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 Post subject: Re: Luck Kind of Sucks
PostPosted: Sat Jul 16, 2011 12:41 am 
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Hard-Bitten Adventurer

Joined: Thu May 26, 2011 9:46 pm
Posts: 123
This thread reminds me of KODT strip where brian, playing a level one thief, slays the vampire lord by throwing a stake into the vampire's heart and burning all his luck to slay it, and the DM having a fit because his cool epic level monster that was soposed to last a whole campaign got killed in the first few moments of the game.

I guess play testing is the way to go to see about all this damage from luck points but, I just dont like the idea of using it for damage. I am in the camp for denying the use of luck points for boosting damage. Of course, if a player thief can use luck points to boost damage, then so can NPC thieves.....


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 Post subject: Re: Luck Kind of Sucks
PostPosted: Sat Jul 16, 2011 10:40 am 
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Far-Sighted Wanderer

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Here is my latest experience with luck:

We had a game earlier this week and it was a fun time, but at the expense of a lot of luck. First the context:

We heard about a dungeon and went off to investigate with our party that is a mixture of 0 and 1st level characters. Our party cautiously crept up to the entrance and an Ogre popped up. The party tried to talk their way past the Ogre, but eventually he just decided to start throwing stuff at the party, which resulted in one of the 0-levels dying.

My cleric character early in the adventure was able to get a high roll with Word of Command on an ogre who was guarding the entrance to a dungeon. I had the ogre "throw" things in a particular direction and he proceeded to do that for 40 minutes. We carefully skirted around the ogre who was now hunting around tossing everything he could find and got into the dungeon.

Soon enough we came across a guard room, with three wolves and three armed and armored guards. The resultant fight left five of our ten characters fallen, and the three guards still fairly fresh with their longswords and armor versus our pichforks and picks. My character told everyone to run back exactly as we came to get to the dungeon, hoping that the ogre might be able to fight the guards. It was a bit close, but we did get out... avoiding the guards back stabbing us, plus the ogre who was still throwing stuff.

The ogre started trying to throw the guards and the guards ran back into the dungeon where we heard quite a bit of battle, finally it all went silent, presumably because the ogre was dead.

Now, we had to go back in. Our GM had tweaked the rules a bit and said that if a 1st level or above character could be gotten to within an hour then they could make a luck roll to be revived. My wife's 1st level character was laying there on the floor in the dungeon, and well... I HAD to go back in.

So I handed out oil flasks to everyone in the party and we made the plan to either coat the guards in oil and burn them all, or make a wall of fire to cut them off long enough for us to drag my wife's character out of there. We ended up encountering the the guards. Fortunately for us they were really beaten up by the ogre, but we couldn't really tell. We doused them in oil, I did a word of command on one of them to run away, and we were able to put them down.

As far as luck is concerned. I had two character's one a 1st level and one a 0-level and both of them had to blow through their luck in order to pull off succeeding at that final fight, not through extra damage, but just rolling for successes. Both of them are now a 4 luck and thus a -2 to all of their luck rolls. For the 0-level, that means he's at -2 to damage because this character, who is rather well rolled for becoming a fighter, has his weapon damage modified by luck.

Another tweak that our GM is doing is that at the end of a session we get 1 luck. That's generous compared to the base system.

The problem though I'm having with luck is this deathspiral effect. The game is lethal, and between needing to use luck to save the day, and also needing to make luck rolls (which often are equivalent to saving throws in terms of life or death situations) you're going to inevitably getting dragged down into oblivion.

Even with our GM's tweak, I'd basically need to never use luck over the next five sessions, which is around 20-25 hours of play time, just to get to a +0 modifier. Sure, you can get awarded luck in other ways, but it's all rather ephemeral and up to the GMs whim. Without paying close attention to the "luck economy" the players are going to be in the red most of the time.

There are a variety of systems, even version of D&D, which have hero points, all of which function in a manner similar to luck. However none of these systems have negative effects. You can't go into negative hero points which end up biting you in the future. I know that DCC has a fatalistic and gritty tone, but the luck economy as it stands doesn't mesh with Appendix N. Even though those books could paint a world that is a bit fickle and grim, you still had plenty of protagonists that were being rewarded for pushing themselves.

