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 Post subject: Series of Unrelated Questions
PostPosted: Thu Sep 27, 2012 11:59 am 
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Ill-Fated Peasant

Joined: Thu Sep 27, 2012 11:13 am
Posts: 3
Hi everybody, first post here and I was hoping to get a little bit of clarification on some of rules that I found to be a little vague. Perhaps they're not vague at all, though, and I just suck at reading!

Anyway,:

Mercurial magic is phrased as to be used by wizards (and presumably elves), so I assume it does not apply to clerics. Is that the case? Basically 95% sure on this one but I'd like to avoid being horribly horribly wrong and not knowing it!

A wizard can only learn new spells when he levels up, and the table on the wizard class page (and presumably the same for the elf) indicates the maximum. If he has access to an inscription of a spell, such as a scroll that might cast it, or a rival wizard's grimoire, he may choose specifically to try to learn that spell on levelling up (but not before), and if he has no such access would have his potential spells determined randomly. True, false, or somewhere in between? Assuming I've got that part, are those randomly determined spells normally presented to the wizard like "hey, here's 3 spells you might be able to try to learn, but you only get one, so give me your first choice and we'll see if you can", or is it more like they're just presented in an arbitrary order and the first one he can learn is the one he gets? What would happen to a wizard that has "open spell slots" for known spells because of a failure in this process? Could he try to fill them in the meantime before he levels up again, or would he just need to wait to try again next time, even if he had access to different spells he didn't try and fail to learn?

Do clerics also determine their spells randomly as do wizards (and presumably elves)?

The combat section refers to "roll[ing] for surprise", but under the initiative heading it mentions that surprise is determined by the judge without the use of dice, specifically that it is based on whether the characters previously were aware the opponents or not before the combat began. Is this just sort of an artifact of editing or did I miss something?

A critical hit is described as needing a result of 20 or the character's threat range, which I get. But then on the next page it says that this threat range shifts to the highest equivalents on a higher faced die, so a d24 for a guy with only a threat range of "natural 20" would be "natural 24 = crit". Does this also apply to smaller dice, like a d16 = natural 16 = crit, or does the critical threat range not adjust downward, only upward? The two weapon fighting table seems to indicate that this may not be the case, as it mentions a 16 on a d16 is a crit on your main hand weapon if your agility is 16-17?

Those are all I can think of for now, and while I can be reasonably certain of the answers (or just make them up, the game is of course amenable to house ruling!) I figured I'd give it a go at asking first to see what the general consensus is. Cheers!


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 Post subject: Re: Series of Unrelated Questions
PostPosted: Thu Sep 27, 2012 1:40 pm 
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loksvassago wrote:
Mercurial magic is phrased as to be used by wizards (and presumably elves), so I assume it does not apply to clerics. Is that the case? Basically 95% sure on this one but I'd like to avoid being horribly horribly wrong and not knowing it!


Correct.

Quote:
A wizard can only learn new spells when he levels up, and the table on the wizard class page (and presumably the same for the elf) indicates the maximum. If he has access to an inscription of a spell, such as a scroll that might cast it, or a rival wizard's grimoire, he may choose specifically to try to learn that spell on levelling up (but not before), and if he has no such access would have his potential spells determined randomly. True, false, or somewhere in between?


Personally, I determine a lvl 1 wizard/elf spells randomly, and allow other possible spell sources to be in addition. This gives the wizard/elf some choice as to what to learn. Note that a week per spell level and a roll are still needed to learn the spell. I.e., a wizard/elf might start with 4 potentials, but not be able to learn the four randoms, and need to seek more spells before filling his maximum slots.

Quote:
Assuming I've got that part, are those randomly determined spells normally presented to the wizard like "hey, here's 3 spells you might be able to try to learn, but you only get one, so give me your first choice and we'll see if you can", or is it more like they're just presented in an arbitrary order and the first one he can learn is the one he gets? What would happen to a wizard that has "open spell slots" for known spells because of a failure in this process? Could he try to fill them in the meantime before he levels up again, or would he just need to wait to try again next time, even if he had access to different spells he didn't try and fail to learn?


A 1st lvl wizard/elf can learn more than 1 spell. A wizard can learn 4, modified by Intelligence, for example. If a wizard still has open spell slots, he can potentially learn other spells before levelling up again. He can try to re-learn a spell he failed to learn after levelling again.

Quote:
Do clerics also determine their spells randomly as do wizards (and presumably elves)?


Right now, I have 1st level clerics roll 4 random spells, and those are the spells they know unless there is some glaring inconsistency with their god. I am working on a more deity-specific system, though. :D

Quote:
The combat section refers to "roll[ing] for surprise", but under the initiative heading it mentions that surprise is determined by the judge without the use of dice, specifically that it is based on whether the characters previously were aware the opponents or not before the combat began. Is this just sort of an artifact of editing or did I miss something?


Probably a little of both. Either roll, or determine, as the judge deems appropriate on a case-by-case basis.

Quote:
A critical hit is described as needing a result of 20 or the character's threat range, which I get. But then on the next page it says that this threat range shifts to the highest equivalents on a higher faced die, so a d24 for a guy with only a threat range of "natural 20" would be "natural 24 = crit". Does this also apply to smaller dice, like a d16 = natural 16 = crit, or does the critical threat range not adjust downward, only upward? The two weapon fighting table seems to indicate that this may not be the case, as it mentions a 16 on a d16 is a crit on your main hand weapon if your agility is 16-17?


