Tuesday, August 23, 2016

More bits from Sunday's DF game session

Here are some additional followup points for Sunday's game session.

Elder Tongue - One PC picked up a point of the Elder Tongue, I can't recall offhand how.

Improving it in town is possible - it'll take a roll (to find a teacher - same rules as finding sages and hirelings). Once found, the teacher will charge a premium rate to pass it on. After all, it's valuable, teachers are rare, and it's a full-time job teaching it. You can't puzzle it out on your own with a book.* Expect to pay $1,500/point for this. You can search for a cheaper rate at -10% per -1 on the roll to find someone; free is -10.

The limit is Accented; you'll need longer, more dedicated study for Fluent.

Gift of Letters and Gift of Tongues work with the Elder Tongue, but they cost double.

What counts as a perk? This is kind of an odd question, but okay, I've gotten it from multiple players. DF has a limit on combat perks - one per 20 points in combat skills. One per 10 for knights. Magic perks work the same way, except for points in spells. It's very common for my players, who love these perks, to run into a hard limit quickly.

So here goes a stab at an explanation - combat perks are anything listed in Dungeon Fantasy 11, under Combat Perks, or under your specific template. Caster perks are any perks listed as Magic Perks, or under your template. Perks that are completely non-combat related (Artificer's Perks, for example) and non-spellcasting related (ditto). Power-Ups that aren't skills don't count towards the total in skills, and Power-Ups that aren't perks don't count as perks. What does count is spelled out in DF11.

The only exceptions to the perk limits are:

Weapon Bond
Equipment Bond
Trademark Move

. . . and that's it. Two of them are combat related, but Trademark Move theoretically makes my life easier. Weapon Bond and Equipment Bond are very rare because no one wants to "waste" a point getting tied down to a weapon they may someday replace with a better one, and we don't get a lot of equipment-focused PCs.

Sense of Duty and other disads. So I didn't ding Dryst for his Sense of Duty - letting Hasdrubel try to kill Larry. He also has an Obsession to become the world's most powerful wizard, and that was clearly behind the door. The player made a Will roll (I didn't call for it, I'd have given him a 12 self-control; either way he made it) to let it happen. It was a pretty tense moment - does he stop Hasdrubel, or get more power?

This was clearly the most ruthless and evil thing anyone has done in the group. Hasdrubel has already moved on, except for the part about being proud of what a good guy he is.

I ran a number of things, including this, in real time. No spending 30 seconds debating what you'll do. As he was like "Should I . . . ?" Hasdrubel was blasting Larry.

Speaking of which . . .

Running in real time. Lately I've been trying to run more things in real time. Spending just enough points for 1 minute of language skill for your talker? You've got one minute to talk to me, then it's time to maintain or the spell runs out. Stand around talking for a minute or two about how to get that weapon-destroying acid off of the weapon? It's still taking 1 point of damage per second. Debating what to do about the oncoming orcs? They run at 5 yards a second, they'll be here in 5, 4, 3, 2, here they are.

I'll slow it down to resolve actions, but not to resolve questions or to reward stalling ("Hey, what color is that acid? Can I make a roll to recognize the acid?") This does seem to add a little stress to what should be stressful situations.

Obviously I don't do this in combat, although I still start to move on when someone isn't ready. And I run travel as the worst of in-game or real time. So if you spend 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm wandering around mapping, it took at least 2 hours of game time - more, probably, since you're moving at move 1, tops, and halting to draw rooms or to examine things.

* That's what having a linguistics major for a GM does - "I read this indecipherable script until I learn it." Yeah, here is a book written entirely in traditional Chinese, by hand, in calligraphy; go learn Mandarin just using that.


  1. Hey, if Ahmed Ibn Fahdlan can learn the Viking tongue by listening to it...

    1. That's true.

      Now you just need to have Dryst join a group of 12 chatty Elder Tongue speaking folks and accompany them for a journey of a few weeks, and he can learn it "for free." Journey costs $1,500 per point of Elder Tongue. Survival not guaranteed.

  2. >Yeah, here is a book written entirely in traditional Chinese, by hand, in calligraphy; go learn Mandarin just using that.

    No problem - as long as I have Gift of Letters to produce my own rosetta stone...

    1. Heh. Sounds like slow going, at twice the casting cost and only a minute to transcribe the characters. You're welcome to do that in town instead of learning spells, etc. for weeks on end. But yeah, you could potentially do this without a teacher, given a text, and get to Broken or Accented reading . . . over a long enough time. Spending the money is more certain, and takes less time. Especially since you don't have a book to learn from.

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