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 Post subject: Some musings on Resilience
PostPosted: Sat Dec 13, 2008 8:45 pm 
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Some musings on Resilience

I have been thinking about the game mechanic of Resilience lately. First let me say that I really like ERP. It has some great ideas, and some great strengths. For me the ADPs and the magic system are great. But after playing ERP for 12 sessions now (not a huge amount of experience, but I think I have a handle on the game), and after reading the Traps supplement, I have realized that I don’t like the way that Resilience works as a game mechanic. Now, I like the premise of Resilience—that a PC is strong initially, but gets “worn down” during adventuring (gets less resilient) and eventually becomes more susceptible to danger. But in the game, it is not a gradual increase in susceptibility, it is a sudden change from “totally resistant” to “totally sensitive”.

Things I don’t like about Resilience:

1. Resistance to spells, environmental damage, poisons is an “all or nothing” effect. The PC totally avoids any damage from the above hazards until the Resilience score is reduced to zero, then he is completely susceptible to all of the above hazards.

2. Resistance to spells, environmental damage, and poisons are all covered by the same mechanic. Although the argument can be made that one effect weakens the resistance to another effect, it seems to me to be cleaner to have them separate.

3. The game needs “saves”. To make it compatible with previous modules from D&D, C&C, and other games, a saving throw mechanic is needed. It is possible to convert the save into some sort of ERP spell effect, but there is something very cool about rolling a save.

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So, how would I change things? First of all, I am not proposing that the existing Rules be scrapped. However, the option to use saves instead of Resilience would be a welcome addition to the Core Rules.

Here is my suggestion for a “saves” option:

1. Don’t use Resilience.
2. Change Resistance so that it applies only to non-magical stuff (alcohol, poisons, etc).
3. Combine Agility and Reflexes into Reflexes (or just ignore Agility).

Types of Saves:

4. Curse or Obscure spells (spells or spell-like effects that targets a specific Ability): The appropriate Ability-Dice-Chain is rolled. If the spell roll exceeds the Ability roll, then the difference is applied to the targeted Ability as long as the spell is maintained.

5. Harm spells: The Ability-Dice-Chain for Reflexes, Endurance, or Willpower is rolled (the nature of the spell determines which of these is used). If the spell roll exceeds the Ability roll, then the difference is applied to Toughness.

6. Influence spells: The Ability-Dice-Chain for Willpower is rolled. If the spell roll exceeds the Ability roll, then the appropriate Influence effect is applied as long as the spell is maintained.

7. Poison: Roll poison damage vs. Resistance > Poison. Difference in rolls applied to Toughness (or to a specific Ability, depending on the nature of the poison).

8. Environmental conditions: Roll environmental damage vs. Endurance. Difference in rolls applied to Toughness.

9. Traps and Disaster Avoidance: Roll Reflexes vs Challenge Rank of the trap or danger.

10. Falling damage: Roll Endurance vs. the amount of damage. Difference in rolls applied to Toughness.

----------------

I will be play-testing these variations in the coming weeks. Any ideas or suggestions are welcome!


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 Post subject: Re: Some musings on Resilience
PostPosted: Sat Dec 13, 2008 11:53 pm 
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dunbruha wrote:
I have been thinking about the game mechanic of Resilience lately. First let me say that I really like ERP. It has some great ideas, and some great strengths.


Thank you!

Quote:
Things I don’t like about Resilience: ...The game needs “saves”. To make it compatible with previous modules from D&D, C&C, and other games, a saving throw mechanic is needed. It is possible to convert the save into some sort of ERP spell effect, but there is something very cool about rolling a save."


I'm willing to give it a shot in my own games, when I'm able. Let's see...

Quote:
1. Don’t use Resilience.
2. Change Resistance so that it applies only to non-magical stuff (alcohol, poisons, etc).
3. Combine Agility and Reflexes into Reflexes (or just ignore Agility).

* example saves given *



Okay. I'd probably combine Agility and Reflexes rather than ignore one.

Your overview of opposed rolls for saves is good, and I do remember it from prior discussion. The spells will need to be updated. I'll try it out in my games and see how it goes. It should be emphasized that the GM and player can decide which ability is best, depending on the circumstance. I wouldn't want to "over codify" in this.

I wonder if "counterspelling" could be used to good effect here. For instance, rather than use Reflexes to avoid a lightning bolt, use Arcanum > Primordial, assuming the arcanist can "counter" magic of his own power source.

For general monsters, it's trickier because the game does not use "power levels", in terms of battle power. It's the same issue as with other point-buy systems; a monster of 100 points could be much, much deadlier than some other creature of 100 points, depending on how it was constructed. So to base creature saving throws on level would be folly. It could work in an attempt to convert from other "power = level" games.


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 Post subject: Re: Some musings on Resilience
PostPosted: Sun Dec 14, 2008 6:26 am 
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So, I do not yet put the Resilience houserules (suggested earlier in other topic) in the Eldritch wiki, as the development goes on...

