Monday, October 23, 2017

Random rules and rulings

1. Seeing that Arduin had a table for it ("Arduin has something about everything. It's like Dianetics for men." — Psycho Dave), I was inspired to ask how to quickly mimic rope breaking for GURPS. So thus, after folks told me some things, I come up with this:

If you use a rope for more than its listed weight capacity, you must make an HT roll for the rope (assume HT 10 unless you paid more for higher HT) to see if it breaks. The rope is at -1 to HT for each 10% of listed weight capacity by which the load goes over the weight capacity, so for a normal rope, going at 170% of listed weight capacity will always break a normal rope. Remember that this weight capacity is halved for dynamic loads, which would be lifting or climbing without slowing down first (say, in combat, or lifting an animal without making an Animal Handling roll first). Also, a critical failure on a Climbing check while climbing when the rope is overburdened breaks the rope unless the climber's Climbing skill is 16 or better.

2. Weregeld. Seeing as how I like making lawbreaking penalties fines rather than prison time, I wound up reading up on the weregeld. In short, use the Cost of Living-based fines based on the Cost of Living of the victim rather than stock Status 0. So killing a Status -2 bum would be a mere $1,000 weregeld payment to his family or liege lord, but killing a Status 7 king is $600,000,000. I know this does not scale with the historical weregeld (which was about $4,000 for Status 0, with a halving for Status -1, and about $40,000 for killing the king), but it will deter murderhoboes from murderhoboing after a big haul.

EDIT (3nov2017): Since that scales up way too fast, the fines scale up with victim Status +1. Halve for Status -1; quarter for Status -2. Have fines be twofold the Class B/C felony fine for a Class A penalty, but Mīšarkênē is definitely a death penalty jurisdiction.

3. We didn't play on Sunday, as we had one player out-of-town and another in the hospital (again). So Roman, who plays Xórin the fox-man, his nephew Joseph, who may be joining us shortly, and I all played Blackmoor at the Source Comics and Games, which is kind of a Midwest Mecca for nerdery. Bob Meyer, who played Robert the Bald in the original Blackmoor game, ran the game. According to him, he inherited the game when Dave Arneson died. I never got to play with Dave even though I had met him a few times in the early Nineties, so this was the closest I could come. (My brother, however, not a huge D&D player, not only played with Dave, he got his D&D Rules Cyclopedia signed by Dave and Ross Maker and whoever else was around that night. Lucky little shit.) I'm the guy wearing the Cartman t-shirt, Roman is next to me in the black T-shirt and with one side of his face that looks like it was caught in a time glitch with the panoramic shot, and Joseph is in the Twins tuque. No, it wasn't cold in there, so I don't know what was with the tuque.

How was it? Fun. It was rules-light, with us playing ourselves as one of a man-at-arms (what I played; there were two others), the guard captain (who served as the caller), a couple of scholars (Roman, who could cast spells by smashing a vial of Blackmoor water), three scouts (Joseph), and one woodsman (er, woodswoman, who was one of Dave's "Scandihairians," or hairy Vikings drawing on Dave's Norwegian ancestry). We cleared out two levels of Castle Blackmoor, with Orcs and Trolls, and managed to burn out six rooms, including the floor of one room. We all had one special power of our choosing—mine was to be able to make friends with anyone, which I didn't tell the others, leading to a funny episode wherein the I led out the first Orc we met, with the intent of having him show me where the other Orcs were, and instead the other fighters killed him. (Plus there was the idea of having my own Orc army.) It was a good lesson in keeping things non-linear.

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