From: Burton Choinski (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date: Wed 12 May 1993 - 23:44:56 EEST
My notes on the entire RQ-IV draft. If I could get a more recent version, if one has been made, that would be great. Might as well grouse now. :)
I'm of the mind that required dice should be reduced. Why 1d4 rather then 1d3 (i.e. 1d6, 1-2=1, 3-4=2, 5-6=3, or half a d6 roll, round up)? d2 is equally easy (1-3=1, 4-6=2).
>>FIGURING SKILLS CATEGORY MODIFIER
I think Formulae are easier to work with for new people, but thats a personal preferance. In case it was missed or lost:
Agility = DEX + STR - SIZ - 10 Knowledge = INT + POW/2 - 15 Stealth = DEX + INT/2 - SIZ/2 - POW/2 - 5 Communication = INT + POW/2 + APP/2 - 20 Magic = INT + POW + DEX/2 - 25 Manipulation = INT + DEX + STR/2 - 25 Perception = INT + POW/2 + CON/2 - 20
I agree with someone who resently posted that we chuck the 1/4 and 1/2 points. I think we can all handle numbers 4x as large, and fractions just make it look messier. Besides, this could provide some sort of spell mechanic hook (i.e. 1 point of "Train <skill>" spell transfers 1 background point of skill from the teacher to the student.) All costs described henceforth are 4x those given in the original draft.
So, 1 Background Point (henceforth 'BP') is worth 25 hours (half a week) of training.
>>BACKGROUND POINTS AND OVERALL LEVEL OF EXPERIENCE
Overall, pretty good. I think that "Experienced" is a better term to use then "Average", but I will use "Average" in all my following notes.
Also, I feel that the maximum limit on training be dropped. After all, you could have a game of players starting at "Average" level, but if they want to purchase up to Expert level (and they can afford it), let them do it. So you could have "prodigies" whose training is better then their age implies.
>>BECOMING AN INITIATE
Altering BP costs by x4...
It costs 4 BP's plus 1 POW to join, or POW BP's. So, Arlia (noted in the draft as having POW 11) could chuck 4 BP and 1 POW, or 11 BP to become an initiate.
Looks good, although as someone noted, not all musicians need be master at arms. I suggest that the basic skills be looked over. Details to follow.
>>BUYING OPTIONAL SKILLS WITHIN ONE'S PROFESSION
I disagree with the limit to training. If you want to pump the points into it on your own time, why can't you be average overall, but with expert training in a few skills. This applies to the Basic skills as well. Perhaps this should cost double to go "above your rating" in those skills, or limit you to one level higher but at the listed cost. This second way seems to work good with my group, where if you take two professions, you can combine the points in skills common to thw two. For example, one character had a Foot Soldier and Thief. The Foot Soldier gave him "Scan" to Average. When he got thief at Average, the two average levels combined to give him "Expert" in scan, even though he was rated as average in both professions. The ability to specifically purchase up to one level above is just an extension of this. If Two careers are taken, and skills overlap, the added points must be enough to reach the next level or they are lost (optionally, these points may be suplimented from your BP reserve to make the level).
>>BUYING SKILLS OUTSIDE ONE'S PROFESSION
No prblems here, other then tweaking it to be consistent with my above notes (limited to one level above overall experience rating)
Keep it simple. The BP's are already an abstraction, why limit increases to certain professions when one can justify it anyways with creative description fo your background. Perhaps Joe Farmer was constantly fighting off evil spirits that drifted in from a nearby swamp while he plowed his field. Maybe Fred Priest lifted weights.
Increasing STR, CON, DEX or APP costs 16 per point to 1/3 max increase, 32 per point to 2/3 max increase, and 64 per point up to max. POW costs its current value in BP's for each increase. Thus going from 10 to 12 would cost 10 (taking to to 11) plus 11 (taking you to 12) or 21 BPs.
The combat options you can buy should be here, or at least, their costs and basic description should be here...it's quite a pain to have to keep flipping back and forth.
BP's into mony or goods at 100L each or 1/2 week of training (more detail on this later).
>>EASY, MEDIUM AND HARD SKILLS
The need to tweak the cost of the background points, and thus the basic career cost, etc, is for the birds. Easier to just to add 15% to the skill if easy, and subtract 15% if hard (and subtract 30% if very hard). If a skill, plus mods, is less then 15%m you can't take it at that level or training. So, a Footman learning Primary Attack at 75% could choose Dagger as that primary skill, and get a 90% skill, or some hard weapon and have a 60%.
Overall, very good. Once those tweaky fractions are gone I'll like 'em even better. :) Some careers do need to be looked at to see what REALLY is basic and what is optional (i.e. the previously mentioned ninja pianists. :)
I take it in more recent drafts this info is present? Like I said, I would like a more up to date draft, pretty please? :)
>>BASIC CULTURAL SKILLS
This info should be was up with the other cultural tables, rather then hanging at the bottom, IMHO.
>>DESIGNING YOUR OWN PROFESSION TEMPLATES:
Nice addition. How many of the exotic careers will be pre-figured for us (i.e. Elf Plant Tender, Troll Insectherd) or those odd careers given in the Genertala Player's book?
>>SKILL VERSUS SKILL, replace with:
This is tricky. I'm not sure I like the "resolve with tie" system given in the draft. Why not simply use the greater distance of success when both have rolled? Using the example provided:
Example: Arlia tries to sneak past a sentry. She has a 65% Sneak skill, and the sentry has a 44% Listen skill. Both roll. If Arlia can achieve a greater level of success than the sentry (i.e., special where the sentry only succeeds), she can successfully sneak past him. If the sentry achieves a greater level of success, he spots her. If both fail, Arlia makes a noise, and freezes, but the sentry does not notice her. If Arlia fumbled, she would make so much noise that the sentry would not fail to notice her unless he fumbled as well. Both roll. Arlia's player rolls a 58, the GM rolls a 37 for the sentry. Both have achieved a normal level of success.