My character's pushed themselves to go back into the dungeon and helped save a party member. We needed to blow through that luck to pull of these heroics, but now the balance of Fate is leaning heavily against them. Sure, we have a bit more gold and gear to help us the next time we head out, but those luck rolls do come at you like saving throws and so we could be snuffed out just like that.

Basically, the system isn't giving me an incentive to want to continue playing. I'm not getting a "just one more potato chip" feel because all the energy I spent to get through one session now sets me up to get cut down in the next one.

As that other thread about campaigns talks about, I can see how all of this is a lot of fun for a one-shot or a couple of sessions, but a campaign right now feels more like a long-defeat endurance test at best. It's cool if that's what your hungering for, but it's definitely not what I'm after as a play experience.

There is a vast amount of DCC that I like, but the underlying character resource economy undermines all of the cool fun parts, tossing them into a murky swamp that you have to slog through and hope at any moment a gator doesn't pull you under. At the very least I'd hope that the final DCC will have some kind of "dial" to adjust the luck setting, plus a few other things so that people can choose what "difficulty setting" that want to run the game at.


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 Post subject: Re: Luck Kind of Sucks
PostPosted: Sat Jul 16, 2011 3:13 pm 
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Deft-Handed Cutpurse

Joined: Thu Jun 09, 2011 7:05 pm
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Location: Central Vermont
echoota wrote:
Here is my latest experience with luck:

We had a game earlier this week and it was a fun time, but at the expense of a lot of luck.


As the DM for this adventure, I have pretty much the same impression. After about four sessions the players are getting pretty fatalistic about the whole thing. When every attack has a 40% chance to kill you outright it is tough to be terribly brave and heroic.

I will note that the 1 hour to save a character rule isn't actually my tweak, it is rather my getting the rules as written correct. Although the 1 point of permanent stat damage penalty is still huge. We have a level 1 Warrior who has taken 2 permanent ability points in damage and is about 1/6 of the way to second level. At this rate she'll have a -1 or -2 penalty in every stat by the time she reaches level 2.

I even went out of my way to note that it is not my intention to have the campaign be "every session we roll up a new set of level 0 characters". I'd like to see the players grow and evolve into more notable heroes. So far the relatively low hp to damage range, the permanent ability damage and luck death spiral seem like the major impediments to this.

I'm inclined to make all of these things "heal" and give the bonus to certain characters be extra healing.

"Permanent" ability damage as a result of 0 hp would heal at 1 point per week.
Luck would heal 1 point a day. Halflings would get to heal additional luck each day equal to their level. Thieves would get to heal an additional amount of luck each day equal to a roll of their luck die.

The other alternative is to make sure there are at least one or two ability boosting magic ponds/potions/etc. in almost every dungeon, and I don't want to make that a requirement of my campaign world.

I realize that these changes will make it very tough to kill characters (basically it requires no recovery of the body, or multiple reductions to 0 hp in a short time period), but I think that is actually okay.


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 Post subject: Re: Luck Kind of Sucks
PostPosted: Sat Jul 16, 2011 4:04 pm 
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Chaos-Summoning Sorcerer

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Just curious. Could this issue be exasperated by too little XP being given out? First level chars vs an ogre should be some nice xp even in an old school scenario.


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 Post subject: Re: Luck Kind of Sucks
PostPosted: Sat Jul 16, 2011 7:31 pm 
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jmucchiello wrote:
Just curious. Could this issue be exasperated by too little XP being given out? First level chars vs an ogre should be some nice xp even in an old school scenario.


Admittedly the characters did have a prior adventure where they failed to find almost any treasure. But, I'd note that under the Basic D&D rules with five surviving characters an ogre awards 25 experience points each (125 total), and in that rules set the amount required to go up levels was even more. I'm considering beefing up the XP awards, but we ended up with 101 each after about two hours of actual adventure time (maybe less).


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 Post subject: Re: Luck Kind of Sucks
PostPosted: Mon Jul 18, 2011 3:28 pm 
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Mighty-Thewed Reaver

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You experience is far different than our experience with DCC RPG.

