Jump to content

Rules Changes from Elric! to Magic World?


Recommended Posts

I'm boringly on the same hymnsheet as you chaps.

1) Prefer Characteristics to have an influence on skill level

But not entirely happy with the way that MW or Mythras do it

2) Much prefer more degrees of success

But not entirely happy with the fiddly RQ2-era MW way of calculating them

Link to post
Share on other sites

Spotted another one - MW no longer has the Elric! option of bumping up your POW during character generation by swapping 2 points from other characteristics for 1 point of POW (at least I've never come across it). Though it needs a Luck roll to do, and you get Chaos points if it works, it makes it a bit easier to get that POW 16+ character if you want to be a sorcerer.

Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, Vile said:

Spotted another one - MW no longer has the Elric! option of bumping up your POW during character generation by swapping 2 points from other characteristics for 1 point of POW (at least I've never come across it). Though it needs a Luck roll to do, and you get Chaos points if it works, it makes it a bit easier to get that POW 16+ character if you want to be a sorcerer.

Damn, you're right. Now I'm wondering where I picked it up, because MW was babby's first BRP game and I only picked up Elric! (and Stormbringer 2nd, 4th and 5th) sometime later? Regardless I think it's a great rule that does a good job of modelling the classic trope surrounding the idea of sorcery being paid for in blood -- corrupting and consuming those who practice it. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
On 4/12/2020 at 11:16 PM, yojimbo said:

Characteristics are 3D6 for everything but SIZ and INT which are 2D6+6. In Elric! and Stormbringer it's 2D6+6 for all.

How do you all feel about this? Personally I'm quite happy to let players roll 2D6+6 seven times and allocate as they see fit. Back in my D&D / RQ2 days of 3D6 everyone I gamed with universally rolled 4D6-drop-the-lowest. Either way, of course, when individual characteristics start diverging from the standard 3-18 range you can't freely swap things around. Not too bad in MW, because I don't encourage non-human adventurers anyway.

Hmm ... straying into house rules territory here, but you could also roll all the dice and then just allocate them individually to characteristics as you wish ... 🤔

Say what you like about low-characteristic adventurers being character-building (and I don't necessarily disagree with the sentiment),  but in my experience most players are happier with an above-average character.

On the topic of degrees of success, it seems a lot of us prefer more variation (à la MW Critical / Special / Success / Fail / Fumble), but at the same time no-one is really happy with  the fiddly calculations involved. In practice I find them easy enough to remember after a while, but that's not ideal. Another issue for me, after many years of fumbled attack rolls, is how repetitive the combat fumble tables get after a while. Skill fumbles didn't really become a thing until relatively recently, which may be why they're just guidelines for the most part (except for Sailing). Also, it would take a page per skill to have fumble tables for each one, and you'd still run into the most-used ones getting repetitive. I guess the trouble with combat is that the risk to life and limb is more immediate, so there might be a problem with the referee just arbitrarily deciding the result of a fumble. Is there a happy medium? I don't now.

Why are we happy with just one result for a critical or a special, but we need lots of variation when we fumble? Is it psychological, i.e. a win already has us hyped, while detailing the fumble  turns it into a roleplaying experience rather than just a simple downer?

Edited by Vile
  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Vile said:

How do you all feel about this? Personally I'm quite happy to let players roll 2D6+6 seven times and allocate as they see fit. Back in my D&D / RQ2 days of 3D6 everyone I gamed with universally rolled 4D6-drop-the-lowest. Either way, of course, when individual characteristics start diverging from the standard 3-18 range you can't freely swap things around. Not too bad in MW, because I don't encourage non-human adventurers anyway.

Hmm ... straying into house rules territory here, but you could also roll all the dice and then just allocate them individually to characteristics as you wish ... 🤔

Say what you like about low-characteristic adventurers being character-building (and I don't necessarily disagree with the sentiment),  but in my experience most players are happier with an above-average character.

On the topic of degrees of success, it seems a lot of us prefer more variation (à la MW Critical / Special / Success / Fail / Fumble), but at the same time no-one is really happy with  the fiddly calculations involved. In practice I find them easy enough to remember after a while, but that's not ideal. Another issue for me, after many years of fumbled attack rolls, is how repetitive the combat fumble tables get after a while. Skill fumbles didn't really become a thing until relatively recently, which may be why they're just guidelines for the most part (except for Sailing). Also, it would take a page per skill to have fumble tables for each one, and you'd still run into the most-used ones getting repetitive. I guess the trouble with combat is that the risk to life and limb is more immediate, so there might be a problem with the referee just arbitrarily deciding the result of a fumble. Is there a happy medium? I don't now.

Why are we happy with just one result for a critical or a special, but we need lots of variation when we fumble? Is it psychological, i.e. a win already has us hyped, while detailing the fumble  turns it into a roleplaying experience rather than just a simple downer?

On characteristics: The 2D6+6 method is how I handle it (for human characters). It definitely skews towards above average, but the difference between the RAW method and the Elric! method isn't so dramatic as it might be in a D&D type game where attribute bonuses seem to have a much higher influence on success or failure (particularly in the beginning).

