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Champion
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Registered: 01-2005
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House Rules Ideas


I have finally dusted off, so to speak, my WHQ collection and am going to play a game Saturday with a group of friends, myself GM'ing with a custom adventure.

In this sesssion I will test some of my ideas for house rules. I'd like some feedback from more experienced players and GM's about these ideas.

The basic goal of my tweaks is to improve the pacing and dramatic tension of the game. I didn't like how the game maintains a "steady state" of getting wounded, casting healing, throughout the dungeon crawl. My house rules make healing and spell casting in general more costly, but at the same time give the BL1 Warriors a longer initial life expectancy.

Rule 1: Starting Wounds is as stated on the Warrior cards PLUS 12 Wounds. Yes, the Warriors get a large buffer of starting Wounds that get whittled down little by little as they fight.

Rule 2: Mind Points. This is a new characteristic that all Warriors get. Wizard types generally start with more, and a typical starting value is about 20.

Rule 3: Spell Casting and Skill Use consumes Mind Points. Each time a spell is cast, or a Warrior uses certain Skills, the Warrior deducts the appropriate number of Mind Points. This will force spell casters to ration their spells more, and will hopefully lead to tougher decisions that need to be made by the party.

Rule 4: Power Phase. When a 1 or 2 is rolled in the Power Phase, spells cost 1 ADDITIONAL MP to cast, when a 5 or 6 is rolled, they cost 1 MP LESS to cast. This preserves some of the randomness of the Winds of Magic in the game. It should also leave the wizard types waiting until favorable turns before casting spells, unless the situation is really critical, in which case they will be forced to spend more.

Rule 5: The Warrior Skill. Warrior types gain a "Warrior" Skill. This allows them to spend any number of MP to improve a to hit and/or a damage roll (before the die is rolled). This can set up some nice MASSIVE blows by the Barbarian, for example, who saves up his MP for a final attack against the Orc Boss in the final battle. But it won't translate into "automatic hits" when used on the to hit roll because ...

Rule 6: Use of WFRP 3rd Edition "fortune dice" concept. A good idea in WFRP 3rd edition are the fortune and misfortune dice. Whenever a roll requires a modifier, I will add the appropriate number of fortune dice. If any of ther fortune dice come up "successes", the roll succeeds, even if the primary roll is a failure. This will allow a chance of failure in a roll even if the Warrior has a +5, for example. Similarly, negative modifiers will mean a corresponding number of misfortune dice will be added to the roll. I like how this smooths out the probabilities of roll modifiers, and I plan to use them for characteristic checks too.

I'm hoping these tweaks will allow the party to start the adventure confident, but slowly FEEL THE PRESSURE as they start to get more and more banged up and their mental reserves start to become depleted. Will they be able to manage their mental and physical resources well enough to survive the Deeps until the final encounter is resolved?

The trick of balancing here will be giving the Warriors enough starting wounds to have a chance of survival with the modified spell casting rules. I may also allow 1 MP resrotation when a 6 is rolled in the Power Phase, but I will see Saturday how well balanced this seems in play.

What are your thoughts around these ideas?
21/May/2010, 10:33 am Link to this post Send Email to GlitchSCG   Send PM to GlitchSCG
 
Littlemonk Profile
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Re: House Rules Ideas


I think Old Warrior may have some feedback for you...

---
Blessed are the curious for they shall have adventures.
21/May/2010, 3:48 pm Link to this post Send Email to Littlemonk   Send PM to Littlemonk
 
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Lord
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Re: House Rules Ideas


Please see the Sorcerer character at the Warhammer Quest Museum for reference. When I revised that character I conceived of the Power Points exactly as you have the Mind Points. The Sorcerer starts with more and doles them out pretty much as you describe.

He also has a chance to replenish his Power depending upon the Winds of Magic.

In actual gameplay, it is a fun class to play, but guess what? There are times when it is brutal! Players always find it tough to manage those Power Points, and my rules are much more generous than the 1MP restoration you mentioned.