I will have to say an Ogre at the front door is pretty brutal to begin with, but (nothing against the players) is it a problem with one of the following:

First of all, is the adventure out of scale for the party? Yes, DCC is not about balance but you still have to have something that is workable.

i.e. Ogre in one encounter and 3 wolves and 3 guards in a second encounter

Heck, I could put a dragon in a 3e 1st level encounter and one Breath Weapon they are dead. So the adventure balance may be a bit off.

Second, frontal assaults do not always work in DCC RPG. Especially at first level. Since this appears to be a very powerful dungeon a party needs to be as inventive as possible and pull a McGyver out of thin air. Regroup... traps, etc... Do not know the entire situation, but if they are that outgunned then they need to find the back door, the DM needs to look at the power of the module or otherwise.

I do not see that the problem is with the DCC RPG game system. Nothing you listed above would be something that is an issue with the rules.

Luck exists to help a character survive when bad luck strikes. I do not know the situation, but would better tactics help reduce the luck needed to burn. (i.e. take one flash and smash it at the door way, so you can easily light it later to prevent guards from coming through.... or making them make a roll to keep from slipping when moving up to attack the group. With that sort of wall, you could get extra time to throw rocks (the Ogre had a bunch from earlier) or other missile/improvised weapons to wear down the guards.

By getting into a situation where it is burn luck or die, you will always burn more luck.

Luck should not be a crutch to win a fight, but instead reserved for surviving from a bad roll in a fight.

Please note that my comments above are not intended to be critical of anyone and how they play the game. But I am trying to point out that DCC RPG is not DnD and requires a different thought process in (1) Dungeon Setup (2) Player execution with zero level toons.

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 Post subject: Re: Luck Kind of Sucks
PostPosted: Mon Jul 18, 2011 4:19 pm 
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Deft-Handed Cutpurse

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I think it goes mostly to the (lack of) survivability of 0-level characters. This was a group of 10 characters of which 7 were level 0. One of the level 1 characters fell, but the other two were uninjured in the encounter. Level 0 characters tend to die on the first hit a lot...

I will say that the Ogre and Guards didn't have all that many hp, or that huge of an attack bonus. The rest of your post is tough to respond to because it was our experience and you say your games are different, but not how, so I have nothing to compare to.


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 Post subject: Re: Luck Kind of Sucks
PostPosted: Mon Jul 18, 2011 4:48 pm 
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Wild-Eyed Zealot

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I have played many D&D games with low level characters having very little hp. One houserule I will probably put in is adding stamina hp at 1st level and not getting the stamina bonus at each level.

I will probably skip the 0 level thing altogether.


Last edited by fjw70 on Thu Jul 21, 2011 5:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Luck Kind of Sucks
PostPosted: Thu Jul 21, 2011 12:13 pm 
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Mighty-Thewed Reaver

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fjw70 wrote:
I have played many D&D games with low level characters having very little hp. One household I will probably put in is adding stamina hp at 1st level and not getting the stamina bonus at each level.

I will probably skip the 0 level thing altogether.


One of the most enjoyable GenCon tourneys was the Fiend tourney put on by GG. In the first round you had four zero level characters to start the adventure (rounds 2 and 3 were much higher levels).

Because of our lack of skills, combat abilities, etc... we had to become exceptionally inventive on our actions in and outside of combat. We never said... 'CHARGE' during the adventure. Fighting was always the last resort for us because a single hit could take a player out.

It was one of the most intense tourneys that we did and we managed to survive the round without anyone dying. We did have 2 players at negative HP as time expired, but it was a brutally tough adventure.

DCC RPG brings back that feel in a game system. At zero and first levels, you cannot just reach for the combat dice. You do not have the skill/resources to survive multiple straight up fights. As you gain levels, you can definitely gain enough resources to survive multiple straight up combats. But at first level, every fight could be deadly if use just charge straight in.

They reason I put that above is by giving a stamina bonus to 1st level characters is huge and takes away a huge amount of challenge in playing low level characters. In 4e, you can play the same basic (boring / grinding) style of play from level 1 to 30. In DCC RPG, you have the play the characters differently at various levels. Use entirely different tactics are the various levels due to a non-linear power curve.

