Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Lower starting character in Majestic Wilderlands Fudge

This weekend I ran a another session of my Fudge based Majestic Wilderlands for my friend Dan and my wife Kelly Anne. The object this playtest is to see how characters with lower starting points work out. One of the feedback I got from previous sessions that 30 points characters felt really tough. So this time I cut the points in half and made 15 points characters.

Overall I think it went well. The players felt they were more like first level DnD characters. However they didn't get slaughtered by the some bandits I threw at them despite being out numbered.  Dan played a magic-user and cleric template, and Kelly Anne played a burglar and a fighter.

As a twist the burglar was really a swarm of rats that acted in unison and was friends with the fighter. Fudge is so straight forward mechanically it wasn't hard to figure out a way to handle this. In exchange for being limited to using only a dagger like attack, the burglar could fit through rat size opening and reform on the other side. Otherwise the character was treated as a human burglar for skills and combat.

For the adventure I used Field of Daises by Columbia Games. A short adventures involving an investigation into some missing serf boys and a atmospheric exploration of a local cave. The one of the monsters was an adaption of Harn's Vlasta or Eaters of Eyes. It is a small cat size creature (scale -2) that is noted for it leaping ability and its propensity for going for the face and gouging out the target's eyes.

Basically it had a Dex of +3 and if it hit for +4 for better it hit you in the face. If you sustain a very hurt wound it gouges one of your eyes out. What made the creature interesting was it fast speed vs its scale -2. What damage it did was based solely on its ability to score a good hit as this fudge variant the margin of your to hit roll is applied to your damage roll. If it got hit it scale -2 meant it usually got crushed by the fighter.

I have to take another look at the spell system. Like Scourge of the Demon Wolf, Field of Daises is representative of the type of adventure I ran using GURPS. Which means adventures happens over days with ample time to rest. There is rarely more than a few combat encounters per day. The DnD magic system with it limited but powerful spells may be not a good fit. All three playtest groups have been lukewarm about it use. Despite it working pretty like it does in my Swords and Wizardry games. I could tone it down to more like how the spells are in the d20 SRD.

So 15 point characters is what I will focus on in subsequent revisions of the rules. I will probably reserve a final decision on the magic system after a proper campaign.

Right now I am going to get some more options and this will come directly from OGL sections of Runequest 2/Legends. If you score a greater degree of success you get one or maneuvers. Ranging from disarming your opponent, blinding them, or bypassing their armor. I am going to adapt this to my fudge based games. You can covert every +4 degree of success into a maneuver. Some maneuvers require double or +8. If need be I will reduce it down to every +3 or even +2.


Jason Packer said...

I'll be keen to hear how that works out for you. Combat maneuvers really is the shiniest gem from the MRQII/Legend SRD.

Ken Harrison said...

I think point decrease will work well. I don't think the S&W/D&D Vancian magic system synchs up well with the rest of the system. I think a GURPS approach might work better, or maybe check out the FUDGE magic book (available on Amazon). Otherwise, I really think that you are on to something.

Chris C. said...

Sounds good Rob. It is true, although one gets a brief rush bashing things left and right with a 30-point character, this 15-point approach sounds like a winner.

Alcamtar said...

Point decrease worked well for me when I ran a fudge Known World game. I think I ballparked 1st level (1 HD) at mediocre, and each +4 D&D levels/HD was another fudge level.

My biggest difference was that I used xp for level purchase per the advancement rules: mediocre=1, fair=2, good=4, great=8, etc. I also used very broad skills, so (say) 4 xp was enough for a starting character. You could have 4 mediocre skills, or 1 good skill, or some other combination.

Ken Harrison said...

Rob: I really liked the magic system you sent me. Very cool.

I have to agree with Chris that it was fun to bash things.

Geordie Racer said...

Rob, what are the base skills based upon ?