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About Algesan

  • Rank


  • RPG Biography
    Pretty much anything from OD&D onwards through the 80s
  • Current games
    Variants of multiple genres using AD&D/OSRIC
  • Blurb
    I'm just here to do some research
  1. Swords of Cydoria. WOW

    Looks like a lot of fun with so many tropes being hit. Easy enough to individualize a world or even use the ground rules for the setting to work in other types of games. Well done.
  2. Blood Tide Question

    Here is some stuff, including a method of costing out ships:
  3. Blood Tide Question

    Thanks, I'll look some more
  4. Blood Tide Question

    Okay, I just picked this up and I seem to have missed this little tidbit. It is recommended that the party get 1000 coins each as a budget to outfit a ship & crew if they want to start as pirates. Lots of nice stuff on sample ships of the period, modifications (and their costs), sailing combat and crewing a ship......except I cannot seem to find anywhere (except for ship mods) the *cost* of the basic ship and hiring the crew. Did I miss a stray sentence somewhere or is it just not there?
  5. How do you create NPC's

    For a Weird War 2 game (but would work for any war oriented game I think), everyone gets broken down simply: Basics (as in just out of first training) Stats all 10, Skills 30, Primary (usually weapon) skill 35 Regulars (additional time training) Stats all 11, Skills 40, Primary skill 45 Vets (seen combat) Stats all 12, Skills 50, Primary skill 55 Elites (Rangers, Spec ops, etc.) Stats all 14, Skills 50, Primary skill 65; more specialize elites don't gain more combat skill, but instead get more variety in their skill set, for example (generally), Pure combat types are highly trained and cross trained in combat tasks, Trainers get all that plus extra language, "knowledge", command and teaching skills, Specialist combatants would get things like underwater ops, extra demolitions, and related "knowledge". Security types would have more intelligence skills, especially counter intelligence and tech skills to secure areas and clients, and depending on the situation, maybe even higher skills with combat for "lesser" weapon choices like pistols and hand to hand. Often the NCO of the squad is one step up the scale in skill percentages. The other way to differentiate among the types of troops are: Normal: 1/2 Con + 1/2 Size for hit points and/or minimum armor (say, d3/d6+1 for normal basics) Tough: (as in tougher than normal selection), +25% more hit points and/or extra +1 with armor Minor named: (moving away from the pure minion types), +50% over base hit points and/or extra +2 with armor (total, so this one would have d3/d6+3) Named: (bigger than the bit players, these are direct underling types) +75% over base hit points and/or upgrade of armor (say d4/d8) Major named: (the main antagonists): +100% hit points (i.e. same as the players, Con + Siz) and definite armor upgrade, usually to the next die size and with an extra +1 Nothing new here, it is just me showing how I laid out what has been said above. NOTE: that category bonuses and weapon/armor penalties are ignored (except in the case of the "named") and the straight percentages given above are directly used. Doing it this way makes it real easy for me to set up generic 5 man squads (although it works for 8 or 10 man squads as well) using the NPC sheet on page 393 of the core rules.
  6. History Question about Characteristics

    It has been too long, I know at one point I've run one of the Order guys with Virtues, but the decades have dimmed the details. I will say I like the balance better in the current version.
  7. Organic Skill Trees

    Heh, don't carry that one too far. I'm ducking out on most of this because Weapons & Combat are one thing, but non-combat skills are where any real need for specialization comes in and the best way I've seen it dealt with was in HERO 5th Ed in their book The Ultimate Skill (IIRC), especially all the polyglot of related sciences in higher tech games. They laid out levels of sciences that you could take and pretty much get automatic skill in and how much. The actual mechanism wasn't so important to me as the relationships. As for the Combat side of the house...well Chaosium is fairly ate the heck up from a certain point of view (along with every other game designer out there). The armor penalties are totally out of line with the reality...except that they kinda do simulate someone having to train up skills to compensate, although the real top end plate was far less cumbersome than several earlier iterations of protection. The weapons though...to use your example, longer swords are perfectly usable as short spears (sometimes very short) because no sword is ever "razor sharp" (it makes the edge easier to nick, weakening the blade and causing it to break faster) and people fighting with swords tend to wear some sort of glove that will protect them totally from getting sliced (all it takes is light leather and you can even do it bare handed somewhat). Of course, the infamous Halberd, which can be considered in many ways a long spear, a 2H axe and a 2H hammer/pick (depending on the back of the axe head). I think I'll skip over shields, which are far, far more deadly weapons than a d3 or d4 portrays. That myth has been going on forever and perpetuated by people who dabble or watch reenactors who pretty much only use their shields defensively. Why? Because a punch to a steel helm with the edge of a shield is way more likely to concuss you than most people realize. Offensive shield use simply remains too unsafe to perform outside of very restricted limits. Look at a dinner plate sized buckler...it isn't a shield, it is a hand held parrying device that can land hard punches, it doesn't belong in shields, it belongs in brawling weapons and should use the same skill. Heh, being able to do house rules is fun.
  8. History Question about Characteristics

