Episode 201 – travel in an RPG
by Dan Repperger

* (0:30) Johann gets a new, rating-friendly nickname, and Chris learns about numbers.

* (1:48) Gen Con coverage is available on our blog.  Quite a few videos are already out, and more are still being prepped for release over the coming days.

* (2:29) Dealing with unexpected player actions that aren’t covered by the rules.  Designing a meaningful outcome that’s fair to the player without breaking the game.

* (18:00) Handling travel in a roleplaying game.  Taking advantage of time and distance to keep the game interesting without bogging down the pace.  Whether to use random encounter charts, and if so, how to get the most out of them.  We’d like to thank Josheva for sending this one in!

Hosts: Chris, Dan, Johann, Pat, Wayne

Comments (3)

AkiAugust 12th, 2010 at 4:46 am

On the subject of doing things which the rules don’t cover:

Switch to HeroQuest. It’s that simple.

In HeroQuest you have a bunch of traits and the system allows you to use several of them at the same time. Opposed actions are done to gain advantage. Advantage can be pretty much anything, like enraging the enemy, getting him out of balance, or wounding him. Even getting tired is easily explained in this pretty ingenius system.

Let’s take the example of lifting the stone chair and slamming it against the roof. Let’s say the active party in this case has Rock Lifting magic skill at 17 and he has Subtle Magic at 15 (to help him do it without losing the element of surprise). He can then use the Rock Lifting as his primary trait and supplement it with 1/10 (rounded normally) of his Subtle Magic leaving him with total of 19. Let’s say the reactive party has Alertness of 15 and Quick Reactions at 15. That would leave him with a total of 17. The active party also has 19 Advantage Points and the reactive party has 17 Advantage points.

After that, the active party bids Advantage Points. If he wants to get rid of the opponent quickly, he can bid many ponits, if he is comfortable with his lead, he can bid few. Then both roll d20. Smaller is better. Then one or in some cases both parties lose Advantage Points, and one may gain AP, if the difference between the rolls is large enough.

This works very well with wrestling and grappling too. There are some blind spots in the system, but generally it is very simple way to do anything. One thing though: Mostly it looks at the situation from a different point of view. You are not necessarily telling what you are going to do, but rather what you would like to do. Then the dice roll might lead it to different directions. Also, sometimes I find that players have a disconnect between the number of AP bid and what it would mean in game terms.

Of course, the system is a bit crunchy even with very simple rules, because if a player wants to use a combination of many traits he hasn’t used before, it requires quite a bit of calculation. Simple calculation, but calculation anyway.

Daniel M. PerezAugust 13th, 2010 at 9:33 am

Hey, I thought this was my niche. ;-)

TetsuboAugust 15th, 2010 at 2:42 am

If *every* gaming system in existence has failed to emulate what you want to do with a grapple action, what is it you are trying to achieve with that grapple action? What does ‘grapple’ mean to you? Why are the rules systems in existence failing to achieve what you want? Are your expectations unrealistic or unreasonable?

The HeroQuest example above leaves me cold. It involves both more math and more complexity than I am looking for. I don’t like bidding mechanics at all. I like bonus/penalty plus roll against a static number. fast, simple and requires no back & forth over each and every required mechanic.

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