Saturday, February 24, 2018

Felltower Prep

Felltower is tomorrow, so I got some house cleaning done last night and this morning:

- new printout of Raggi's character sheet, updated with the special order axe that finally arrived (a balanced dwarven fine silvered greataxe, which doesn't go far to replaced the Weapon Bonded Accuracy +2, Puissance +2, Fine Dwarven Greataxe he had. Oh well, it's better than the plain axe he used to poor effect last time. The axe doesn't make the man, but it can make him better.

- I updated the rumors.

- I reviewed some of the player's plans and notes for next session.

- I reviewed the monsters I expect to need for next session.

And that's that - off to work, and hopefully time for more prep tonight. If not, all those hours I put into megadungeon prep in earlier, less busy times should pay off!

Friday, February 23, 2018

How dangerous is that monster?

I don't spend any time on the SJG Forums anymore. So I miss a lot of good posts by Dr. Kromm. One of them I saw yesterday thanks to this post over at GURPS Hexy Time:

Game log 10 February 2018: Don't poke the pudding!

The post in question was Difficult Monsters.

(FWIW, for my players, meteoric iron tipped arrows ignoring Missile Shield is not a thing in Felltower - that's been established in game fact, and DFRPG won't change that. Get a sling or prodd if you want meteoric iron ammo.)

This goes hand-in-hand with this post on Dungeons on Automatic.

From a PC perspective, it's good to have an idea of what's tough and what needs special handling.

From a GM perspective, it's critical to understand how to deploy a monster. If you put in a monster with See Invisible and the PCs sneak up on it with Invisibility and one-shot it . . . or you put in crazed berserkers with Battle Fury and they don't go berserk because you forgot they do that automatically . . . or you put in monsters that trap weapons that hit them but forget that until the fight is over . . . you've done a few things:

- given the PCs an easy win, undercutting their ability to gauge the danger next time when you remember their traits

- nerfed a monster, and may have based treasure based on its perceived un-nerfed power

- and broken the monster writer's heart.

So don't do that. Read 'em and read their traits.

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Rush Jobs for After-Market Modifiers

I allow after-market modifications for weapons, shields, and armor.

But what if 1d weeks to wait is too long? ("But I'm mad now!")

Rush Job

A rush job - turning 1d weeks into 1d days - is as-written but costs 5x as much. This is cumulative with the cost modifier for a rush job.

It should really cost 7x as much (it's 7x faster!) but 5x is easier math.

Immediate Job

What if you absolutely need it by tomorrow? 20x as much.

This roughly based on the "average" 3.5 days wait, so 5 x 3.5, rounded up to the nearest easy number to remember.

Using the same example as last time:

For example, silver-coating an $80 morningstar will cost $160 (+2 CF) as original manufacture, but $320 (+2 CF, x2) done to an existing weapon. Getting it done in 1d days instead of 1d weeks costs $320 (after-market) x 5 (rush job) = $1600. If you need it done in a day, the smith will drop everything and do it for $320 (after-market) x 20 (immediate work) = $6400.

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

My Answer is Always Adventuring

Recently, my players started to try to figure out a way to get a job done in my DFRPG game. However, to do it, they need something they've found adventuring in the past but don't have any of right now.

Naturally, they asked, can we make or buy this?

I said no.

Really, it realistically should be possible - a black market, secret basement trading zones or cults trafficking in strange materials, wizards with extra monster bits to sell or willing to cast anything magical if the price is right, etc.

But game-wise?

If the answer is either, "You can buy it!" or "You'll have to find it in the dungeon" then the answer in my megadungeon game should generally be the latter.

Why is that? Why not let people, you know, buy the eye of death lenses they need for an experiment, or shop at the Evil Artifacts Supply Store for an upside-down cross and a defiled holy book? Why not let them just go buy giant snake venom instead of milking it, or get saw-toothed orc swords off the shelf instead of out of the cold, dead hands of orcs?

Because "Sorry, it's in the dungeon, go get it!" is the name of the game.

If the answer is "mark down some money" or "make a roll in town, don't mess up because failure gets you (insert -5 to -30 point disadvantage here)!" then the adventure is over. It's not a rare substance, really, it's a cash-cost off the shelf item with a chance for negative consequences.

If the answer is, "You'll need to put on your delver's hats and figure out where to search in the dungeon for that!" then we're talking the most fun part of the game. The solution is inherent in the most fun part of the game - fighting and looting and exploring.

This is the same thing as "This sounds like a job for . . . Player Characters!"

If my answer is either "Yes!" or "Yes, but the more fun way!" I'm choosing the latter.

It's that kind of game.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Retroactive work for hire?

I read these two posts by Rob Conley and Douglas Cole with interest:

OBS Content Program is terrible and it is now not just an opinion.

Not Opinion Anymore: Clarifications on the terms of DM’s Guild

So it seems like One Bookshelf's "DM's Guild" effectively works out to be work for hire - retroactive, if you've already done it.

Work for hire means what you produce belongs to the company, not you. That's how I work for SJG. It's fine, because my contract said that plainly and it's what I agreed to. A flat fee or a set percentage of the sales, but then the work belonged to them. If I reuse it on my next book, I technically need to account for that as it comes it out of the pay for the next book - they already paid for it. If someone else uses it, I get a piece or a paycheck.

But if you wrote with the expectation that you'd be producing a book and could re-use your own words and ideas later . . . it sounds like you are out of luck. And it took some clarifications to make that clear.

Monday, February 19, 2018

Norker Champion - Detailed and Washed

I did a little more on that Norker Champion this morning.

I painted in some extra details, put a rough base coat on his base, and then washed him with "magic wash." He's still wet at this point:

He's approaching done, in a tabletop-ready sense. He's not coming out particularly good, but he'll be okay next to the nice-from-a-distance WOTC pre-paints he'll stand next to.

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Felltower & the SJG Stakeholders Report

On Friday I posted about the bad news for the DFRPG in the Stakeholder's Report.

How will that affect DF Felltower, which we switched over to the DFRPG as our basic core of GURPS rules?

How it won't

On one level, it won't affect our game at all.

We switched to the DFRPG because of how much it simplifies book buying, book reading, rules understanding, and rules look-ups for the GM and player. I can turn someone loose with Adventurers and the Race List and say, make up a guy. I can say, "Read Exploits and this one House Rules document you'll know how the rules play out." I can say, "Read Spells to see what magic is like."

It's really pretty simple.

And I can and will still do that.

I think the basic rules chassis is excellent and comes with some much-needed focus that helps my players operate with having to ask me legitimate questions about what's in play or not.

How it will

It's just a little demoralizing to say six months ago, "This great new thing is here, and we'll use it!" and have the company say, "That new thing was a failure. Kiss it goodbye." I won't lie about that.

I also see how the lack of print copies could mean less interest in official support. That means I'll get less DFRPG-based gear, monsters, rules articles, etc. out of Pyramid. I'll need to adapt DF books as they come and I like them. I do that now, but I was expecting more DFRPG material.

It will make it harder for new players to "just go buy the boxed set." They had better put these books out in POD quickly (and affordably) or I am in worse shape than before we switched.

And it probably means an official set of GDFs for GCA is not going to happen soon. We'll keep limping along with GCA 4 and me trying to patch the files manually when discrepancies come up.

So overall, I think this is a negative, and it'll have some effects on the logistics of adding new players to Felltower. Day to day, though, it should not affect us.
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