So I was listening to a podcast this morning of a gaming session. I didn't like it enough to recommend it, but I it did spur some thought.

Some people really like random stat generation for characters. The problem I usually have with that is the CLAIM they like random stats, but without being willing to actually allow lucky (High value) or unlucky (sucky value) characters that are implied by the system. In addition, GMs sometimes invent rolling methods without having a clue how they change the probability curve in an attempt to prevent the sucking. (eg, roll 5d6, drop the lowest 2. What is the average value? How often do you get an 18 or a 3?).

So here is one idea to get a) random stats and b) acceptably useful stats. The GM defines the 'average stat' for the campaign, say 12. You then roll enough times to generate all the stats you need, less one. The final stat is whatever value you need to bring the average of all your stats to the campaign average. So for 4th ed AD&D, you have 6 stats. You roll 5 times, getting 12 12 12 12 10. So your 6th stat is 14, since that is what you need to reach the campaign average. If you rolled 18 14 10 12 12 your last stat has to be a 4. (If you pick too low of a campaign average, or your players are super lucky, the average may require a negative number, which is broken.)
One tweak would be to roll all 6, and allow the player to choose which stat will be changed to bring the average to the correct value.

I think this has the virtue of randomization, with the added feature that the GM doesn't need advanced knowledge of probabilities to know what the end result will look like.

In any case, I prefer point buy systems.
So the hosts of my regular gaming group had (another) baby, and we haven't been meeting for a few weeks. I'm not sure when we will get back to regular meetings, actually.

I haven't missed it much. I contemplate not joining them when they start back up. I expect I'm not motivated to try and find another group, though, so that would basically mean giving up RPGs for a while, unless another group falls into my lap with more geographical desirability. I'm OK with any system, and many styles of play. Adversarial GM play doesn't appeal, but simulationist or story-based play works just fine for me. I'm good with individual-scale war-gaming, too.

WoW is fun, and scratches some of the itch, but is less satisfying to me. Perhaps I just need to get more into the theory of the thing instead of just idiot-clicking.
The party set out up the mountain again after a cold night sheltering in an overhang.

Two medium wyverns circled overhead, watching them. As the vikings reached the steeper slope leading up to the nest, a larger wyvern took flight. Geir fired some arrows, but to little effect. Near the base of the slope they found a corpse hidden beneath some sort of cloak/basket done up to look like a rock. Frigga figured out the cloak could provide visual cover from the wyverns.

Frigga and Grimman climbed up a short ways (limited by the length of their rope), followed by Geir. While Geir was climbing, wyvern flew by, mauling him with its claws. Helga and Aesa started trying to climb up to reach him. The largest wyvern attacked Helga, trying to carry her off. Helga was roped to the rest of the group, and the extra weight caused the wyvern to crash and let go of Helga. Once on the ground, Helga and Frigga (who bolted down the slope like a madwoman) made short work of the big one. Other wyverns started attacking during this time, but big axes and spears to the eye proved sufficient to deal with them.

They climbed some more, and another large wyvern plus two small ones started attacking them. Geir shot one eye out of the large one, and after several might weapon strikes to its legs, with no damage inflicted on the party (and the loss of more of its brood), it led the few remaining wyverns away, leaving the nest and eggs to the group.

Searching the nest revealed the axe of Odd Dragonslayer, which Aesa happily claimed as her own.
We picked up the session with the party (including Tryggvi) about to confront 6 zombies (with a skeleton in the back).

Grimman and Tryggvi were the main front line, with Grimman getting the worst of the pressure. The zombies facing him were relentless (rolling well), trying to chop him off at the legs; he weathered to storm as well as his heroic spirit could manage. On Tryggvi's side of the line, things went better. Zombies were hacked and dispatched (with a brief moment of caution when a zombie rushed into a hole in the line). Meanwhile, Geir dropped the skeleton in the back before it could strike the alarm gong. Just as the zombie flank collapsed, and the party's heavy hitters started to roll up the undead line, a lucky shot hacked Grimman's leg out from under him.

They spent some time drinking deeply from the newly acquired magical healing horn, and bandaging their wounds, before deciding to retreat from the cave. They heard some noises from the other side of the door, and formed up to fight, but nothing came through. They marched out, carrying the crippled Grimman. They traveled all the way back to town, a journey of over a week, made slower by Grimman's wounds and the need to stop and hunt to supplement their meager rations.

