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PostPosted: Thu Apr 26, 2018 2:33 pm 
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Keep hearing that the various player character types are overpowered, apart from Knights and Barbarians. Although I have thoughts about terrain rules to improve the power of the barbarian in his native territory, perhaps one alternative is to explore negative effects? I mean like in old book 6 where assassins are hunted. Perhaps we can create these 'disabilities' or debts or obligations to make sure that life as a marvel superhero becomes warped? Maybe the sorcerors are more susceptible to madness? Mystics are cursed, and maybe Hellions love dragging sorcerors to hell? How about every warlock offends all those in the demon realm? I can understand having more knights and barbarians but having a party of superheroes seems too easy. What about susceptibility to disease for mystics?

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 26, 2018 7:21 pm 
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If power levels are an issue, you could 'balance' it by making rank progression slower for the overpowered professions. Dock 10% or 20% of XP at the conclusion of an adventure, and they will slowly fall behind by a rank or two against their warrior colleagues.

Anything more bespoke and you would be better revising the professions as a whole.


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 27, 2018 1:21 am 
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Well, thats one way. Or we could impose looks penalties since the seventh son of a seventh son might be 'different'. I'm inclined to brainstorm ideas. Think of the debts you owe? Perhaps the teacher of a sorceror owes an obligation to send souls to hell. Of course, then again, you might have to disguise your left handedness and claim to be an astrologer or accountant to avoid scaring people.

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 27, 2018 12:17 pm 
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I think you're talking about role-playing, Kharille, which should be entirely separate from whether a character is more or less effective in combat than another character (a largely meaningless debate in an RPG, except those hack 'n' slash style adventure games than try to pass themselves off as role-playing games).

But, yes, I couldn't agree more that characters should be role-played and players should be encouraged to develop interesting backgrounds that carry plenty of opportunities for interesting and twisting narratives into their adventuring careers, not just those facets that provide them with in-game advantages but those that provide them with depth and conflict too.

It's the same with low ability scores - so many players see these as a disadvantage to be fudged/rerolled/ignored rather than as an opportunity to actually role-play (but isn't that the point of the game?)

https://www.cobwebbedforest.co.uk/library/abilities.php#low

Note that I haven't quite fixed the bookmark displays on this page - like so much of the site, it's still in a "transitional" phase...

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 27, 2018 1:14 pm 
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I have been playing and running DW games for (embarrassed mumble) almost 30 years and I've never seen much of the "overpowered" or "superhuman" abilities that keep getting mentioned. If fresh to the fight, the magic classes tend to be more powerful, but look at them again half way through a hard day's adventuring and it's the Knight or the Barbarian who, with their heavier armour and good health, can keep going. The one class that was more powerful was the Warlock - but this has been massively toned down in the revised DW.*
* Perhaps a little too far IMO - especially as other classes (Elementalists, Mystics, Assassins) have been given extra abilities.

I have to agree with the replies above: the principal balancing factors are the setting - the Lands of Legend. Here, the Knight has the best possibilities for social advancement. I tend to see the Knight as any warriors trained in disciplined fighting styles, with heavy armour; so they could be a knight (in the true sense of the word), a sergeant, a man-at-arms, a legionary, etc. All these have a place in society which they can fit into - they can gain employment, social status, lands, etc. Similarly, a barbarian would be at home in his homelands, but could be seen as "exotic" and given leeway for his behaviour which others might not get. If successful, he may still gain the rewards and respect offered to foreign soldiery - not as great as those of a Knight, but fine nonetheless.

Sorcerers, Elementalists and Warlocks, on the other hand, stand outside society and have to tread that delicate path between being feared/respected and being outlawed/hunted. Sorcerers (and Warlocks) could easily find themselves targeted and, in the world of Legend, Knights would know how to deal with such individuals - the crossbow which a Knight normally shuns as dishonourable in combat may well be picked up to go hunt a sorcerer! The Elementalist, perhaps a godi or shaman in his own lands, has to worry about the True Faith when adventuring...

The Assassin has the worst time of all - they are effectively "contract killers" and, if they are found out, may suffer the full weight of the local law; their friends might even be considered guilty by association (imagine someone you know is suddenly exposed as a hitman). And what good is your treasure if you can't spend it? The Assassin (and his party) may find himself forced to trade with shady characters who know they can take full advantage - selling at a premium (charging 2x or 3x what the goods would normally cost)...

I think the advantages and disadvantages are all there - it's just down to the setting and how you role-play within it.


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 27, 2018 4:54 pm 
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Well, one example is the 2nd edition elementalist who now has the raw power ability. Very spectacular I'm sure. We've added skills for the knights and barbarians. But in the games I'm seeing we're seeing all the other professions played out rather than more meatshields.

