Sunday, February 10, 2019

Turning People Into Corpses: A Quick Retrospective

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Last night was game night, and I got my hapless party members to test out my new combat system for Mimics & Miscreants when they accidentally stumbled upon a nest of the Wicked City's secret police when they were looking for lodgings for their first night in town. Good news: it was really fun! The initiative chits worked so much better than traditional initiative, and having players be able to do something on every turn - even if it was just rolling a defense die - was engaging. That being said, I've got some quick fixes that'll be reflected in the main document, if not in the blogpost.

1. End of round chit is gone. Everyone goes at least once per round. It's just not a good feel when your turn gets skipped by random chance, and while I think it was in there to balance characters with lots of initiative chits, our party only had one per character. Players should know for certain that they're going to get a turn, and with bad enough luck with the end of round chit, they could end up sitting out entire combats through no fault of their own.

2. What happens on criticals on defense rolls? We had a whole bunch of those, and no clear answer. I'm gonna rule right now that critically succeeding on defense lets you interrupt your attacker to take an extra turn right then and there (they might still get to finish their turn after yours, I'm not sure yet), and critically failing on defense makes their attack automatically wound you for the amount of damage it deals.

3. Being prone now gives you disadvantage on attack and defense rolls. It just makes sense, and I kept ruling that consistently throughout the combat. It also gives a concrete mechanical penalty to the wounds with knockdown as a result, which I quite like.

4. I want to make it harder to heal wounds in any way besides resting, especially because clerics can spam healing miracles all day RAW. I'm making Heal, Mending, and similar miracles/spells consume the target's Hit Dice for the day, so it lets you quickly recuperate during combat, but has a natural cap on healing per day.

Some specific good stuff:

1. Wounds felt awesome. Knocking people down, knocking them out, making them bleed - even getting your hand chopped off, as one of our PCs did - all actually affected the game.

2. They party's one combat character (a dryad judge) was a combat monster, the rest of the party got almost torn apart by a bunch of 1HD thugs with d6 damage clubs and knives. This system is quite lethal, especially to characters who aren't built for fighting.

3. The bulk of combat lasted 2 and a half rounds. That's still 9 turns per round, but everyone got a bunch of decisions because they were both getting beaten up and beating up the other side. Quick, decisive, bloody.

And some bonus content for sticking with me through this post: the 20 core weapons, reworked to fit the system, plus 20 more, including guns!

