Thursday, March 22, 2018

Sentinels of Echo City Deluxe has begun...

Let’s talk about level and hit dice

One of the things I notice as I look over the rules for SoEC is the use of Level Modifier. It’s a little bit clunky. I mean, it’s only one mechanic, and it’s easy enough to remember, but why not just have it be level, and cut the level scale in half (going from levels 1 to 6 instead of 1 to 12)? There are a few reasons:

- Level sets hit dice. If you cut level in half, you are effectively cutting hit dice in half as well. That is problematic.
- Level sets attack modifiers for creatures that are not built like supers. A dragon of level 6 should be getting better than +6 to attack.

These are simple enough to solve.

Option one: you set every level as granting 2d6 hit points. This makes level 1 characters more durable (a good thing for supers) and makes each level a bit more significant (since you are earning all of your bonuses every level. That’s nice). It also means that minions and normals have 1d6 hit points, which sets them off well from the superhero population. You can also increase ability points to 2 per level (maybe with a limitation that they cannot both go in the same attribute). NPCs that aren’t built as supers take level x2 as their base attack bonus. The level 6 dragon is attacking at +12.

Option two: you set hit dice based on the size or type of the character, a la Saga of the Splintered Realm:

1d4    Small Creatures
1d6    Medium Creatures, Normal and Exceptional humans (Tony without Iron Man armor)
1d8    Large Creatures; Enhanced humans, standard supers (85% of supers)
1d10    Huge Creatures; Especially hardy or larger supers (The Thing, Superman)
1d12    Giant Creatures (Dragons, Giants, probably Thanos, maybe the Hulk just because)
1d20    Gargantuan (Godzilla, Galactus) or entities (Hela)

You start at level 1 with 2D hit dice, and add 1D of the appropriate type, each level thereafter.

Either way, this is my proposed revised XP progression chart (with the second option HD thrown in):
Level - XP - Hit Dice
1 - 0 XP - 2D
2 - 150 XP - 3D
3 - 500 XP - 4D
4 - 1,500 XP - 5D
5 - 5,000 XP - 6D
6 - 15,000 XP - 7D

This means that Thanos, as a level 6 foe with CON 24 (+9) has 7d12+54 hit points, and he rolls well, so this puts him well over 100 hp, probably close to 125. Eh... maybe he's level 7 or 8, and we cap levels for mortals at 6.

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