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  1. #11
    Pieter Sleijpen
    Guest

    Training and the Tyranny of Six

    Gary V. Foss wrote:

    > I think you're right. I'm considering methods to have abilities
    > scores go down aside from aging, but I'm not really coming up with
    > much. I don't like most of the monsters that "drain" ability scores.
    > The lamia's ability to drain wisdom, for instance, seems outrageously
    > unfair to me.
    >
    > I do use the -10hp rule usually. (Actually I made it the -5 rule.)
    > Maybe I can rule that a character will lose a point from a randomly
    > determined ability score if that happens or if he is actually killed
    > and brought back to life? Raise Dead lowers Con, so that's an easy
    > one.... Hmmm. I'll have to think about how to do this. Anyone have
    > ideas?

    I use the -10 rule, but I also know the potential abuse in this rule.
    Afterall, how many times do all the PC's die in combat or are distracted
    long enough (in fact it happened only twice now in my recent campaign
    and in both cases it was to stupidity on the dying PC's side)? So I
    decided that they would lose a charisma point due to ugly scars and a
    loss in self-esteem. With time and the right kind of magic (regenerate
    spell) they can recover this charisma point. It helps greatly and people
    withdraw from combat now, when they get low on hp. I could also see a
    loss of constitution, strength and dexterity in this case, but wisdom
    and intelligence seem strange to me (unless you got a hit to the head
    :-) ).

    To stay strong and healthy a lot of training and a certain way of life
    is needed. Reducing constitution after a long time without proper food
    and water is perfectly reasonable. Do the PC's eat too much fat food or
    stop their daily excersise for a long time? Feel free to lower strength,
    constitution and especially dexterity. Diseases might permanently
    influence attributes, though that might be a little unfair because a
    character has got little influence on it.

    I would say, take a look at RL and try to determine what makes people
    lose their "attributes" in RL. If nothing else, you can at least have
    magical curses in AD&D to reduce the scores. Ever used the reverse of
    remove curse? Even a temporary reduction of a random score to 3 can be
    devastating or create embarassing situations :-)

    Pieter Sleijpen

  2. #12
    JNeighb934@aol.co
    Guest

    Training and the Tyranny of Six

    In a message dated 04/17/99 3:19:19 AM Pacific Daylight Time, madfox@wxs.nl
    writes:

    >

    I use a negative hit point scheme that I developed specifically for
    Birthright. It takes into account the possibility (indeed, the liklihood) of
    mortal wounds so that Battlefield Investitures could play a role in the
    campaign. But it also serves to make my players very nervous about their
    characters going into the negative, which is how it should be. Players
    should not feel it's no big deal to go into negative hit points because they
    can get healed right back up and jump right back into the action without any
    rest or worries. I know my scheme is kind of complicated but I feel it works
    very well for Birthright so here it is for you to look at, use, modify,
    delete, or whatever. By the way, this also relates to game effects related
    to minor differences in attributes, as in this system a character can go up
    to his CON in negative hit points (but at least -10). So here it is:

