doing it entirely randomly at first but decided I wanted something that makes a bit more sense. My plan was to allow the player to roll 3d6 against one ability score and if they exceed the score they can increase it by 1. Thus if a character want to increase their strength of 6 they have to roll 7 or higher to increase it by 1. If they have a 17 though they will need to be really lucky to ever get to 18 and will likely waste their roll. The way I see it, the loveable losers (ie. Bilbo) are more likely to grow in to their hidden potential than near perfect specimens like Conan or Aragorn who have arguably already reached it.

Additionaly it gives a player choice: try to get rid of any negative modifiers that are really bothering them or try to get even better at the things you are already good at.

Anyway the thing that worried me was how to keep players from always targeting the same score (and I don't need the irritation of book-keeping them). Your idea above may provide the answer. Using random rolls every 2nd time (as you have them here) keeps players from always trying to increase one ability.

Edit: As Finarvyn pointed out this may not be enough as is. In that case I may have the players add +1 every level (ie. on even levels roll against ability of choice, odd levels roll randomly)


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 Post subject: Re: 3d6, in order
PostPosted: Thu Jun 16, 2011 8:38 pm 
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Tight-Lipped Warlock

Joined: Fri Jan 28, 2011 2:52 pm
Posts: 1088
bholmes4 wrote:
Edit: As Finarvyn pointed out this may not be enough as is. In that case I may have the players add +1 every level (ie. on even levels roll against ability of choice, odd levels roll randomly)


I like the "roll 3d6 every level" idea. That's really great. Better than mine.

I also like varying between a roll against a random attribute versus a chosen one. That's nice.

I'd say it should be every level after the first though. 2nd level on. And maybe remove Luck from the equation. Getting a +1 to Luck is very ephemeral for every class besides the Halfling and Thief.


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 Post subject: Re: 3d6, in order
PostPosted: Thu Jun 16, 2011 10:34 pm 
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smathis wrote:
bholmes4 wrote:
I'd say it should be every level after the first though. 2nd level on. And maybe remove Luck from the equation. Getting a +1 to Luck is very ephemeral for every class besides the Halfling and Thief.


Yeah I definitely agree on the first part and am considering removing Luck as well.


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 Post subject: Re: 3d6, in order
PostPosted: Thu Jun 16, 2011 11:18 pm 
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Tight-Lipped Warlock
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Location: the Towers of Carcosa
bholmes4 wrote:
My plan was to allow the player to roll 3d6 against one ability score and if they exceed the score they can increase it by 1. Thus if a character want to increase their strength of 6 they have to roll 7 or higher to increase it by 1. If they have a 17 though they will need to be really lucky to ever get to 18 and will likely waste their roll.


This is, at it's heart, the same way Call of Cthulhu/Basic Role Play characters increase their skills...I approve!


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 Post subject: Re: 3d6, in order
PostPosted: Fri Jun 17, 2011 10:03 am 
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Tight-Lipped Warlock

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Ogrepuppy wrote:
This is, at it's heart, the same way Call of Cthulhu/Basic Role Play characters increase their skills...I approve!


Now roll 1d6 Sanity damage... :twisted:


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 Post subject: Re: 3d6, in order
PostPosted: Fri Jun 17, 2011 1:22 pm 
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I am not a fan of adjusting the abilities as you level up.

DCC RPG does not really scale well to continual increasing of ability scores. It is optimally designed for one or two +1/-1 and the rest midline. If we start to raise ability scores, you will start to add power creep to the game...

And you know what you get then... high level 3e/4e

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 Post subject: Re: 3d6, in order
PostPosted: Fri Jun 17, 2011 1:33 pm 
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Hamakto wrote:
I am not a fan of adjusting the abilities as you level up.

DCC RPG does not really scale well to continual increasing of ability scores. It is optimally designed for one or two +1/-1 and the rest midline. If we start to raise ability scores, you will start to add power creep to the game...
Yes, I totally agree with Andy. I like the power curve at present.

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 Post subject: Re: 3d6, in order
PostPosted: Fri Jun 17, 2011 1:46 pm 
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Deft-Handed Cutpurse

Joined: Thu Jun 09, 2011 7:05 pm
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Location: Central Vermont
geordie racer wrote:
Hamakto wrote:
I am not a fan of adjusting the abilities as you level up.

DCC RPG does not really scale well to continual increasing of ability scores. It is optimally designed for one or two +1/-1 and the rest midline. If we start to raise ability scores, you will start to add power creep to the game...
Yes, I totally agree with Andy. I like the power curve at present.