Crit ranges shift upwards, but not downwards. The only explicit exception is a halfling using two weapons.


Hope that helps.

_________________
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Cathbad the Meek (herbalist Wizard 1): AC 9; 4 hp; S 7, A 7, St 10, P 17, I 13, L 8; Neutral; Club, herbs, 50' rope, 50 cp; -1 to melee attack rolls. Hideous scar.


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 Post subject: Re: Series of Unrelated Questions
PostPosted: Thu Sep 27, 2012 9:05 pm 
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Raven_Crowking wrote:
loksvassago wrote:
A wizard can only learn new spells when he levels up, and the table on the wizard class page (and presumably the same for the elf) indicates the maximum. If he has access to an inscription of a spell, such as a scroll that might cast it, or a rival wizard's grimoire, he may choose specifically to try to learn that spell on levelling up (but not before), and if he has no such access would have his potential spells determined randomly. True, false, or somewhere in between?


Personally, I determine a lvl 1 wizard/elf spells randomly, and allow other possible spell sources to be in addition. This gives the wizard/elf some choice as to what to learn. Note that a week per spell level and a roll are still needed to learn the spell. I.e., a wizard/elf might start with 4 potentials, but not be able to learn the four randoms, and need to seek more spells before filling his maximum slots.



loksvassago, you may also want to check out beermotor's approach to level 1 spells here.


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 Post subject: Re: Series of Unrelated Questions
PostPosted: Fri Sep 28, 2012 9:44 am 
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Ill-Fated Peasant

Joined: Thu Sep 27, 2012 11:13 am
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Thanks for the replies, y'all - responses below:

Raven_Crowking wrote:
Quote:
Assuming I've got that part, are those randomly determined spells normally presented to the wizard like "hey, here's 3 spells you might be able to try to learn, but you only get one, so give me your first choice and we'll see if you can", or is it more like they're just presented in an arbitrary order and the first one he can learn is the one he gets? What would happen to a wizard that has "open spell slots" for known spells because of a failure in this process? Could he try to fill them in the meantime before he levels up again, or would he just need to wait to try again next time, even if he had access to different spells he didn't try and fail to learn?


A 1st lvl wizard/elf can learn more than 1 spell. A wizard can learn 4, modified by Intelligence, for example. If a wizard still has open spell slots, he can potentially learn other spells before levelling up again. He can try to re-learn a spell he failed to learn after levelling again.


Knew about the amount of spells (1 more spell was just an arbitrary example), but that second part (can try to learn spells between levels if they have the empty spell slots for the attempt) was definitely what I was after; thanks!

Quote:
Right now, I have 1st level clerics roll 4 random spells, and those are the spells they know unless there is some glaring inconsistency with their god. I am working on a more deity-specific system, though. :D


Alright, cool :)

Quote:
Probably a little of both. Either roll, or determine, as the judge deems appropriate on a case-by-case basis.


Alright. I assume that a roll would basically just be like a check to see if they spotted them or whatever, and not some special surprise roll with its own rules?

Quote:
Crit ranges shift upwards, but not downwards. The only explicit exception is a halfling using two weapons.


I'm still not entirely convinced. Here's the relevant quotes from the text -

Halfling Entry wrote:
Unlike other characters, when fighting with
two weapons, a halfling scores a crit and automatic
hit on any roll of a natural 16.


The italics seem to imply that the only difference between a Halfling and a normal person using two weapons is that the Halfling automatically hits in addition to threatening a critical on a 16. And, indeed, looking at table 4-3 we can see this:

Table 4-3 wrote:
Primary hand scores a critical hit on a max die roll (16 on
1d16) that also beats target’s AC (no automatic hit)


which clearly says that you threaten a critical as a non-Halfling on a 16 on a d16 while wielding two weapons at that amount of agility, just that you don't automatically hit (which is something Halflings get). The text sadly omits what happens in a normal situation to crits when you use a lower die sizes, though, and that's what I'm confused about. It seems reasonable to assume that since it shifts down to the 16 on a d16 for dual wielding that the crit range does shift down normally, but I'm not sure if a 16 on a d16 would reasonably score an automatic hit like a 20 on a d20 or a 24 on a d24 would, or if it would just threaten a crit instead.

While we're here, I noticed the apparently deadly 0-level character funnel was a bit less deadly than expected (the one in the back of the book); I'm thinking this may have been because I used the "recover the body" rule for 0-level characters when perhaps I shouldn't've. Is that rule only meant for 1st level and above characters who are notable enough to benefit from it, or did my players just happen to get quite lucky? I ask because in the "Bleeding Out" entry it says that a 0-level character reduced to 0 hit points is irrevocably killed, while a character with 1st level "may" be permanently killed if he is not healed within his bleeding out period. That confused me slightly so I decided to lean on the side of nice and apply recovering the body to 0-level characters but I'm afraid I may have done that wrong by the book.

Quote:
Hope that helps.


Well, we're getting there :)

Re: beermotor's spell selection method, that does look like a cool way to prevent entropy from screwing a player; I'll be sure to give it a go in the future!


