Rough Night for a Red Wedding

So this was the title of my scenario for TobCon 3. At some point I’ll write it up, but I just want to put my thoughts behind it here, as well as some notes as to how I think it went and what I might do with it, given my experience.

The original idea came from a combination of several which I had brainstormed. I had difficulty working out how any one of them might be developed into a con scenario, and hit upon the idea of using Rough Night at the Three Feathers, which had just been reissued for 4e, as a structure. In that scenario, a whole bunch of separate storylines come together over a fixed period of time. There’s a Keystone Cops quality of escalating problems that I rather like. I figured that by putting the PCs in a limited space and hitting them with a bunch of different storylines over a limited time period, I could combine plotting and PC choice in a one-off that could be done in four hours.

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TobCon 3 Report

I had the privilege of going to the third TobCon in London at the end of August. Spread out over Saturday and Sunday, I got to play three games and run one.

My own game, Rough Night for a Red Wedding was initially meant as an homage to Rough Night at the Three Feathers, and I’ll have a bit more to say about how that went in a separate post. The three games I played were all packed with great ideas, even though the respective systems didn’t always support the game style as well as they could have.

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Passive Perception

I should probably rename this blog, ‘The Annual Empire’…

That being said, here’s a little idea I had while rereading the Zweihänder rulebook recently.

One of the rules issues that’s bothered me for years is how to run what Zweihänder calls “Secret Tests”. The classic example of this is the test to spot an ambush: it’s the kind of test the player needs to roll, but the very act of rolling tips the player off to what the PC is trying to achieve. Spotting whether an NPC is telling the truth is another example.

Zweihänder has a nice little solution, by having the player roll, but the GM doesn’t reveal the difficulty modifier: the player rolls, the GM describes the result, and in edge cases, at least, the player won’t know how far to trust the GM.

There are, inevitably, weaknesses to this method. It penalises near-successes, for example. But generally, I think it’s a pretty cool way to maintain suspense.

But another way to resolve these issues in a d100 system would be to make more use of the respective digits. I’m a fan of d100 precisely because it can do cool stuff with the various numbers it produces in a single roll (e.g. the d100, the result reversed, the two face digits – other possibilities exist, like the 2d10 sum; the d100 is super-flexible).

So maybe the GM sets a difficulty number from 1-10 to spot an ambush, avoid a guard, detect a lie, or the like, with higher being more difficult. In the case of a roll against an opponent, the base difficulty might be the tens digit of that opponent’s respective skill. So a guard with an awareness of 42 would set a base difficulty of 4, perhaps modified for weather, light, etc.

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News!

It’s ALIVE!!!

Some recent news:

  • WFRP4 is out and I played and ran it last weekend at Tobcon 2 in London. I liked it! Is it exactly what I wanted out of a 4e? No, of course not. But it’s an improvement on 2e, while returning to much of what was good about that game.
  • I’ve posted the notes and pregens for the 4e game I ran at Tobcon here, under Downloads. They are just notes, though.
  • Cubicle 7 have also been putting out cleaned-up PDFs of all the 1e material, including hard-to-find stuff like ‘Marienburg: Sold Down the River’. You can get them via Drivethru here.
  • The first supplement for Zweihänder, Main Gauche, is in the last few days of its Kickstarter here. It’s funded and is currently going for more stretch goals. It covers Chaos, among other things.

 

Old Money

First of all, apologies for the lack of posting recently. No excuse!

Secondly, a recent thread on rpg.net on things you like that no-one else does reminded me that I really like the 1 Crown = 20 Shillings = 240 Pence system. I’m nowhere near old enough to remember the old money in the UK, but it’s actually a very intuitive system, dividing neatly, as it does, into thirds, quarters, sixths and eighths. Once you’ve got your head round having to calculate in fractions, it’s pretty easy.

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