Wednesday, June 29, 2022

GURPS Space Bundle of Holding

Maybe there will be a Dungeon Fantasy Bundle of Holding next. Who knows?

Monday, June 27, 2022

GURPS Bundle of Holding

There is a nice Bundle of Holding up for GURPS, if you'd like to get started for a generic game, with a High Tech package to go with it:

None of my books are in it, so feel free to expand out your options by adding on GURPS Martial Arts!

Sunday, June 26, 2022

Felltower & Modified Evade Rules in Actual Play

How has my Evade House Rule worked in actual play?

Short answer? Well.

Long answer?

It essentially boils down to paying 1 extra movement point and making an unopposed DX roll against a friendly, or paying 1 extra movement point and making an opposed DX roll against a hostile. Or a concerned friend, I suppose.

It's worked out very well.

Too often in the past, PCs would essentially form a combat line and then have their second, third, fourth rankers just walk through each other like they weren't there. Even invisible friends who were concentrating on a spell and had touch-based magical defenses on them were evaded with total ease. You just got right by and did your thing. You could easily down a foe in front of you, and then step back, and have your friend step up and take your spot - or the friend step through stationary you with a Committed Attack and attack someone else. All on a one-second time scale where your buddy is a tiny fraction of a second slower than you. Bleh. It felt stupid. So stupid, in fact, that if the back guys did it the players would groan about how it wasn't realistic that that guy could do that, not this turn anyway.

Instead, the addition of the DX roll - penalized for big friends - has helped immensely. It's rarely missed, but it does mean the clumsy sorts or risk-averse aren't keen to move through occupied hexes.

The additional cost means a hallway of friends actually slows you down, which by the rules as written it does not . . . not at all. That also means rushing foes don't always get to just fill in a gap, either, with a back ranker . . . but well-coordinated foes often can, which makes for an interesting differentiation between enemies.

The one addition I've made is that you need a roll to detect an invisible friend - Hearing-2, penalized for combat noise - to attempt to avoid them unless you're certain where they are (it happens), or they hear you and move out of your way.

All in all, it's added a lot of versimilitude and interesting tactical choices to combat without any real addition to the rules, just an expansion of two basic concepts - Evade, and the Bad Footing extra cost of movement when your footing is poor or limited.


Friday, June 24, 2022

Random links & thoughts for 6/24/22

It's been a pretty busy week. That said, I did get some gaming-related stuff in.

- I've been noodling around with a DF-centric skills post, but just haven't been able to focus and finish it. It was almost an article but Pyramid 3.0 folded too soon and GURPS PDFs since have been crunch-light. I want to finish it but I have too much going on! Hopefully next week.

- I'm mostly done reading The Traveller Book. I really like it, although it's fascinating how complicated the starship combat rules are. Also, that they are 2D is still boggling to me. I know 3D on paper would be even harder, but abstract would do away with any issues from that. I know I say that you need to see what's a problem in actual play, but geez, I don't know that I could ever play these.

- Ogre is on sale on Steam for $7.49. It still feels like a lot to pay to play it. Worth it for that much, or is it frustrating to play or have a terrible AI?

- This post on Runequest combat has useful comments. As I own RQ 2nd edition now, I don't want to lose it.

- My players know many of these already - 12 Habits of Highly Effective Murderhobos.

Sunday, June 19, 2022

Felltower Status

Felltower current status:

We're still between sessions, but still mid-delve. The players - at least a couple of them - are discussing either a do-or-die attempt to destroy the norkers and norker-alikes in the room with them . . . or surrender. So Option A, surrender. Option B, do-or-die. Option C, just declare everyone tried B and died and move on. I added my own commentary, which basically was this:

- Surrendering might not be as simple as throwing up your hands and giving up, but it's also not an automatic death sentence. It will be a death sentence if you make it so - fake surrender, I surrender but then grab a knife and fight my way out, or your guy is just so predisposed to be impossible to safely keep prisoner that no one would take you prisoner. Avoid that, and I can assure you out of game that I won't just kill your characters out of hand. It's the start of negotiations, except from a very bad place.

- It won't be a game-ender. That's unless people prefer their guy just go away (or retire after rescue, or something like that.) But this isn't the same as option C.

- Gerry is welcome to try to escape. He doesn't have the energy to take anyone with him, as far as I know, and that would more than double the difficulty. It's likely to be tough, anyway, and impossible if he runs into a locked door or someone has See Invisible, or can smell him or otherwise sense him. Attempting and failing might come with costs - either after capture or instead of capture (i.e. they kill fleeing Gerry, or kill someone else in retaliation.) You just don't know your enemy well enough for me to give any hint, here.

I'm happy to run any of these.

- Option B is tough. It might be a winnable fight, but you're in a bad position. If you win, great. If you lose, it does impose additional costs on top of capture for any living. This *can* be a game-ender for the characters involved. Not every foe likes to leave people dead-but-resurrectable and easily recovered. For example, every delver ever except Vryce. But on the other hand, if you win, it's a victory and you just continue on.

We'll see what they do. I suspect it will be Gerry making a run for it and the rest try to surrender. Norkers don't seem to be like gnolls or trolls, though, so they probably won't butcher the PCs if they throw their hands up. And if they do surrender, what next? I have ideas, but much of it depends on the how and why of the PCs, and what they choose.

Thursday, June 16, 2022

Nordlondr Ovinabokin: Bestiary and Enemies Book - Arrived!

Hurrah! This arrived!

It arrived right as I headed out to martial arts class, so I haven't had a chance to do much besides flip around and look at a few entries. I have been able to do so on PDF for a while, but the joy of a hardback monster book is worth waiting to experience all at once.

I'll get started alongside reading The Traveller Book.

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