Except right now ability scores go down as you level up. Every time your character is reduced to 0 hp, if you do not die, you will be down an ability score point. There are also various other types of damage, magical effects, and likely monster attacks that permanently sap a character.

I think this needs guidance at least. Survival isn't that heavily based on ability scores, but it is problematic to have that level 5 warrior have a 6 Stamina, 8 Agility and 7 Strength because of the number of times he's cheated death. It just doesn't feel right.


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 Post subject: Re: 3d6, in order
PostPosted: Fri Jun 17, 2011 2:06 pm 
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Mighty-Thewed Reaver
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meinvt wrote:
geordie racer wrote:
Hamakto wrote:
I am not a fan of adjusting the abilities as you level up.

DCC RPG does not really scale well to continual increasing of ability scores. It is optimally designed for one or two +1/-1 and the rest midline. If we start to raise ability scores, you will start to add power creep to the game...
Yes, I totally agree with Andy. I like the power curve at present.


Except right now ability scores go down as you level up. Every time your character is reduced to 0 hp, if you do not die, you will be down an ability score point. There are also various other types of damage, magical effects, and likely monster attacks that permanently sap a character.

I think this needs guidance at least. Survival isn't that heavily based on ability scores, but it is problematic to have that level 5 warrior have a 6 Stamina, 8 Agility and 7 Strength because of the number of times he's cheated death. It just doesn't feel right.

Then instead of making the stat loss permanent - why not have them lose it till he next levels up.

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 Post subject: Re: 3d6, in order
PostPosted: Fri Jun 17, 2011 4:54 pm 
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Far-Sighted Wanderer

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I like the idea of rolling 3d6 but agree that every level might be too much. I'm thinking every 2 or 4 levels to keep the number of points down - normally id go with four but with the level 10 cap two might be more effective.

Also, making the permanent loss of points temporary is a good way to go as well.


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 Post subject: Re: 3d6, in order
PostPosted: Sat Jun 18, 2011 4:17 am 
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Far-Sighted Wanderer

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smathis wrote:
The one comment on the ability scores was around not being able to raise them via Levels. If Joseph is looking for something to add in that might expand out the level progression through the 6-10 range. He might consider adding a few levels where a character can add +2 to an attribute with the caveat that an attribute can not go higher than 18. Or, if it does, there's just no mechanical benefit for it other than damage to that ability won't lower the score below 18 as quickly.


One possibility might be that only Luck can rise.

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 Post subject: Re: 3d6, in order
PostPosted: Sat Jun 18, 2011 11:17 am 
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Mighty-Thewed Reaver

Joined: Fri Jan 14, 2011 11:53 am
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Now that I know luck can be awarded after adventures and such I think rolling 3d6 every 2 levels is the route I will go. That way really gimp characters might improve 3-5 points (remember this is by level 10 when they are truly heroic) and already strong characters may improve 0-3 (due to the difficulty of rolling over their higher scores).

Luck won't be an option.


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 Post subject: Re: 3d6, in order
PostPosted: Sun Jun 19, 2011 2:50 pm 
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Far-Sighted Wanderer

Joined: Sun May 22, 2011 2:18 pm
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smathis wrote:
I like that a lot. I'd be inclined to switch it up like this...

Level 3 = +1 random roll
Level 5 = +2 player choice
Level 7 = +2 random roll
Level 9 = +1 player choice

I'd offer a couple of +2s. I don't see the +1s being that great of an improvement, IMO. Ability bonuses are more spread out. And stats are getting dinged left and right by crits, spellburn and nasty monster attacks. +1s are almost like running to stand still, in a way.

I really like this, though I'm not entirely sold on the +2's.

I think it would be better to make the first bonus one that the player chooses, to represent the character improving in what he uses most often, and as a palliative for characters who aren't great at their primary stat.

Or maybe something like:

Level 3: +1 to stat of the player's choice, and +1 to a random stat
Level 5: +1 to a random stat
Level 7: +1 to stat of the player's choice, and +1 to a random stat
Level 9: +1 to a random stat


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 Post subject: Re: 3d6, in order
PostPosted: Sun Jun 19, 2011 3:18 pm 
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I get the feeling that we're losing the impact of "3d6 in order" when we start adding so many bonuses to the stats.

A high roll is supposed to mean something, but the more other characters can add to their stats then the less value there is in that lucky roll. Or, players no longer have to work around that weakness because given a little experience they can just add to that stat and make it go away.

One thing I love about the playtest reports is that folks are always mentioning some character who they thought would be lame but was a blast to play. A character with a low stat that added some quirk to the character.