If most monsters use HP instead of active DPs, why don't they use Resilience even if PCs use Saves? So monster creation won't become more complex. Also, it's quite easy to state "good save equals primary TR, bad save is half that value" or something.

I like most what Dunbruha said, I had similar experience (even if I didn't play Eldritch for so many sessions yet). But note that is this age and time you make rolls against passive defense and feel happy about it. D&D4 fans think that this and other roll-cutting rules is great mechanic (hey, Eldritch has it in ADP form %)
So, opposed rolls for a magic attack (plus, possibly, a difficulty roll) seems like too much dicerolling...


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 Post subject: Re: Some musings on Resilience
PostPosted: Sun Dec 14, 2008 12:27 pm 
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EvilCat wrote:
So, I do not yet put the Resilience houserules (suggested earlier in other topic) in the Eldritch wiki, as the development goes on...

If most monsters use HP instead of active DPs, why don't they use Resilience even if PCs use Saves? So monster creation won't become more complex. Also, it's quite easy to state "good save equals primary TR, bad save is half that value" or something.


The regular rules for Resilience for creatures does work fine, so long as that score doesn't get too high. At 1/2 Max-Value of the highest Threat rank, it shouldn't ever go above 18, or 36 points for creatures whose primary attack is arcane. Something like "good save equals primary TR, bad save is half that value" works for me, and would suffice for simple creatures, as an optional rule.

Quote:
I like most what Dunbruha said, I had similar experience (even if I didn't play Eldritch for so many sessions yet). But note that is this age and time you make rolls against passive defense and feel happy about it. D&D4 fans think that this and other roll-cutting rules is great mechanic (hey, Eldritch has it in ADP form %)
So, opposed rolls for a magic attack (plus, possibly, a difficulty roll) seems like too much dicerolling...


It's the "all or nothing" susceptibility to magic that I understand as a problem, at least for a magic user feeling useless because his Influence spell failed to work, or his Harm spell failed to cause any damage, round after round...I can't think of a great way around that issue without using the traditional saving throw, as opposed rolls.

...maybe eliminating difficulty checks would counterbalance that as a first step. Allowing the optional rule of using Resilience as a pool of "action" points, adding to ability rolls, was another (that is in a forthcoming article).


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 Post subject: Re: Some musings on Resilience
PostPosted: Sun Dec 14, 2008 12:30 pm 
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Or, what of some mechanic where a player or NPC could "force" an opposed roll, rather than trying to penetrate Resilience? The opposed roll would bypass Resilience if effective, but would otherwise work exactly as described (points exceeding the opposed roll affects toughness, or the spell effect works immediately).


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 Post subject: Re: Some musings on Resilience
PostPosted: Sun Dec 14, 2008 1:49 pm 
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dancross wrote:
The spells will need to be updated. I'll try it out in my games and see how it goes. It should be emphasized that the GM and player can decide which ability is best, depending on the circumstance. I wouldn't want to "over codify" in this.

You wouldn't necessarily need to change any of the spells. The only spells that might need any changes would be the Harm spells, with a suggestion of the Ability to use as the Save. But I agree that this should ultimately be GM & player choice.

dancross wrote:
I wonder if "counterspelling" could be used to good effect here. For instance, rather than use Reflexes to avoid a lightning bolt, use Arcanum > Primordial, assuming the arcanist can "counter" magic of his own power source.

This is cool. If you have the same Power source, then you should be more immune to those spells.

dancross wrote:
For general monsters, it's trickier because the game does not use "power levels", in terms of battle power. It's the same issue as with other point-buy systems; a monster of 100 points could be much, much deadlier than some other creature of 100 points, depending on how it was constructed. So to base creature saving throws on level would be folly. It could work in an attempt to convert from other "power = level" games.

The monster's saves would need to be specified somehow. I like the "good saves, bad saves" idea, and relating it to the primary threat rank is nice and easy. I'll have to think about this.


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 Post subject: Re: Some musings on Resilience
PostPosted: Sun Dec 14, 2008 1:54 pm 
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EvilCat wrote:
But note that is this age and time you make rolls against passive defense and feel happy about it. D&D4 fans think that this and other roll-cutting rules is great mechanic (hey, Eldritch has it in ADP form %)
So, opposed rolls for a magic attack (plus, possibly, a difficulty roll) seems like too much dicerolling...

Well, perhaps... Personally, it doesn't seem like too much to me. After all, it is just for spellcasting and the occasional save. I will see how it goes in our upcoming sessions (I will have to add in a few evil spellcasters :twisted: ).


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 Post subject: Re: Some musings on Resilience
PostPosted: Wed Dec 17, 2008 7:51 pm 
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I think that I'm going to increase Toughness along with this, as this system will probably result in more damage. I was thinking of:
Toughness = Endurance + Resistance + Reflexes + Willpower


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