One of God's own prototypes. A high-powered mutant of some kind never even considered for mass production. Too weird to live, and too rare to die.” -Hunter S. Thompson

Friday, March 23, 2012

Back in Black

Hello there fellow Dice Chuckers! I’m back. In some ways I imagine as if this is how a bear must feel like after a long winter period of hibernation.

So what’s been going on in my life?

Glad you asked. I finished up my Call of Cthulhu campaign I dubbed Arkham heat some months ago. I had a blast running that one. But I will tell you one thing. I really didn’t like BRP rules way of handling opposed rolls or combat too much. For the most part things were fairly rules light, which I really REALLY liked. Yet at the same time I did feel myself yearning for rules, combat ones in particular that were a little more robust.

Then I got laid off from my delivery driver job.

This was sort of a mixed bag of good and bad. Good because I was pretty fed up with that job. Good because I needed a change. And good because now I’m on the way to new and better things in my life. On the other hand it was bad, because losing your job is pretty scary shit, and the uncertainty of what’s next can be even more scary. Anyway, I’m taking it one day at a time, and things are starting to look like my future is gonna be so bright I’m going to have to wear shades.

Then I started a D&D 4e campaign.

I dunno. This is the second time I’ve tried running this system and I’m still not feeling it. One of my biggest beefs is that the combat is just too bloody long. Part of this is all of us learning the ins and outs of the rules. But I think the biggest problem is what I call the economy of actions. My players feel that they need to eek out every little last drop of potential from their characters, making sure that they spend every action that they can. Did I do something with my free, minor, move, and all mighty standard action this turn? I’ve read the various ways of trying to speed up combat, but I’m still sort of at a loss of how I should deal with this.

Then there’s the news of D&D 5e on the horizon.

In some ways I hope that this edition finds the middle ground between 3e and 4e. I’ve always contended that while I think there’s a lot of nifty things I really like about 4e I think that they took it too far. I loved 4e’s monsters; I love that combat is more dynamic, and that skills got chopped down. In fact I almost would rather do away with skills altogether and IF you really need to determine something use an Ability check to see if you succeed or not. Otherwise I’ve been going with the rule, the more specific a player is about their characters actions, then the more likely they will automatically succeed at a given task. For example, If your character decides to cut open the mattress to locate the hidden gems, and that is where the gems are actually hidden you will automatically find them. If on the other hand you say I search the room, roll the bones, and hope you pass the appropriate DC for your level.

What’s next?

Well, first on the docket is getting a new job obviously. That’s more or less sorted out, and I have a number of different things I’m working on. My finances at this point are OK so no need to worry. Not yet anyway.
On the gaming front I’m thinking I may finally give Savage Worlds a shot. There was also some discussion of a Star Wars Saga Edition game, or variant setting using those rules but I’m still sort of on the fence about that. I have been giving a lot of thought to writing my own rules system since I cant seem to find that one system that really satisfies my needs behind the screen.
Lastly I think it’s time to get back into the Pen-Monkey saddle. Words they don’t write themselves. So I should probably get on that while I have a little more free time than usual.

1 comment:

  1. Yeah, I think the minor action was a big design mistake. It changes the turn from "what do I do?" to "how do I use the move, minor, free, and standard this turn?" I've run into the exact same problem regarding the economy of actions in my 4E hack game, and unfortunately it's not really possible to just do away with the minor action without doing significant violence to the rest of the system. I've been cutting monster HP in half, doubling monster damage, and giving PCs free cleave attacks (though they often forget). It has helped speed up combat some.

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