On Fumbles: I think the the thing with wanting fumbles to be a little bit random is probably rooted in the same part of my brain that enjoys blooper reels (or Jackass) -- I like a little bit of chaos and "Three Stooges" prat falls in my games. That said, I find myself increasingly drawn to the Mythras method, whereby you stack special effects based on the differential level of opposed rolls between attacker and defender; it feels like it solves the issue of table look-ups and gives characters and GMs a little more opportunity to kind of narrate the outcome in a (hopefully) entertaining way.

Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, Vile said:

How do you all feel about this? Personally I'm quite happy to let players roll 2D6+6 seven times and allocate as they see fit. Back in my D&D / RQ2 days of 3D6 everyone I gamed with universally rolled 4D6-drop-the-lowest. Either way, of course, when individual characteristics start diverging from the standard 3-18 range you can't freely swap things around. Not too bad in MW, because I don't encourage non-human adventurers anyway.

Hmm ... straying into house rules territory here, but you could also roll all the dice and then just allocate them individually to characteristics as you wish ... 🤔

Say what you like about low-characteristic adventurers being character-building (and I don't necessarily disagree with the sentiment),  but in my experience most players are happier with an above-average character.

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.

Quote

On the topic of degrees of success, it seems a lot of us prefer more variation (à la MW Critical / Special / Success / Fail / Fumble), but at the same time no-one is really happy with  the fiddly calculations involved. In practice I find them easy enough to remember after a while, but that's not ideal. Another issue for me, after many years of fumbled attack rolls, is how repetitive the combat fumble tables get after a while. Skill fumbles didn't really become a thing until relatively recently, which may be why they're just guidelines for the most part (except for Sailing). Also, it would take a page per skill to have fumble tables for each one, and you'd still run into the most-used ones getting repetitive. I guess the trouble with combat is that the risk to life and limb is more immediate, so there might be a problem with the referee just arbitrarily deciding the result of a fumble. Is there a happy medium? I don't now.

Why are we happy with just one result for a critical or a special, but we need lots of variation when we fumble? Is it psychological, i.e. a win already has us hyped, while detailing the fumble  turns it into a roleplaying experience rather than just a simple downer?

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.

Edited by NickMiddleton
typos!
  • Like 3
Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, NickMiddleton said:

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,

Same for me.

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites
13 hours ago, Vile said:

How do you all feel about this? Personally I'm quite happy to let players roll 2D6+6 seven times and allocate as they see fit. Back in my D&D / RQ2 days of 3D6 everyone I gamed with universally rolled 4D6-drop-the-lowest. Either way, of course, when individual characteristics start diverging from the standard 3-18 range you can't freely swap things around. Not too bad in MW, because I don't encourage non-human adventurers anyway.

Say what you like about low-characteristic adventurers being character-building (and I don't necessarily disagree with the sentiment),  but in my experience most players are happier with an above-average character.

I wasn't aware that Magic World had reverted back to 3D6/2D6+6. (Elric!'s boosted stats, I guess, reflected the cultural stat bonuses you could receive in Stormbringer 1-4). I guess it comes down to how you want to present the game world: are adventurers generally better physically and mentally by nature than the average man, or are they average men who become acclaimed adventurers?

With BRP Fantasy campaigns I run, I offer either 3D6/2D6+6-and-assign or a point-buy option. Players can pick their preference.  I'd much rather leverage mechanics like Hero/Fate/Luck points (that allow dice re-rolls, injury downgrades, etc.) to reflect the heroic advantages of adventurers than to have every adventurer be a 'roided-up, big-brained superman. 

Back in the day, when I played AD&D, roll-and-drop-lowest and then assign was the standard. How else are you going to have a chance at that sweet, sweet 18-percentile Strength? 😉 I don't really care for roll-extra-but-keep these days, for the reasons I mentioned above.

Quote

Hmm ... straying into house rules territory here, but you could also roll all the dice and then just allocate them individually to characteristics as you wish

I did that with Traveller a decade ago. Players rolled all of the dice and then matched up pairs and assigned where they pleased. Worked fairly well.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

I would guess that anyone who has played for a significant length of time (most of us here I reckon) has tried all manner of methods.

I remember when Elric! first came out thinking that 2d6+6 for all characteristics was inspired brilliance. And all I (still) tinker on generation method for specific games I still gravitate back to that as my default.

(I really like 3d6 in order but any roll of a '1' is replaced either by a '2' in gritty campaigns or a '7' in a more gonzo game; I'd struggle to say that this method is somehow objectively better than 2d6+6 though)

Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, Al. said:

I really like 3d6 in order but any roll of a '1' is replaced either by a '2' in gritty campaigns or a '7' in a more gonzo game;

That reminds me, we also went through a period of re-rolling any '1's back in the 80s.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 4 months later...
On 4/21/2020 at 5:25 PM, Vile Traveller said:

Spotted another one - MW no longer has the Elric! option of bumping up your POW during character generation by swapping 2 points from other characteristics for 1 point of POW (at least I've never come across it). Though it needs a Luck roll to do, and you get Chaos points if it works, it makes it a bit easier to get that POW 16+ character if you want to be a sorcerer.

No its in there just separated from the rest of character generation. Page 103

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...