It really does not matter how many Wounds your characters start with in the long run either. I won't deny that it helps, but I have run Battle-Level 3 dungeons where the Wizard has racked up over 100 hash marks to account for all the Wounds he has healed on fellow Warriors!

The only real way to escape from the "attack/get hurt/heal" cycle is to introduce less Monsters. This can be done by only having Unexpected Events 10% of the time (1 on 1d10 which I have tried), lowering the Monster-to-noncombat Event ratio (but remember that non-combat Events hurt too) or simply lowering the amount of Monsters that appear.

WFRP 1st & 2nd editions use this last solution. A sample encounter might be 3 Beastmen instead of "2d6 Beastmen, 1 Beastman Shaman, 1d3 Minotaurs". Since healing in that game is meant to be very rare, players are encouraged to avoid combat entirely or talk their way out of situations when possible. If they fight every time, they are expected to end up dead or disabled.

Personally, I don't play WHQ to talk to Monsters, so my games bring on the enemies fast and fierce. Which inevitably requires healing... :P What you have described sounds like a brutal death for the party if you play the encounters by the standard rules. In my games players have survived without a Wizard though, so you never know!
22/May/2010, 3:36 am Link to this post Send Email to BassJam   Send PM to BassJam
 
GlitchSCG Profile
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Champion
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Re: House Rules Ideas


100 hash marks for healing at Battle Level 3 eh? emoticon Let's see, by that time my Warriors will probably have at least 30 wounds each ... and 30 times 4 is 120 - so maybe I'm being too easy on them??? emoticon

I have a special encounter chart for my adventure, about half the encounters are monsters and half other types of events. There are 20 encounters in all, and each time one is rolled I cross it off the list. If that roll occurs again, it's treated as No Event. This is how I simulate the "clearing" of the dungeon over time.

Hopefully I can get the balance right and allow the Warriors to survive (barely) to the final battle. I'll post my results here after the game.

I am going to check out your Sorcerer Warrior now!
22/May/2010, 7:23 am Link to this post Send Email to GlitchSCG   Send PM to GlitchSCG
 
BassJam Profile
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Lord
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Re: House Rules Ideas


Wow, that is a great idea about the dungeon clearing! Of course, that is how you are being easy on your party emoticon

Which is not necessarily a bad thing. It is just different. I bet your new rules are balanced pretty well against the dungeons using that chart. Certainly using the "real" rules the parties get wiped anyhow. I would go so far as to say that the original rules are more chaotic and your adventure will be more strategic.
22/May/2010, 7:57 am Link to this post Send Email to BassJam   Send PM to BassJam
 
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Lord
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Re: House Rules Ideas


Separate post to discuss the dungeon clearing idea...

This is a great idea that I may have to consider using when I want to play a game with a time limit. Games of WHQ at Battle-level 1 can last as short as 15 minutes (HELLO 1d3 Minotaurs!) but after Battle-level 2 they can become incredibly grueling as you get introduced to such monsters as mummies which are like chopping down trees. Evil trees. With Fatal Damage. And then the longer the combats last, the greater the chances that the noise attracts more Monsters! So yeah, I can see times where that kind of chart would help a lot.

Currently I play with the regular 1d6 Power die determining events at the lower levels, but then later on I introduce a 1d10 purely for determining Events so that there are not too many.

In a themed dungeon, for example a sewer, I bet you could put it so that 2d6 Skaven Clanrats appear up to 6 times, Giant Rats up to 6 times, Plague Monks up to 3 times, and monsters from other races appear once or not at all.

I definitely see the appeal of not having to say "you see yet ANOTHER dying Dwarf prospector. He hands you a key, saying wheezily 'Here's the real portcullis key, me cousin Balogh is none too smart and died trying to open the gate with the key to his daddy's gyrocopter! Now I'm peppered wit' arrows from those accursed greenies from tryin' to haul his carcass to [sign in to see URL]...*rattle*'"

On the flipside, I like it when 24 goblins arrive to reinforce the 13 goblins still alive from the previous encounter. We really get the feeling like we are fighting an army then!

22/May/2010, 8:11 am Link to this post Send Email to BassJam   Send PM to BassJam
 


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