I'm not saying that there couldn't be any plusses added at certain levels, but some of the ideas posted recently give as much as +6 in nine levels. That's faster than 3E! :|

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 Post subject: Re: 3d6, in order
PostPosted: Sun Jun 19, 2011 4:21 pm 
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finarvyn wrote:
I get the feeling that we're losing the impact of "3d6 in order" when we start adding so many bonuses to the stats.


I'm just worried that this is something that really needs to be tested in play on multiple campaigns that get at least to 5th level or so. Not sure there is time for that to happen in the playtest period, but hopefully it will. My intent would be only to provide a counter balance to the various game effects that lower ability scores and my goal would be to have a character's abilities, on net, not go significantly down over the course of their career. That may result in shifting over time, through player decision or random chance. How much control there is in the new abilities is entirely a function of game design.


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 Post subject: Re: 3d6, in order
PostPosted: Sun Jun 19, 2011 7:50 pm 
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Hard-Bitten Adventurer

Joined: Thu Jun 09, 2011 1:55 pm
Posts: 154
The only place where we really haven't seen straight 3D6 work very well so far is with demihumans -- elves with INT of 4, or dwarves with high INT and low strength and stamina, etc. Humans have more flexibility with their stats. We may house-rule minimum stats for demihumans (re-roll your background if below the minimum requirements), or allow demi-humans one or two stat-swaps.


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 Post subject: Re: 3d6, in order
PostPosted: Mon Jun 20, 2011 12:32 am 
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Mighty-Thewed Reaver

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finarvyn wrote:
I get the feeling that we're losing the impact of "3d6 in order" when we start adding so many bonuses to the stats.

A high roll is supposed to mean something, but the more other characters can add to their stats then the less value there is in that lucky roll. Or, players no longer have to work around that weakness because given a little experience they can just add to that stat and make it go away.

One thing I love about the playtest reports is that folks are always mentioning some character who they thought would be lame but was a blast to play. A character with a low stat that added some quirk to the character.

I'm not saying that there couldn't be any plusses added at certain levels, but some of the ideas posted recently give as much as +6 in nine levels. That's faster than 3E! :|


I agree with your last statement. As I stated, now that I know you can reward luck after each adventure I definitely think this needs to be on the lower end. I am thinking they can roll for a chance at a +1 every 2, but more likely every 3 levels. Most players will fail these rolls at least a few times so in the end you are looking at about 2 or 3 points on average. And since this game stops at 10th level it's not going to reach 3e ability levels.

I don't agree with some of your other points (assuming we use a lesser reward system like this one) though I do agree they are VERY valid concerns. The problem is it won't be until 2nd or 3rd level that you even get your first +1. If that somehow reduces the impact of the 3d6 by all that much I would be highly surprised (most characters and campaigns never even make it that far either). At 4th or 6th you might, remember this is not guaranteed, might have a total of +2. For most of the characters I have seen this still isn't a big deal though, hardly noticeable. Let's assume that maybe you start to see a difference by 8 or 9th level, is that really an issue though at this point? You are supposed to be heroic level by now, fighting dragons and demons and such. You are probably still worse than a character rolled using 4d6 so you aren't even close to anything seen in 3e. In fact since most of us played even old school D&D with 4d6 the character will still probably look a bit gimpy to most of us.

And it's clear people are having a blast with these lame characters in one-offs but that's probably the novelty of it and I have some doubts about their appeal long-term. That's the whole point of this. They are fun right now but some of us have doubts about their appeal in long-term campaigns, not because they aren't super heroes but because I know many players will eventually get annoyed by the negative modifiers they have from low scores. You see it's not that I want characters to get 18s, I just don't want them to have 6s their whole career. That's why I will make my players roll over their scores. If you have negative modifiers it will be easy to boost your way out of them. If you are already "heroic" you will have a hard time ever increasing them. And if you are really lame, well even with the boosts it won't make a big difference.


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 Post subject: Re: 3d6, in order
PostPosted: Mon Jun 20, 2011 3:54 am 
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Mighty-Thewed Reaver

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Just tested this out for 6 characters over 10 levels, giving them one roll against an ability every 2 levels (at 2/4/6/8/10th level). I picked abilities based on those I thought a player would most likely roll against in that situation (considering class etc.). Since I would not allow rolls against Luck I am not even including those scores.

