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NickMiddleton

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Everything posted by NickMiddleton

  1. It’s a retro clone of the Victory Games James Bond RPG I believe: https://index.rpg.net/display-entry.phtml?mainid=9813
  2. Wolf-rider elves have a starting POW of 2D6+6, and the Sending (basic telepathy skill) at POW x 4, and whilst a failed sending costs 1 MP if they were paying MP (See later) , a character with poor skill can BOOST their chance by spending extra MP (+10% per MP). A message costs a base of 1 MP per 1000yds range, but for every 10 percent skill, you get 1000yds "free"... so an Elf with 10% Sending trying to send a message within 1000yds (i.e. for free) can fail, but it costs them nothing and they can add to their chance of success by spending MP... A typical Wolf-rider (Sending 52%) who isn't that fussed about how quickly they get through can try free sendings to folk within ~2.8 miles for no cost (barring fumbles, which always cost 1 MP) and one in every two attempts will get through - a fair game representation of the "telepath pauses and screws up their face in concentration" - but if they want minimal chance of error, they spend 5MP to boost their success chance to 102%. I rather like that it puts limits on what can be achieved related to skill, whilst implying sufficient reliability that casual usage need not bog play down, but for certainty the player will need to commit some resource. Cheers, Nick
  3. Bluntly, the "BGB" book for BRP is complicated - it is a compilation of the options and variants from multiple games and whilst there is a core "baseline" that's pretty straightforward (and quite close to Elric! / Magic World) it's not clearly and distinctly spelled out in isolation from all the options. For a new player - give them the BRP Quickstart (or at least the rules part), and then say there's a BIG library of options from which you will use an appropriate subset. IN D&D 5e terms, the BGB is the core three books plus Xanathar's Guide to Everything and Volo's Guide to Monsters, and several of the Unearthed Arcana articles. Oh, and as to what to do, you are doing it: I've used the Magic World as the basis of all my BRP CG since I first read Ben's draft of it - it's streamlined, effective and avoids the awful decision paralysis that BGB CG and similar approaches can get mired in. Re Skill Categories - I like them for CG and acquiring new skills, but I've always played that we apply them once, at CG / when a skill is first opened, and then don't worry of the stat changes and thus the category modifier changes for existing skills. Creating a character and playing a character are two different engagements with the rules set. Nick
  4. g33k's point I would guess is that the licenses under which Chaosium published these RPG adaptations are both long since lapsed, and thus they are no longer supported (hence no PDF versions legally available etc). Apart from the official supplements for both games (one for RingWorld, a couple for ElfQuest, and the revised book edition of the latter) I am not really aware that either generated much in the way of support material even when they were available - there were a few articles in Different Worlds I think? But not much else. RW famously ran afoul of contradictory licensing priorities by Niven's agent, and Chaosium famously had to dump all stock of RW at short notice and were giving copies away at one point IIRC. Both ElfQuest and RW are interesting as alternate "forks" of the development of the Chaosium House System that we now call BRP that had evolved out of RuneQuest - in particular I've always been intrigued by the similarities and differences between RQ3, RingWorld, ElfQuest and Other Suns (which IIRC Chaosium had seen before it was finally released via FGU) - all of which emerged in the 1981-1984 period. Cheers, Nick
  5. I've been toying with a system where effects derive from a combination of a characters innate qualities (like existing DB, but divided between force and precision); skill rating and "tool" (e.g. weapon) effectiveness. So for example DB might be +1D4, Skill might grant +1D8, tool / weapon +1D6 for a total roll of 1D4+1D8+1D6 (Specials and crits would allow one to increase the die size in DB). A successful defensive roll would allow the defender to include active defence (parrying object's tool die Parry Skill die OR or Dodge skill die) as well as passive (armour die); a failed defence roll would only allow passive defence. Not tested it anger yet mind. Cheers, Nick
  6. For much of the time when running BRP and using a statement of intent phase, I've used "Declare in order from lowest INT to Highest INT, then resolve in DEX rank from Highest to Lowest" - so the SMARTEST person gets to plan their action knowing what everyone else is planning, but the resolution is based on who reacts fastest... In more recent years (well, decade or so...) I've tended to have a more general accounting of Reflexes and situational awareness. Chaot's Smiorgan's post was quite an eye opener - I ran a LOT of SB1-3 in the 1980's / early 90's but I'd forgotten the details of the original action economy completely! RQ (and other) systems of the same era were big on the "adhesiveness" of combatants, that moving around in melee was NOT easy... the pendulum has swung in the intervening years so that 's generally seen as a bad design goal - frankly, my (now somewhat rusty) HEMA experience has always lead to me to feel otherwise in general, but in a game like Stormbringer, what would bother me most about implementing the RAW now is accommodating things like "bull rushing" an opponent e.g. off a walkway... Cheers, Nick
  7. Have one skill and use it for general magic related stuff and casting checks to improve casting, at the risk of impeding it. So a spell can be cast in its base configuration every time (a "rote casting"), but to improve its effect / duration / range / reduce its MP cost etc one needs a successful (or better) casting check - and casting fumbles make the spell weaker / shorter range / duration higher MP cost. Cantrips require no Casting Check, but cannot be improved; "High Magic" ALWAYS require casting checks, and fumbles with them have more negative effects.... Fumble Casting: Must impair one of effect, duration, range, MP cost Failed Casting: Rote cast only Succeeded Casting: Improve one of Effect, Range, Duration, MP cost Special Success: Improve two of Effect, Range, Duration, MP Cost. Cheers, Nick
  8. Given the use of the trademark name for an entirely different line of products as announced for Questworlds, is the Worlds of Wonder re-issue going to get renamed or something?
