Saturday, May 19, 2018

Rules reminders from Castle Whiterock

I've been avidly following the game summaries of Castle Whiterock.

They're entertaining, but they are also good rules reminders for me.

Perception to spot incoming missiles

I don't always remember this - I just call for a defense roll. But honestly, even a totally alert combatant moving cautiously down a hallway shouldn't get a full, unpenalized Dodge or Block against, say, a crossbow bolt that hums out of the darkness ahead. A PER roll to spot it is fair, rules-appropriate, and makes being point less of a trivial series of "I block it on a 19 or less!" rolls.

Limits of Light

This I do remember, but I don't always remember to enforce penalties on the fringes. So often combat happens within 3-4 yards of the light sources. Often people have Dark Vision spells up or have some levels of Night Vision. But when they don't, I can forget, and call out penalties that ignore the darkness penalties for being on the fringes. They mostly don't apply, but then I don't reward those that find a way not to have them apply.

I need to be better about enforcing those. They are harsh on some PCs, but reward high PER and dark-seeing advantages, making them more worth the points put in them.


  1. I never notice the Per rolls. Dripton must be rolling them in secret.

    Field of vision is well-handled on Roll20. We don’t handle lighting too different in my own game, though in it the spellcasters redundantly have Continual Light so everyone frets less.

  2. The only Per roll I required before a defense was the first crossbow shot at Garreth, before Redcap moved far enough for his light to reach the crossbow orcs behind the wall. Because it was a bolt out of the darkness, I required a Per roll to notice it before dodging it. It was a public roll by Garreth, not a GM roll. He failed it, then used Luck, then succeeded, then made his dodge exactly.

    The only secret Per rolls I remember were the usual trap detection (Ibizaber versus the two tripwires), and a roll to hear the orc in the darkness running for the door.

  3. Roll20 makes it easy for the GM and players to notice what is and isn't lit, so it makes light a lot more important. When I ran the same adventure face-to-face with combat maps quickly scrawled on a Chessex hexmap, I don't think light had much effect, beyond "someone has Continual Light on something." (Of course it could, if the GM was careful enough, but there are a million things to keep track of and some are always going to be missed.)

    1. Speaking of missing things, I just remembered that Garreth had Flaming Weapon on his greatsword, which should have given him some light. Enough to see the orcs with crossbows before the first shot at him? Not sure, but probably not. Enough to save him a turn readying his Continual Light rock before chasing the orc down the hall? Definitely. Didn't matter, though.

    2. It's equal to a torch, per GURPS Magic, p. 75.


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