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 Post subject: Re: Series of Unrelated Questions
PostPosted: Fri Sep 28, 2012 10:34 am 
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loksvassago wrote:
Raven_Crowking wrote:
Crit ranges shift upwards, but not downwards. The only explicit exception is a halfling using two weapons.


I'm still not entirely convinced. Here's the relevant quotes from the text -

Halfling Entry wrote:
Unlike other characters, when fighting with
two weapons, a halfling scores a crit and automatic
hit on any roll of a natural 16.


The italics seem to imply that the only difference between a Halfling and a normal person using two weapons is that the Halfling automatically hits in addition to threatening a critical on a 16. And, indeed, looking at table 4-3 we can see this:

Table 4-3 wrote:
Primary hand scores a critical hit on a max die roll (16 on
1d16) that also beats target’s AC (no automatic hit)


which clearly says that you threaten a critical as a non-Halfling on a 16 on a d16 while wielding two weapons at that amount of agility, just that you don't automatically hit (which is something Halflings get). The text sadly omits what happens in a normal situation to crits when you use a lower die sizes, though, and that's what I'm confused about. It seems reasonable to assume that since it shifts down to the 16 on a d16 for dual wielding that the crit range does shift down normally, but I'm not sure if a 16 on a d16 would reasonably score an automatic hit like a 20 on a d20 or a 24 on a d24 would, or if it would just threaten a crit instead.


That seems to me to be an exception as well.....note the two-handed fighting for 15 or under Agility.

More importantly, while there is a clear rule on ranging crits up with increased die, there is no general rule for ranging them down. On page 81, it says:

A natural roll of 20 is a critical hit. For some classes, other die rolls may also result in critical hits. See below for more details.

A higher-level character with multiple attacks may roll an action die other than 1d20. Similarly, a character attacking with two weapons may roll a die other than 1d20. A critical hit still requires a result of a natural 20 or the character’s threat range, as detailed below – secondary dice results do not score critical hits as often.


Emphasis mine.

If a reduced die normally altered the crit range, so that a 1 in 20 chance became a 1 in 16 chance, secondary dice would score critical hits more often, not less. You, as judge, can rule anything you like, obviously. I would caution against changing crit ranges for reduced dice, though.

Quote:
While we're here, I noticed the apparently deadly 0-level character funnel was a bit less deadly than expected (the one in the back of the book); I'm thinking this may have been because I used the "recover the body" rule for 0-level characters when perhaps I shouldn't've. Is that rule only meant for 1st level and above characters who are notable enough to benefit from it, or did my players just happen to get quite lucky? I ask because in the "Bleeding Out" entry it says that a 0-level character reduced to 0 hit points is irrevocably killed, while a character with 1st level "may" be permanently killed if he is not healed within his bleeding out period. That confused me slightly so I decided to lean on the side of nice and apply recovering the body to 0-level characters but I'm afraid I may have done that wrong by the book.


I think that the 0-level funnel is, in part, designed to let the players know that you will not be "playing nice"; that they succeed or fail, live or die, by their choices and the dice. The judge is going to be impartial. That is a marked departure from post-Gygaxian D&D (2e+) that I find very refreshing.

That said, I have had player groups go through PotS with minimal losses, and player groups who didn't make it past the statue. Lucky/smart players can beat PotS while keeping most of the party (minus the livestock, of course) intact.

Quote:
Quote:
Hope that helps.


Well, we're getting there :)


Good.

Quote:
Re: beermotor's spell selection method, that does look like a cool way to prevent entropy from screwing a player; I'll be sure to give it a go in the future!


If Fate wishes to screw with a character, Fate will do as it will.

I root for the players, but I will not prevent unfortunate things from happening to their characters!

_________________
SoBH pbp:

Cathbad the Meek (herbalist Wizard 1): AC 9; 4 hp; S 7, A 7, St 10, P 17, I 13, L 8; Neutral; Club, herbs, 50' rope, 50 cp; -1 to melee attack rolls. Hideous scar.


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 Post subject: Re: Series of Unrelated Questions
PostPosted: Wed Oct 03, 2012 5:01 am 
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I do find myself a bit troubled by the critical rules and reduced die sizes. Seems like you either have the odd situation where reduced die sizes increase the chance of a critical, or reduced die sizes make critical hits impossible, or I'm missing something (which is the most likely answer!). Realistically it seems like criticals SHOULD be harder/impossible when using a reduced die, but philosophically (gamist) I think you should always be able to get that amazing crit to save the day.

Can someone point me to what I assume exists - a whole thread of critical hit discussions?

Once I've played more, I might fiddle with this...was actually wondering if it would work to allow Max Pip = Crit, but then adjust the crit ROLL on the table by the die size difference, but I'm afraid that would be "Ultra Swingy", to use the scientific term. Basically if you're using a 16, a 16 still threatens/crits, but you subtract four from your table roll. Again, probably not the way to go, but some strategy that allows for exceptional results in rare cases on low die sizes, but still makes bigger=better for dice in terms of critical hits.


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 Post subject: Re: Series of Unrelated Questions
PostPosted: Wed Oct 03, 2012 5:18 am 
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I would say, keep in mind that a Warrior's Deed Die can do much of the "day saving".