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 Post subject: Re: Luck Kind of Sucks
PostPosted: Thu Jul 21, 2011 5:16 pm 
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I prefer systems that allow the player to decide the play style. If a player wants to be creative and avoid combat then a few extra hp won't stop him. However if a player wants to talk with his sword first (basically roll dice and kill things) then I would like him to have a decent chance of success at it (this style remains dangerous even with a few more hp). Most payers In my experience fall between these two extremes.

I like the idea of taking OD&D and appendix N and merging that with 3e game mechanics. I however want to go a step further and merge in some 4e mechanics (e.g. more hp at 1st level, fixed hp progression, and fast healing). I know this changes the feel of the game that GG was going for but I doubt they will come to my house and bash me over the head with the DCC book if I do. :)


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 Post subject: Re: Luck Kind of Sucks
PostPosted: Thu Jul 21, 2011 5:33 pm 
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fjw70 wrote:
I prefer systems that allow the player to decide the play style. If a player wants to be creative and avoid combat then a few extra hp won't stop him. However if a player wants to talk with his sword first (basically roll dice and kill things) then I would like him to have a decent chance of success at it (this style remains dangerous even with a few more hp). Most payers In my experience fall between these two extremes.

I like the idea of taking OD&D and appendix N and merging that with 3e game mechanics. I however want to go a step further and merge in some 4e mechanics (e.g. more hp at 1st level, fixed hp progression, and fast healing). I know this changes the feel of the game that GG was going for but I doubt they will come to my house and bash me over the head with the DCC book if I do. :)


as long as nothing from 4e makes it into the book, i'm perfectly fine with everything you said 8)

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 Post subject: Re: Luck Kind of Sucks
PostPosted: Thu Jul 21, 2011 7:45 pm 
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:D


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 Post subject: Re: Luck Kind of Sucks
PostPosted: Mon Jul 25, 2011 5:34 pm 
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fjw70 wrote:
I prefer systems that allow the player to decide the play style. If a player wants to be creative and avoid combat then a few extra hp won't stop him. However if a player wants to talk with his sword first (basically roll dice and kill things) then I would like him to have a decent chance of success at it (this style remains dangerous even with a few more hp). Most payers In my experience fall between these two extremes.

I like the idea of taking OD&D and appendix N and merging that with 3e game mechanics. I however want to go a step further and merge in some 4e mechanics (e.g. more hp at 1st level, fixed hp progression, and fast healing). I know this changes the feel of the game that GG was going for but I doubt they will come to my house and bash me over the head with the DCC book if I do. :)


You are absolutely correct. GG will not hound you.

The trick is...

If you want to be combat/melee heavy at first level, then you should be playing 4e. 1e, 2e, and 3e are all very brutal at 1st level. If you speak with your sword first, you WILL not survive long at 1st level. I great deal of the danger goes out of DCC if you get a bonus 8-10 hp's at 1st level.

In my opinion, giving out bonus HP's at first level completely destroys the feel for DCC. The stress and excitement of having your character survive. Once you make level 2, that stress starts to lessen and your options and horizons increase. It is still deadly, but you have the ability to survive one or more bad events. This furthers along as you level up and become more hero like (I know we are not hero's in DCC RPG, but the title fits).

In the last three campaigns I DM, we had at least three 1st level PC's take the long walk. (-10 death rules are pretty lenient at 1st level). 2 of the 3 were foolish (albeit heroic) actions by the characters. One was just unimaginable bad luck on the dice.

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 Post subject: Re: Luck Kind of Sucks
PostPosted: Mon Jul 25, 2011 7:12 pm 
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Hamakto wrote:
If you want to be combat/melee heavy at first level, then you should be playing 4e.


I do play that too but the 4e/DCC decision is a lot more complex than combat heavy or light.

Quote:
1e, 2e, and 3e are all very brutal at 1st level. If you speak with your sword first, you WILL not survive long at 1st level. I great deal of the danger goes out of DCC if you get a bonus 8-10 hp's at 1st level.

