Friday, February 24, 2012

20 Quick Questions

Courtesy of Brendan, courtesy of Jeff Rients (ah the infamous citation within a citation) here are my 20 answers to questions that may come up when running a game.


  1. Ability scores generation method?
    1. All stats start at 6.  The group collectively rolls 6d6 and assigns the dice any way they please (no stat above 18 of course.)  It's a compromise between die rolls and point buy equality, although it has resulted in a few players that chase 18s.
  2. How are death and dying handled?
    1.  You are dying if your HP reaches 0 or below.  Roll 3d6 (I use 3d6 D&D), if your 6's outnumber your 1's you stabilize.  If your 1's outnumber your 6's you die.  If you roll three of a kind you get back on your feet with a second wind.  If none of the above happens repeat the process next turn until it does. 
  3. What about raising the dead?
    1. A non-religious PC tried to use a raise dead scroll from a religion he blasphemed, he was killed in the process.  The other surviving PC had an on the spot conversion to the peace loving goddess (he is a repentant berserker) and luckily (as a result of a dice roll) resurrected them both.
    2. The second time they did not go to the church they had blasphemed in to request raise dead and instead opted for a reincarnation from the Druid of the old faith.
  4. How are replacement PCs handled?
    1. Hasn't come up yet but Hommlet is full of people passing through.
  5. Initiative: individual, group, or something else?
    1. System of my own devising.
  6. Are there critical hits and fumbles? How do they work?
    1. Yes, on a critical hit you deal 1d6 damage to Wounds.  I should mention that I also use Wounds.  Fumbles are decided on the spot based on the situation, no table I'm afraid.
  7. Do I get any benefits for wearing a helmet?
    1. You may participate in the Naked Warrior Challenge.
  8. Can I hurt my friends if I fire into melee or do something similarly silly?
    1. If you are not proficient with the ranged weapon you are using or if you critically miss.
  9. Will we need to run from some encounters, or will we be able to kill everything?
    1. I've been running the temple of elemental evil as close to the book as I can.  My PC's are fairly resilient so they generally figure out if they can handle a combat or not within the first few rounds.  But yes, there was a near TPK last session.
  10. Level-draining monsters: yes or no?
    1. They haven't come up yet but it is a possibility.  I use linear XP growth so they may simply sap experience (memories) rather than levels (for the weaker ones at least.)
  11. Are there going to be cases where a failed save results in PC death?
    1. Yes, and it has already happened.  I tend to stick to the rule of three where someone needs to fail 3 progressively harder saves to die.  The idea is that poison takes its time to work through your system and petrification starts from your feet and works its way up.
  12. How strictly are encumbrance & resources tracked?
    1. Well, my PC's are currently naked on account of a recent event involving a burning building.  They had been traveling light previously.  I do require the archer to keep track of their arrows.
  13. What's required when my PC gains a level? Training? Do I get new spells automatically? Can it happen in the middle of an adventure, or do I have to wait for down time?
    1. Depends on your definition of an adventure.  A level up does not require training but it does require a respite.  Most of the time I've given it to them when they are safely in town, but I have given one while they were holed up in a safe room in a dungeon before.
  14. What do I get experience for?
    1. Plenty of things.  Combat (defeating or overcoming does not necessitate killing), Treasure, Exploration, Being Clever, Being Funny, Building character traits and playing to them.
  15. How are traps located? Description, dice rolling, or some combination?
    1. Either.  I let them know if they specifically examine a certain area of the room or piece of the object they can immediately find what they are looking for.  If however, they are feeling lazy or not in the mood for pixel hunting they can always rely on dice.
  16. Are retainers encouraged and how does morale work?
    1. I let them know they can hire retainers, that the benefits of a high charisma include more minions and that you can sacrifice a red shirt.  I've had no takers thus far.  
  17. How do I identify magic items?
    1. The town blacksmith is well versed in history and may know the origin of a particular magic weapon.  Otherwise test it out and find out for yourself.
  18. Can I buy magic items? Oh, come on: how about just potions?
    1. Salves, poultices and ointments can be purchased commercially (expedited healing but not immediate).  The druid can make potions for you if you bring him the right materials, he might even show you how.  The town blacksmith will buy magic items off you.  If not he will offer to seal them for you free of charge.  (Most intelligent items have an evil streak)
  19. Can I create magic items? When and how?
    1. A priestly character can bless items and impart some holiness into items.  Someone with an enchanter styled class kit would be able to enchant weapons temporarily, and permanently as they increased in level.
  20. What about splitting the party?
    1. I'll allow it but I don't encourage it.  I've drilled it into them that old school means +1/+4 lethality vs stupidity.  I should note that their opening vignettes were solo affairs and they learned first hand their own limitations and mortality.