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Cathbad the Meek (herbalist Wizard 1): AC 9; 4 hp; S 7, A 7, St 10, P 17, I 13, L 8; Neutral; Club, herbs, 50' rope, 50 cp; -1 to melee attack rolls. Hideous scar.


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 Post subject: Re: Series of Unrelated Questions
PostPosted: Wed Oct 03, 2012 11:28 am 
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phloog wrote:
Again, probably not the way to go, but some strategy that allows for exceptional results in rare cases on low die sizes, but still makes bigger=better for dice in terms of critical hits.

I agree with you phloog, I don't think that this is the way to go. RC's red-emphasized text above is the right idea, IMHO. The secondary attacks have a reduced die because they are supposed to be weaker. Having a better chance to crit with secondary attacks seems to go against that fundamental tenet.

However, while we're on the topic of house-ruling crits, I have some concerns with this (pg 85): "When rolling dice greater than d20, a crit occurs based on the die’s highest possible results. For example, when attacking with a d24, a crit occurs on a 24. A warrior with an improved threat range adjusts accordingly. For example, a threat range of 19-20 while rolling on a d24 becomes 23-24, with only the result of 24 being an automatic hit."

I may prefer to have the lower number of the threat range stay fixed, and let the upper number scale with the die, i.e., for this example the threat range would change from 20 on a d20 to 20-24 on a d24, and 19-20 on a d20 to 19-24 on a d24. Otherwise the probability of a warrior to crit on a target that is helpless, entangled, etc., is reduced even though the probability to hit is increased. Time will tell if I'll give this a try...


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 Post subject: Re: Series of Unrelated Questions
PostPosted: Wed Oct 03, 2012 12:22 pm 
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Pesky wrote:
However, while we're on the topic of house-ruling crits, I have some concerns with this (pg 85): "When rolling dice greater than d20, a crit occurs based on the die’s highest possible results. For example, when attacking with a d24, a crit occurs on a 24. A warrior with an improved threat range adjusts accordingly. For example, a threat range of 19-20 while rolling on a d24 becomes 23-24, with only the result of 24 being an automatic hit."

I may prefer to have the lower number of the threat range stay fixed, and let the upper number scale with the die, i.e., for this example the threat range would change from 20 on a d20 to 20-24 on a d24, and 19-20 on a d20 to 19-24 on a d24. Otherwise the probability of a warrior to crit on a target that is helpless, entangled, etc., is reduced even though the probability to hit is increased. Time will tell if I'll give this a try...


I agree, this doesn't make any sense to me, either. It seems like the simpler way to do it is, a natural ROLL of 20+ is a crit, no matter what DIE you're using. But I'm not sure if that nerfs Halflings somewhat (frankly, maybe they SHOULD be nerfed a bit)... or maybe you just carve them out as a special case and allow them to crit on 16 on d16.

_________________

RoM pbp:
Hamun Ry (Wiz 4)
Str 10 Agi 15 (+1) Sta 11 Per 11 Int 17 (+2) Luc 10 (Unholy House). Align: C. AC: 14. HP: 13. Melee +1, Ranged +2. Crit: d8, I. Save: Ref +5, Fort +3, Will +4.
Spells: 1: Choking Cloud, Comprehend Languages, Detect Magic (odd crystal growths), Magic Missile (mirror images), Runic Alphabet (Mortal) (ravenously hungry), Ventriloquism (rain of frogs)
2: Detect Invisible, Levitate (extremely difficult, d14), Mirror Image (20% chance to raise/lower luck by 1d3 points).
Equip: Ring of the Sand Djinn: +2 AC/saves, Invisibility for 1min/spellburn point, or unmake for great, unknown effect. Padded Armor, Longsword, Longbow, quiver w/20 steel-tipped arrows, 10 silver-tipped arrows, backpack, spellbook, quill and ink, sturdy parchment (10 sheets), 5 days rations, high leather boots, belt w/ belt pouch, gray robe, dark gray hooded cloak. Also carries 3 small mechanical toys: wind-up mouse, wooden puzzle cube, small jewelry box that plays a little tune.


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 Post subject: Re: Series of Unrelated Questions
PostPosted: Wed Oct 03, 2012 12:42 pm 
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Pesky wrote:
However, while we're on the topic of house-ruling crits, I have some concerns with this (pg 85): "When rolling dice greater than d20, a crit occurs based on the die’s highest possible results. For example, when attacking with a d24, a crit occurs on a 24. A warrior with an improved threat range adjusts accordingly. For example, a threat range of 19-20 while rolling on a d24 becomes 23-24, with only the result of 24 being an automatic hit."

I may prefer to have the lower number of the threat range stay fixed, and let the upper number scale with the die, i.e., for this example the threat range would change from 20 on a d20 to 20-24 on a d24, and 19-20 on a d20 to 19-24 on a d24. Otherwise the probability of a warrior to crit on a target that is helpless, entangled, etc., is reduced even though the probability to hit is increased. Time will tell if I'll give this a try...


This initially bothered me as well, but I got over it.

To my thinking, this is a benefit to the PCs more than anything else. It is more likely that the PCs will be entangled (i.e., giant spiders, etc.) than their opponents. In the long run, while perhaps not realistic, it does model the pulp fiction of Appendix N pretty well.