In my opinion, giving out bonus HP's at first level completely destroys the feel for DCC. The stress and excitement of having your character survive. Once you make level 2, that stress starts to lessen and your options and horizons increase. It is still deadly, but you have the ability to survive one or more bad events. This furthers along as you level up and become more hero like (I know we are not hero's in DCC RPG, but the title fits).


Been there done that. I wasn't impressed.


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 Post subject: Re: Luck Kind of Sucks
PostPosted: Tue Jul 26, 2011 2:48 am 
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fjw70 wrote:
Hamakto wrote:
If you want to be combat/melee heavy at first level, then you should be playing 4e.


I do play that too but the 4e/DCC decision is a lot more complex than combat heavy or light.


It's more about "rubbish" vs "awesomeness" :twisted:

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 Post subject: Re: Luck Kind of Sucks
PostPosted: Tue Jul 26, 2011 10:57 am 
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fjw70 wrote:
Been there done that. I wasn't impressed.


Even though it goes against the "spirit" of DCC, I think it would behoove us all to acknowledge that (1) people are eventually going to want better stats in DCC and (2) people are going to eventually want better survivability in DCC.

I think there's a solid reason why D&D drifted the way it did. One of the first things people did with D&D is house rule rolling up characters to one of the many options presented in AD&D -- either 4d6 take best three or roll 3d6 seven times and allocate as you want.

I like the randomness of DCC. I like 3d6 in order. But I acknowledge that people are going to (eventually) get bored with that and move on to some other system that suits what they want to do in their game.

Same with hit points (and recovery), IMO. Perhaps the second house rule to ever hit the table in most D&D groups was "max hit points at 1st level".

It's just going to happen. Why do we know this? Because it's already happened. I love me some DCC. But in some regards, it is failing to learn from the history of D&D.

The question that I think needs to be asked is whether DCC wants umpteen millions of house rules cribbed from OD&D on tacked onto its core system. Or whether it wants to take a stand and offer clear variants/suggestions/house rules that can benefit people from the get-go.

It seems it's drifting into the waters of "just house rule". Which is fine. But it's not going to lend itself to a very unified play experience with Andy's group using DR house rules, my group using variant hit points and GnomeBoy's group using variant GnomeBoy rules.

To a degree, this is unavoidable. But when it's so glaringly obvious where people are going to start tacking and hacking, I feel it's a better strategy to just come out and say it. Acknowledge where the dials are. Tell people how to turn them up and down. Swords & Wizardry Core does a good job with this, without sacrificing the integrity of the game or throwing itself on the altar of the Big Darn Heroes in 4e.

As it stands, I'm concerned with DCC being a truly "complete" game when it comes out. It's abdicated far too much of known, well-trod D&D issues to the legions of tinkerers and tweakers that will DM the game. It's also (strangely) re-introduced some D&D issues that had been addressed as early as AD&D.

I think there's fertile ground in DCC for 3PP and I also think there's going to be a baker's dozen of house rules kludged from all ends of the 3PP spectrum to twist and turn DCC in a bunch of different directions. Joseph sitting down in my DCC game will have a seemingly different ruleset and experience than he would in Andy's game or than we would in his.

I don't think that's bad. I'm working on a 3PP publication myself.

But in terms of the stat treadmill, starting ability scores and hit points, I think it's regrettable that variant options appear to be outside the conversation. In the past, Joseph had mentioned including an appendix with popular house rules in it. I hope that stays in. And I hope some of the ideas on this forum (not just my own) make it in.

It would be nice to have a common ground upon which the community can grow. Such that we can discuss whether or not we use "Shields Shall Be Splintered" or "d10 Untrained" or "3d6 Stat Boost Roll" instead of compiling reams and reams of "I think that'll work" house rules and splintering ourselves in 1000 different directions.


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 Post subject: Re: Luck Kind of Sucks
PostPosted: Tue Jul 26, 2011 11:25 am 
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smathis wrote:
It would be nice to have a common ground upon which the community can grow. Such that we can discuss whether or not we use "Shields Shall Be Splintered" or "d10 Untrained" or "3d6 Stat Boost Roll" instead of compiling reams and reams of "I think that'll work" house rules and splintering ourselves in 1000 different directions.


