Thursday, October 10, 2013

Answering more Troll Questions!

When the Random Wizard asks for more answers to troll questions, the Disoriented Ranger will of course answer that call!

It's like in that famous movie.

Well, at least it's a bit like that (and I love that scene). But without further ado, ten more questions and my answers:

(1). Should level drain take away one level of experience points from the character? Yes or No? If no, what should level drain do?

Yes, it should. It's not popular with the players, but that's part of the charm and those monsters are dreaded for exactly that reason.

(2). Should the oil used in lanterns do significant damage (more than 1 hp in damage) if thrown on an opponent and set on fire? Yes or No? If yes, how much damage should it do?

I had to check what the Rules Cyclopedia said about it and there were two versions how this could go down, one without using Weapon Mastery and one when using it.

Without Weapon Mastery an opponent soaked in oil from one flask would get, when set on fire, 1d8 points of damage per round and it will burn two rounds.

When Weapon Mastery is used, it's only 1d8 points of damage, but it might set the characters cloths, hair, etc. on fire with a chance of 5% per 1 point of damage dealt in the initial attack. This, in turn, would burn for 1d6 rounds with 1d4 points of damage per round.

Never bothered to look that one up before (it really didn't happen that often with my group) and I'll use the Weapon Mastery version from now on.

(3). Should poison give a save or die roll, with a fail rolled indicated instant death? Yes or No? If no, how should game mechanics relating to poison work?

If that specific poison is labeled "Save or DIE", then this is what should happen. Maybe I'd leave some wiggle room if the players act very fast and very sharp. Shouldn't be the only poison in the game and very rare, though.

(4). Do characters die when they reach 0 hit points? Yes or No? If no, then at what point is a character dead?

Zero hit points is a save vs. death rays or be unconscious. Even if the save is made, the character is out of the fight. -1 to -3 is the same save, but regardless of the result, the character dies for -1 hp per round until someone gives him first aid or some sort of healing. If that doesn't happen, the character dies at -10. If one blow puts them directly down to -4, they are dead.

Same goes for the monsters.

(5). Does the primary spell mechanic for a magic user consist of a "memorize and forget system" (aka Vancian)? Yes or No? If no, what alternative do you use?

No, I've gone the Arduin way. Magic users memorize the spells they want to use and burn Mana to activate them. They won't cast more because of it, but it is more flexible, with the need for the caster to think about the spells he'd like to memorize at the same time

(6). Should all weapons do 1d6 damage or should different weapons have varying dice (1d4, 1d8, etc...) for damage?

No for a general d6, but also no for weapon damage. We use a mix of damage as the classes hit die suggests and a cooked down version of the Rules Cyclopedia's Weapon Mastery (further elaboration is here).

I also felt it was necessary to make some new evaluations for monster damage based on hd, size and strength to complement that system (works with all variants, as far as I'm aware). For the interested, it is here.

(7). Should a character that has a high ability score in their prime requisite receive an experience point bonus? Yes or No?

Yes, as per the Rules Cyclopedia.

(8). Should a character with an strength of 18 constitution get a +3 bonus to hit points, or a +2 bonus to hit points, or a +1 bonus to hit points or no bonus to hit points? And should other ability scores grant similar bonuses to other game mechanics?

Yes, I try to balance the importance of ability scores by doing exactly that for all of them. They are the core element of a character and everything is connected to that somehow (saves, skills, hp, damage, AC, etc.). 

That doesn't mean players will have all ability scores at 13 or higher. We still use 3d6 in a row, but I allow for more customization (actually it's 18d6, assign 3d6 per ability score...) and the players have to decide what they deem important.

(9). Should a character have 1 unified saving throw number, or 3 saving throw types based on ability scores (reflex, fortitude, will), or 5 types based on potential game effects (magic wand, poison attacks)? or something else?

As per the Rules Cyclopedia. Never saw the need to change that and they are useful that way.

(10). Should a cleric get (A) 1 spell at 1st level (B) no spells at 1st level (C) more than 1 spell at 1st level?

Again, as per the Rules Cyclopedia (B). Giving a cleric spells at level 1 doesn't make him a better representation of his deity (where I see the bigger problem, actually), so I really don't see any valid reason to change that. Hit points, the ability to turn undead and wear heavy armor and good fighting skills are more than enough to reach level 2 alive and without being useless.

Let's see who joins the party!

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