RC

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Cathbad the Meek (herbalist Wizard 1): AC 9; 4 hp; S 7, A 7, St 10, P 17, I 13, L 8; Neutral; Club, herbs, 50' rope, 50 cp; -1 to melee attack rolls. Hideous scar.


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 Post subject: Re: Series of Unrelated Questions
PostPosted: Wed Oct 03, 2012 6:25 pm 
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RC:

I don't dismiss the deed die, but to be absolutely honest, some of our most treasured moments in past games came when the attacking PC got that 'one in a million' (okay, technically 1 in 20, but let's not get too picky) shot, and very often that was not a fighter.

And of course I think regardless of class, I can't get behind a rule that diminishes the chance of big impacts when you have a better chance of hitting, and (probably worse) makes it more likely you'll do serious damage when you're disadvantaged by the attack die.

Not sure I could do the "20 or better regardless of die", though as noted above (or 19 and up for 19-20 crits)

-- let me think out loud--that would mean that if you normally have a 5% chance of a critical, using a d24 and taking 20+ as a critical would mean you have a 21% chance of a critical. So then a 20% increase in die pips (d20 to d24) results in 4x improvement in crit chance.


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 Post subject: Re: Series of Unrelated Questions
PostPosted: Wed Oct 03, 2012 6:36 pm 
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It might be interesting to try this for dice >d20.

For each die step up, add 1 to the NUMBER OF NUMBERS WHICH THREATEN on the new die.

So if you normally crit on a 20 (5%), then with +1 die step to d24 you'd crit on a 23 or 24, basically going to an 8% crit chance

If you normally crit on a 19 or 20 (10%), then with the d24 you'd crit on 22-24, or 12.5%

This doesn't solve the <d20 case, but I wonder if it falls apart for d30.

For d30, the 20 only crit becomes a 29 and 30 crit, going from a 5% crit chance to a 6.7% crit chance
the 19 and 20 crit becomes a 28-30 crit, which means the 10% crit chance (2/20) STAYS a 10% crit chance (3/30)

Would this work for people?


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 Post subject: Re: Series of Unrelated Questions
PostPosted: Wed Oct 03, 2012 7:19 pm 
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phloog wrote:
For each die step up, add 1 to the NUMBER OF NUMBERS WHICH THREATEN on the new die.

For d30, the 20 only crit becomes a 29 and 30 crit, going from a 5% crit chance to a 6.7% crit chance
the 19 and 20 crit becomes a 28-30 crit, which means the 10% crit chance (2/20) STAYS a 10% crit chance (3/30)

Using what you said, wouldn't that be a 20 only crit becoming a 28-30 crit on a30 because it is 1 more number that threatens for each of the 2 die steps?
Similarly, that would be a 27-30 for a 19-20 crit stepping up and would be a ~13% chance.

Personally, I have no problem with the crit rules as the dice chain applies... but if I were to make an alteration it would be on a case-by-case basis - such as, a Warrior that somehow got to a d24 or d30 with which to attack I would likely have gain a critical chance similar to a giant (meaning d24 = 20-24 range), or would do a sort of "doubling" of the threat range to match the giants but also scale (meaning a 19-20 would turn into a 20-24 or a 24-30) and put a cap at having a 30% chance to critical so that I don't end up with one of those weird situations where every attack that ever hits is a critical by default.

On the other hand, I would never give a wizard an increased critical range - at least not one that applied to spellcasting.


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 Post subject: Re: Series of Unrelated Questions
PostPosted: Wed Oct 03, 2012 7:33 pm 
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TheNobleDrake wrote:
On the other hand, I would never give a wizard an increased critical range - at least not one that applied to spellcasting.

I totally agree. Most likely I'd only adjust crits for the sword-slinging warriors (if I ever decide to do that). I'm still in the mode of keeping house-ruling to a minimum while my group and I absorb the ruleset.


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 Post subject: Re: Series of Unrelated Questions
PostPosted: Wed Oct 03, 2012 7:34 pm 
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I shouldn't do math on my way out of the house...it is as you said.

I will likely find a resolution for this - I can't accept Greater-Die-Equals-Fewer-Crits. I would even be willing to do something I hate - add complexity - and come up with a table of range translations by die type.


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 Post subject: Re: Series of Unrelated Questions
PostPosted: Wed Oct 03, 2012 8:26 pm 
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phloog wrote:
I shouldn't do math on my way out of the house...it is as you said.

I will likely find a resolution for this - I can't accept Greater-Die-Equals-Fewer-Crits. I would even be willing to do something I hate - add complexity - and come up with a table of range translations by die type.


Here are some figures that keep the critical chance as close as possible to the standard ranges on a d20, and includes some ranges above and beyond what the Warrior chart goes to in the book.
Presented a little strangely in a d20 range = d24 range = d30 range format because I don't know how to make charts and tables on a forum
20 = 24 = 29-30
19-20 = 23-24 = 28-30
18-20 = 21-24 = 26-30
17-20 = 20-24 = 25-30
16-20 = 19-24 = 23-30
15-20 = 18-24 = 22-30

In every case the chance of critical is kept within a difference of 2%, and half of the time the d30 criticals are the same chance as the equivalent range on a d20.