    If a character falls below one hit point he has suffered a grievous wound and
    immediately
    becomes incapacitated. He is in great pain and agony at that point, drifting
    in and out of
    consciousness. The character begins to lose one hit point every round until
    he is attended to by binding his wounds or receiving other appropriate
    emergency treatment. The one hit point loss per round represents the gradual
    loss of blood and life force of the unattended character. Once a character
    reaches a negative hit point total equal to his constitution, but at least
    - -10, he character has reached his limit. Beyond that limit is death.
    Healing magic applied to the fallen character brings the character
    back to one hit
    point. (Only the Heal spell can do more, actually fully healing the
    character to his full hit
    point total.) The character remains at one hit point until he has fully
    rested for one day.
    Additional cure spells do no good. During this period the character is
    extremely weak, can only move with the help of others, and finds it difficult
    to speak. Such things as combat, running, and riding a horse unassisted are
    impossible. If forced to defend himself, the weakened character can only
    manage to wield a small sized weapon or cast very simple spells at -4 to hit,
    - -4 to saves, and +4 to AC with no dex.
    Fallen characters who receive no healing magic, after 2d4 hours have
    elapsed, must
    make a system shock roll to survive. If they live, they heal at the rate of
    one hit point per day until they reach one hit point, at which point they
    physically recover and begin to heal normally. A character under the care of
    someone with healing and herbalism (other than himself) heals two points per
    day. A system shock roll to survive must be made every day the character is
    below zero hit points, with a cumulative +5% bonus being added every new
    check. While below zero hit points, the character is bedridden and extremely
    weak. A character who heals in this manner is bound to have significant
    scarring from the ordeal.
    Cure Light Wounds and Cure Serious Wounds are not always enough to
    save a
    character who has gone deep into negative hit points. If a character reaches
    a negative hit point total that is over half his constitution, or at least
    - -6, then he has suffered a mortal
    wound. The bleeding cannot be stopped by normal means, a Cure Light Wounds
    spell will only delay death by 2-12 rounds (after the character has reached
    his maximum limit). At least a Cure Serious Wounds must be cast to save the
    character and bring him to one hit point. A character reaching negative hit
    points equal to his constitution (or, again, at least -10) or just one under
    will die in one to two rounds unless a Cure Critical Wounds spell is cast
    immediately. Cure Light Wounds prolongs death by 1-6 rounds, Cure
    Serious Wounds by 1-4 turns. As always, a Heal spell will immediately heal
    the character
    to full hit points with no ill effects, even in these grave circumstances.
    One last little twist. Any character who is exactly at zero hit
    points can make a CON check. If failed, they are incapacitated but do not
    lose further hit points due to
    bleeding, etc. Such characters are not in danger of dying and heal normally
    (after a day of rest). If check is made character is in same weakened state
    as described above for characters brought to one hit point from negative hit
    points by a cure spell, but at least the character can crawl out of danger
    without immediate aid.
    Normally, a character can heal one point per day if he engages in no
    more than light,
    non-strenuous activity. Under the care of a healer this increases to two
    points per day, or one point per night of good rest if heavy activity is
    encountered during the day (such as combat). If the healer is also an
    herbalist, three points per day can be regained if, again, no more than light
    activity is done. Otherwise, the only way to heal three points a day is with
    complete rest and relaxation. Complete rest also enables a character to add
    his CON bonus, if any, at the end of every week.
    One last note: a mortal wound only comes about via an opponent's
    attack placing you
    that far in the negative. In other words, if you go into negative hit points
    and bleed for
    several rounds before anyone helps you, you don't have to worry about dying
    from a mortal wound, as long as someone attends to you before you bleed to
    death.

  3. #13
    Gary V. Foss
    Guest

    Training and the Tyranny of Six

    Pieter Sleijpen wrote:

    > Gary V. Foss wrote:
    >
    > > I think you're right. I'm considering methods to have abilities
    > > scores go down aside from aging, but I'm not really coming up with
    > > much. I don't like most of the monsters that "drain" ability scores.
    > > The lamia's ability to drain wisdom, for instance, seems outrageously
    > > unfair to me.
    > >
    > > I do use the -10hp rule usually. (Actually I made it the -5 rule.)
    > > Maybe I can rule that a character will lose a point from a randomly
    > > determined ability score if that happens or if he is actually killed
    > > and brought back to life? Raise Dead lowers Con, so that's an easy
    > > one.... Hmmm. I'll have to think about how to do this. Anyone have
    > > ideas?
    >
    > I use the -10 rule, but I also know the potential abuse in this rule.
    > Afterall, how many times do all the PC's die in combat or are distracted
    > long enough (in fact it happened only twice now in my recent campaign
    > and in both cases it was to stupidity on the dying PC's side)? So I
    > decided that they would lose a charisma point due to ugly scars and a
    > loss in self-esteem. With time and the right kind of magic (regenerate
    > spell) they can recover this charisma point. It helps greatly and people
    > withdraw from combat now, when they get low on hp. I could also see a
    > loss of constitution, strength and dexterity in this case, but wisdom
    > and intelligence seem strange to me (unless you got a hit to the head
    > :-) ).

    I think you could justify a loss of intelligence or wisdom. A head wound is
    one example, but brain injuries can be caused by blood loss too, so any old
    injury can effect someone's noggin'.... Aside from that, it could be
    symbolically correct for a character to lose a point of Int or Wis if using the
    - -10 rule. If the injuries resulted from a rather stupid or unwise decision on
    the players part, for isntance, I think you could justify it on a pure gaming
    basis. Lastly, there are psycological effects. A character so terribly
    injured in combat might be more timid and less willful (lower wisdom) after
    such an experience. He could also be less willing to dare and challenge
    himself mentally--didn't thinking so recklessly get him into trouble
    already?--and suffer Intelligence effects.

