I’ve made some tweaks to the Immergleich rules.
Evening out the speed of combat
Despite considerable design efforts on my part , melee with comparably-strong opponents tends to take longer as PCs go up in level. High-end single monsters, in particular, take time to grind down. That’s tedious.
Complication — my previous previous changes have left high-end monsters already very vulnerable to big-hit special attacks (e.g. the Thief’s backstab ability, or the Magic Missile spell). So I can’t just further reduce their hp. I could reign those attacks in a bit, or I could increase PC damage more subtly. I have done the latter:
Continue reading “Hitting Harder, Casting Faster” →
I ran a feedback survey last month (September 2017). By the time most responses arrived, we’d had 31 sessions in total. Here’s an anonymised analysis. For the free text questions, I’ve tried to identify themes that appear in at least two responses.
7 of them.
What’s one thing you like about the game? Ideally, the thing you like most, or the thing that makes it stand out most from other games you’ve played.
Continue reading “Feedback on Feedback — Round 2” →
From “The World, Shaped As It Is” by Quentiby Firlmortar, Immergleich School of Acidic Patterns
Szamitir is a large island, varied in climate and people. It is customarily divided into the several regions of greatly varying stability, prosperity and potential for the future.
This is the home of the fish-people. No-one should go here.
Catania, the Serene Republic of
Under the watchful eye of the Sorcerer-Queen and her Arbiters, Catania enjoys a blissful peace in a land of gentle rolling hills, bucolic villages, and pastel sunsets. A model, perhaps, of what other nations could become.
Continue reading “Szamitir, a large island” →
Letter received by Thorgim on 14 May 936 —
I was pleasantly surprised to see you escape my prison, although after our little duel in the Warrens perhaps I should not have been. You and your associates are clearly potent, and clearly quite hard to kill. It would have been easier for me if you hadn’t taken out Octon’s prize creation, but then the horrid old bastard will be completely solid soon and I won’t have to listen to him.
With regard to “the experiment” — you are missing the plural. That lower dungeon level contains “The Experiments” — mostly Octon’s, but a few happening under my supervision. I keep my eye on practical use, while he just likes to fuse things onto other things.
Anyway… I have a job for you, on terms that you may lke. My spies have discovered that House Zuxian are keeping something very special in a tomb in the Resting Field. Small groups of Zuxuan notables go pack and forth, muttering about how “Gorin won’t like his suggestions”, and “It’s ok about the stabbing, none of us can keep him out of our minds”, and “If I were in charge, I’d just let him die”. I don’t know about you, but that sounds exciting. I want it.
Now, after all the House Verdun trouble we’re all about as popular as Sedgins is, so Disilla is extremely tetchy and very conflict-averse. And unless that hole gets a lot bigger, we’re stuck with her. So I will pay 500sp for retrieval of this thing, but it has to be discrete — no-one can know that I have it. I’ll pay half on delivery, then half two weeks later if those Zuxian weirdos aren’t on my ass about it.
How does that sound?
Azad von Korp
Immergleich Bleak Herald, 12 May 936 —
“… the Head Curator, Petrovel Clawns, denied that such a transformation is exceptional — “Every painting is alive, if you think about it, through its function on our minds and its impact in our lives. This is just paintings being alive when no-one is looking at them, turning on their creators, and wreaking havoc.” Then she gave a funny little noise.
No-one knows why the Shattered Gallery’s paintings, sculpture and pottery have come to sudden life. No-one knows why the places depicted have become more real than the spaces they were kept in. No-one knows what has happened to the 22 nightwatchpeople, cleaners and late-working curators who are believed to have been in the gallery on the night of 10 May. No-one knows what has happened to Forrus Verdun and his six retainers, who went into the gallery yesterday and haven’t yet come back.
What everybody does know is that, right now, art in Immergleich is best appreciated just about anywhere else.
I’ve implemented some significant changes to Immergleich’s rules. They affect three things – attributes, skills, and hit points.
Attributes are now attribute modifiers
D&D characters are succinctly described by their six attributes (strength, dexterity, etc). it’s easy to make lots of rolls using just attribute values. Creating them randomly gives you a possibly-surprising character to play, which is fun and a challenge. But the raw attribute values (3-18) are very rarely used, and they don’t improve through advancement at all.
Continue reading “Immergleich rules update — attributes, skills and hit points” →
As noted in D&D attributes, equal random generation, and skills, I’ve introduced Dungeon World -style 2d6+(attribute mod) rolls to my LotFP-based game.
Complication — LotFP already has a skill system. And it’s not clear how my attribute rolls should relate to it.
The LotFP skill system only covers a small set of activities…
… and most characters are terrible at them — their chance of success is a flat 1 in 6, regardless of level.
So I could just drop LotFP skills?
Continue reading “Combining Dungeon World attribute checks with LotFP skills, badly” →
As I noted in my previous post, I want to generate random character attributes (Str, Dex, etc). But I want them to be balanced — I want characters to differ in their talents but have the same overall ability. There are many ways to do this (e.g. see a discussion of such on rpg.net), but the natural way for me was to write a computer program to do it.
- Characters consist of six attributes in an order
- Attributes are rolled on 3d6 and modifiers calculated on the Mentzer/BECMI scale that LotFP uses
- Each generated character is checked against an acceptance rule. If they pass they go on the list to print, otherways they are discarded and a new one is rolled in their place
- Default rule is “modifiers must sum to +2”
- The program is set to produce a fixed number of characters per run. It will keep trying to generate them until it has that number
- If the acceptance rule always returns false, the program will run until the end of time
The code is set up so most of the above are easy to change and experiment with.
Continue reading “Equal 3d6 — a computer program to roll characters for you” →
Immergleich’s rules are based on Lamentations of the Flame Princess (LotFP), and so it inherits the following:
- Character attributes (the D&D set of Str, Dex etc) are randomly generated — 3d6 in order, roll again if modifiers sum to less than zero, player may make one swap.
- I like this — it makes character generation a “let’s see what I get to work with” rather than a pure act of design. It cuts through overthinking and it pushes players to try concepts they would instinctively avoid. It helps to cue up players that my game is about rolling with situations, not about grinding through fair challenges for a fixed-schedule reward. It probably discourages the mechanical-optimisation-oriented players who won’t do well in my game anyway.
- There are no direct rolls of attributes or their modifiers — there are attack rolls, saves, and skills rolls, some of which are modified by attributes
- It is implied that you use the common OSR approach of resolving most challenges through player creativity assessed by GM judgement. Outside of combat, most challenges don’t involve rolling.
- There are skills, but they only cover near-impossible things e.g. climbing a sheer surface. Most characters are stuck with a 1 in 6 success chance in all skills; only thieves (“specialists”) can improve them.
- Although PCs are never very weak (the roll-again rule prevents it), some PCs are stronger than others (it’s not that rare to have your modifiers sum to +5)
- Even if PCs end up with a balance of overall scores, some attributes are much more useful than others (e.g. Int is almost irrelevant)
- I don’t like the pure creativity-and-judgement approach to problems. When failure is a possibility and would be interesting, I like to roll.
- I particularly like to use rolls to skip over complicated interactions (with objects or with NPCs) and get straight to the result
- Attributes are underused. They’re right there on the sheet, concisely describing characters in ways that make obvious sense to many players, yet most of the time they are only used indirectly. In some situations where they sound like they’d be relevant, they’re not used at all.
Continue reading “D&D attributes, equal random generation, and skills” →