Sunday, April 5, 2015

Bjornforcement Roll

Next Sunday we'll play Cold Fens 2.5 - the second half of the delve that got cut off by time constraints in the middle of a combat.

Normally, in a situation like this, I'll do a split session. We'd finish the fight, people would return to town, and then we'd do the downtime activities and go back into the dungeon.

But this time, the fight promises to be as least as long as it's gone so far. And a player who missed last session will be there. He'll end up either running someone else's character for a bit, or wait bored while the group fights out the battle. That would be fine if people reacted to close, dangerous battles by speeding up, but they don't in my group. They react by slowing down, and carefully considering every option - this is why the partial TPK we had couple sessions back took an entire session to resolve what turned out to be the result you could have predicted hours before.

Not only that, but the trip back to town and then back to the dungeon will take some valuable play time, half of which Bjorn's player will sit through.

What I'll do instead is make an exception for this session and just let the delve continue. It'll count as one big delve for XP purposes (MVP is still per-session), but Bjorn (and anyone else) will just show up.

But he won't just show up. Oh, no. I'll do what I do for the bad guys - roll for appearance.

On Bjorn's turn, make the roll, he can move onto the map (drops down from the trapdoor, turn ends.) But what roll?

I'm debating a few different ways:

1) n in 6 - Probably 1 in 6. If it turns up n or less, he appears.

2) Flat Roll-Under - Something like a 9 or less. Roll 9 or under, he appears.

3) Escalating Roll-Under - Something like 6 or less, but then each turn, increment the roll by 1. So 6-, 7-, 8-, etc. until he makes the roll an appears.

I played a game once that had reinforcement totals - you'd roll dice and record the result, and when you got enough points you could "buy" reinforcements from your off-the-board list. So I could even do a total here. I won't, because I like the roll-under.

I'm not sure which one. I should do the odds and pick one that gives the cumulative progression of success that I like the most. But I like the idea that the players can't just plan on him showing up on the next turn, or after X turns, or whatever, and plan their actions around that. They'll have the desperate fight they've gotten themselves in to, and Bjorn will or will not show up on a given turn and move in to the fight.


  1. My personal preference is roll-under and the character shows up one turn later, so people have some advance notice but not a lot. Basically, they can hear him running while shouting, but they can't do much more than make sure he's not going to get ganked as soon as he shows up.

    A static roll under against a 9 has a 75% chance of him appearing within 3 turns. I'd probably make him roll against 8, 10, 12 which means he's almost certain to show up within 3 turns but gives some variability and doesn't give great odds of him showing up immediately.

    1. He's not going to get gacked - he's going to show up at the top of a set of stairs, having just finished his turn's move. That's plenty of warning. If he's in danger of getting attacked there, the whole party is likely already dead.

      I'm leaning towards #3, right now, starting at roll under 6. I like the "he's coming, but when we will manage to finishing dodging the nymphs and get here?" aspect of that.

    2. I think #3 is pretty fair. Of course, Bjorn, having Sense of Duty (Adventuring Companions) hopes he gets there right away.

    3. 1 and 2 are just the same with different odds and different dice combo

    4. Techincally you can do 3 with just one roll too.

      You asign the base odds and the higher chance each turn then the roll reveals what turn he appears on.

      Im sure those into mathematics can even post the dice mechanic

    5. You mean, figure out the odds of each second, and then rolling once to determine what second he appears?

      That would take all of the tension out of rolling each turn.

  2. Why not allow Bjorn to spend some amount of FT to increase it (by "hurrying"). It makes it more of a trade off and he arrives with some expended resources.

    1. He's going to arrive down already, assuming a full run into combat. So he's got nothing to trade for extra arrival time.

      Besides, since we don't use Extra Effort in Combat (no one was interested when I offered it) it would be allowing him to spend extra FP he wouldn't really need for anything else.


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