High Fantasy / Low Death
Heh. I'm looking to tune OQ2 to the tastes of a specific group. Specifically, they like high fantasy, getting into trouble, but really don't deal with PC death (or tactics ...) well. Avoiding the commentary of helping them to grow / learn otherwise ;) ... tweaks I'm considering to OQ in rolling out a new campaign include:
- Total Hit Points. Suggested to me a few times by my good friend Ben. PC (and major NPC) hit points at the total of CON + SIZ.
- Hero Points. Upgrading the OQ Hero Points to include some of the ideas from Astounding Adventures. The main tweak is allowing avoidance of death by returning next scene (or as appropriate) at 1/2 hit points. Also, increasing the number of Hero Points from 2 (with limited burn) to maybe 4 - 5 (refreshed each game).
- Luck Roll. Adding the old BRP Luck Roll at POW x 5. Enabled for PC proactive use via Hero Points (use Luck roll in place of a Skill check for one).
- Major Wounds. I'm still undecided on this - with Total Hit Points, it becomes less threatening, while still adding punch and danger to the combat sequences.
Other thoughts or ideas?
Yeah I have the same type of group, they don't handle character death very well either. I'm doing the same things you are except no luck roll, that seems redundant when using hero points. I also have healing magic more available and double the amount of healing it does because of using total hit points. The other change I made was using less opponents so you won't overwhelm their defences. With hero points I don't let them save them between game sessions, but I let them refresh to 2 points at the beginning of each session. I'm very liberal at handing them out and encourage the players to use them often and more importantly to earn them. This seems to work very well for me and no one has died yet.
I personally wouldn't go the CON+SIZ route for Total Hit Points, it tends to make the PCs feel like MMO tanks and almost invincible. I prefer my PCs to know they can be hurt easily, but I usually count 0 HP as Incapacitated rather than Death, as its not fun re-rolling characters mid-campaign. I would keep usual Hit Points and Major Wounds as they are.
Liberal use of Luck Roll or Hero Points can easily add to a more pulpy flavour and keep the characters out of harm's way.
Simple approach for BRP is allow for wide spanning outcomes with a Luck Roll, although give it a cost in Power Points, aka Fate Rules options from BRP. As you are using OpenQuest, you can pretty much cover this with Hero Points, and porting over ideas from Astounding Adventures Action Points are a great idea. So you've got all you need already there.
If you allow for a wide scope of situations with Hero Points then you'll be right. Perhaps include Attribute x 5% rolls for general situations that you have no skills involved, such as Idea Rolls etc, and use Hero Points to augment mundane skills beyond the usual scope, allowing for highly cinematic outcomes, for example, Athletics could be used with a Hero Point to cover very swashbuckling cinematic moves, etc.
I think if you are regularly awarding Hero Points then you will give the characters a currency to do cool stunts and extend their survivability. I would award a Hero Point or two for achieving certain minor objectives during game play, or if a scene is roleplayed well. Doing this during game play will allow the Hero Points to build up quicker, and you can always award a few more at the end of a session for achieving the major objectives of that scenario.
Just throw out Hero Points here and there, and you'll soon see the characters using them to get out of scrapes etc, and it will add to a more cinematic feel to the game, which is usually a winner with most troupes. Works well for my group
Another thing you can do with Hero Points, especially if you find some of your players hoard them, is to put a limit on how many they can have. But keep on awarding them even when some players are maxed out. That way you'll encourage your players to use the ones they have, so they don't miss out on the awards.
Good stuff. I think I'll likely drop the Total Hit Points (but go with HP 0 = out and not dead) and play around with the Hero Point / Action Point options. I'm not much of a fan of the BRP Fate Point / Power Point spend, but I may be able to pull some ideas there.
I think there could be merit in providing some maximum Hero Point accrual like Rod suggested, but I'm unsure how to go about it. Maybe equal to the character's POW, or even half POW, perhaps?
I'm thinking I'd set it at an arbitrary number across the board, rather than tie them to a PC's stat. I might start with 5 and see how it goes, letting players earn the, through cool stuff or possibly even award them to one another if they do something they like ("fan mail").
With hero points I have a use them or lose them policy. They reset back to 2 points at the beginning of each session. That way there is no hording issue.
I like the "hard reset" for them session-to-session. I need to think about whether 2 (plus ability to earn some in session) would be sufficient enough to get some of the results mentioned above (esp. the pulp-y stuff).
Originally Posted by Vexthug
Peg your combats appropriately. I give my PCs high skills so that they aren't dicing for Sucesses, but rather for Criticals. Place them up against an average town guard (or beastie) with a 30% and they will wade through their opposition.
Groups can be deadly. When the PCs cooperate with each other and concentrate on taking down a single foe at a time they can be devastating. When those 30% goblins or ninja or whatever team up against a PC they can be in the position to start sweating.
Embrace Minion rules. They are in the free supplement 'Gods of Law.' I use them all the time and simply adore them, especially when I'm running Stormbringer games. These are the rules you want to look to when your PCs are wading through a giant battlefield looking for the real challenge.