Max # Skills or spells known = IQ + 3
1) Skills tests based off attributes (no skill bonuses)
2) 3/X tests for skills you know
3) 4/X tests for skill you do not, but attempt
4) you may only cast spells you know
5) 3/X to case spells equal or below IQ
6) 4/X to cast spells above IQ
XP can be spent to learn a new skill or increase attribute.
Adventurers may only increase ST or DX
Sorcerers may only increase IQ
Also Melee/Wizard only includes skills for combat/spell casting--not for adventuring. Should B&BM adhere to this combat centric focus or should a few additional common adventuring skills be included as well like riding, stealth, survival, thieving, tracking that kind of stuff.
I don't think it needs adventuring skills, maybe just a nudge to the referee that adventurers are competent at adventuring, wizards at knowledge. What I'd do is roll to see if a characters origin is urban or rural, and then just use common sense to to decide if they have that knowledge of foraging or are streetwiseReplyDelete
if HOW is TFT thru a B/X lens, then B&BM could by Melee/Wizard thru an OD&D lens, more about rulings than rules for stuff like whether Conan can ride or Kane can forage.Focus the crunch on gritty combat and evocative magic IMO.ReplyDelete
Aha my plans and schemes are laid bare now sir! :) Kudos to you! That is in essence what I am driving at...but it's always important to get a sanity check...Delete
Puts a lotta emphasis on Attributes, moreso than in HOW leading to more front-loading than ever. Also, because of the limited number of Attributes relative to skills, i.e. 2, you won't have dabblers anymore. You won't have characters with a smattering +1 to Stygian literacy but instead the character will be equally competent or incompetent at everything. Much prefer a tighter list of talents as opposed to proficiency slots.ReplyDelete
I think the increased emphasis on Attributes suits the genre more, the strong guy who is good at all feats of strength (but sucks at magic) or the dex guy who's fast and sneaky, rather than the average all-rounder.ReplyDelete
Overall, I like it. It seems eminently workable and simple. My one question is about raising attributes. Why limit that? Going back to Conan, I think his IQ increased at least a little. I can't remember the story or the exact quote but I remember him talking about listening to philosophers and what they thought about a certain subject.ReplyDelete
Why attribute increase limitations? To avoid Conan the Librarian syndrome for wizards and to differentiate the classes. Nothing to say you can have a smart fighter or a strong wizard--but once your "career" starts your focus 9slaying/spell casting) will determine where you attributes increase. Always open to alternatives...
Not to be a stick in the mud, but... Wizard/ Melee was not a full rpg/ adventure game. I think for B&BM to work in the long run(and not just in combat) it is going to need those extra skills. It should be similar to what In the Labyrinth brought to the TFT system.ReplyDelete
AND this is why I have some reservations about going "skill free". As the HOW system uses skills and this is an offshoot of it, I do want to include the notion of skills in someway. Currently I am toying with the "background" that you roll for your character at time of creation granting the character "skills" Such as--Captured by raiders and forced to fight in the arena. Leaned how to use spears and shield.Delete
Aided father on merchant voyages-learned sailing and bargaining.
So if you are attempting a task you learned in your background, you roll 3/Attribute to do it, if it is something not in your background, you roll 4/Attribute.
Then the player can spend XP to learn a "new talent" based on in game experience...or spend a (lot) more to up an attribute.
Oh, I like the idea of random backgrounds. Add a little uncertainty to the character creation process. If you do add it you might think about adding alternate rules for choosing a background. For those who don't like things random.Delete
if i'm reverse engineering this somewhat accurately in my head, it should present no problems for a GM to simply let a player choose his background instead of randomly rolling it. i mean, it's no problem for the GM or the player to figure out 'hey, just pick a background'.Delete
of course, there might be a problem like the same 'bad-ass' background being chosen by all players in a group. still not difficult to manage. GM says: OK guys. you can't all be Conan or Thoth-Amon. roll 3 different backgrounds and choose the one you want.
(or something similar; point is: we aren't robots that need to be programmed for every contigency. we can reason and adapt)
No aspect of character creation is random so why incorporate it now?ReplyDelete
To create options and alternatives. To create the potential of a back story for a character.Delete
I'm curious what the design principle is doing away with skills? Is it the skill system has problems because IMO it does due to overlap, vagaries, and some skills being OP. I've trimmed the skill list down a bit and added a few to fill in the gaps.ReplyDelete
The original M/W rules had no skills--neither did D&D (until the thief character) so I was looking back at those and trying to decide if BBM could or should follow that ancient path. In the end, I do not think it works to forgo skillsDelete
i like! i like! and i agree with Sean's answer to your question. also, with skills being so simple, it presents no complications or heavy lifting if someone wants to throw whatever skills they want into their own 'homebrew'. i'm really digging what you've got brewing here.ReplyDelete
i'm just curious about the IQ+3 limit to the # of skills one can know. the curious part is the +3. why? where did that come from? not griping, just seems oddly curious.
limiting Adventurers to improving ST and DX only and Sorcerers to IQ only is a bit hard to digest though. i completely understand and agree with your motivations there. however, something like the following seems much more palatable:
Adventurers pay double to increase IQ; Sorcerers pay double to increase ST or DX.
ewookie's idea for paying double for attribute increase works for me. for backgounds i'd make them really general and either allow a player to pick one background or instead roll for two.ReplyDelete
First--thanks for all of the great thoughts and feedback!ReplyDelete
1) Great idea ewookie to double attribute upgrade costs depending on class--so let it be written, so let it be done.
