Wednesday, March 20, 2019

On Solo Play

So this morning, I decided to start a solo game and take my character through the introductory adventure in the core rules. Here are a few basic takeaways before I get into the specifics of characters:

It's a fun little adventure. I like the little seeds of things that can get you going further without much effort.
The rules are nice and fast and loose. I really like this iteration. It's fluid. I was able to run the entire adventure in about 2 hours, and that is with rolling up two characters as well!
I created a few house rules on the fly... which prompted this morning's earlier posting about house rules.

Characters:

I ended up making two characters for this adventure; a stoutling defender and a red gnome trickster. Basically, I wanted to play the stoutling, but I realized about halfway through that he was going to be tough to play solo for a long time; he has no ability to take on multiple foes at once, so any time there were more than 2 or 3 foes, he got wrecked pretty quickly. In addition, as he scales up, his abilities are going to be largely supportive and defensive. He's a GREAT guy to have on your team; he's not such a great guy to have AS your team.

The red gnome trickster is a much more capable solo character. He has multiple ways to get past obstacles (he can try a STR check if the burglary doesn't work to open a door); he has ways to do some crowd control (sleep), and he has some ways to quickly deal some automatic damage. He'll scale better for solo play; he can sneak by really tough foes and scout things out, get extra damage with his sneak attack... he has more options for how to manage a variety of situations. I found that I really needed that if I was going to pursue solo play.

FYI, here are the two character sheets: Sty has he was in progress, and Myth as he had finished the adventure (I spotted him about 30 xp to get to level 2; yeah, I know...)





TSR House Rules

This post will be updated with house rules I am using for Tales of the Splintered Realm. Use or don't use as you see fit:

Gameplay Rules
  • Automatic damage effects (like the heat from a fire ant) are capped at 2 points per round; if four fire ants surround a character, that character does not suffer 4 hp damage per round.
  • In melee combat, no more than 3 creatures of the same size can engage you at once. No more than 2 creatures of any size larger, and no more than 4 creatures of any size smaller. A normal human could be attacked in melee by up to 4 rats, 3 gargoyles, or 2 ogres at once. This would limit sundering to only affecting those total targets as well. I found this was necessary to keep my solo stoutling defender alive; when he took on 7 rats, he was going to be killed quickly if not for the quick application of this rule :) This will also keep him alive later on, when he's taking on many undead at once.
  • For solo play, I am ruling that drinking a potion counts as a minor action, allowing one attack at -2 (because my character is going through healing potions like CRAZY to stay alive).
Purchasing Scrolls

The rules state that scrolls must be found on adventures. I rule that scrolls may be purchased in some places. A small country shrine may carry tier 1 scrolls, while the temple in a major city may stock scrolls of up to tier 3; you would have to journey to the Library at Asgoth's Summit to find a scroll of Tier 5.

Tier 1: 100 sp
Tier 2: 250 sp
Tier 3: 500 sp
Tier 4: 1,000 sp
Tier 5: 2,500 sp
Tier 6: 5,000 sp

Purchasing Weapons or Armor

The rules have no mechanism for purchasing magical weapons and armor. Larger merchants may have gained some through barter. The standard prices are:

+1 weapons or armor are the base cost in gold +100 gp.  (A +1 medium weapon would cost around 115 gp, or 1150 sp; a suit of +1 plate mail armor would likely go for around 400 gp, or 4,000 sp). The more powerful an item, the less likely it is that a merchant will carry it.

+2 weapons or armor are the base cost in gold x10, +250 gp. (A +2 short bow would cost around 500 gp, or 5,000 sp; a suit of +2 chainmail armor would cost around 1,000 gp, or 10,000 sp). Very few merchants would stock such items.

Purchasing Potions

Larger alchemical shops are going to stock some basic potions. Most potions sell for around 100 sp, but more potent elixirs may sell for upwards of 500 sp.