+d20

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 Post subject: Re: Luck Kind of Sucks
PostPosted: Tue Jul 26, 2011 1:36 pm 
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Hamakto wrote:
smathis wrote:
It would be nice to have a common ground upon which the community can grow. Such that we can discuss whether or not we use "Shields Shall Be Splintered" or "d10 Untrained" or "3d6 Stat Boost Roll" instead of compiling reams and reams of "I think that'll work" house rules and splintering ourselves in 1000 different directions.


+d20


+d16.

What's the "Shields shall be splintered" thing!? i think i missed that

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 Post subject: Re: Luck Kind of Sucks
PostPosted: Tue Jul 26, 2011 9:31 pm 
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abk108 wrote:
What's the "Shields shall be splintered" thing!? i think i missed that


It's a D&D house rule that's gotten traction on the internet. I think it's a neat idea. But having used it, I tend to agree with jrients that it tends to get forgotten a lot.

I wouldn't mind either of those being options. The interesting thing about the second link is that the way the armor class bonuses are re-arranged fits nicely with Andy's ideas on armor as damage reduction.


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 Post subject: Re: Luck Kind of Sucks
PostPosted: Wed Jul 27, 2011 3:37 am 
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shields shall be splintered is such a neat idea! It gives the low level characters a chance to survive a death blow, and is very cinematographic :) if people forget about that - the DM can just remember them, until they get the hang of it.

By the way, some time ago i had proposed a variation on the weapon system. I've already playtested it a couple of times, and it's worked fine. Any thoughts?

Quote:
What's important is to clearly separate which different advantages you get from each style:
One handed, sword & board, two handed, 2-weapons.
One handed: normal damage die.
Two handed: roll damage die twice, keep highest result. *
Sword&Board: higher AC from shield. (dwarves keep their extra rule)
2-weapons: choose, (A-offensive) roll both dice from the weapons** and keep highest result; or (B-defensive) higher AC, only against 1 opponent (like 3E dodge feat)

*This means that using a longsword with two hands lets you roll 2d8 instead of 1d8, keeping the best result.
Maybe if you want to use single handedly a weapon intended for the use with 2 hands, you roll an Action die 1 step smaller. This means more penalties that advantages (you only get the bigger damage die, 1d10 for greatsword, but you roll it only once)

** I think that the Agility score & level should count to determine which 1-handed weapons you are allowed to use, like :

AGI 13, and at least level 1*, only 1d4 damage weapons in both hands;
AGI 14, and at least level 2, can use a 1d6 damage weapon in one hand and a 1d4 damage weapon on the offhand;
AGI 15, and at least level 3, can use 1d6 weapons in both hands ;
AGI 16, and at least level 4, can use a 1d8 and a 1d6 weapons;
AGI 17, and at least level 5, can use 1d8 weapons in both hands.
AGI 18, and at least level 6, can use 1d8 weapons in both hands, always considered both offensive and defensive.
AGI 18, and level 7+, (OPTION C - double) can get 2 separate attack rolls using d20, one with each weapon, as if they were both 1 handed (thus OPTION A- offensive no longer applies); he's still considered defensive. A PC chooses whether to use this option C or option A at the beginning of each round.

* so no 2-weapons fighting 0-level PCs!

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 Post subject: Re: Luck Kind of Sucks
PostPosted: Mon Aug 08, 2011 6:31 am 
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There is one thing that is not clear to me reading from the rules, are you supposed to burn the luck before the roll or after it? :?


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 Post subject: Re: Luck Kind of Sucks
PostPosted: Mon Aug 08, 2011 9:37 pm 
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MutieMoe wrote:
There is one thing that is not clear to me reading from the rules, are you supposed to burn the luck before the roll or after it? :?


Spellburn is used before the dice roll...but Luck can be burned before OR after.

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 Post subject: Re: Luck Kind of Sucks
PostPosted: Tue Aug 09, 2011 12:42 am 
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Far-Sighted Wanderer

Joined: Sat Jul 15, 2006 5:15 pm
Posts: 10
goodmangames wrote:
MutieMoe wrote:
There is one thing that is not clear to me reading from the rules, are you supposed to burn the luck before the roll or after it? :?