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 Post subject: Re: Series of Unrelated Questions
PostPosted: Wed Oct 03, 2012 8:57 pm 
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TheNobleDrake wrote:
Here are some figures that keep the critical chance as close as possible to the standard ranges on a d20, and includes some ranges above and beyond what the Warrior chart goes to in the book.
Presented a little strangely in a d20 range = d24 range = d30 range format because I don't know how to make charts and tables on a forum
20 = 24 = 29-30
19-20 = 23-24 = 28-30
18-20 = 21-24 = 26-30
17-20 = 20-24 = 25-30
16-20 = 19-24 = 23-30
15-20 = 18-24 = 22-30

In every case the chance of critical is kept within a difference of 2%, and half of the time the d30 criticals are the same chance as the equivalent range on a d20.


Thanks TND, Nice! ...we need a "thumbs up" smiley for this forum...


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 Post subject: Re: Series of Unrelated Questions
PostPosted: Thu Oct 04, 2012 3:59 am 
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I don't have a problem with a 21% chance of critical on d24... remember you're only stepping up if target is helpless, prone, whatever. And I have had players MISS on d24. That raises more questions than increased critical chance, heh.

_________________

RoM pbp:
Hamun Ry (Wiz 4)
Str 10 Agi 15 (+1) Sta 11 Per 11 Int 17 (+2) Luc 10 (Unholy House). Align: C. AC: 14. HP: 13. Melee +1, Ranged +2. Crit: d8, I. Save: Ref +5, Fort +3, Will +4.
Spells: 1: Choking Cloud, Comprehend Languages, Detect Magic (odd crystal growths), Magic Missile (mirror images), Runic Alphabet (Mortal) (ravenously hungry), Ventriloquism (rain of frogs)
2: Detect Invisible, Levitate (extremely difficult, d14), Mirror Image (20% chance to raise/lower luck by 1d3 points).
Equip: Ring of the Sand Djinn: +2 AC/saves, Invisibility for 1min/spellburn point, or unmake for great, unknown effect. Padded Armor, Longsword, Longbow, quiver w/20 steel-tipped arrows, 10 silver-tipped arrows, backpack, spellbook, quill and ink, sturdy parchment (10 sheets), 5 days rations, high leather boots, belt w/ belt pouch, gray robe, dark gray hooded cloak. Also carries 3 small mechanical toys: wind-up mouse, wooden puzzle cube, small jewelry box that plays a little tune.


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 Post subject: Re: Series of Unrelated Questions
PostPosted: Thu Oct 04, 2012 9:07 pm 
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beermotor, that has me thinking...one thing I loved about the Fate variant I was playing, and a couple of other games in the distant past, was that they explicitly told you that when in doubt, DON'T call for a roll. That it there was no seriously intriguing story reason, you shouldn't need to roll dice.

Does DCC RPG not really support that? I would think that it would with the lethality and emphasis on judging it embraces.

If you've got someone TRULY helpless, bound, or whatever, and you strike them with a bloody great sword (literally - it's a greatsword, and it's bloody), why would you roll to hit? Wouldn't it just be narrated? Kind of a bum deal for PCs, but don't get put in that situation..or maybe the only roll allowed is a Luck roll by the target.


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 Post subject: Re: Series of Unrelated Questions
PostPosted: Fri Oct 05, 2012 7:50 am 
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phloog wrote:
beermotor, that has me thinking...one thing I loved about the Fate variant I was playing, and a couple of other games in the distant past, was that they explicitly told you that when in doubt, DON'T call for a roll. That it there was no seriously intriguing story reason, you shouldn't need to roll dice.

Does DCC RPG not really support that? I would think that it would with the lethality and emphasis on judging it embraces.

If you've got someone TRULY helpless, bound, or whatever, and you strike them with a bloody great sword (literally - it's a greatsword, and it's bloody), why would you roll to hit? Wouldn't it just be narrated? Kind of a bum deal for PCs, but don't get put in that situation..or maybe the only roll allowed is a Luck roll by the target.

A couple of thoughts here...

1) If the 'helpless' creature you're attacking has allies nearby, the roll may simulate the fact that the fog of war may put obstacles in your path. Sure, you're swinging that greatsword at an easy target, but if another creature gets close, you might miss, as you shift into a more defensive stance because of the proximity of a new threat. Hitting a helpless target under certain conditions might not be as automatic as under other conditions, so knowing what/how to roll might be worthwhile.

b) Some players sure don't want you taking 'gimmies' against them, so why should they get them against the monsters. Not my preference as player, nor as GM, but some folks play that way.


Personally, if there is no need to roll, I'm all for narrating things. Even so, sometimes a roll can provide shades of meaning or significance to an 'automatic' action, so I might call for a roll anyway (but off the top of my head, not sure how that would apply in this particular case).

I don't think the question about the 'don't call for a roll if you don't need to' concept is not whether that is a DCC philosophy or not; it is, is it the GM's/group's philosophy, or not.

_________________
Gnome Boy (a.k.a. "Jon") • DCC play-tester @ DDC 35, Feb 2011. • Beta DL 2111, 7:00 AM PT, 8 June 11.
Playing RPGs since 1977 • Quasi-occasional member of the Legion of 8th-Level Fighters - Holds the power to play gnomes at will!

