Friday, 22 July 2011

Damage Thresholds: An Optional Tool for Armour

I am the Warden!!

I love my nighttime walks. Though I might not enjoy it as much when I come home and my busted foot throbs like a snake bite victim, it's always the perfect time to review the day's events and ponder all those random thoughts running through my head. Every now and then, an idea pops into my head so suddenly and voraciously, I literally stop on the street and proclaim "Holy shit, that's brilliant!" Hence the reason why I walk at midnight: fewer witnesses.

While reviewing my internal notes for tonight's playtest, I started thinking about a supporting character's armour rating and an archer PC's weapon damage when it struck me. Damage thresholds. What happens as a character get wailed on time and time again? Are they struck by each failed defense roll or do we use the Star Wars application of hit points and vitality? Shouldn't there be a limit to just how much damage a character can take before something starts to slow them down?

Seeing as we've covered the basics of the Optional System thus far, it's time to enjoy the original purpose of this blog. Discussing new concepts and rules. Let's crack some knuckles and get started. Ow.

Thursday, 21 July 2011

I am the Warden!!

It's been a busy day today, but in a good way. A little prep work to get me fired up for Game Day. Enjoy!

Who Watches the Watchers?

The OSRPG character sheet, that's who.

Oh, sorry.

I am the Warden!!

Tomorrow is the next playtest for the Optional System and while I had originally planned to start the converted D&D-OSRPG campaign, we've altered the plans due to a player's GenCon attendance. (If you happen to be sitting down to a little Sword Noir, tell Fraser that Fish said shoot 'em in the foot.) Instead, we'll be picking up where another OSRPG playtest took off and I couldn't help but reward my loyal quartet of followers with a preview of where it's all headed.

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

The OSRPG Logo!

I am the Warden!! Behold the logo!!

In preparation for our next playtest on Friday, Mrs. Warden has been working on a preliminary logo for the Optional System with her remarkably handsome fiancee supervising. Why did we need a logo already? Perhaps you'll find out... tomorrow.

Absolute Power!

I am the Warden!!

I have a line stuck in my head from a favourite Canadian stand-up, Joey Elias, about dinner at the Lindros home. You know, Eric Lindros. Hockey? He had something like 10 concussions? For those of you who mock my sports metaphor, just stick with me on this. He talks about how engaging the dinner conversation must be.

"I like soup! What about you, do you like soup?"

You know what? I like soup! It's good to keep things simple and reliable. Fantasy gamers like soup too. It's simple, it's tasty, and it keeps you warm on a cold blustery day. Just like powers. How's that for a segway?

Whether they be mystical, scientific, nuclear, granted by the gods, or endowed as the result of a freak accident, powers represent that generic category of wizards, superheroes, and sci-fi enhancements. Without these powers, our characters are just a bunch of well-trained fighters. (Not that there's anything wrong with that.) They allow us to fly, blast through walls, set people on fire with just a thought, summon a bolt of lightning, dominate a weak-willed creature, and any other infinite concept imaginable. Powers are what make these games fun.

Monday, 18 July 2011


I am the Warden!!

Skills!! It's time to talk about skills. Last week's series of posts on opposed rolls and difficulty dice brought up some concerns regarding the simplicity/complexity of a mere d20 vs d20 concept. Some people thought the entire idea was overly simplified while another (who shall remain anonymous here, but he knows who he is) had a rather intrigue calculation I wanted to quote.

So, be careful with costs. Doubling the number of people rolling and doing math on each roll makes each decision take longer.
And 1d20+strength vs 1d20+door quality is the same as (1d20-1d20)+strength vs door quality. And (1d20-1d20) is very similar to (1d20+1d20-21). So what you actually did was take 1d20+strength vs door quality, to 2d20+strength vs door quality+10.5.
It goes a bit deeper than this. When you roll 2d20, you don't get the same distribution as 1d20*2. A better approximation is actually 1d20*square root(2)+6, with "critical" fumble rules for rolls of natural 1 and 20. From the narrative of success/failure in a given game, you won't be able to distinguish between a scaled and shifted 1d20 from a game where you roll 2d20.
Now, I'm not saying that "both sides rolling" isn't a good idea: but rather, "both sides rolling" by itself adds costs without changing outcomes. There needs to be more "meat" to it than just "more people rolling".

This last part brings us to our next segment on the Optional System: skills.