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12/21/2017 9:44 am  #41


Re: House Rules?

Handy Haversack wrote:

mabon5127 wrote:

Handy Haversack wrote:

Most AS&SH monster poison gives a timeline before death when magic or class abilities can be applied. I don't find I need to relax it any more than that. It's fun to watch them regret letting the shaman be the first in the spider caves.

In the fourth hour of the con game they are all insta-death.

That's not how I remember it . . .

Shhhhhh I'm trying to be a tough guy.


“How can I wear the harness of toil
And sweat at the daily round,
While in my soul forever
The drums of Pictdom sound?” 
 

12/21/2017 10:46 am  #42


Re: House Rules?

Jimm.Iblis wrote:

@Blackadder: I get to build the world, come up with cool challenges, make players feel awesome...

An analogy is two toddlers playing blocks, sitting across from each other. One is carefully stacking the blocks into a tower. When--or maybe a little before--the tower is complete, the other child gleefully knocks the whole thing down.

Now, a cynical person might say that only the second child, the one knocking down the blocks, is having fun. But a more observant person says, "look at how the first child sorta feigns frustration before both children start laughing together." The first child begins building another tower, doomed as it is, knowing full well if he wanted, he could just play blocks alone.

We DMs build towers and we get to watch our friends knock them down. We get to cheer on their success, and maybe feign a little frustration at how unexpectedly easily they made it look or how hard you worked... just so they feel that much cooler and more clever. That's the role that's fun to me. If it wasn't, I guess I'd go write a book or something.

Thanks for taking the time to share your point of view. It's always interesting to see a different perspective.


Michael Sipe 1979-2018
Rest in peace, brother.
 

12/21/2017 3:58 pm  #43


Re: House Rules?

I ask about poison because A) my players always want to get their hands on it and 1E basically shrugs and says, "players gotta play fair." And B) Recently I read about a normal joe who survived a black mamba bite without antivenom. Not that games are a life simulator but still. Also C) I use a lot of venomous creatures, which wasn't an issue in my Mathfinder campaign, and maybe probably want an excuse to rate them on an X elephant-killing scale.


"Role-playing isn't storytelling. If the dungeon master is directing it, it's not a game."  ~ Gary Gygax
 

12/21/2017 4:37 pm  #44


Re: House Rules?

I'm all for players using poison.  It's expensive and hard to get and using it is almost always an evil act (acts of survival against giant draco lizards aside), but I like the danger it brings to the game.

As for monster venoms, I can't say I've read every entry but it seems the ones I have read are consistent in that they do damage/some effect now and death some days later.  That, to me, is just adventure material.  The race against time for a cure while your buddy is puking his guts up every step of the way.  Yeah, poison's great for players and monsters alike.

 

12/21/2017 5:26 pm  #45


Re: House Rules?

Some of the venomous creatures in AS&SH (e.g., giant black/brown centipedes and vipers) cause extra hit point damage with a failed save, rather than (non-hit point related) death. Others do cause death. I think it's a good mix.

As far as poison use by PCs goes, I consider it an evil act if used against other humans (of any alignment), but not if used against animals or malign creatures like orcs and gnolls. (However, it is always somewhat unsporting to use it, so paladins and "chivalrous" cataphracts are on thin ice if they do.) On the other hand, I make poison very difficult to obtain except by assassins and witches. Just having the gold to buy it is not enough.


Michael Sipe 1979-2018
Rest in peace, brother.
 

12/23/2017 8:33 am  #46


Re: House Rules?

I've grown to like the save or die nature of potent poisons, but before that, I ruled that it deals 1d6 hp damage per HD of the creature in total (1d6 per round/hour/day, depending on whether the poison in the rules would kill instantly, in a day, in a week, etc.).

 

12/26/2017 11:27 am  #47


Re: House Rules?

@Ynas - just curious what shifted your preference over to the save-or-die mechanic?

​I ask this because I'm a fairly lenient DM and so feel rather awkward about using save-or-die.  Consequently, over the years I've used variations of the D6/HD damage rule.  But... I'd really like to try out the save-or-die mechanic, but need to get myself over the last hurdle (so to speak).  As such, I am curious as to what shifted your opinion, and how it plays out at the table. 
 

 

12/26/2017 11:13 pm  #48


Re: House Rules?

WRT save-or-die: If a (good) player knows that it's a crap shoot if his/her character will die from a poisonous bite or sting, then that player should (will) look for other ways to overcome/bypass the encounter, instead of the usual "Bocephus! Hold my ale... I got this!".
 

Last edited by foxroe (12/26/2017 11:17 pm)


"I, Satampra Zeiros of Uzuldaroum, shall write with my left hand, since I have no longer any other, the tale of everything that befell Tirouv Ompallios and myself in the shrine of the god Tsathoggua..."
 

