Sunday, 2 February 2014

A method for doing somethingorother in caves.




Lets try making a table for a very common action underground.

“I would like to explore for an hour/find a specific place/path.”

One person is the leader for this action. That player rolls and their stats count.

Roll a d20. Count down the stats, the first failure is true.
Stat
Fail
CON
All further failures are cumulative
STR
Tired. Act as 1 level lower till you rest & eat.
DEX
Group separated by traverse (even) or pitch (odd)
INT
You don’t know how to go forward.
WIS
You can’t find your way back.
CHA
Lowest CHA PC got separated.

(Optional rule; also roll a d100. The result on the d20 is the percentage chance of an encounter. So if the d100 is lower than the d20 then you get an encounter as well as whatever happened on the table.)

The way this would work is that the only way you don’t find the thing you are looking for is if you either fail the INT test and nothing else or fail the CON and INT test.

CON is always more important than anything else. In every table CON comes first and passing CON limits the horrible things that can happen. If you pass CON only one bad thing can happen. You then go to encounter time until they solve the problem. If they don’t fuck up too badly then they find the thing.

This means you generally find the thing. Sometimes you don’t  but usually you do.

This is modular with the weird stat/encumbrance system I created earlier. So you can simply roll straight without even thinking about that. Or if you want to you can take account of your stuff and if you have maxed out a row then you must fail for that stat.

It’s also one roll. Make the roll, look at the table, count down and the DM creates the encounter depending on which things went wrong. This takes time but it is time in which the table is finding stuff out.

Bad things; could get very cryptic if I produce tables for lots of different kinds of terrain or problem.

Although this could give a quick and easy way to differentiate different areas and situations and the problems they can create.

Movement is a group activity and this measures the stats for only one person, the lead. It could lead to people gaming the system, but it might be in an interesting way. Maybe they have to argue over who leads the group, maybe they get to argue about who leads the group.

Let’s try for an alternative situation.
“We want to follow the course of this river.”

Roll a single d20, try to get under the stat. Cont down and apply the first fail.
Stat
Fail
CON
All further results are cumulative
DEX
Fall. You fall in the river.
WIS
Separated. Any who passed WIS are on the other bank.
STR
Swept. You cannot resist the rivers flow.
INT
Tied. Any who failed INT are tied to you by rope.
CHA
You fuck up, lose the respect of the group and cannot lead the next roll.

Ok this one is nowhere near as good. Falling in is a binary state and does not stack naturally with other problems. Could try it another way round. Lets make some alterations.

Stat
Fail
CON
All further results are cumulative
CHA
Lowest CHA PC separated, ignore them on lower rows.
WIS
Separated. Any who passed WIS are on the other bank.
INT
Tangle. Any who failed INT are tangled up with your ropes.
DEX
Fall. You have fallen in. With anyone tied to you.
STR
Swept. You cannot resist the rivers flow.



Hmmm. It might  work.

5 comments:

  1. Are the first and third tables "roll under"?

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  2. I really like this.

    Though, clarification--is it like: only the first result that's over the die roll happens.

    ...unless you fail the con check, then _all_ the results that are over the die roll happen.


    Either way, it's good. To speed things up a gm could even skip the die roll and just have different parts of a cave have different static difficulty numbers.

    Also, thinking about how this could work for things other than caves is good--I can see it easily being adapted to any system where you elide time--like Jeff's carousing system.

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    Replies
    1. Yes, you count down. if you pass the CON check, good luck. Only the next test you fail matters.

      If you fail the CON check, then all of your failures compile and shape the encounter.

      I intend CON to keep the same position and function in every table as I regard it as the dominant stat and most important quality in underground exploration, the one that allows you to use any other quality and that once it goes, leads to rapid degredation of every other ability.

      Delete
  3. This is great!

    What's really interesting to me, though, is that it's one roll for *all* of the leader's stats. I like stat checks, but it's easy for a party of characters to specialize on them. Only the smart guy does the INT checks, highest CHA does all the talking, and so on. This system exploits weaknesses, even in otherwise strong and capable leaders, where flaws would otherwise be easily ignored.

    Using this!

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