#1 Ability scores boost after 10 levels: +1
Original 14/14/10/15/9/
Finished 14/14/10/15/10/
Change in total Ability Bonuses: +3 to +3 = no change

#2 Ability scores boost after 10 levels: +2
Original 9/17/9/7/11/
Finished 9/17/9/9/11/
Change in total Ability Bonuses: +1 to +2 = +1

#3 Ability scores boost after 10 levels: +3
Original 9/10/14/12/7/
Finished 9/10/15/12/9/
Change in total Ability Bonuses: +0 to +1 = +1

#4 Ability scores boost after 10 levels: +3
Original 9/14/8/14/7/
Finished 9/14/9/14/9/
Change in total Ability Bonuses: +0 to +2 = +2

#5 Ability scores boost after 10 levels: +2
Original 12/10/11/5/13/
Finished 12/10/11/7/13/
Change in total Ability Bonuses: -1 to 0 = +1

#6 Ability scores boost after 10 levels: +4
Original 9/6/9/17/14/
Finished 9/9/9/17/15/
Change in total Ability Bonuses: +2 to +3 = +1

The final result is that on average the ability scores were boosted 2.5 points (as I suspected). The total modifiers from their ability scores increased on average by +1 total. That means most of the change is purely cosmetic. Giving each character an extra +1 isn't going to change the game much.

If retaining grittiness and flavour is an issue keep in mind that none of the characters look all that impressive in the end. Sure only one retained a negative modifier from an ability of 7 (a good thing in my mind, removing the negative modifiers was a goal) but there were still lots of 9s to remind you these characters were on the weaker side in those areas, retaining some of their original flavour and quirks. More importantly, keep in mind that if I had of shown their scores after 4th or 6th level there would still have been plenty of negative modifiers floating around.


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 Post subject: Re: 3d6, in order
PostPosted: Mon Jun 20, 2011 4:23 am 
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Far-Sighted Wanderer

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The average result of 4d6 drop the lowest is 12.245 (rounded), as opposed to 10.5 for 3d6.

Thus the total difference in average stats between the two methods is 1.745 per attribute, or 10.47 for six attributes.

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 Post subject: Re: 3d6, in order
PostPosted: Mon Jun 20, 2011 4:43 am 
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Mighty-Thewed Reaver

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Wow thanks. So that means the difference drops from about 10.5 to about 8 (but thats after 10 levels) since the abilities increased about 2.5 total points on average. That is still a huge difference from 4d6 even at top level.


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 Post subject: Re: 3d6, in order
PostPosted: Mon Jun 20, 2011 8:49 am 
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Far-Sighted Wanderer

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One of the thoughts I had for luck was to add d4 minus luck bonus. So unluckly guys luck will go up more than lucky guys, and very lucky buy, there luck might go down

also, if you do something like, cleanse an evil temple, a lawful character gets +d6 - d4 luck, the +d6 from the lawful gods, the -d4 from the chaotic ones who aren't pleased. stuff like that.


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 Post subject: Re: 3d6, in order
PostPosted: Mon Jun 20, 2011 7:40 pm 
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Ill-Fated Peasant

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The difference is that in Basic D&D 10 was average. Look at the pregens in the back of module B1, Keep on the Borderlands. They are all over the place, higher and lower, but with 10 in the middle. Try and use the stats for any AD&D or d20 versions and they make unplayable characters, yet they worked fine in Basic/Expert.

AD&D began a change to where higher scores are better, especially in relation to the changes made to monsters. Eventually, 10 became low, and below 10 became feeble. Thus its been all the way through 3.5. However, it works because it is tuned for that. However, making 10 the medium again is good.


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 Post subject: Re: 3d6, in order
PostPosted: Mon Jun 20, 2011 10:25 pm 
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Far-Sighted Wanderer

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Perhaps it would be good to have a statement in the rules that scores mean different things than they do in other games.

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 Post subject: Re: 3d6, in order
PostPosted: Tue Jun 21, 2011 4:23 am 
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Far-Sighted Wanderer

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Posts: 36
Arawn76 wrote:
I would like a point buy system as an option only because it would help me sell the game easier to my group.

Ick. Point Buy is good for high power games, but I don't think this is meant to be one...

Personally, back in the BECMI days, I had a "house rule" of "roll 7 stats, the first six go, in order, into the six attributes. The seventh may then be swapped out for one of the above, or discarded, at your discretion."
Only used it once, then got the DMG and saw all of the variants it listed, and ALMOST went back when we tried to organize a memorial game after Mr. Gygax passed but it didn't happen...

If we need to be "gentler" to the players, I'd strongly recommend something like this (the current system feels a bit like the DMG one that went: "Generate six sets of stats in order, take the best set" - except this is "2-4 sets, play them all until only one remains" :)


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