Sunday, June 17, 2012

Random Thoughts and Other Musings

I haven't been posting lately in large part because of how busy and chaotic life has been, but also because the work I've been doing on Resolute has been both busy and chaotic. I'm allowing it to be a bit of a chaotic mess right now to let ideas percolate, but that doesn't mean I'm not making significant progress. I'm world building, dungeon designing, mechanic tweaking, monster making, rules writing and edition delving all at one time. A few quick hits to give you some ideas of my ideas....

- I'm thinking of monster listings as more open-ended frameworks rather than 'static' monster blocks. For example, for skeletons, you will get a list of the basic abilities all skeletons have, a smorgasbord of options many skeletons have, and a few 'common' types of skeletons the heroes might encounter, at 3 different levels of difficulty. Each 'monster' then gets a full page in the rules (along with more direct notes about habitats, behaviors, how to use them in the game) and a chunk of stats to build your own. This should be easy enough for referees to use quickly, but create enough of a sense of a 'living' environment that monsters are dynamic and interesting.

- I've never known what to do for sure when a character has no weapons/armor ability, or when this ability is below the rating of the weapon or armor the character has. I've never been completely satisfied with my previous solution (your ability rating caps your progression), although it's worked; with armor +3, any armor beyond +3 simply defaults to a +3 rating for you. A wizard with weapons +0 who picks up a staff +1 still gets +0 damage with it. Meh. I didn't have a better solution... until now. My current thinking is that your 'unarmed' damage is a base D6 instead of D12; if you have the ability weapons +1 and you pick up a dagger +1, you deal D12+1 damage with it; if you pick up a sword +3, you get to deal +3 damage with it, but you default to your unarmed die with it, so you deal D6+3 damage with this sword. A character with no ability wielding a +10 weapon is still going to do significant damage with it (D6+10), but not as much as a character with weapons ability at +10 (D12+10). This would also mean that with no armor at all (or no training in armor), you soak D6 damage instead of D12. This is tough on the poor wizards! I think that this rule may only apply to damage rolls and not to soaks; otherwise, wizards and low-level rogues are going to be even more squishy than they were before. Then again, this is all the more reason to pick up a few points in armor, or to make sure that your fighter and cleric are at the front taking all the damage. Hmmmm. This one I may playtest some. The other implication here is for monsters... a monster with NO invulnerability is going to roll D6 to soak damage, and is going to be much easier to take down. I'd expect that this would mean that pretty much every monster has a minimum of armor or invulnerability +1, if for no other reason than to take advantage of that D12 soak roll. However, low-level mobs now become even more vulnerable... a giant rat soaking D6 damage against your D12+3 weapon is not likely to live long. That's rather the way it should be...

- Speaking of play testing, I'm still doing quite a bit of it, I just am not posting results. I don't get around to writing it all up, and I find some things out, tweak, and try some more things. Don't take my silence as a lack of progress... I want to make sure that as I play test, I'm creating things that might actually make it into the game. This means I've spent a LOT of time thinking about Mount Brim and the implications of it to the greater game world (if it is my version of Castle Greyhawk- and it is).


  1. I really like the open ended framework for monsters and the optional abilities in the package. Looking forward to see how this pans out.

  2. Much of this was inspired by your posts on reading Dungeon Crawl Classics... I haven't purchased or seen it, but in reading what you've said about monsters as unknown things that players cannot be prepared for, I was inspired to try and find a middle ground between classic stat blocks and completely undefined monsters. A guide to creation for each monster with a few samples at different levels should accomplish this. It won't be hard to tweak the given examples to create a huge variety quickly. Giving each one a random generation table (i.e. the 6 most common abilities for each monster) should be simple enough.