  9. Its been a while since I ran or played SB... whilst I have fond memories of the 1-3 system, I really liked and my players found far more nuance and game value in the 4e / Elric! / SB5 variants.
  10. I have run both very pulpy Space: 1889 games using BRP, as well as having an ongoing 2300AD game powered by BRp; and my playtest game for the BGB way back when was what became the monograph Outpost 19. My experience is BRP can handle wide variety of tones and styles - I'd be pretty confident of handling a Flash Gordan type game.
  11. Goddamnit! I have barely enough shelf space as it is!... ...How soon will it be available in the UK? ...asking for a friend...
  12. Um, why when faced with an opponent of equal skill would it ever be sensible to impede ones own ability so badly? Surely the rule that makes that a sub-optimal choice is correct? The point of the splitting skill option is to allow the high skilled individual to deal with multiple less skilled opponents; and likewise the cumulative parry penalty enables a highly skilled combatant to defend multiple times. Precisely the way BRP combats have always worked is that evenly matched combat skills are finely balanced affairs that can turn on the luck of whom first gets an uncountered special or critical result. One tilts the contest in ones favour by other means - see the Spot Rules.
  13. I rather liked that Rune Magic was somewhat distinctive, but the main use I had for it was as part of a rather gonzo "space fantasy" setting - so as a conceptual framework for part of my world building, not necessarily a player facing system... Ooh, really? I must re-read Worlds of Wonder - its been a while. But in any event, that's a genius idea!
  14. You may find this of interest too - https://www.ragingtrifle.com/jn/
  15. Arete is obviously a special case for me - and some of the underpinnings of that are essential parts of my general BRP toolkit. As to the rest, I've made a fair bit of use of the rest to help round at the background of scenarios and settings but in general in MW games I've tended to avoid adding the full bore Summoning stuff "back in" and, much as I love the Deep Magic system, the ratio of overhead vs in play back has never appealed. Necromancy, Advanced Sorcery, Herbalism, Rune Magic and the Fey magic are useful adjuncts that have helped me build scenarios - but none of them are what I'd call essential. Cheers, Nick
  16. Apparently, this question has triggered a strong thread of thought on my part! I apologise for the length and degree of rambling of the below, and I hope there is something useful in my meanderings! Really not sure all the verbiage below says anything more useful that lordabdul's far more succinct post! 🤣 I don't believe or play it that Listen or Move Quietly are unambiguous in this fashion. There may be a noise it would be helpful to pick out from the general background, but a failure at Listen doesn't automatically mean one has mis-interpreted it, it could just mean one didn't pick out the sound the Chronicler was thinking of. Likewise, if one makes a Move Quietly roll why can one not revise ones approach on the basis of the roll? Being in mind I generally combine Move Quietly and Hide as a single Stealth skill under Perception, a character with Stealth above base who fails may well (depending on circumstances) know immediately if there's no chance of staying concealed. In general in my games only fumbles from complete novices at Stealth result in Adventurer's deluding themselves them are concealed a la Drax in my games. See comments elsewhere about my dislike of maximally dis-advantageous outcomes. To quote the rule book on Insight: To me it is clearly NOT a simple lie-detector skill - it is about discerning "character and motives." Was the lord surprised, or annoyed, that the Adventurer's know the Wizards name? Is the scholar angry at something the Adventurers have said, or was he already in a bad mood when they arrived? Is the Lady avoiding something specific in her conversations? With Insight you KNOW the lord is annoyed (but trying to act surprised), the scholar was already angry, that the Lady is evasive about something related to a particular painting in the hall, what is in question is WHY? For me the purpose of Insight, as both GM and player is to expedite such social scenes - because, as I said earlier, not every player (or GM!) is a master psychologist, and in general Magic World games are ones of broad fantasy rather than intricate character studies, so I need a way to condense these things. Would you only allow one character a Search check, or a Track test? If ALL the adventurers attend the feast, why would they NOT all get to make Insight rolls to attempt to read the NPCs they meet? I might well break it up a little on the basis of whom each adventurer focused on rather than everyone getting an insight roll and getting a read on everyone attending - the former imperial soldier would probably have more in common with the Captain of the Guard, whilst the disgraced Imperial noble could plausibly blue their way in to a seat at the high table and talk to the Lord and Lady... But both characters are trying to get a read on the NPCs they interact with and Insight serves that purpose well, without the session getting bogged down in roleplaying out every word of every adventurers conversation with every NPC. And I'd hope (and encourage) my players to work with me in their choices in such a scene. But if the shy, socially