    Gary

  4. #14
    Bob Cauthron
    Guest

    Training and the Tyranny of Six

    > Well, I suppose that depends on your definition of "abuse".... I hear a
    lot of
    > people bashing what they call "munchkinism" around here.
    >
    > Personally, I don't have a big problem with people who try to maximize
    their
    > characters abilities, skills, etc. Heck, I like doing it myself. To me
    "abuse"
    > would be exploiting a loophole in the rules to give one character a
    ridiculous
    > advantage over the other players. BR elves, for instance, are immortal.
    > Depending on your interpretation of what that means; ever young,
    exceptionally
    > long-lived or simply undying, that could mean an 18th level elven mage
    could
    > cast as many Wish spells as s/he liked without facing the aging attributed
    to
    > mortals. To me, THAT is abuse. Using rules that apply to everyone, NPCs
    and
    > PCs alike, to maximise the abilities of one's character. To me, that's
    not
    > abuse.
    >
    > What kind of abuse are you thinking of?

    I have a different definition than yours. Mine comes about more from
    players that have their ability scores shaping their character, rather than
    the other way around (which is what I prefer). While I agree that most game
    systems, including adnd, encourage the high ability score concept and that
    part of this is necessary, I believe it is overdone, which can hinder
    character development and roleplaying. This tactic is quite prone to abuse,
    since the concentration is on numbers to begin with, often at the expense of
    characterization.
    What this does is have players who are more concerned about numbers
    than anything else. Example: "I need this score to get this bonus, so that I
    can have this number for this...ad infinitum." The min/max philosophy, which
    in my experience is widely prevalent. Some of this is justified, but not to
    the level that I have been exposed to, especially as a gm. Note that I am
    not condemning anyone here, as this is a personal preference only, my style
    so to speak. What is truly bizarre about this is that my players tend to
    have very high scores anyway.

    > I think you're right. I'm considering methods to have abilities scores go
    down
    > aside from aging, but I'm not really coming up with much. I don't like
    most of
    > the monsters that "drain" ability scores. The lamia's ability to drain
    wisdom,
    > for instance, seems outrageously unfair to me.

    Agreed. I am uncomfortable with such things, although I have used them,
    just very rarely. Draining in general is not a concept I am fond of. What I
    have done with that is usually make any kind of draining temporary unless
    death occurs. So far this has been effective in my campaigns.

    > I do use the -10hp rule usually. (Actually I made it the -5 rule.) Maybe
    I can
    > rule that a character will lose a point from a randomly determined ability
    score
    > if that happens or if he is actually killed and brought back to life?
    Raise
    > Dead lowers Con, so that's an easy one.... Hmmm. I'll have to think
    about how
    > to do this. Anyone have ideas?

    I also use the -10 method, but I am afraid I cannot be of much help to
    anyone on this, as my campaigns do not normally have raise dead or
    resurrection options available to the pcs. What I do to help with this is
    have more healing options available, as in alchemy, herbs/plants, etc. Which
    makes the healing and herbalism skills quite valuable in my games. Note also
    that combat is rare in when I gm, as I can have several sessions go by
    without seeing any fighting.

    > I'm thinking right now that
    >
    > 1. 1pt per highest level attained. Maybe I'll change that to go along
    more
    > close with proficiency scores. Like 1pt every 3 levels. I'm going to
    have to
    > think about how I want it to work.
    >
    > 2. At 1st level characters can't have more than a 15 in any given ability.
    >
    > 3. It can't be use to raise scores above racial maximums.

    I allow the characters to increase their ability scores on an irregular
    basis, as when they could do so without such they tended to concentrate
    primarily on ability scores. Unlike many people, I use the players option
    tomes, and therefore so do my players. The ability score advancement system
    I use is dependent on many variables , such as race, class, the ability
    score itself, the present score, the score increase, campaign and character
    circumstances, and more.

