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Rules Follow Up – Ogre Under the Hill

February 26, 2012

While my main goal for running the new campaign is to, um, run a new campaign, I’m also using it as a playtest for the D20/Fate rules mashup I eventually want to publish. With this in mind, here’s a “brain dump”  on some rules issues and general notes from yesterday’s session.

1. I like making the ‘to hit’ based off of the attribute score because it brings it in line with the primary/secondary attribute system.  But Bruce was thinking that starting out ‘to hit’ scores might be too high. He may be right. Fighters do get a +1 per level in 3.5 which is why I implemented this change, but I want to  make sure bonuses and other modifiers don’t make all characters initially too powerful. I need to compare with older additions and crunch some numbers.

2. I don’t have ‘Take 10’ or ‘Take 20’ since I thought these rules were superfluous and sort of went against the idea of criticals and fumbles. Eh, I still think I won’t include, though in certain situations I may say a character automatically succeeds without rolling, especially as the characters get higher in level. 

3. I really like how the magic system is working. I think the spell point system is definitely an ‘enabler’ for lower levels and something of a ‘limiter’ at higher levels – which is fine. Joe brings up a good point regarding the Fireball spell – that he would attempt to use it every encounter (once he gets it) – but this might actually be okay. The Spellcraft roll and spell points  might limit this effect somewhat (though I don’t think Joe’s character has missed one Spellcraft roll in two sessions!). I’m curious to see how this plays out.

4. Speaking of primary/secondary requisites, I really like characters having 2 primaries, but 3 might be overkill for humans. I could give human characters a nice trait instead, something around Fate Points. Any thoughts on this?

 5. I have to print out another version of the rules. I was realizing as we were playing that much has changed since I printed out the last version. Referencing the doc file more than the ‘dead tree’ version.

6. Need to look over the Conjuror background – all backgrounds should have a trait that is powered by a Fate Point and the Conjuror doesn’t. Need to fix that.

7. I’m really liking how Fate Points/Aspects are working out as well as the overall use of primary/secondary requisites.  I need to write out everyone’s Aspects so I can compel more often, but I like how everyone is using them (Bruce especially, though Gary’s use of the Huzzah! aspect was pretty cool and in character).

8. What does everyone think of playing cards? Are those working for everyone? Are they adding anything to the game? I believe all of the ‘melee-centric’ players used the cards at least once (Smooth, Gary, and Bruce).

I’m still not sure how I could come up with card results for ranged combat – since it’s fairly static – but I might be able to come up with something regarding spellcasting fairly easily.  I may also update the melee cards so that the ‘suits’ make a difference – spades for direct damage, heart for some sort of injury, etc. That is if people like how the melee cards are working. 

9. I’m probably going to be moving most campaign notes and graphics to a website called ‘Obsidian Portal’. It’s a portal site for fantasy campaigns. I was going to join ‘GoDaddy’ again and create my own website, but OP is nominally cheaper and a lot of ‘components’ are already pre-built. Not moving now, but probably will in March when I get more time. I’ll keep you posted.

That’s it for now. Thanks for everyone coming over yesterday! I had a great time running. See everyone next Saturday.

6 Comments leave one →
  1. February 26, 2012 1:44 pm

    A few comments…

    My “to hit” observations were made because it didn’t feel like a 1st level “old school” game, but after thinking about it AoF generally has an increased power feel to it. The *adventure* was certainly balanced which is the most important thing. I think when I made that comment, we were in really good shape…

    My preference is to only roll a skill once. I think Luke Crane refers to it as “Let it ride.” To me, otherwise, it doesn’t make the skill rolls meaningful. It’s actually one of the things that I really hated about the One Ring adventure where you basically let characters keep rolling until they get X successes. If it’s a matter of time, maybe have a character roll to see how long it takes (and then you also get the possibility of a critical failure).

    I agree… 3 primaries feel like too many.

    I like the cards, and I completely understand why they are only there for melee.

    I’m interested to see what you think about Obsidian Portal…


  2. February 26, 2012 3:50 pm

    I hear you on the skill rolls. 4e had skill challenges which required multiple rolls – after trying them I remember thinking they were kinda silly, why not just resolve with one roll?

    I’ll give this some thought – only a limited number of skills allow rerolls – maybe something like a player chooses beforehand how long he will spend trying to unlock something. So, on a simple lock the DC is 20. If he’s in a hurry, he spends just one round on the lock and the DC is still 20. Otoh, if he has the time, he can spend X number of minutes on the lock. For every minute he devotes to the lock the DC is reduced by -1 to a maximum of say -10. So after 10 minutes of working on the lock our rogue rolls against a DC of 10? I’ll have to give this some thought.

    Yeah, I may be reducing primaries for humans, stay tuned.

    I’ll let you know about Obsidian Portal. Won’t have time this week but I’ll probably join after next Saturday’s session.

    • February 29, 2012 1:16 pm

      Lockpicking specifically should seemingly allow rerolls. It makes sense if you miss the roll it could be becuse you missed a tumbler and just need to try it again. I guess it could also mean the lock is beyond your capabilities and you aren’t going to get it no matter how many times you try. I would think any kind of a fumble would jam the lock or break the pick.

      As a spellcaster I would really like to see some use of the playing cards. I feel kind of left out… … 🙂

      If humans only have two primaries what do they get as an advantage then? I can’t remember what else was special about them?

      I definitely am looking forward to my Conjurer fate point special! 🙂

    • March 12, 2012 10:06 am

      Sorry… I thought I was getting notified on comments from your blog, but it appears that I’m not.

      Re: skills. Maybe the reverse of what you are proposing. For locks, roll against a DC; if successful it takes 1 marglefargle (minute, round, whatever time increment). For every 1 you miss it, it takes another marglefargle. If you miss it by 10, it’s beyond your abilities (or whatever).

      You could use this for any skill really. For climbing it takes a long time if you miss by 1-10, you fall if you miss by > 10.

      This may take you too far away from “old school” though.

      Just my pref…

  3. Mike Mossbarger permalink
    February 27, 2012 12:10 pm

    Obsidian Portal is pretty good. I have my campaign there….using the free version since my players don’t really go on it much. Let me know when so I can subscribe

    • February 27, 2012 12:39 pm

      Will do, Mike. I probably won’t be out there until March at the earliest, but I definitely plan on setting up a sight as soon as I get some time.

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