Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Perception rules for DCC or DnDs

Simple rules to know if PCs spot the things. 

There is always a DC to see something that is not plainly obvious in the environment. It should probably be no lower than 10, and if it is, maybe it's plainly obvious and not worth a check, but exceptions could occur (running through an area, you could overlook that DC5 thing).

If the PCs are just kinda passively going through an area, they have a check score equal to the party's cognizant members (don't roll anything unless they have elves). Roll a d3 for each elf in the party and add that result on top. If the party meets the DC, they notice the thing without having to try too hard. Easy.

The next part doesn't use the DC thing. You could find a way to pretty easily though.

If the PCs are actively searching a room, roll 1d30 (secretly). If the D30 rolls at or under the amount of PCs helping out, the group spots the thing. Add in 1d5 to the roll-under score if any PC elves etc. are present. The party can spend Luck if they want. Searching an area this way takes half a turn (5 minutes), which might matter if you have random encounters or wandering encounters.

Be prepared to consider some things:
Do henchmen count for the active roll? Maybe if they have the right job or species for it. Dogs could help spot stanky things. Dwarves could help sniff gold. I'd probably let most dwarves just know if something is fishy with architecture. After all, no roll is the best roll.

This post inspired by this one.
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Saturday, March 14, 2015

A roll-low saves system for DCC

I started a couple roll-low initiatives in DCC a few months back. One was to have players do ability checks instead of "skill checks". They just have to roll at or under their ability score on a d20 to do the thing they want. Have a more difficult challenge, or an untrained (0-level job-wise) PC? roll a d24 or d30 instead. I've abandoned this one recently because, quite frankly, I want some things to be near impossible. For instance, breaking through a porticulis in the module Silent Nightfall. I saw the DC 35, but the players went through it like paper. Rubbed me the wrong way, but I think it's still a valid resolution mechanic. However, I've abandoned it for now.

But the other roll-low thing is one I'm going to keep for a while yet. I think it's working. Saves. In normal DCC, saves are pretty much your standard 3.x DnD saves. Roll to beat a DC. Only, the highest you can roll with this system under normal circumstances is 29 (max stats at level ten with a good save), and that can be a problem when you are trying to resist a wizard spell that rolls higher. Some would say wizards that roll high deserve to auto-win against their targets. Valid point, but not one I'm happy with at this time in my development as a judge.

 

 So here is how roll-low works:

The judge says roll an x save, where x is one of the three (REF, FORT, WILL). The player looks at their number for that save (which may-well be negative if you are low level with low stats). They add that number to 10 and roll a d20. Rolling at or under that sum on the d20 means you made the save.

If the danger is particularly pernicious (say the wizard rolled a 42 to hex you or a dragon is being a scary dragon flaming you), the judge can ask you to roll a bigger die instead. Maybe even percentile dice.

I find this system has a certain charm as being like a reverse of old school DnD rules as I understand them. In some older editions, you have save numbers that you have to roll over to save (flavored depending on the threat). As you level up, the saves get easier, until you only have to roll a 4 or better to save against most things. The save names are different and simplified these days, but they mirror the old ones quite well when using the new saves system detailed above.

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Thursday, March 12, 2015

You Feelin' Lucky, Punk? A DCC gambit houserule

I'll give a little update of my DCC luck-regain rubric at the bottom of this post. I think it works swell, but sometimes players got more Luck than they know what do with.

So here is the gambit rule. You are out of ideas. You might die. You ask the judge, "Can I get some kind of miracle here?"
"Wanna ask your gods?" She suggests with a DCC judge smile.
"Not really. The cleric has disapproval 4 right now... And Crom doesn't listen to me anyways. To hell with him!"
The judge, ever the Faustian entity, is ready with a followup: "Hmm. Sounds like you need a little deus ex machina. What's your wager?"
"Hmm... Six Luck?" You figure you can spend that much and still be okay.
"Alright. Roll a d20!" She declares.
Rattle. "I rolled... a 14?!" Your hands go to your face in shock at the lost gambit.
"Too bad. Well, hope you saved some luck for when they roll over your poor carcass."

However, in the good universe (see the law of Abed-thermo-dynamics) you rolled a 3. Which is at or under your wager.
The judge frowns, robbed of the description of your grizzly demise, but concedes your victory, "Your Luck has proved a fair loss this time, Hogarth MacMorn of the clan of feral men, for the grue advancing upon you suddenly falls to the ground. He's having a bit of indigestion. Shouldn't have eaten the party halfling. He'll be distracted for a little while, if you'd like to slink out of here now."

So yeah, spend some Luck. Roll at or under that number on a d20. If you do, the judge helps you out. You lose the luck points permanently either way. 
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LUCK RUBRIC

Anyhoo, here's how regaining Luck has been going in my online DCC games. I allow players to roll a d20 once for each of the following conditions. If their roll goes over their character's current Luck score, it goes up by one and then we can see if they have any more chances to roll. If a 1 is rolled, you are done getting Luck chances today. Sorry. If you roll a 20, you get a bonus chance!

You get a Luck chance if you:
  • Completed a "quest."
  • Saved an important thing.
  • Have done a character report in the forum since last time.
  • Have done something cool or funny (you can't petition the judge, they'll let you know)
  • Had a victory that is particularly good for your alignment's gods.
  • Showed up on time (actually I give 2 to people on time and 1 to people who had to come late just as thanks for showing up).
  • Appeared on camera (hangouts are better with humans).
  • Were voted MVP by the other players.

The catch is if you are a thief or hobbit, your Luck can never exceed its original amount with this method. Because you have too many Luck advantages already. But it at least lets you regenerate Luck quicker than normal.

In addition to the above, I stole these other things that engender chances from Dungeon World:
Wizard/elf/psion:
  • Lawful
    • Used magic to solve a puzzle.
  • Neutral
    • Discovered something about a magical mystery.
  • Chaotic
    • Used supernatural power to cause terror and fear.

Thief or hobbit
  • Lawful:
    • Pleased your client or da boss
  • Neutral:
    • Avoided detection or infiltrate a location.
  • Chaotic:
    • Shifted danger or blame from yourself to someone else.

Warrior/dwarf
  • Lawful:
    • Defended a teammate or love interest.
  • Neutral:
    • Defeated a worthy opponent.
  • Chaotic:
    • Killed a defenseless or surrendered enemy.

Cleric:
  • Helped the cause of your alignment.
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