Rested and resupplied, the party intends to travel back to the cave, and kill all they find there.
So as a replacement for the bardic healing that left the party in the viking game, I have introduced a 'Horn of Healing'.

When you drink deeply from the horn, you are healed by borrowing against 'future' healing. Mechanically, you make a HT roll as though you had spent a day resting, and potentially gain a HP back. You get to keep making rolls until you are healed, or you crit fail a HT roll. There is a catch, though. Once you reach (threshold) days of healing, you start getting a penalty to the roll equal to (penalty constant) multiplied by the days past the threshold.

Should the healing take place in one drink, or should you have to quaff once for each day of healing?

What should the values of (threshold) and (penalty constant) be?

There are currently only 3 HT levels in the party; the numbers for threshold =7, penalty = .5 are below the cut
Read more )
Trying to sort out the events into a narrative.

The party was asked to deal with a marauding ogre in a valley. They traveled there, and met two other erstwhile heroes also looking in to the problem, Aesa and Geir. They joined forces, and traveled to the problem area. They met a local farmer, and intimidated him with their bloodthirsty overconfidence. He directed them to where the last attack occurred. The discovered the destroyed farm house, and followed ogre and orc tracks away. Along the way, they were attacked by a handful of goblins. They dispatched them quickly, taking a few scratches. (A very introductory combat)

Traveling further, they had some intra-party conflict as an overly curious Geir tried to "look" at Grimman's sword. Grimman started throwing punches. While that was going on, the Ogre and orcs descended on them. (I shorted the number of orcs since Tryggvi wasn't present for this session.) Helga and Grimman double-teamed the ogre, who didn't manage to land a blow. Geir and Aesa each ended up facing an orc, and Frigga took on two. In less than 10 seconds, they won, keeping the ogre from running away.

I rolled terribly for the bad guys. They hit infrequently, and the few times I did, the party's defenses were ample. In hindsight, the ogre's skill should have been higher.

Power Zot!

Mar. 28th, 2008 11:54 am
So I've changed RPG campaigns. Our rotating GM has switched to [ profile] strake93, and I'm playing a DPS Sorcerer. We had a session the other week where I went to town with Empowered Fireballs and all sorts of other spells. Much fun.
It was a little frustrating that I don't have 'Spell Penetration' yet- my save DCs are high, but my Spell Pen is a bit weak. Still, it was fun.

The character is fairly 2-d, and may stay that way. I miss having depth of character, but characters haven't really clicked for me since Issola. He was a lot of fun to play, and writing up the game logs was a pleasure.
A message reaches Odense in the early spring: the High King plans a massive raid on Ireland. Jarl Skorri is to bring his forces to the muster in 2 months at the capital.
The first session of the viking game happened last night. It went fairly well-players had fun, we got some solid practice at combat (which is going to be the focus, I think). We were down a player, which I suppose I should have expected.

The game started in media res, with the party in a cave fighting little goblins. I got surprisingly good rolls, and the party bad ones, so what should have been an easy encounter was actually a challenge. Just as the last of the little ones was getting dispatched (by the player who actually got points for Bloodlust, instead of finishing folks off voluntarily) the ogres arrived. You'd think 5 ogres vs 5 skilled viking warriors would be a fair fight, but the party wasn't in a good ready position, and once again, I rolled well in the first round. So it was a hard slog, with some folks well below 0 HP, and the party beginning to withdraw, when an ogre got a solid hit on a fleeing player, and she woke up- it was all a nightmare.

So that was fun. My program performed fairly badly. I hadn't done nearly enough testing of the units, or trials of the whole thing. My bug list is quite large. I think I need to scale back my goal to just the combat chart, instead of going for the whole die-rolling, health tracking, bell and whistles gadget fest that doesn't work.

But the bells and whistles are more interesting. I dunno.
So we leveled up in the d20 game. I have to decide what to do. Here are the mechanical options:

  • Barbarian: extra skill points, +10" movement (from 30 to 40), rage, d12 hp.
  • Fighter: extra feat, d10 hp.
  • Rogue: lots of skill points, tumble as a class skill, +1d6 sneak attack, d6hp, no BAB.

And I get another Feat, with these likely options

  • Power Attack: trade to-hit for extra damage. I'm specialized in a 2-hd weapon, so I get extra damage out of this. Pre-req for:
  • Cleave: get a free attack for killing an opponent.
  • Dodge: +1 AC. I wear weak armor, so this is appealing. It is also a pre-req for
  • Mobility: +4 AC vs. Attacks of Opportunity.

