29 December 2012

Monsters: Sizes, Fortitude, Damage

Shamelessly borrowing concepts from Alexis at Tao of D&D and shoehorning them into my own business. You can read about his system for determining HP by mass for monsters here.

Here I've created my own curve for how to roll Fort by applying a modifier to a roll of 3d6 (if anyone cares, the curve is based on the 4th power of the log of the mass), rather than the system Alexis uses that uses varying numbers of odd-shaped dice (which are rolled in Excel). I like the idea of needing only a few dice and a pocket calculator to figure out toughness of critters, and I also really like the idea of the bell curve being the same for all creatures.

Alexis's concept of incidental damage from big creatures is an idea of sheer genius. It perfectly encapsulates the terror and danger of fighting some huge beast. Read his post on it here. I really can't overstate how awesome this idea is. His story of watching a bull bucking and kicking, and how dangerous it would be to go near is a clear illustration of why any RPG with monsters need this system. I've tweaked his numbers a little, but would still go with a base 50% chance for anyone within melee range. Anyone intentionally keeping their distance would not risk the damage, but also wouldn't be able to make melee attacks.

I've also incorporated into this table the idea that small things are hard to hit, and would find it hard to hurt big things with some pretty honking penalties to hit and damage, and commensurate bonuses to Defense. If you think +16 Defense is too much, I'd like to see you try and whack a rat with a mace as it scurries about. Just picture that for a minute.

OK, time for a big table! I've tried to keep things fairly regular but still keep in with my idea of what makes sense.

MassAvg. Fort3d6 MultiplierIncidental DamageAttack/Defense/Damage
1 ton565.31-30/-4/+4
2 tons797.51-60/-4/+4
3 tons9591-80/-4/+4
5 tons12011.41-120/-8/+8
10 tons16015.31-200/-14/+10
15 tons18817.91-200/-20/+12

This table would work just fine for D&D if you use the 3d6 Multiplier and instead apply it to whatever you use to calculate the HP of a normal human. You could either multiply the die roll, or multiply the number of dice. Obviously, if you go with multiplying the result, you'll get a very swingy total. If you multiply the number of dice, you'll get a very average result.

22 December 2012

Even More Spells!

A couple more new spells.
  • False Familiarity (Dorothy Ackworth)
    • PL: 20 + X
    • Duration: X minutes
    • Mechanism: Sight.
    • Summary: Makes everyone in a dwelling believe they know the caster.
    • Occupants will not behave any differently than they would towards an acquaintance - attempts to enter at unusual hours, for instance, will likely be rebuffed.
    • Any extended contact with the occupants will make them uncomfortable - they will start to realize they have difficulty placing the caster, etc.
    • Any hostile or overtly bizarre behaviour (stuffing all the brass candlesticks in a sack, ransacking the library, punching the butler) will break the spell.
  • All Roads Lead to Home (Avis Cossington)
    • PL: 15 + X
    • Duration: 3 x X miles of marching
    • Mechanism: Centred around caster.
    • Summary: a road appears around the caster, leading where she will, and therefore preventing her from being slowed by terrain. 
    • Others may use the road as well.

16 December 2012

More Spells!

    A couple new spells.
      • Shadow Cloak (unknown)
        • PL: 10
        • Duration: Concentration
        • Mechanism: Self.
        • Summary: Caster appears as a shadow falling across the caster's location, so long as the caster doesn't move.
        • Shadow does not fall naturally, the unusual lie of the shadow can be detected by an astute observer.
      • And in its Place, the Simulacrum (unknown)
        • PL: 10
        • Duration: Until reversed by casting again.
        • Mechanism: Sight.
        • Summary: One object is switched with its reflection.
        • The object is now in the mirror, and an insubstantial image is in the real world.
        • If the mirror is destroyed, everything in it is also destroyed.
        • The object can be no bigger than the mirror used.