Monday, January 30, 2012

A new take of the gold economy

As all of you probably know, the economy in most fantasy worlds i a bit wonky. No, really! What I mean is that even though there are more precious metals than just gold, all the prices are in gold and it is what everything is compared to.

Those who like to get away from the gold inflation usually turn to a silver standard instead. But, I think this just postpones the problem. After a bit longer you will once again find that rich enough adventurers just ignore those piles of silver and copper and whatnot. Weight compared to value is not good enough.

I remember when I played D&D 4, that I felt that when we got the spoils in gold, it was always a bit of a let down. Somehow the sword and sorcery trained mind of me wanted heaps of gold and fistfuls of jewels, to be squandered on wine and women until the next adventure, of course.

Could you maybe have both?

How about you bring back the rule that gaining a level takes training? I mean the kind you have to pay for. In gold.

So what? Well, bear with me. Imagine a silver standard. Now, imagine the idea that nobody do silver for gold exchange.

Why? Well. I haven't figured that out yet. But, imagine you finding a chest filled with thousands of silvers. Back in town you repair your armour (you do use the rules for ablative armour, don't you?) and throw a feast for everyone in the tavern. Fun is had by everyone. Next time you go on adventuring you are broke, but manage to find a few ancient coins in gold. Now you can actually train and use those XP you have gotten on your last three hauls bringing up thousands of silvers, spent on carousing (you do use Jeff Rients carousing table, don't you?).

If you figure out a in world rationale for the set up above, let me know. I like the idea, though.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

How to make combat interesting - two suggestions

Go read Zak's great post on the subject from a short while back, and check out Dan Bayn's series on actio scenes on big purple.

Why don't I remember all that cool shit when behind the screen?

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

I really don't care

...about D&D 5th ed.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

The last hurrah of the Ronin Wars - Battletech

Today I played in the last battle of our narrative arch of the Ronin Wars. In the setting plot for the Battletech universe, that was a rebellion by old hardliners when the stellar empire of house Kurita let some worlds seced to form a new stellar state. I played the old guard, and this was the last fight as the war was lost.

I knew I wanted to try some of the combined arms aspects of Battletech, so on my side I had once light lance and one company of mechanized infantry. Add to that some buildings, and you have quite a mouthful of new rules if you've only played mech against mech before.

We decided my force wanted to extract three caches of information from the buildings before retreating off world. I sent in my three platoons of infantry towards the buildings and my opponent decided, without knowing, to concentrate his force of heavy mechs on just that cluster of buildings where two of my three caches were. Ouch!

The first platoon ran in, and ran out. While retreating off map they suffered serious losses. Lucky me we had no morale rules! Then they managed to escape they secured a marginal victory for me. After that my commander, in my only mech with any firepower to speak of, got hit by ten long distance missiles in the head. He died, quickly.

After that we diced a lot and my mechs became punched and shot at a lot. In the end one was mobile, but with no weapons left, one was running around with reactor hits and the torso a gaping hole and the last one had no arms and a leg that would fall off if someone looked at it angrily. The last of the infantry died on the edge of the map, gunned down by autocannon fire.

I have no idea of this was how you create a scenario by the book, since I don't own the full rules. Also, I have no idea of this was a scenario where the battlevalues matches up at all. Some guesstimates indicate my force was outgunned somewhat. It was real fun, though!

I really love to play Battletech, since the scenarios become small stories in themselves. Small epics of miserable shots, clumsy pilots and daring escapes. Great drama!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

The idea of Interludes

I have been very much into the idea if running Savage Worlds for a week or so. It's a game that manages to look kind of plain when read, but everyone I've heard of who have run it have come away raving fans. We'll see if I can manage to actually try it out one of these days.

One of the things that easily makes you a Savage fan is the support Pinnacle give their games. Recently they released the Deluxe edition of SW, and guess what? They posted the major rules differences in a couple pdfs on their web pages, for free! At least it makes me want to go out and buy the new book, just because!

The thing I wanted to bring up today is the new rules for something called Interludes which is a quite neat thing I think could be imported into any game. Go check it out and see what you think. For you who like to stay around, here's when I tell you how it can be worked into any game. This is how I'd do it.

When you have any kind of pause in the action in your game, shuffle a deck of cards and have a player at random draw a card. The next time you do it, choose anyone one. Now, what the player who drew a card does, is she tells a short flashback or similar story which develops the back story and fleshes out the psychology or her character. It doesn't have to be long, but it has to show some new aspect of her personality, or an old one explained in a new light.

The suit of the card decide what the theme of the vignette is.
Hearts - some kind of love or romantic angle
Clubs - some kind of violence of physical conflict
Diamonds - some kind of relation to possessions and material riches
Spades - some kind of spiritual or religious angle

How about that? The rules from Pinnacle are slightly different, but I liked the idea enough to post my own take on it. I think this can be used just as well with pretentious new school games of the Story Game kind as well as neck beard grumpy old schooler games where you make it all up and roll some bones. Heck! Roll some dice when telling the story if it helps you decide what happened! I like the idea, any way you slice it.

Monday, January 2, 2012

RPG and card play - whimsy cards and suchlike

Those of you who have read this blog from the beginning (What? Haven't you all? Go back and read up. I'll wait here) might remember a post I did way back about whimsy cards. I've found something which brought them back to memory.

For those of you who don't know, whimsy cards was a game supplement from Lion Rampart, consisting of a set of cards you could play during the rpg session and have something out of the ordinary happen. It was an interesting way to add some player influence over things in the game, and others have used similar techniques since. Guess what I've found?

My latest find is the Adventure Cards, usable with Savage Worlds. I have not seen the pack sold for SW, but maybe they are as usable for any system as the old whimsy cards were. Anyway, if you are curious about the idea and want to take a peek at them, there is a way!

Point your browser to the Savagepedia, and the Savage Worlds fanzine Shark Bytes. Apart from lots of NPCs, adventures, extra rules and setting material, the fanzine included some extra Adventure Cards. It's all free for download on the 'pedia. Check it out! It would be cool to hear of them being used for a thing like a classic delve.
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