    I've used most of the variations listed: 3d6, 4d6 drop lowest, 5d6 drop two lowest, 2d6+6, etc. Add in rerolling 1s. Add in upgrading lowest stat to 18 if no 18 is rolled. Allow players to transfer X points (3-5) among stats (actually, usually do this if a player wants to run class X but has one short stat in AD&D). Start players with base 9 and give them 6 points per stat to make up characters with max 18. Yada, yada, yada. They all work. Main thing I do across the board, no matter what, is allow the players to roll two sets of stats, choose one and arrange them as they see fit. Yes, this gets you some power gamer mentality (even among role playing types...unless they are so "pure" that you don't even need to roll stats for them, heck, forget the dice), but not so much. Everyone should have the top two stats in Dex and Int because they are the core of the category bonuses. On the size thing, SIZ 3 is definitely possible, but a LOT rarer than 1 in 216. Normal dwarfism is about a 1 in 25,000 births thing with an average height just over 4 ft for males. Peter Dinklage (Tyrion Lannister) is just over the average at 4' 5" (~135cm) which makes him SIZ 6. Records of adult dwarfs go as low as SIZ 3, but it takes two dwarf parents and if the child inherits the mutated gene from both it almost always dies, so extremely rare given the low number of dwarfs born. The "pygmy" tribes would be about SIZ 7 (under 5' or ~150cm) for males. OTOH, I haven't seen a player yet who worried too much about the SIZ being too high, impacting physical skills negatively since they prefer extra hit points and a bigger damage bonus. About old Stormbringer 1ed, we used to have a lot of fun with that one and it never really seemed too unbalanced in RP terms. Yeah, some guys got good rolls and I don't think anyone actually rolled a beggar from Nadsokor.... or else they got a reroll on it. As has been pointed out, after a bit doing some skill rolls, everything starts pretty much evening out for most characters.
  9. Character Creation - Figuring Skill Caps

    On the 50% being low, the characters will have one weapon skill at 65%. Part of the way I run it, I reward the players for being clever or having enough time to use non-combat skills as Easy (which technically doesn't allow for a skill increase roll, but like I said, they have to be clever to get the bonus, so I give them the roll). I've just had some issues with running the converted campaign where characters are pretty much 75% plus on non-combat (including 100% skills) and 101%+ combat skills, especially using firearms. It is just too darn lethal, too easy to hit and too easy to get successes without being clever or having to plan out things. Starting at 50% max is a better way IMO, but it may be colored by the fact that most of my experience was with the early iterations of BRP (Stormbringer & Hawkmoon) where a character got a few weapon skills from 30-40% (+ stat bonus IIRC), some other skills sub 50% and then got to roll for some bonus skills that had d50 base skill. The games were a lot of fun, worked well and played out nicely with characters ending up with 101% skills and happy with their development. Side note: I was amused to notice that the classic wizard weapons of staff and dagger both just happen to be max weapon base at 25%. See, they weren't stupid, they were just using the rules to get max skill, all that INT I guess....
  10. Old West Spot Rules

    Nice comment on the holsters....except bunches of people wearing holsters at all is a lot more cinematic than the reality. Pistols tended to spend a lot of time tucked into the front of the pants or carried in a pocket.
  11. Character Creation - Figuring Skill Caps