Character creation questions
--first you will still have the option to build your character per normal rules, pick attribute, pick skills, go adventure
No, you do not have to randomly roll a background and can pick a homeland/background you like....BUT for those who want or even need a character background story and who like to see what fate brings then this will be an interesting way to build a character.
something i was never clear about while reading TFT materials and i'm not sure about here either:
FACT: IQ limits the # of skills/spells a character can know.
QUESTION: Does that mean an IQ8 character starts with 8 skills/spells? or do they start with a smaller number - the IQ is just the upper limit?
also (repeating), i'm curious why the +3 in the IQ+3 skill/spell limit. i'm curious what made you feel that +3 bump was necessary. again, i'm not opposed. i'm just infatuated with the mysterious/curious nature of it.
if i may suggest (if this isn't already addressed in your plans), characters start with 1/2 of IQ+3 in skills/spells. they cannot learn more than IQ+3 skills/spells.Delete
also, i guess i didn't quite comprehend what was meant by 'adventuring skills'. i'm not sure what sean or yourself or anyone else had in mind anymore. it would seem necessary to have thief skills like pick locks, detect/disarm traps. i guess when i read 'combat skills' earlier, i was thinking of any skills that would be used in a dungeon...which doesn't quite encompass all the adventuring skills but includes more than combat. i think the important thing is to keep the skills simple. overlapping skills under these conditions should cause no problems. in fact, overlaps are great.ReplyDelete
the potential problem with skills under this 3 or 4 die system (at least for me) is what i call 'skill-creep' and its impact on performing mundane tasks. there gets to be so many skills that anything you try to do is a 4-die test because there is some mundane skill that would apply to that mundane task - but you don't have that skill.
i think the above problem is largely a matter of good vs bad Ref but it's pretty damn annoying when you want to climb a rope and some asshole (Ref or player) points out that you don't have the 'Climbing Skill'. so you were about to climb a rope without making a check but now, you have to make a 4-die check because you don't have the 'Climbing Skill'.
climbing may not be a good example, as there could be some situations where it makes sense to make a check when climbing a rope. here's another example.ReplyDelete
I think there was a Cooking skill in 2e. It seemed rather obvious to me that this was intended for a situation where you wanted to impress someone with your cooking or something un-ordinary with cooking.
Well, my ranger dude used his Hunting skill to kill some rabbits for supper. Sweet, we don't need rations! Meat's on the menu! Nope. You have to cook that rabbit. There is a Cooking skill which implies that cooking always requires a test.
So now we have to make a 4-die test to roast some rabbit flesh over a fire. What happens if we fail? Rabbit is burnt and not edible? Rabbit is under-cooked and we contract a disease?
I'm getting very sleepy and I'm not sure what I'm trying to say...
Hey Adam, I get what you are trying to say here and it is the difficulty of narrowing down skills to activities that require specialization versus the Palladium/GURPS "everything is a skill" I would say look at HOW for the manner in which you can expect BBM to operate--for better or worse.Delete
i'm so glad you were able to read my muddled mind. that is what i was trying to say. i think HOW did a great job with it's limited yet plenty number of skills.ReplyDelete
i am curious though. i'm assuming there will be weapons skills that correlate to the weapon skills in HOW. under this assumption, i ask: will there be a Swords-1 skill that simply reduces the 4-die test down to 3-die...then a Swords-2 skill that gives swordsmen extra attacks and what-not?
In HOW, those extra attacks, parries, etc. created a problem (IMO) because the skill level provided bonuses...which meant that your bad-ass-ness with a sword kind of quadrupled. you got more attacks and those attacks were more likely to succeed due to the skill bonus.
in BBM, skills provide no bonus - so this sort of thing would not present a problem.if you break the 'extra attack' effect out into another skill like 'Swords-2'. the IQ limit of skills/spells one can know also makes this Swords-2 type of thing costly. i am not pushing for a Swords-2, i'm just saying that I would not oppose it in the context of BBM's rules the way i did in the context of HOW's rules.
however, i am very curious whether or not you plan to have these sorts of tiered skills. i kinda hope you will but it wouldn't bother me at all if you didn't.
ok. after all that im ready to comment. Not sure what you mean by front loading and back loading. What killed Gurps for me was the notion of raising a base stat. A high dex meant you sail through a skill oriented game with a high dex using multiple adders. Same with int. High DEX impacted the game more because of the plethora of DEX skills, since it was a combat/dex game. Most games are Sneak, lock pick, to hit, shoot. All these things are dex. To keep things in check I would make a dex plus a rarity by making skill adders very expensive. Also you could add a skill plus via magic item. I am calling them skill pluses but it means skill plus to hit as well. Make sense?ReplyDelete