Spellburn is used before the dice roll...but Luck can be burned before OR after.


Thanks, I have been setting up a game and this is so far one crusial question I needed the answer.


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 Post subject: Re: Luck Kind of Sucks
PostPosted: Sat Feb 25, 2012 10:35 am 
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Ill-Fated Peasant

Joined: Sat Feb 25, 2012 8:59 am
Posts: 3
Permanent luck loss appears unworkable in practice. At the same time, only thieves and halflings get to recover luck right now and for purposes of class balance they have to stay special. Of course thieves and halflings also get additional uses out of luck, e.g. extra bonus points per luck point spend and halflings spreading luck around.

I'd suggest that PCs who aren't thieves or halflings recover all lost luck during the month or two of downtime between adventures, except for a permanent loss of 1 point of luck for each luck spend of one or more points. During an adventure, no luck recovery, there has to be an immediate cost for using luck. Thieves and halflings still recover luck at a faster rate (1 point per night) and recover all lost luck, so they are still better than other PCs in luck recovery.

It seems intuitive at first that you should be able to use luck to avoid getting hit, but it gets complicated when you can use luck to modify NPCs' rolls because there are a lot of rolls beyond attack rolls (NPC spell casting rolls, crit rolls, damage rolls, resistance rolls). At some point you're not lucky, you're rewriting the game world reality. I am fine with the simple rule that luck only modifies the spending PC's rolls.

Now there is the question of characters gaining luck in adventures. The beta rules contain no guidance on these increases. There are three ways to do increases.

1) give characters a chance for +1 permanent luck increase each adventure for alignment-appropriate actions. Something incredible for your alignment might get you a +2 permanent luck increase. The GM would have to program those increase opportunities into the adventure as an ethical or moral challenge that faces a specific player. Maybe if your luck is currently lower than it was when you started the adventure, that increase instead simply immediately refreshes your luck to its starting level at the beginning of the adventure. Then there's no permanent increase there, but you get back everything that you lost since the start of the adventure and there's no permanent loss of points for what you've spent to date in that adventure. Since you have all that lost luck available to use again immediately, that might be more useful for your immediate survival than a permanent luck increase.

This would offset permanent luck loss and allow characters to improve their luck, if they survive long enough. 18 stat max still. Maybe DCC RPG contemplates greater luck increases. I don't know, because the beta rules give no guidelines for awarding luck.

2) instead of a point or two of luck, give characters a separate pool of more luck points that are gone forever once spent. For example, if you do X then the GM decides an appropriate award is 4 luck points. This luck pool is separate from your luck stat. So characters who please the higher powers come to have two luck pools, their luck stat (which recovers somewhat) and a separate pool of luck that can be used to boost character rolls but doesn't give luck bonuses or offset luck penalties from the luck stat. Boons of the gods, yo.

3) all luck loss is permanent as in the beta rules but you have chances to regain big piles of luck through alignment-appropriate actions, enough to offset permanent luck loss.

I'd pick option #1. I feel that option #2 adds needless complication. I feel that option #3 leads to wild swings and for me cheapens what should be the special nature of a luck increase from the gods.

Bottom line though, any system that has PC stats permanently decrease over the long run is a loser, unless the stat reduction itself is a game design goal. DCC RPG isn't Call of Cthulhu.

One last note to the designers, the rules should state some guidelines on luck awards. Otherwise each GM will do it differently, too much variation. And no, it is not enough to expect people to award luck according to whatever guidelines they can cobble together from reading official DCC RPG adventures and seeing how luck is handed out there. Your GMs deserve better.

This game interests me, it has a lot of potential. I hate D20 systems but I like what I see here and will probably run it.


--Kris


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 Post subject: Re: Luck Kind of Sucks
PostPosted: Sun Feb 26, 2012 12:06 pm 
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Hard-Bitten Adventurer

Joined: Mon Dec 15, 2003 8:18 pm
Posts: 135
My placeholder rule is that Luck recharges when you gain a level, unless you're a Halfling or Thief.

I agree though that Luck is a little weird. I'm tempted to call for Luck checks but that just further discourages burning points, which is one of the few tools players have to manage the wild swings of the game.

Lookin forward to April...

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