treasures from the last trollbridgeting

It came up at the trollbridge in the thread of khabooms great house rule:

The game lives for those magical 1/2 dice rolls – that’s when the GM can explode the game about the players‘ heads!

I have been running with a house rule of if a player rolls 30 or above on the dice they gain a talent or a spell based on what they just excelled at. It is a huge hit with players. Last night a dwarf rolled 4 doubles in a row when looking for a well in the town of Roundsquare and gained a talent for water divination – which very soon led to a confrontation with orangu-kin peeing behind a wall…

Just this house rule alone is worth a blog post, just make a little pause and thing about it.

So, you’re back again. Now I used the opportunity and formulated an old house rule, which I still haven’t tested yet,  about a different thing: Saving Rolls.

Now in T&T attribute values might rise to very high values. If a player with a high attribute value goes for a Saving Roll (SR), he rolls 2 dice and adds his attribute value, maye 80 if it is really high (3d6 at the beginning, but increase each level by the amount of the new level’s nubmer). So with a roll of 5 such a player would have a 85, which is the target number of a level 14 Saving Roll (L14 SR) (L1 is 20 …, to calculate the level of the SR from its target number, divide it by 5 and subtract 3. Level 1, target number 20 or L1 (20) is L1 because 20/5 = 4, 4–3 = 1).

Increasing attribute values (which get increasingly more expensive the higher they are) increases SR levels proportionally/in a linear way.

Now I had this house rule which puts boundaries into the saving roll system, it limited the range of expectable SR levels from 1 to 10. Very very rarely would a player with even very high values in an attribute succeed in a L10 SR:

I’ve been toying around with another idea: to have a variable fumble number. If we say, you have to roll at least the target number / 5 to not automatically fumble, it means the Gamemaster can control difficulty better perhaps (if he finds this a problem). A L9 saving roll requires a 60 as roll result added to attribute value. But you would need a 12 to not fumble. If you factor in doubles it is around 7% success rate IF you have the attribute at around 50. So L1 saving rolls are at least really possible, but L10 is really hard even with great stats. It could be helpful in groups with different attribute values maybe (haven’t played in such a group composition).

I then posted some clarifications:

I’m still unsure and have to playtest this. I see the effect as imposing boundaries for what is achieveable for mortal beings. With increasing fumble values it’s not only the value of an attribute that matters, but more that of the roll.
Level 4 SRs are kind of a border. If you have an attribute value of 28 or higher, L4-SRs (target number 35) succeed with around 60%. This is a sweet spot. If you want more of your SRs to suceed than fail, keep to L1–L4 SRs (if you have the appropriate value in the attribute).
Now with a high value you wouldnt be guaranteed to succeed in difficult tasks. From L5-SRs upwards you also have to roll good. At L9 (target number 60) you have to roll a DARO to succeed, so we are below of a 17%-chance (even below half of it, not every DARO surpasses a 11, which would be needed here), at L16 (target number 95) you need two DAROs and roll over 18.
So what changes: if you roll high, only then you can achieve high SR-levels. Then you have to look at your attribute value to see which level you achieved.

Gustav the Weakling has STR 35 but he rolls a double 6 and the a double 5 and then a 9, in total a 31! Its a 66! It would be a L10 SR.

Strong Klaus has STR 60, rolls a 5 and a 1. Added together he as a 66, it would beat a L10 SR. But as he rolled a 6, he can only achieve SR with target numbers up to 6*5=30. Target number 30 is a L3 SR. So Gustav far surpassed Klaus! To beat Gustav, Klaus has to beat target number 65, he must roll at least 13 and needs a DARO!
But even if he rolls double 4s and then a 5 and 1, he has a 12 and a result of 72. But with a rolled 12 he can only achieve a SR with target number 12*5=60 = L9. So he would not beat Gustav with this roll.

If both had the same roll, Strong Klaus will always beat with it the same SR as Gustav the weakling’s level or up to 3 levels higher (as Klaus‘ STR value is three „SR levels“ higher than Gustav’s).

If you have a really high attribute score for that SR, then you only really see its effect the very few times you roll some DAROs and high rolls after. In this case the roll frees up the higher difficulties of SR levels. In these cases masters with really high attribute values show themselves.

Strong Klaus now rolls the same roll as Gustav. Its 31+ his STR value of 60 = 91! This is a Level 15 SR! Gustav’s jaws drop.

Usually with this system any player will, with rolls of 5–9, unlock difficulty levels of L2–6 –– the lower when their attributes are around 20, the higher when they are around 35 or higher. Attribute levels above 35 are for masters and show in some of their actions (DAROs or high rolls). With values even below 50 they then achive SRs of level L7 up to L9 sometimes. Even if they have better values, it shows seldomly.

If you modify the fumble score even more, you get other effects. but a small modifier like ±2 could discern halflings making STR SRs to highly magical beings casting magic or godly heroes.
To use this system, you maybe better have a list with SR levels, fumble score and target value.

So, I still don’t know when I will get to playtest this but I hope we’ll be seeing something more to this.

Anyway, it also shows it’s a good idea to visit the old Trollbridge from time to time and meet the fellow trolls out there. Ugh!

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