    > > > Similarly, I'm bothered by the fact that godlike creatures (the
    avatars of
    > > the
    > > > gods themselves for that matter) are a scant 7 points max away from
    scores
    > > > naturally occuring in human beings. Such things should be way out of
    the
    > > scope
    > > > of mortals.
    > >
    > > A heartfelt agreement here. You are quite in line with my views on
    this
    > > matter. I cannot reconcile that either. As a matter of fact, I changed
    the
    > > range of scores on the upper limits to be more conducive to my outlook
    on
    > > upper-end ability scores. I do wish that this was done differently in
    the
    > > core game.
    >
    > What range in scores did you use? How has it worked out for you?
    >
    > Gary

    Well, I have various systems for adnd. My personal favorite is the
    percentile system, along with using d10s. For this discussion, however, I
    will keep it more mainstream. I have one where I kept the standard adnd
    system and expanded upon it. The range is from 1-40, and the adjustments
    (re: bonuses/penalties) are adjusted accordingly. This system, though, has
    bonuses starting at scores of 13, unlike the standard rules. Surprisingly
    enough, this has worked for me, as the players are more satisfied with
    scores of 13-15 because of the bonuses, which are normally minor. Another
    one of my rare successes.
    The higher range in scores also works for those times when I use
    powerful foes, because they are that impressive, and the players know the
    range is there and they are not exactly sure what the numbers may be in
    combat.

    Bob

  5. #15
    WILLELA@aol.co
    Guest

    Training and the Tyranny of Six

    May I point out an improvement to the -10 hp death rule. Change to
    - -2d8, or some other dice combination. This has the advantage of increasing
    player uncertainity where the player should be uncertain.
    You had better treat that PC at -5 now. He could die at -6.
    Yours for deeper dungeons
    David Argall

  6. #16
    Gary V. Foss
    Guest

    Training and the Tyranny of Six

    "John E. Raymond" wrote:

    > > May I point out an improvement to the -10 hp death rule. Change to
    > >-2d8, or some other dice combination. This has the advantage of increasing
    > >player uncertainity where the player should be uncertain.
    > > You had better treat that PC at -5 now. He could die at -6.
    > > Yours for deeper dungeons
    > > David Argall
    >
    > For my game..I use their Health (Constitution if I wasn't using S&P)
    > modified by plus or minus 5 (ascertained by rolling a d10)

    I changed it to the -5 rule in my campaigns. I also try not to tell the players
    how far into the negative area they have fallen. When a PC goes into negative
    numbers I just say something like, "A goblin hits Marrick in the stomach and he
    goes down." Someone has to rush over and check the PC out to see if he is dead
    or not.

    I went with the -5 rule rather than the -10 rule because I wanted PCs and NPCs
    to be able to gasp out a few last words before they expire from time to time.
    Five minutes or so seemed adequate for that. Besides, an average human has 3 or
    4 hp. Requiring two or three times that much damage to actually kill a person
    it seems too much.

    Gary

  7. #17
    Olesens
    Guest

    Training and the Tyranny of Six

    > Besides, an average human has 3 or
    > 4 hp. Requiring two or three times that much damage to actually kill a person
    > it seems too much.

    Which reminds me about my theroy of what hitpoints actually are. I mean, a 20th
    level fighter will die if stabbed through the heart same as a 1st level fighter
    will. IMO, hitpoints are a measure of the amount of pain the hero can take without
    losing conciousness (getting below 0 hp or whatever) and thier skill at avoiding
    damage (even though max damage from a longsword is 8 on everybody, that is 100% of a
    regular guy's hp but only 50% of about a 2nd level warrior's hp. I hope I made
    sense here...). And as a side comment for those of you who don't like AD&D because
    a naked 17th level fighter can kill an elephant or a 10th level wizard can get
    stabbed in the chest and not die or be badly wounded - AD&D is an abstract game and
    stuff like that is the GM's fault.

    - -Andrew

  8. #18
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    Training and the Tyranny of Six

    > 1. For the 80 pt distribution rule (this is BR related because I first found it
    > on BR PBeMs--in case anyone was worried about me going off topic :-) I was
    > thinking of setting a maximum, maybe 15 or 16 for first level characters' ability
    > scores. Since I'm planning on allowing ability scores to go up 1pt/level, I
    > think that is fair. A player could still have an 18 by 3rd or 4th level pretty
    > easily, so I don't think they should squawk about it.
    >
    > NOTE: The static ability scores of AD&D have long been one of the game's greatest
    > weaknesses in my opinion. (Anyone who knows my take on this sort of thing will
    > understand why I'm prefacing the following remarks by saying that this is not a
    > call for greater "realism" in the game... BUT....) The fact of the matter is
    > that people get stronger, smarter, wiser, more charismatic as they age and gain
    > experience.. OK, the last one may be questionable, but if anyone over 25 out
    > there would care to go back to an old high school annual and check themselves out
    > at 17-18 they should feel free to scan those photos and send them to me as
    > proof.... Personally, I am vastly more suave, debonair, handsome and charming
    > than I was ten years ago, so I am quite sure that is the case.... The point is
    > that ability scores go up just as skills do. (Another weakness in the standard
    > rules.)
    >
    > Allowing ability scores to go up with level (especially using a 1pt/level system
    > that we're discussing here which is simplicity itself) would solve numerous
    > problems with the game mechanics. Things like the fact that you can have really
    > strong 1st level fighters contrasted with relatively weak 10th level ones. Oh,
    > it could still happen using this system, of course, but it would be much less
    > likely.