I use the Spiked Chain, with Focus, Specialization, Improved Trip and Combat Reflexes.
I'm tempted by the barbarian level, so I can better get to a spot to threaten multiple opponents, and AoO them when they do stuff. But with my weak AC (and only cross-class access to tumble), I am likely to get beat up on the way there, which Dodge/Mobility would help with. But to get Dodge/Mobility, I need to be a Fighter (for the bonus feat), and wouldn't get the extra movement.

On the other hand, Power Attack is really good for 2-hd weapons-that double damage bonus is excellent. I welcome thoughts/suggestions.
Jarl Skorri is in his 50s, and has generally been a wise and just ruler. His health is overall good, despite the weight he has been gaining as he gets older. He lost an eye in battle many years ago. His wife died years ago, although he keeps two favored concubines. He has no children left. His oldest son Brand left on an expedition to the west 4 years ago, and Eirik went on a raid two years ago from which no one returned. Losing Eirik made the Jarl melancholy and conservative, but he remains a good ruler.

Gyda is older than anyone else in Odense. She lives up in the woods, comes to the Jarl's halls for some festivals and feasts, but not all. There is always a place set for her, though. When folks need a potion, or other witchcraft, they go up to 'those woods', and don't talk about what happens. Otherwise, folks avoid her and her woods, traveling around it if necessary.

Pere is the blacksmith. Not native to Odense, he arrived as a young man. Surprisingly thin, he is still quite strong. He claims to have studied under dwarfs to learn his trade, and does good work. He won't make weapons, but his tools are highly regarded.
I had the chance to babble about gaming to [ profile] delere about gaming stuff on the way back from the Hillsborough Ballon Fest on Sunday, and came up with some interesting twists on dwarven culture, following up on this post.

In short: most Dwarves are homosexual by culture and inclination.

More below the cut; adult terms used )
I haven't done much LJ. Lots to say, but also lots to do.

My work at Dartmouth ends at the end of August; I'm moving to Seattle or Portsmouth.

I'm playing a lot of WoW- pvp and pve; on Uldum, Suramar and Blackhand. My Blackhand druid is stalled at 54, since leveling her is sort of dull.

I am GM'ing a new game, based on my supers world; the characters are a sort of salvage company. One is just sort of a friend of the company, though. The got a macguffin back from a giant alligator in a swamp last night, and we mostly finished up characters. It was fun, I think.

I need to sleep more and better; the job thing has me tense, among other things.

Hope that covers most of the highlights.
So Wally's game ended today. I may log the final session later.

The next game will the be adventures of a small salvage company, doing jobs that no one else can do.
Character creation next Tuesday. I'm the GM, so I don't get to make one. I have to work on the world, instead.
Is the base template, since I like it.
more world info )
Game Questions/mechanics )
Wally's Log from the next to last session. In brief: kill Vermin Lord, find important bodies, uncover plot points, get next power up.

Read more... )


Apr. 27th, 2006 09:17 pm
Here is some of the content for my Vikings game on Tuesday. Please review and comment as the mood or interest strikes you.

Read more... )
The game has two goals for me: an excuse to play with my cool lego dolls, and to meet potential additions to the weekly gaming group.
Wally Log; Fighting in the Tombs, 4/11 Session

Read more... )
Wally's log from the April 4th, 2006 session.
In short: We fought some trolls, and Tom lost his eye.
In long )

We are looking for more players, if you are interested and in the area, let me know.
From the session played on 2006 03 28.
Read more... )
Next session tonight: Fighting cave trolls.
So my GURPS game didn't happen this week. A player had a conflict, and the ball didn't get rolling on reschedule until basically the day before; the GM cancelled the session to morning we were supposed to play. Bummer. So we get to wait another week before learning what Deus Ex machina will save us. The last session was about as fun as a session designed to show you the characters aren't strong or clever enough to escape can be; we tried some things, failed, tried some more. The character interaction was interesting, although I always hate when it drives the characters further apart.
Next scheduled gaming fix: Valentines day, if the GURPS game happens then.

In other news, I'm still not cooking. I did do some almost-cooking last night, a few steps past just boiling pasta, but I hope to find my muse and go back to the cookbooks, try things I've never done before. Maybe next week. Perhaps I should take another stab at shepard's pie, just to get back on the horse.

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