Old book 6 did something good in expanding on more of the medieval age perceptions, fluff and all. I figure more work on fluff, medieval age fluff to help create the mood would be great. Perhaps a series of adventures where players are obliged to follow the quest not hoping for loot at the end of the tunnel but more of personal debts, gratitude to a patron and charity.


If there wasn't any silver, would the players bother rescuing Clothilda? I need to reread old book 3, see if they gave Clothilda a looks score...

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 27, 2018 7:30 pm 
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Well, one example is the 2nd edition elementalist who now has the raw power ability. Very spectacular I'm sure.

And, thankfully, re-written in a more toned-down version* in the Players Handbook (pg. 80) with some interesting side-effects.
* As written in the new DW rulebook, it was the 'nuclear bomb' of abilities.

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Old book 6 did something good in expanding on more of the medieval age perceptions, fluff and all. I figure more work on fluff, medieval age fluff to help create the mood would be great. Perhaps a series of adventures where players are obliged to follow the quest not hoping for loot at the end of the tunnel but more of personal debts, gratitude to a patron and charity.

Yes, Book 6 was (and remains) my favourite DW book, having a wealth of background information often lacking in role-playing games. Very few of the games I run have 'loot' as the prime motivator; treasure is the by-product of the adventurer's deeds.

The King Arthur Pendragon RPG changed things a bit by replacing 'experience points' with 'glory'. The 'glory' works in similar ways to experience (in that it can be used to buy an increase in skills and abilities for the character), but is allocated for deeds done. There is almost as much experience to be gained from a dazzling display at court as there is for slaying a beast; which encourages players to have their characters interact with the society around them.

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If there wasn't any silver, would the players bother rescuing Clothilda?

That's up to the players. I once had a group who wouldn't budge if there wasn't an offer of reward up front... One day I set up a game where the adventure relied on them doing something because it was the 'right' and 'adventurous' thing to do (with no immediate prospect of reward): when they didn't go for it I simply announced there was no adventure, time moved on (and they had to calculate living expenses) and there was no game that evening. I can't remember what the adventure was, but I do remember the looks of incredulity on the players' faces! They learned...*

* There isn't a limitless supply of adventure. If the players won't pursue the adventure, then there is no game. If the players are going to be purely mercenary, their characters should sign up to a warband and then you can switch to an appropriate wargame (as there's not much point to the role-playing side of things)...

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I need to reread old book 3, see if they gave Clothilda a looks score...

They didn't. She's described as blonde and wears a dress - after that, it's up to the GM.

Her Looks shouldn't matter: a person has been kidnapped and may never be seen again - her friends and family would be distraught. If the characters choose not to help (in this or similar circumstances) then you can pile on the guilt - the villagers may not blame the characters, but it should be clear how disappointed they are in them (some younger hotheads might be downright hostile). Tales of adventure would dry up as the villagers realise these characters are not heroes and, therefore, not worth the telling; food served them would be of lower quality (as they don't deserve the best); and the tale of their cowardice/indifference/sloth may well travel...


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 27, 2018 7:59 pm 
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In my experience, although the original Assassin and Warlock professions were indeed overpowered, the most unbalancing aspect of character creation was the luck of the dice when rolling attributes.

A lucky 16+ in the right place could put you a rank or two ahead of your companions in certain abilities and skills. The same for health points; a variance of +/- 5 was massive when you only earned +1 per rank at best.

They were two of the first things I 'fixed' in house rules. No random Health Points, and players could 'order' their characteristic rolls before they rolled the dice ("my highest roll will be in Strength, my next highest in Reflexes etc.), discarding all if the sum was below average. Also no dump stats - Looks gave you benefits to Perception and Health points (or penalties if it was low!).


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 28, 2018 12:46 am 
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Starkad wrote:

Her Looks shouldn't matter: a person has been kidnapped and may never be seen again - her friends and family would be distraught. If the characters choose not to help (in this or similar circumstances) then you can pile on the guilt - the villagers may not blame the characters, but it should be clear how disappointed they are in them (some younger hotheads might be downright hostile). Tales of adventure would dry up as the villagers realise these characters are not heroes and, therefore, not worth the telling; food served them would be of lower quality (as they don't deserve the best); and the tale of their cowardice/indifference/sloth may well travel...





But looks MUST matter! If I was rping realistically and if Clothilda had a fly problem then I'd probably charge the father a hell of a lot of gold! Don't forget not everyone has the time to chase after village idiots because they hang out with their hobgoblin friends.

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 28, 2018 4:18 am 
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Starkad wrote:
They didn't. She's described as blonde and wears a dress - after that, it's up to the GM.


Not quite. She's described as "buxom". In the newer edition she's "scrawny" which is more consistent with the description of Ereworn being a cursed pestilential land suffering from chronic food shortages.

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