Here Be DCC Monsters...

General Yoros, Warrior, Str 13, Agl 8 (10), Stm 17, Per 13, Int 11, Lck 8; Law, HP 39, AC 17, R+2, F+4, W+2, band/shld, warhammer, longsword, longbow, pitchfork

Han Dee, (Weaver) Neutral Thief, Str 10, Agi 13, Stm 11, Per 11, Int 15, Lck 14, AC 13 (Leather), HP 25, Luck Die d6, Backstab 3, Sneak Silently 10, Hide In Shadows 9, Pick Pocket 10, Climb Sheer 10, Pick Lock 9, Find Trap 9, Disable Trap 9, Forge Doc 10, Disguise 3, Read Lang 5, Handle Poison 3, Cast Scroll d14+2, birth augur (Born under the loom) +1 to all skill checks (including thief skills), Banepicks (auto pick lock/disable trap, but lose 1d3 random ability loss, if a 3 then 1 pt is perm)


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 Post subject: Re: Series of Unrelated Questions
PostPosted: Fri Oct 05, 2012 8:09 am 
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Hmm. Phloog / GB, I kind of agree. I think my first session with a level 1 wizard I didn't require a roll to melee hit a sleeping target, I think we just called it an auto-kill (similar to the way most AD&D and later go). Then I think the next session, we read the rules closer and discovered the die step-up on a helpless target. That was when the attacker missed. Heh.

My thought is, the game system is sort of built on embracing the randomness... so, yeah, sometimes sh!t happens. Maybe your sword hit a belt buckle or something crazy and just didn't quite sink in to cause any damage. Or you sneezed at the last minute and spazzed out. And you could always fumble... perhaps badly.

On the other hand, the guys who created the game seem to favor less of a miniatures-wargame approach, and more of an Appendix N narrative approach. Heck, some of the guys here don't even use miniatures (I think you're missing out, the Legos are really fun to fiddle with, but that's just me). So, you're right, in that sense: why bother rolling? There's really no reason to slow things down, at least in a story-narrative sense.

Unless you want that randomness to be there. If you think about Wizard/Elf corruption possibility and Cleric disapproval possibility as a check on spellcaster power, this is really just a check on Warrior/Dwarf power, right?

So, I think I will continue to just use a stepped-up die and require a roll. But I will give a critical for 20+ (or better, if it's a Warrior). That way there's a good chance that the hit will do what it should do: remove the target from the story. But there's always a chance that something FUN happens... :-)

_________________

RoM pbp:
Hamun Ry (Wiz 4)
Str 10 Agi 15 (+1) Sta 11 Per 11 Int 17 (+2) Luc 10 (Unholy House). Align: C. AC: 14. HP: 13. Melee +1, Ranged +2. Crit: d8, I. Save: Ref +5, Fort +3, Will +4.
Spells: 1: Choking Cloud, Comprehend Languages, Detect Magic (odd crystal growths), Magic Missile (mirror images), Runic Alphabet (Mortal) (ravenously hungry), Ventriloquism (rain of frogs)
2: Detect Invisible, Levitate (extremely difficult, d14), Mirror Image (20% chance to raise/lower luck by 1d3 points).
Equip: Ring of the Sand Djinn: +2 AC/saves, Invisibility for 1min/spellburn point, or unmake for great, unknown effect. Padded Armor, Longsword, Longbow, quiver w/20 steel-tipped arrows, 10 silver-tipped arrows, backpack, spellbook, quill and ink, sturdy parchment (10 sheets), 5 days rations, high leather boots, belt w/ belt pouch, gray robe, dark gray hooded cloak. Also carries 3 small mechanical toys: wind-up mouse, wooden puzzle cube, small jewelry box that plays a little tune.


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 Post subject: Re: Series of Unrelated Questions
PostPosted: Fri Oct 05, 2012 3:16 pm 
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Completely sensible...how about something even more fundamentally unfair (don't tell the politicians - apparently it's all about fairness)?

What if the roll is only necessary if the target actually matters?

Grunt sleeping in bed? Splish!

Bog-standard monster successfully grappled to truly helpless state? Fluntch!

Major villain sleeping in bed? Maybe....if they've done a masterful job in all other ways, so that in truth they HAVE been challenged - it's just that the challenge was the planning and execution of the sneak then maybe I do give them the instakill. If it wasn't that tough to sneak in (basically they just had to roll a good sneak), then maybe I use the die step.

PC? Honestly if they really and truly have been stupid and careless, I might very well let it happen...particularly if the rest of the party isn't doing anything (hasn't done anything) to stop it. If it's the result of bad rolls, I might have to think on it.

For me that's where the implied (explicit?) lethality of DCC is contrary to my style....in my old AD&D days (1E), my DMing philosophy was that I HATED it when someone died despite playing well, and so I would tend to fudge and provide 'outs' so long as the player was doing the right things. In DCC, part of the appeal is that risk, but it's a hard one for me because I tended to be VERY easy on PCs -- they might have to sell all their treasures, but resurrection was always available...IF they even got that far.

Sort of a digression, but the point is that I think that the relative importance of the target to the story might make the difference. If the target is unimportant, then it could fall back to the 'don't roll unless it matters' approach.