12/27/2017 3:38 pm  #49


Re: House Rules?

foxroe wrote:

WRT save-or-die: If a (good) player knows that it's a crap shoot if his/her character will die from a poisonous bite or sting, then that player should (will) look for other ways to overcome/bypass the encounter, instead of the usual "Bocephus! Hold my ale... I got this!".
 

 
Yes if they attack the slathering goo-mawed spawn of the stars for the xp then Bocephus will get to finish the second ale....

I generally like the extra damage option.  Until the poison runs its course the poison damage cannot be healed (IMO)... I really like the 1d6 per level for save -or-die.  If they are already weakened by fighting or damage they will likely meet their end anyway.
 


“How can I wear the harness of toil
And sweat at the daily round,
While in my soul forever
The drums of Pictdom sound?” 
 

12/28/2017 1:13 am  #50


Re: House Rules?

My house rules are: 

Hit Points 

Hit points are a measure of how much stamina and will to survive you bring to a combat situation. Hit points can be healed by rest or even a strong drink. Gain a hit die after drinking a flagon.

After a number of drinks equal to your Con bonus + 1 characters start to suffer from inebriation: -1 on all rolls except luck. This effect lasts until the character takes a long rest. 

When your hit points reach 0 you lose points from Con. These represent physical injury. When your Con reaches 0 you die. Taking Con damage can cause severe and permanent injury. Con points heal very slowly by bed rest, medical attention, or magic. When a character takes con damage they must roll on the major wound table. A major wound might be nothing or it might be a permanent scar, loss of an ear or a finger, or worse... 

Spells

I'm going to lift the DCC spells system entirely. Corruption and spell burn are fun and fit well with swords and sorcery. 

The idea that you can suffer a terrible permanent mutation from wielding magic is a great reason why not everyone does it everyday all the time. "Use the torch fool it's much safer!" 

The idea that you can learn a spell by seeing someone cast it says a lot about why wizards are not casting their spells out in the open. 

These two ideas make magic make a lot of sense. Plus, the randomness of the DCC system is really fun. I just wish there were more spells to choose from!
 

Last edited by cudgel (12/28/2017 1:16 am)

 

12/28/2017 11:51 am  #51


Re: House Rules?

Some interesting ideas, Cudgel, especially the drunken hit point recovery! (Although I'm not sure what you mean by "luck" rolls.)

I love DCC for what it is, but for AS&SH, I stand by my guns with the whole "corruption = swords and sorcery" argument that I read from time to time. Maybe in gaming circles it is an established norm, so it's become acceptable, but as far as a literary antecedent goes, I have never read of it in anything S&S by Howard, Lieber, Moorcock, Wagner, and so forth. I believe it's a gaming device intended to strike some kind of balance, or to create a risk / reward mechanic. Anyway, please don't mistake my words -- if you want to make an AS&SH / DCC combo game, I think that's fantastic. I like that folks feel comfortable house ruling and blending in elements from other systems. It's all quite excellent. Cheers!


Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerers of Hyperborea - A Role-Playing Game of Swords, Sorcery, and Weird Fantasy
 

12/28/2017 12:32 pm  #52


Re: House Rules?

I honestly love the idea, I would like to try it out in a campaign. I can't think of any literary examples for this, but there is an example of this sort of thing in The Golden Voyage of Sinbad. The wizard casts a spell and drops the city gate on their fool heads. His hand appears to age from his use of magic. 


Admin of Eldritch Adventuring gaming group on Facebook
join up love to talk AS&SH
https://www.facebook.com/groups/Eldritch.Adventuring/?ref=group_header
 
 

12/28/2017 1:25 pm  #53


Re: House Rules?

@Doctor_Rob
I've been doing save-or-die type of poisons in my Dwimmermount campaign, and it worked so smoothly that I revoked my previous house rule concerning poisons in AS&SH. Plus, my players have got better at recognising enemy types and their chances of survival (not all of them had played D&D-esque games before it), and we've had quite memorable moments because of the whimsical nature of the dice (either due to insanely lucky rolls or unbelievably poor ones).
 

 

12/28/2017 1:48 pm  #54


Re: House Rules?

I cringe whenever I hear a system has spellcasting corruption mechanic, or that it adds a "sword and sorcery" flavor.
If anything it's only relevant to very specific source material, and very rarely S&S.
I'm only grumpy about it because its been the bane of every official Conan RPG.
(I do like the corruption mechanic in Call of Cthulhu and the new Delta Green, but only for that specific setting)


"But not all men seek rest and peace; some are born with the spirit of the storm in their blood" -REH
Rambling Conan Blog

 
 

12/28/2017 1:59 pm  #55


Re: House Rules?