1. Arquebus: 1d10 ranged firearm damage, two-handed, full turn to reload. On a critical failure, gun jams, you need to spend a short rest cleaning it before it'll fire again
2. Axe: 1d6+STR slashing damage, a miss deals 1dSTR damage even when Stunting or dual-wielding
3. Blunderbuss: 1d12 ranged firearm damage, two-handed, can't hit anyone reliably beyond 15' but fires pretty much anything, full turn to reload. On a critical failure, gun jams, you need to spend a short rest cleaning it before it'll fire again.
4. Boomerang: 1d6 ranged bludgeoning damage, comes back after you throw it except if it deals damage or on a critical failure
5. Bow: 1d6 ranged piercing damage, takes two hands to fire
6. Caltrops: 1d4 piercing damage to anyone who moves through a caltropped area, can throw a bag of caltrops to cover a 5' radius area or place them yourself to cover a 10' radius area
7. Cleaver: 1d6+STR slashing damage, on 6+ damage target saves vs. you Cutting Them Deep
8. Club: 1d8+STR bludgeoning damage
9. Crossbow: 1d12 ranged piercing damage, takes two hands to fire, full round to load, test STR to load and fire in the same round
10. Dagger: 1d6 slashing or piercing damage (your choice), can be thrown, 3 per inventory slot
11. Falchion: 1d6+STR slashing damage, on 6+ damage when you're two-handing it, Cut Them Up
12. Fire lance: 1d10 fire damage, two-handed, works for 2 rounds from ignition to burnout, hits targets up to 15' away.
13. Flail: 1d6+STR bludgeoning damage, ignores AC bonuses from shields.
14. Flintlock pistol: 1d8 ranged firearm damage, full turn to reload. On a critical failure, gun jams, you need to spend a short rest cleaning it before it'll fire again.
15. Greataxe: 1d12+STR slashing damage, two-handed.
16. Greatsword: 1d10+STR slashing damage, two-handed, on 6+ damage target saves vs. disarming.
17. Grenade: 2d6 firearm damage reduced by armor to everyone within 10', throwable, consumable, on a miss roll 1d4: 1. save vs. grenade exploding in your hand, 2. grenade scatters 1d10' in a random direction, 3. grenade explodes next turn, 4. grenade explodes in 2 turns.
18. Halberd: 1d8+STR slashing damage, two-handed, enemies you hit are pushed 5’ in a direction of your choice.
19. Iklwa: 1d6 piercing AND slashing damage, deals both piercing and slashing wounds
20. Javelin: 1d6+STR piercing damage, can be thrown, takes up 1/2 an inventory slot
21. Katar: step up unarmed damage die and change damage type to slashing, counts as an unarmed attack
22. Khopesh: 1d6+STR slashing damage, on 6+ damage you can trip your enemy and Knock Them Down or move them 5' in a direction of your choice
23. Knuckledusters: step up unarmed damage die, counts as an unarmed attack
24 Maul: 1d10+STR bludgeoning damage, two-handed, on 6+ damage you can Knock Them Away.
25. Meteor hammer: 1d8+STR bludgeoning damage, two-handed, can count as dual-wielded if you want it to
26. Naginata: 1d8+STR slashing damage, two-handed, +1 AC
27. Nunchucks: 1d6+STR bludgeoning damage, when you hit you can make an additional attack afterwards for d4+STR bludgeoning damage
28. Pike: 1d8+STR piercing damage, two-handed, double melee reach, on 6+ damage you can Make Them Stay Put.
29. Quarterstaff: 1d6+STR bludgeoning damage, when wielded in two hands, counts as dual-wielded.
30. Rapier: 1d6+DEX piercing damage, Parrying lets you make an attack that can only be Dodged or Taken.
31. Sabre: 1d6+STR slashing damage, on 6+ damage target saves vs. you Cutting Them Up.
32. Scythe: 1d8+STR slashing damage, two-handed, double melee reach, can attack two adjacent enemies and split damage.
33. Short sword: 1d6+STR piercing OR slashing damage
34. Sling: 1d6 ranged bludgeoning damage, can throw anything fist-sized or smaller
35. Spear: 1d6+STR piercing damage, can be thrown, on 6+ damage target saves vs. Make Them Suffer.
36. Stiletto: 1d4 piercing damage, can be thrown, 3 per inventory slot, can be well-hidden on person
37. Sword: 1d6+STR slashing damage, step up damage die when wielding with two hands.
38. War Pick: 1d6+STR piercing damage, on 6+ damage reduces target's armor by 1
39. Warhammer: 1d6+STR bludgeoning damage, on 6+ damage you can Knock Them Down.
40. Whip: 1d4 bludgeoning damage, double melee reach, can grab an object or limb on hit instead of dealing damage.
Firearm Wounds
0-4: Holed. You blow a hole in them. They save vs. taking another d6 damage, and save vs. taking another d3 ongoing damage each turn until they succeed.
5-9: Blasted. You blow a very large hole in their d10: 1. Eye, 2. Ear, 3. Jaw, 4. Lung, 5. Guts, 6. Arm, 7. Hand, 8. Leg, 9. Foot, 10. Head.
10+: Shot Down. You reduce them to bloody shreds. They die screaming.

1 comment:

  1. Dryad Judge says "Keep your head, respect the environment. This has been a message from the Ministry of Environment."

    Bashing in heads was very satisfying.


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