Questions about the foundational rolls or other rolls? Ask ‘em here.
Categories: manuscript ~ ~ Trackback
I have a question about Arcana rolls to know things about monsters.
It seems like a monster’s Weakness is qualitatively different from other facts you might learn about a monster. Should learning a monster’s weakness require a certain (large) number of hits on an arcana roll? Is it something you can learn directly through an arcana roll at all? Or should the GM just reveal it whenever it seems appropriate?
I only ask because in the example of the wolfwalkers, Elliot gets a solid 4 hits but still doesn’t learn their weakness (bound by word). Would you have given it to him if he’d rolled 5 or 6 hits?
As GM, it’s up to you to prioritize what you reveal. I would have HAD to reveal it eventually, but I sure did want to hold it back as long as I could. Some monsters, you’ll want to reveal their weaknesses right up front.
I forgot - I said this elsewhere - I completely forgot to give monsters alignments in the manuscript. The monster’s alignment is generally one of the first things I reveal.
One thing I’d like, which I think you have going well for the social rules, is more guidelines about what you get exactly for each hit. Extra successes games have always failed me in terms of what you get outside of fighting. Fighting always gives you a very specific thing.
Like what does it mean to identify something vs. detect it? What makes me think “oh awesome I identified it instead of just detecting, because now…” or what if I’ve never seen a wolfwalker. Can I still identify it?
Identify is better than detect because you get more data, which definitely should be useful, or potentially useful if used creatively.
If you’ve never seen a wolfwalker before, I’d say you can still identify it. Maybe you’ve heard stories about them and this thing fits the description. This will probably lead to a what can I know about wolfwalkers? roll.
I find that if players get a whole whack of hits on a detect, or what can I know roll, it challenges me to get more creative, which only improves the game.
I think of 2 hits (identifying it) as the success, and 1 hit (detecting it) as a partial success. “There are tracks, but you can’t tell what, or how many, or which direction they’re going.” “There’s definitely magic at work. You can just FEEL it. (Shocker, huh?)” “You can hear something moving around in the darkness. It could be a bird, or a pack of wolves, or maybe a guy in armor, or come to think of it pretty much anything. Kind of big, or maybe smallish. Hard to tell.”
If you don’t know about wolfwalkers but you identify their tracks, I’ll be like “you don’t know what they are, but there are 3 of them and they’re person-sized, loping along at a good clip, 2-legged, but with wolf-like paws.”
Additional hits net details. The first place to look is your monster writeup, where you have a whole pageful of details to give. Failing that, you can, if it makes sense, in effect store the extra hits to become bonus dice in the future.
I was thinking about this last night for that hack stuff, and my thought was that identification and details are sort of like the building blocks for tactical advantage in the inevitable fight. 1 hit isn’t enough to give you any help, but neither are you totally screwed.
That’s good. Yes.
Hits granting additional information in perception tests seems very intuitive, but what about strength tests or similar where victory cannot be so easily portioned out?
For example, would one or more hits allow a character to kick down the door, or would one hit weaken the hinges, two: splinter the wood, three: make a hole to squeeze through and four: open it cleanly?
If the former example is correct, isn’t it nearly always the case that PCs will succeed if it only takes one hit to accomplish a task? If the latter, where do you decided what is a definite success and what is only a partial one?
I think the guidelines on page 56 are pretty good.
You can always just be like “okay, kicking in the door will take 2 hits,” and leave it at that. It doesn’t always have to be 1 hit, and extra hits don’t always have to be good for something.
I am evidentally blind. Or perhaps was in such a rush to absorb such stunning work that I missed vital gameplay elements? Either way, thanks!
I have some foundational roll questions.
First Uber Question is, for a given encounter, how many PCs can make foundational rolls, one or all? Like, examining a very specific place, like a burned-out one-room house, should I take Notice rolls from everyone and then base info on the highest roll? Or for every individual “detail success” for every player, should I give out a different detail?
Charged Conversations specifically: In the book, three PCs talk to the moor woman in the hut, but only one of them makes a charged-conversation roll. Is that how it should always go? Or should each conversation participant get to make a c-c roll, in which case the party has a lot more question-points in its kitty?
Controlling Others rolls: Should these work on monsters? e.g. the big tough Watchguard orders the talking snake to show him where the missing child is, which came up in my game yesterday. (I went ahead and had the snake obey. Admittedly there was just the skeleton left to show, after it had been pooped out the back end of the snake.) The game seems to distinguish between “monsters” and “persons” in ways that might make monsters mechanically immune to Controlling Others, but I’m not sure.
When I have everybody make a notice roll, I always reveal info based on the highest roll, not the sum of rolls. I can imagine circumstances where I’d go with the sum, but it hasn’t happened yet.
In general, for cases like charged conversations, I think of everybody making duplicate rolls (and expecting to sum them) the same way I think of one person re-rolling and re-rolling (and expecting to sum them). That is: nope! If you could pick the lock, you would have on the first roll. If anyone can read her, it’s Mitch. Right?
I’m more likely to make exceptions for perception rolls than any other. Like, if Mitch and Mary have very different agendas with regard to this one NPC, it can be very fun to let them both read her and both ask me their own agenda-driven questions.
Controlling monsters: sometimes! They aren’t mechanically immune, but most monsters will be naturally immune.
If it doesn’t make sense for the PCs to be able to even communicate with the monster - like if it’s terrain, for instance - then a big no.
If they can communicate with the monster but it has absolutely no reason to attend to their communication - like if it’s a wild animal, for instance - then no.
If they can communicate with it and hey, it might just go along with them? Sure, they should roll for it.
If it’s a close case, you can treat the monster’s innate hostility as a challenge to its attention, which’ll reduce their hold to a few instants of wavering, not obedience.
One monster of mine, the PCs happened to find out its master’s true name, and used that to address the monster. I hadn’t planned for it at all, but the clearly appropriate thing to do was to let them roll command and see what happened. If they hadn’t known or hadn’t invoked the master’s true name, I wouldn’t have let them roll command at all.
Awesome. That’s a huge help, thanks.
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