In this case, the sentry succeeded by 7%, Arlia by 8%. Arlia has the advantage. Degrees of difference (within 5% -- minimal, within 25%
>>SKILL EXPERIENCE ROLLS, replace with
I think, to borrow a Torg-ism, that checks should take place at the end of an 'act', where an adventure may take several 'acts' to complete. An act can be defined as a single, identifiable adventure sesson.
I also feel the following "freebies" should be given to players:
Language: 2 checks per week if immersed in a language, 1 if it is
very complex. For example, our heros must travel through Ralios and know nothing of the language. They might be able to hire scribes and Issiaries to translate for them, but that does get expensive. As they travel, they will slowly pick up the language.
Long-term travel: Riding, marching, boating, etc. 1 check per week.
Survival: If you need to live off the land, 1 check per week.
>>INCREASING SKILLS BY EXPERIENCE, replace with:
I think very hard skills should increase by 1d3-1%, or 1%.
>>SKILL TRAINING AND RESEARCH, replace most of with:
Keep track of hours used during the week for skill training? aaiieeeee! (Visions of "You used 18 of your 50 hours, 32 left") Simpler to just say that every "degree" of skill (every 25% or fraction) requires half a week. So, Joe Adventurer plops his butt down in a town to do a bit of training. He would like to work on his Sword skill (62%) and his Sneak skill (20%). He will need 4 half weeks (62% = 3 degrees, 20% = 1 degree) or two weeks of training.
If this is too gross a number system, use tenth-skills and 5 "training points" per week. (i.e. skill/10, hours/10, round up). So the above training would take 6.2 (7) and 2.0 (2) training points, just under two weeks.
>>HUMANOID HIT POINTS PER LOCATION TABLE, replace with:
Personally, I think this table should be up at the front with the others (Dex SR, Damage bonus, etc).
>>RESULTS OF DAMAGE, replace with:
And this section should be within the combat section. IMHO, of course.
At this point I would lke to suggest that all this info, such as damage results, and the like, be avaiable as a seperate pack of charts that can be removed and layed out seperately, rather then needing to constantly flip through the rules book.
>>FATIGUE, replace with:
I find fatigue to be such a pain to use, that I don't. I think this entire section should be grey-shaded as optional. This system is better then the old one, however.
>>Exposure, Hunger, Sleeplessness, Thirst, and Other Slow Deaths
This stuff is good, but I think it belongs in the "world" section along with fire damage, cold damage, exposier, asphixiation (sp?)
>>CONSEQUENCES OF ENCUMBRANCE FOR DODGING, replace with:
>>Consequences of Encumbrance
I think this needs to be reworked. At present, Joe Strong (SIZ 13, STR 18) is equally affected by full plate as Fred Weak (SIZ 13, STR 3) with regards to skill loss.
>>COMBAT, replace most of with:
>>THE MELEE ROUND
Looking over old books, I liked the strike rank system used in _RingWorld_, where there was a table of 100 phases and there were no real set rounds, just SR times setting your next action farther up the list then wrapping back to 0. I have not used this in RQ...I may try it with my next game and see how it feels.
The damages done seem so odd, since they are all so different. This should be on the pullout tables as well.
Like I said, the basic description and costs should be up with background generation, with the detailed effects here.
>>Acquiring Special Options
This info should be in the training/experience section, not in the middle of the combat rules.
>>SKILLS, replace and add to as appropriate:
Some note of how bases will vary by race (i.e. Ducks and Swimming) should be made.
One comment, can we dispense with the seperate skills for Fist, Kick, Head butt, etc? Perhaps wrap it into Brawling Attack and Brawling Defense with a higher overall skill difficulty? I somehow cannot concieve of a person with 105% Head Butt, but only 25% fist and 15% kick.
Likewise, Wrestling attack (allows grapple, hold, throw) and Wrestling defense (escapes, breakfall against throws, etc).
MARTIAL ARTS suggestion:
How about this simple change: Martial arts skill adds to basic attack skill. So a guy with Fist 57% and Martial Arts skill of 34% attacks as if he had a Fist skill of 91%. Nice and simple, but beware those Runelord Ninja Masters with MA 500% and Kick 500% :) You're gonna die. :)
I think this provides for the "danger" that the original rules intended and is simple enough for use. It's difficulty should be bumped to "Very Hard".
>>SKILL SUCCESS AND FAILURE
"Missing a skill roll by 10% or less is not a serious failure, missing a skill roll by more than 10% is a more serious failure,"
10% real? or 10% of the actual skill? If I have a skill of 56%, is a serious failure rolling in the 57-66 range, or 57-62 (10% of 56, rounded to 6%)
I like this. Makes Bargain and Evaluate less generic.
This is such a bother, I don't even use it. Anyone else?
Why? They don't become shamans until they are in their teens...what, their eyes glaze over or something? :)
>>SPELL LIMITS, add to first paragraph:
I like the idea that High Initiates can reuse reusable spells of 1pt, Acolytes can reuse reusble spells of 2pts or less. (This was suggested on the list some time ago)
>>PRICES, replace most of with the following:
I like, but want more. :) Look at Harn. Granted, that goes a little too far, but on the line of Powers & Perils, with the costs for glass or skin containers, other materials, etc.
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