Friday, December 18, 2020

Links & Thoughts for Friday 12/18/2020

It's Friday, so here is some random stuff.

- Noble Knight finally has a copy of Fire in the Lake 2nd printing, but price + shipping is ~$75, and the rules are in "Fair" condition. Ugh. New it's $85 . . . I'll keep looking, I think.

- I'll continue the Laws of Felltower posts next week. They're fun and a good way to codify the play style and how the world/game is shaped by it and shapes it in turn.

- Doug's group turned up a big treasure haul by beating up some fodder monsters I created for DFM1 (rock mites and slugbeasts*). It's a big haul even without them having the Bow of Su.

Linked in it is a post of Kromm's talking about treasure. It's a good description of how I generally do it - I place treasure by what belongs where. I do randomly generate a lot of the total treasure value, but what it is must fit the encounter. Or fit some plausible story of how it got there.

That said, sometimes I do get some odd results using my tables from DF21. Like, say, the giant worms down in Felltower who had treasure, but clearly couldn't have carried any. I decided the area they were in had treasure. They had none, but there were gems to be pulled out of the stone in the area they'd been encountered in. It made sense in-game, and it made sense according to what I rolled. Sometimes I get powerful, intelligent creatures with no treasure . . . but some tough-ish monster elsewhere with way too much. Maybe the powerful, intelligent type stores its treasure and guards it with the tough-ish monsters elsehwere. It's plausible and it fits and helps create a story.

I'm also 100% behind Kromm on the "what fits, not placed to fit" approach. I almost never put things in just because someone might be able to use them. Not never, because I do have an eye towards its useability. But I don't custom-place items for one character or another, or because so-and-so needs a new weapon, or whatever. It's why we've got a swashbuckler wearing armor perfect for an SM+1 type, a knight with bracers most valuable for a mage or a martial artist, and a guy who never gets hurt with a multi-use healing potion dispenser. I put the stuff in and they chose where it went. And because so much is randomly rolled or selected by what fits, you're really painting yourself into a corner if you are a dual-weilding katar master, or exclusively use a specific kind of axe, or whatnot.

I use tables to determine presence and amount, unless I have a specific idea on either. The dice don't rule my table. Neither do the needs of my player's characters.

- Mailanka has a good post about a persistent problem for GURPS (and heck, it was a problem in Champions, too, back in the day) - the clash between equipment costs and innate advantage costs. Are Battlesuits Fair? Maybe not. Short Bus has one in Gamma Terra, so he's now better than all of us at everything physical. We don't care, but if we had to pay points for these things, how would you price it?

- This Mook post makes Foundry VTT look good. I have nowhere near the time to set things up on it, but it's $50 and sounds like it more natively supports GURPS than Roll20 does. It might be worth the investment, if I can basically offload a lot of the setup to my players (okay, to V~ and J~). $50 is less than $5 each if we split it up, and except for our youngest player I think all of us have $5. Heh. It's worth discussing as a group, I think.

* Natural allies. Sorry, in-joke.


  1. GURPS in Foundry is looking really, really good. It’s a time investment to be sure (I’ve only monkeyed around with it so far). But Mook’s YouTube video highlights just a few parts (Chris Normand, who’s developing the rule set, has some good short videos). I’m very excited about it. I think it’s the kind of thing that benefits from people using Roll20 and Fantasy Grounds and trying to make a better product. Sometimes there’s an advantage to not being the first.

    1. I'll take a look at the other videos. We may need to switch, if what we can get is superior to Roll20. I don't want to pay and spend time just to have different headaches!


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