    With PO:S&P, proficiencies start at lower ratings than in standard AD&D.
    However, there's automatic succes for routine tasks and the like, and the
    proficiency ratings are easily upgraded with Character Points (especially
    if you award 5 per level, like I do). So proficiency scores do improve
    under PO:S&P, albeit slowly. Maybe we can do the same for ability scores
    - - allow players to spend CPs to improve them. Of course, it should be a
    lot more expensive than just upgrading proficiencies, since high ability
    scores give bonuses to proficiency scores...

    > 2. As long as we are discussing the 3rd edition stuff.... Maybe we can finally
    > get away from the 3-18 ability score range. Why not 2-20 or 3-30? A wider range
    > of ability scores would help make each character different from the other and
    > could also eliminate this whole exceptional strength problem which doesn't fit
    > into this ability score improvement thing. OK, OK, the entire game shouldn't
    > revolve around this one idea, but I actually think this is a good enough one that
    > it might be reasonable.
    > Personally, I think the 3-18 ability score range came from the hoary old days of
    > the gaming hobby when people could really only get their hands on 6-sided dice.
    > I remember Traveller used to only use 6-siders, even for "percentile" rolls.
    > There were 11-66 charts long after other dice became readily available. Man,
    > that was weird. You know how DOS 3.0 or something could only handle 128k of
    > memory when computers were starting to get a meg or two on board? (Or whatever
    > it was--my memory on this is quite fuzzy.) I think the 3-18 system is like
    > that. Well, it's time to throw off the tyranny of the six-siders, my friends!
    > Release us from the yoke of cubic oppression! Let us begin to think outside of
    > the box! Rise up, my fellow hobbyists! Rise up!

    Well, d6 are still cheaper and easier to get than other dice over here.
    Anyways, it seems to me that they at TSR chose 3-18 for the range of
    ability scores, for the reason that it works quite nicely with ability
    checks on a d20. If you really want to have attributes vary a lot, you
    could use a 1d20 to determine them (instead of 3d8), or maybe 1d100 if
    you're to check em on d100. But I don't think that's what we really want,
    cause if you do that, stats will simply very _too_ much. What seems best
    to me is that high and low stats are both rare. Sure, the average of 1d20
    and 3d8 are the same, but there's a lot more chance with 3d6 that you
    might get something in the middle than with 1d20, where any number is as
    likely to show up as the next one (a bit too random, if you ask me).
    2d10? Well, then suddenly high stats become a lot more common. 3d10?
    How are you ever goin to make ability checks? On a d30? I don't know any
    shops where I can buy those. Then how about checks on d100, instead of
    d20? In that case, what are we gonna use to roll up the stats? 5d20?
    Then high stats will become nigh impossible...
    Seems to me that if you wanna get rid of those d6s for ability scores, a
    point system would be the best solution. Well, at least that's what I
    use... :)

    - the Falcon

  9. #19
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    Training and the Tyranny of Six

    > I do use the -10hp rule usually. (Actually I made it the -5 rule.) Maybe I can
    > rule that a character will lose a point from a randomly determined ability score
    > if that happens or if he is actually killed and brought back to life? Raise
    > Dead lowers Con, so that's an easy one.... Hmmm. I'll have to think about how
    > to do this. Anyone have ideas?

    Sound critical hits can sometimes cripple ability scores...

  10. #20
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    Training and the Tyranny of Six

    > I went with the -5 rule rather than the -10 rule because I wanted PCs and NPCs
    > to be able to gasp out a few last words before they expire from time to time.
    > Five minutes or so seemed adequate for that. Besides, an average human has 3 or
    > 4 hp. Requiring two or three times that much damage to actually kill a person
    > it seems too much.

    Well, since combat rounds last only 12 seconds on average with PO:C&T, I
    think I'll just stick with the -10 rule... :)

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