Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Starting Equipment Revisited

Over the weekend I ran 10 consecutive 6-hour sessions of Horror in Emridy--my bizarro-Hommlet mega-doom adventure--at Marathon-Dice-Chuck-a-Con IV; which, for structural reasons, was relocated to sunny, downtown Ballard at the last second.  Still, we had a decent turnout and raised enough rupees to tip the pizza guy. 

As Horror in Emridy is a bit of a meat grinder--on avg., there were 1.3 character deaths per player*--speedy character re-creation was essential to smooth action.**  Which is to say, I was able to put the new starting equipment rules through the paces.  Players had roughly 3-1/2 minutes--as measured with a sand timer nabbed from some old, long lost board game--from the end of the combat or other situation which resulted in their character's death to create a new character, or they lost their spot at the table.   

*At 6 players per session that comes to 7.8 kills per session.  Huh, it seemed higher than that.
**Others might argue that my speedy character generation rules exacerbated the death toll.    

The gist, for those uninterested in going back to the previous post, is that each character rolls 4 six-siders and, instead of adding them up, he or she assigns the value of each die to one of the columns in the table below:

e.g.: the aforementioned Fobbins the Fighter rolls a 5,4,3,2.  He slaps the 5 on armor for chainmail, then grabs a short bow with the 4 and a morningstar with the 3 and slaps the 2 down to get a satchel full of dungeoneering goodies from the next table:
You can either select items at your leisure or, if you're in a rush or just a fatalist by nature, roll for your possessions.   Or you can just put it all in silver: Fobbins's 4 satchel items could be converted to 16 pocket items (1 satchel item = 2 pouch items = 4 pocket items), which he could cash in for 16 x 5 = 80 SP.  This is handy if you're heading into an urban adventure, not so much if you're wandering around the tomb of horrors... with your first level character.

For those wanting the dungeoneering tools mentioned under satchel:
 And for critters and other companions:
And go here for the weaponized livestock table.

Magic Users consult Spell Table below for spell selection.  E.g. Moggins the Magicolator, brother to Fobbins in the example above, is also similarly endowed in starting equipment dice rolls; he gets a   5,4,3,2.  He wastes no time on weapons or armor, snagging himself a freebie staff and moving on to spells.  He adds the 4 and 2 for a 6 which gets him to the A list spells and rolls a 4, netting shocking grasp for his spellbook.  He then takes a B-list spell with the 5-er: rolls a 1 for hold portal.  With the just the 3 remaining, he can either roll for a spell on the D list and rely on the bounty of his pockets to get him through the dungeon, or spend it on a backpack full of goodies. Or he can use it to make a scroll of one of his two spells.  Not a bad option, really.


Here is a bunch of verbiage about the rules that will make them seem extra convoluted.  You really don't need to read them, but maybe you want to.  Your call.

0-pip Weapon Rule:
A character may select a staff, club, or sling with 12 sling stones for 0 pips. 
As MUs were foregoing any and all weaponry in order to save their precious pips for spells and scrolls, this afforded them at least some form of mundane self defense.

But it lead to people stockpiling slings and clubs, so I added the

No Stockpiling Free Stuff Rule:
0-pip weapons may only be selected if that weapon is the only weapon the player selects.  
If you're happy with a club as your only means of defense, so be it.  But if your thief wants a short sword and a sling, say, you're going to have to drop 1 pip on the sling.  On the positive side, it'll come with bullets--better range, more damage--instead of stones.

You may stack pips from multiple dice in order to improve your selection options. 
MUs were using this incessantly to get at those A-list spells.  Which is why they had nothing left for daggers--which are admittedly expensive in my new system.

Surplus pips:
If you buy below the value of your dice, you can use the surplus, but only in the same column.
That is, you roll a 6 for your weapon but only want a long sword (5 pips).  You can spend the surplus pip, but only on another weapon; you can't use it to get a shield or a pouch or an F-list spell. Arguably, fighters may use the extra pip to get a shield.

1 pip can buy you a shield or padded armor
Basically, I shifted the whole armor column up one slot, so now a 6 gets you chain & shield instead of just chainmail.  This was done because it irked me that leather armor (AC 8) only has a defensive value of 2, yet it cost 3 pips.  This way, you're buying 1 AC improvement with each pip.  Much more pleasing.  It should be noted that Padded is AC9 in my game.

An elf who assigns two 6's to armor may acquire elven chainmail.
In my game, elves can wear only padded, leather, or elven chainmail. 


Lum said...

This is slick. I like the 0 pip items. Ballard eh? If you're ever looking for players I'm in Greenwood.

Timrod said...

Greenwood! We've probably riding the same bus.