Grimmshade wrote:

I cringe whenever I hear a system has spellcasting corruption mechanic, or that it adds a "sword and sorcery" flavor.
If anything it's only relevant to very specific source material, and very rarely S&S.
I'm only grumpy about it because its been the bane of every official Conan RPG.
(I do like the corruption mechanic in Call of Cthulhu and the new Delta Green, but only for that specific setting)

The sorcerers in my campaign have cast hundred of spells so I wonder about the longevity of a character that is subject to this type of "corruption" mechanic. Is this something that works in the short term to achieve a certain feel but becomes troublesome in the long-term?

Do the players of magic using characters have more fun using this mechanic or do they feel gimped?


 


“How can I wear the harness of toil
And sweat at the daily round,
While in my soul forever
The drums of Pictdom sound?” 
 

12/28/2017 2:20 pm  #56


Re: House Rules?

Mabon - I can only speak from my experience, but in every RPG I've run that has a corruption mechanic, the casting character felt gimped. This is especially true in systems like the new 2d20 Conan where the spells are not all that powerful, but the corruption is character destroying. The only time this has been "fun" is in games of Cthulhu or Delta Green.

I think it was Chainsaw here who had the very valid point that it also has a side effect of making a wizard the only PC that is expected to destroy her character for the benefit of the party. "We really need you to cast that spell!"

As you said, it gives the characters a short life expectancy, which again doesn't really mesh with what we see in almost all S&S fiction. Thoth-Amon wasn't afraid to cast spells, nor was the Master of Yimsha.


"But not all men seek rest and peace; some are born with the spirit of the storm in their blood" -REH
Rambling Conan Blog

 
 

12/28/2017 2:49 pm  #57


Re: House Rules?

I liked corruption as part of WHFRPG, though I had very few chances to see it in action. Reading DCC just left me cold. I was not interested in it as a spell-casting mechanic. I like adding new and weirder spells to the AS&SH list but not breaking the classes or setting to get at them.

Besides, this game could never be as corrupt as its creator!

 

12/28/2017 5:51 pm  #58


Re: House Rules?

For me corruption makes the idea of magic make sense. If there were no drawback everyone would be casting spells. If everything else in the world followed the rules that characters used you'd have wizards on every corner casting spells for profit. You'd have magical sweat shops with renting out first level spell casters for gold pieces. 

If casting spells was like playing with radioactive fire, it might burn you and cause cancer people would shun and fear it. Only the fool hearty or the insane would want to try it. Why cast light, and possibly have all of you hair fall out, when you can just light a candle?

I think the idea that wizards have fewer hit points and can't use armor or weapons feels very artifical. I'd rather make all characters fighters. Anyone can try and cast a spell, if they have seen someone else cast a spell, or read the instructions in a book. If you have a higher intelligence the more likely it will succeed without repercussions. 

My ideas have nothing to do with imitating sword and sorcery literature, and are more about making sense out of the premise of a world where magic exists, and answering the questions why is magic hated and feared and do wizards jealously guard their spells. 

Last edited by cudgel (12/28/2017 5:59 pm)

 

12/28/2017 6:02 pm  #59


Re: House Rules?

cudgel wrote:

For me corruption makes the idea of magic make sense. If there were no drawback everyone would be casting spells.

Unless only a small percentage of the population is capable of casting spells.


Michael Sipe 1979-2018
Rest in peace, brother.
 

12/28/2017 7:19 pm  #60


Re: House Rules?

Blackadder23 wrote:

cudgel wrote:

For me corruption makes the idea of magic make sense. If there were no drawback everyone would be casting spells.

Unless only a small percentage of the population is capable of casting spells.

 
To me this feels like hand waving the idea to justify character classes and limit the number of wizards on the street.

I feel the same way about Vancian magic. It has the feeling of a rule to limit the number of spells a character has at their disposal in day. The idea that you forget the spell when you cast it and have to memorize it again is absurd.

The DCC magic system is far from perfect and has plenty of loopholes to be gamed. That said, for myself it is the most believable spell system I have played. It answers all of these questions.

Why do wizards guard their magic: other wizards might steal it if they see you cast a spell.

How many spells can you cast: as many as you know.

How often can you cast spells: until you run out of magical energies by botching your spell casting.

Why don’t wizards cast spells all the time: because of the risk of bad things happening.

Why can’t a powerful wizard cast a more powerful spell: they can! A powerful wizard casting the same spell casts a more powerful version, usually.

Magic is random and unpredictable why are spell effects always the same: they aren’t! Every spell has a range of effects every time it’s cast and each wizard casts it differently.

I think this also gives players more to work with. A first level mage, comes along for the ride until their sleep spell is needed then they hang out until they get a chance to rest. It’s much more fun if they can cast spells more often. Why let the fighters roll all the dice!

 

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