awkward player has chosen to play the rakish and charming exiled black sheep of an Imperial Noble House, that adventurers should absolutely be able to schmooze with the Lord and Lady, and the adventurer ought to be able to get a read on the nobles "character and motives" in the scene: which an Insight roll handily covers. Insight is not a skill that generally (absent critical and fumbles) gives that sort of definitive information. Search can let one spot an Ambush; Insight tells one the Lord is covering some deeper concern or apprehension under bluster and good cheer, and that his wife is deeply troubled by something. What the players do with such information is a matter of further role playing - and perhaps further Insight would allow a perceptive Adventurer to discern when either makes a statement they are not confident in, or whether they are saying something they HOPE to be true rather than BELIEVE to be true etc. In large part this is a matter of "training" oneself, and ones regular players, in to the habits of using Insight to provide those "tight 3rd person" viewpoint annotations on motive and character that are part and parcel of written fiction. In a real life discussion, human interaction is full of subtleties and myriad verbal and non-verbal cues it is impossible to fully simulate in a game; in written fiction, the author can insert whatever details they wish to illuminate or obscure motives and character, both from the viewpoint character and the reader. In a game I feel we need a mechanism to modulate this - precisely this sort of interaction defines characters, both GM and player controlled, so it is an area that should be subject to indeterminacy, to game rules, not simple GM fiat. Where is the role playing in either having no adventurer at the feast discern anything about the various NPCs motives, or in ALL adventurers, irrespective of their own attributes, discern everything? How reliable are my characters Insights? THat's a matter of my characters skill, and what I rolled - and role-playing the result of a fumbled roll is as much part of playing the game as role-playing a critical result.
  17. Insight is an essential skill. Just because a player maybe be good at reading the GM, does not mean their character should be good at reading any particular NPCs intent; just because a player is terrible at reading people in general should not mean they can ever play a character who understands and can read people. Insight fumbles are no more problematic than fumbles of Search or Listen; Chroniclers need to be careful about when and why they call for skill checks, or allow players to make checks, but that’s a good general principle. A skill check is always as much a stage direction, a tool to shape the drama and tension, as it is a logic gate in information flow.
  18. I think options are vital. Some gamer's loathe random characteristics and wont touch a game without point buy; other gamer's despise point buy and insist on randomly generating characteristics; and yet others seek inspiration from the random numbers, but want some ability to shape those numbers so they get a "playable character" - a nebulous concept that could be a code for "power-gaming" (whatever that is) but equally is code for "I want to play a character who can, at least potentially, shine, in at least some areas....". My preference for "default" BRP games is to roll 4D6, take highest 3 for 3D6 stats, and 3D6 take highest 2 for the 2D6 stats, and then let players assign figures as they wish, or give them a pool of points to assign. Personally 1/5th and 1/20th are so ingrained I can do them in my head with no appreciable delay; I also am firmly convinced that the basic concept (of roll under, roll low) is an intrinsic part of why BRP is the resolution mechanic I have found the easiest to explain to new players over the last 40+ years. I tend to be quite fluid and descriptive with fumbles, specials and critical results - yes, the stuff in the rule book is the default baseline, but if a character achieves an exceptional success or suffers a fumble, I am guided by the circumstances, and the player's creativity / descriptions as to what actually happens. But in part it's heritage - Steve Perrin and co had substantial experience in the SCA and were very aware that when things got awry in melee combat, they do so in a variety of ways - straps break, ones grip slips etc etc. And whilst most of us have some idea of what a disastrous failure of a Ride Horse skill might look like, few players know what hand to hand melee combat is like. And, as Nick J. says, human beings find pratfall entertaining - and a table of woes enhances the feel of the "universe" delivering the comeuppance, not the GM, whilst a critical or a special feels like it "belongs" to the player.
  19. Indeed - if I ask for a drive check when the PCs jump into a vehicle to race across town to get to something before their current antagonist, a failure is arriving AFTER the opposition, and a fumble is probably getting caught up in an altercation along the way. Similarly, a complete novice who fumbles the drive roll doesn't drive in to a wall - they fail to even start the vehicle... and a master driver probably doesn't crash in to a wall either (but perhaps commits a traffic violation that draw's unwanted attention and delays the PCs). Context matters - who is attempting the task, and what is at stake should always shape the interpretation of the raw numbers and die rolls.