    I'll give you the point on balance here, but I think we mainly agree and are talking past each other a bit. Okay, I'm confused about the use of Base Chance in BRP then. Isn't the calculation for your starting percentage = Base Chance + Skill Category Bonus + Points spent from either the Professional or Personal pools? I'm not sure how you are figuring that. Actually, rereading the section on Base Chances (pg 48, BRB) says that each skill's Base Chance is what every character starts with for that skill before points are added. The only actual problem with that comment comes from the various weapons which use the same skill, but have different Base Chance numbers. What I'm using for a house rule (since it obviously isn't clear or official) is that when a character is created, the weaponry the character starts with equals the Base Chance and the skill isn't altered by using different versions of the same weapon. Note that this only relates to weapons, every other skill in the game has one and only one Base Chance percentage. The other issue I have is that some weapons aren't covered correctly. A buckler (the center grip 6-12" version anyway) is more of a Brawling weapon in many respects (especially given that the fight books we have from the Middle Ages and later include "Brawling" and "Grappling" style moves), just like a short version of a short sword is pretty much a long dagger so I'd let either skill work for that weapon. I'm not going to get into the fact that brass knuckles are "Brawling", while cestus and armored gauntlets are "Hand"....WTH, over? 1&2. Two ways I'm going to deal with that one. They get to spend 10% of their "professional" points in upgrading a skill, which must go into the skills listed for their profession. The "personal" points (INTx10 in BRB) must be spent on other skills with the same +X limit...with the proviso that they can use those points to raise some of their professional skills up to 50% (I've done up a few starting characters simulating 2x four person parties) and this works out rather well IMO. A number of skills end up in the 40s, but some skills ended up in the 50%+ range. 3. Absolute best, they could have a +20% Category bonus, which would mean they rolled at least three 18s, which would give then some real high combat numbers for starting skill. More than likely I'll be seeing ~10% Category bonus, which would mean skills in the mid-50s at best, but as you pointed out, it doesn't really matter in the long run if they get a small leg up. 4. (sigh) And that is the problem, just one really, but I'm used to it. Always "enhancing" those combat abilities. Amusing how it shows up when he GMs though. Pretty much run a fighter type and gets slightly pissed that, although strictly by the rules, a well played wizard is survivable and does more damage than the fighters that could ginsu the wizard in melee. OTOH, that is one reason I picked BRB to swap over to, a "fighter" is just a character that knows a lot of weapon related skill and a "wizard" is just a character that has maybe one weapon skill because the rest are in spell related skills, but both can melee effectively enough. Interestingly enough, it gets to be real old school when the OD&D cleric was supposed to be more of a religious warrior (think paladin) with some casting skill and a bit lesser fighting skill.
  12. Character Creation - Figuring Skill Caps

    Well, there has to be some balance, but if anyone thinks that AD&D characters are balanced, then they are mistaken. Note: I didn't go past 1st Ed AD&D, so I cannot speak to later versions of D&D in the post-Gygax era. I never did RQ, but I did do quite a bit with the original Stormbringer and Hawkmoon games. They were a bit easier (if less "realistic") to do with roll, stats, roll (or pick) class and get skills A, B, C, D, E, & F at a fixed percentage plus bonus with a d6+2 other skills at a d50 plus bonus. Converting over from what is basically AD&D, but set in the starship Warden. It actually is working a lot better, except the characters are close to completing that game (and actually we could finish the main arc by simply doing some choices and me telling the story of what happened). The only thing left would be lots of details, which just consume time without actually doing anything new. The original question did come up because one of the characters was using the BRP Laser Pistol (directly replacing the base MA laser pistol) and decided to go with one of the disruptors (I got rid of the Protein/Metal variation since it was only useful in the context of the original MA system) that I had ruled as a BRP Disintegrator Pistol. The Laser has a 20% Base and the Disintegrator has a 5% Base which caused a little question, but since the cap on the conversion was 101%, it wasn't that big a deal. On the character creation front, I was looking and seeing some issues where starting character X starts with a Buckler (5%) and uses that to reach the cap, then swaps out for any other shield to get an extra +10%. Some other such games are possible among the weapons. Looking beyond my next game I'm running (where the starting characters will have fixed skills, gear and equipment for the Professional points), I'm actually going to probably go with the suggestion of Nick Middleton above where players can add X point max to any one skill, which leaves out the hard cap and still limits the starting percentages to a close range of what I'm looking for.
  13. Character Creation - Figuring Skill Caps

    Actually, thanks for some answers, especially if there is no official response for this. What I've boiled it down to is that for "hard" caps in character creation, that Cap = Base + Bonus + Points spent....and if it just so happens that Base + Bonus > Cap, then so it is and congrats on your good stats. For weapons, since I'm pretty much handing out the starting weapons (i.e. what they have skill in), then they have to use the Base associated with their starting weapon...and if they get one with a bigger Base, good for them and if they get one with a lower Base, too bad, so sad (at least you didn't need to pay for another skill). Finally for the specific campaign, I simply kind of stole a bit from the NPC list and gave them the same skills (in this case, since they are all just coming out of training) and locked many of those at what I wanted for the starting max...including the weapons they start with. Yeah, it takes a little bit of figuring after accounting for the bonus, but they can spend any extra points in Professional skills I neglected to take to the Cap.
  14. Character Creation - Figuring Skill Caps

    Thanks for the input.
  15. Hitpoint-less combat

    And part of that issue just depends on the person {shrug}. Nothing wrong with the idea itself, as I pointed out my local group has long done a "minion" style thing that allowed for quick kills of swarming fodder. OTOH, to do the Star Wars type thing, you pretty much have to take away all chance of them hitting (or insure that their weaponry sucks so badly compared to the PCs armor) because you don't want a chance crit popping through using this system. "Opps, sorry, peon #69 just popped a crit on you, so make your roll" "Oh darn I failed" "Well, that's that, let's see if you survived after the battle after we finish up" OTOH, using the minion rule (one hit, two hit, three hit minions), they can still attack with their low levels of proficiency because the PCs will still be using their hitpoints to take the damage while still providing a bit of potential drama while not clogging up the system with a bunch of dice rolling.