Selling Items

Use the prices above to sell items to vendors; you get 50% of the value in any item you sell back (including mundane items you purchase; when you upgrade your studded leather armor to chainmail, you get 10 sp credit from the studded leather towards the new price)


Sunday, March 17, 2019

TSR Update

Tales of the Splintered Realm has been updated. Updates include:
  • Added five archetypes, including the 'big four' classic class options
  • Expanded magic to include faith magic, with all 6 tiers of magic represented
  • Revised spell rules to more closely mirror the B/X spell system
  • Added a page of additional monsters
  • Expanded treasure rules

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

TSR Revised

The Tales of the Splintered Realm update is almost ready to go. I just want to give it another day of editing and clean ups, but I'm happy with how it's turned out. I upgraded from 16 to 20 pages, but in the bargain added 5 archetypes (including the 'big four'), added faith magic, expanded arcane and nature magic to 6 tiers, added a half-dozen monsters, and expanded the treasure rules to scale all the way to level 6 so that no additional treasure tables will be needed. I also revised spell rules to keep them simple and clean, but to make them better mirror class D+D spell casting with available spells per day.

I was working on a treasure supplement, and realized that higher-level treasures would require new or expanded treasure tables, and I didn't like that anything later would supersede the core rules. I would prefer that future materials would expand things; I was able to make a few modifications to the basic tables and organization to increase its usefulness as a foundation module that other modules now can expand on in any number of directions.

Oh, and here's a character sheet I made as well. Because. Character sheets. Amiright or amiright?

Sunday, March 10, 2019

Creativity is a Flowing

So I got a round of stuff done for Sentinels of Echo City, and I've got the next issue of Doc Stalwart's adventures well underway... and I've turned my attention to Tales of the Splintered Realm. 

The three big knocks against the system were that the spell system was pretty far removed from the classic D+D system, that the core rules don't include the 'big four' classes, and that there is no representation of faith magic in the core rules. All of these were intentional, but they are all things I've decided to correct. In creating expansion materials (I'm working on a dungeon crawl), I've realized how many basic things you need in place for dungeon crawls... things like curses, wizard lock, dispel magic, and turning undead need to be in the core rules, because including rules for these in supplements for dungeon crawls creates an unnecessary layer of material ("you can find the rules for this in module A1, the rules for that in module B3, and the rules for this is module C1")...

The core rules can be a central clearinghouse for all of the basics without adding any bloat. I am adding one page of character archetypes, 2 pages of spells, and a page of treasure. That will keep a solid foundational game in place, but only increase the page count to 20, which is still nice and light. 

Saturday, March 9, 2019

Totally NOT Captain Marvel, so I don't know why you'd say that


Just saw Captain Marvel with the girls. We all really liked it. Mary and I agreed that the only flaw was the banter between characters - it was clever, but rarely genuine, and sometimes a bit forced. The story was great, and the connections to the existing MCU were well done. On the whole, a strong offering.

And of course, it gets me thinking about how this sort of higher-end super-heroing works in game terms for Sentinels of Echo City. So, let’s give it a spin…

Uri the Cosmic Guardian (Hero 6)
Uri, Cosmic Guardian: Resources 14
AC 21; HD 12d6+36 (hp 101); Feat +13; Move 50’ (fly 10 miles)
Combat
Blast (+10/1d10+9/120’) or Punch (+10/1d6+4)
Attributes
STR 15 (+4); INT 11 (+2); PWR 24 (+9)
DEX 14 (+4); CON 18 (+6); CHA 12 (+3)
Traits
Flight; Cosmic Energy Control; Cosmic Blast (1d10); Invulnerability; Pilot; 
Pummel (1d6)
Talents
Improved Dice (x3) Iron Will; Prowess; Toughness
Drawbacks
Vow: To help the downtrodden
Purpose
To defend those who cannot defend themselves across the cosmos.


MeWe and Blogger Not Playing Nice

For some reason, I cannot get a direct link to my MeWe account to work. I have the link, and it works when I put it the browser field. I go right to my MeWe. But, when I create a link in the sidebar to the left, it comes up as an error. Help me Internet!