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 Post subject: Re: Series of Unrelated Questions
PostPosted: Fri Oct 05, 2012 8:51 pm 
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beermotor wrote:
So, I think I will continue to just use a stepped-up die and require a roll. But I will give a critical for 20+ (or better, if it's a Warrior). That way there's a good chance that the hit will do what it should do: remove the target from the story. But there's always a chance that something FUN happens... :-)

One of the best gaming moments I've ever seen in 30+ years of rpgs was when a dwarven thief drank a potion of invisibility, and attempted to backstab an orc standing guard outside of a tower full of orcs. The thief rolled a 1, dropping his sword and turning visible, alerting the guard who was able to raise the alarm and soon orcs were pouring out of the tower and the party had to jetison their well laid plans and deal with a situation that was completely different from what they were anticipating.

So I agree: give them a huge bonus to hit and an automatic crit if you want, but make them roll. The anticipation of the results will bring excitement to the game. Sure, sometimes you may just want to wrap up an encounter and it's foolish to make them roll 5 times to finish off a helpless monster or two, but if there's any possibility that failure could make things interesting, I say give them a chance to fail.


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 Post subject: Re: Series of Unrelated Questions
PostPosted: Sat Oct 06, 2012 12:15 am 
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Eyeball360 wrote:
So I agree: give them a huge bonus to hit and an automatic crit if you want, but make them roll. The anticipation of the results will bring excitement to the game. Sure, sometimes you may just want to wrap up an encounter and it's foolish to make them roll 5 times to finish off a helpless monster or two, but if there's any possibility that failure could make things interesting, I say give them a chance to fail.

Well said; I totally agree. It's those improbable moments that can make a session memorable.


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 Post subject: Re: Series of Unrelated Questions
PostPosted: Tue Oct 23, 2012 4:25 pm 
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Raven_Crowking wrote:
loksvassago wrote:
Raven_Crowking wrote:
Crit ranges shift upwards, but not downwards. The only explicit exception is a halfling using two weapons.


I'm still not entirely convinced. Here's the relevant quotes from the text -

Halfling Entry wrote:
Unlike other characters, when fighting with
two weapons, a halfling scores a crit and automatic
hit on any roll of a natural 16.


The italics seem to imply that the only difference between a Halfling and a normal person using two weapons is that the Halfling automatically hits in addition to threatening a critical on a 16. And, indeed, looking at table 4-3 we can see this:

Table 4-3 wrote:
Primary hand scores a critical hit on a max die roll (16 on
1d16) that also beats target’s AC (no automatic hit)


which clearly says that you threaten a critical as a non-Halfling on a 16 on a d16 while wielding two weapons at that amount of agility, just that you don't automatically hit (which is something Halflings get). The text sadly omits what happens in a normal situation to crits when you use a lower die sizes, though, and that's what I'm confused about. It seems reasonable to assume that since it shifts down to the 16 on a d16 for dual wielding that the crit range does shift down normally, but I'm not sure if a 16 on a d16 would reasonably score an automatic hit like a 20 on a d20 or a 24 on a d24 would, or if it would just threaten a crit instead.


That seems to me to be an exception as well.....note the two-handed fighting for 15 or under Agility.

More importantly, while there is a clear rule on ranging crits up with increased die, there is no general rule for ranging them down. On page 81, it says:

A natural roll of 20 is a critical hit. For some classes, other die rolls may also result in critical hits. See below for more details.

A higher-level character with multiple attacks may roll an action die other than 1d20. Similarly, a character attacking with two weapons may roll a die other than 1d20. A critical hit still requires a result of a natural 20 or the character’s threat range, as detailed below – secondary dice results do not score critical hits as often.


Emphasis mine.


Not to stumble back into my own thread about three weeks late or anything, but I did indeed miss that particular passage and only around now got around to checking back up on what people had to say. You're correct, then, that the dual-wielding results of criticals are a simple anomaly of having abnormally high agility (and happening to dual wield, which is perhaps a bit strange as a prerequisite to crit on a natural 16 on a d16, but at the least the high agility would be required).

Quote:
If a reduced die normally altered the crit range, so that a 1 in 20 chance became a 1 in 16 chance, secondary dice would score critical hits more often, not less. You, as judge, can rule anything you like, obviously. I would caution against changing crit ranges for reduced dice, though.


phloog wrote:
I do find myself a bit troubled by the critical rules and reduced die sizes. Seems like you either have the odd situation where reduced die sizes increase the chance of a critical, or reduced die sizes make critical hits impossible, or I'm missing something (which is the most likely answer!). Realistically it seems like criticals SHOULD be harder/impossible when using a reduced die, but philosophically (gamist) I think you should always be able to get that amazing crit to save the day.


I'm not going to fiddle with it myself, but fumbles are consequently also increased in chance, just like crits would be if you made a ruling to that effect, so I think it'd probably work itself out in the end regardless based on the assumption that crits and fumbles approximately balance each other out. (They don't seem to, quite, with an advantage going to crits in terms of effect, but it's at least not as much of a problem as you seem to be giving it credit for, phloog; you'd just need to accept the premise that attacking more frequently in a given span means your blows have less general effectiveness but a greater chance of both critical success and botch as your momentum works either for or against you dramatically).


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