  20. 1) Magic World - whilst I tend to find the RQ2/3 / SB1-4 / Hawkmoon etc category bonus too fiddly these days, I like characteristics influencing skills in blocks, rather than trying to tie specific skills to specific characteristic pairs... whilst still liking some broad skills also having a base of a stat (Dodge, how I handle combat skills). 2) I prefer Magic World - I always ran Elric! pretty much that way anyway. Bluntly, I think its a fundamental principle of RPGs - Adventurers are the focus, and whilst adversity and challenge are important, part of what engages me and most players I know is their characters actions being both enjoyable and consequential. So I actively want that asymmetry of an additional grade or nuance of success versus failure. </Tangent> But I am also as a GM deeply hostile to the automatic equating of "fumble" with "maximally disastrous outcome for adventurer". Fumbling a Drive check does not, and should not, always mean a crash in which everyone dies / is seriously injured. Fumble / Fail / Success / Special / Critical should, IMO, always be interpreted in relation to both the task at hand and the skill level of the adventurer performing that task. </End Tangent>
  21. That was my feeling, ultimately: Cultures (not Occupations!) add 10 to some skills, and the Elric! rule was a +20 to the thirteen skills, so a +10 from a Perspective, plus possibly +10 from Culture, doesn't seem unbalancing. Occupation allocations come later and stack on top of Culture and Perspective. One could put the choice fo Perspective later, between steps 6 & 7 (so it comes after Culture, but before Occupation still).
  22. I placed these at roughly a point in the Magic World adventurer creation sequence prior to profession - so logically profession adds go on top. One thing I went back and forth over was +5/+10/+15/+20 or +10/+15/+20/+25.... in the end, +5 here or there seems too minor to really bother with for Magic World characters, so I went for the larger number. But there 's no reason not to reduce it as you suggest, or perhaps only use the Perspectives with Heroic or Legendary characters.
  23. A quick first pass at rewriting Outlooks for Magic World: Between steps 4 and 5 of Character generations (MW page 21), study the character so far and pick or roll for one of the following perspectives on 1D6:1 “Strong Arm”: He or she thinks first of solving problems by means of physical force and skill. Give 10 skill points each to Brawl, Climb, Dodge, Insight, Jump, Listen, Move Quietly, Ride, Sailing, Swim, Throw, to anyone class of weapon. and to the Wrestle skill.2 “Skilled Hands”: He or she believes that technique, craft, and expertise are the secrets of success. Give 10 skill points each to any one Craft, to Disguise, Dodge, Evaluate, Nature, Navigate, Physik, Pick Lock, Ride, Salting, Scribe, and Trap, and to one class of weapon.3 “Quick Wits”: He or she first tries to outsmart an opponent or to gain an advantage. Give 10 skill points each to Bargain, Conceal Object, Disguise, Evaluate, Fast Talk, Hide, Insight, Natural World, Oratory, Own Language, Pick Lock, and Search, and to anyone class of weapon.4 “Silver Tongue”: The adventurer enjoys persuading other people to work, while he or she makes the decisions. Give 10 skill points each to one Art, to Bargain, Disguise, Evaluate, FastTalk, Insight, Oratory, anyone Other Language, Own Language, Ride, and Search, and to any one class of weapon.5 “Wise Head”: He or she believes all problems can be understood by reasoned understanding. Give 10 skill points to any one Art, to Nature, Navigate, Own Language, two Other Languages, Physick, Potions, World Lore, one Play Instrument, Repair / Devise, Scribe, and any one weapon class.6 “Jack of All Trades”: He or she has no particular focus or method – pick 13 skills and add 10 points (only one weapon class, one craft, one art or one Other language).If using the Experienced Adventurer's side bar (MW page 22) increase the skill points as follows: Veterans get +15; Heroic adventures +20 and Legendary adventurers +25 to each fo the thirteen skills in their perspective.
  24. I don't recall Ben issuing us a detailed list of explicit do's and don'ts when we were writing stuff for Magic World - my Arete chapter in Advanced Sorcery for example arose from email exchanges about re-writing / adapting ki skills from LoN for an entirely different (never published / green lit) book that morphed in to the Arete system as it found a home in Advanced Sorcery. The closest he got was list of inspirations for creatures when we were looking at the Creatures chapter of the Companion that morphed in to the unpublished Creatures book. That said, there's coherent but not restrictive core feel to MW / the southern Reaches that is very appealing - any particular Chronicler can interpret it as they wish, but it is clearly broadly Euro-centric, but heavily mythological. Ben was fond of the "Celtic Harryhausen" metaphor and I think it is compelling: both visually and in terms of tone and style of play the game invites.
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