Some changes to make Conan even grittier...

taylor

Mongoose
The players in my group really like the gritty feeling of the Conan rpg, but also feel it's still too fantasy-ish in regards to damage and a few other things.

Here's a list of changes I've come up with:


Age:
Every 5 years after a character's 30th year, they lose 1 point of Constitution, Dexterity and Strength to a minimum of 3. Every year a character's age is under 18, they lose 1 point from each stat to a minimum of 1.


Defence Values:
Armour class (dodge) = D20 + base combat skill + dex mod + misc bonuses
Armour class (parry) = D20 + base combat skill + str mod + shield bonus + misc bonuses (ranged attacks cannot be parried without a shield)


Critical hits:
The extra damage of a critical hit is constitution damage as well as Endurance damage. All constitution damage is considered a serious injury (broken bones etc) and carries additional penalties dependant on circumstance.


Endurance:
Endurance equals Constitution. For every size level above large double a monster's Endurance. For every size level below small half a monster's Endurance. Any change that affects Constitution affects Endurance. Monsters without any Constitution use Endurance as given in the LWRPG book.


Fate Points:
Each character has a maximum of 1 fate point unless otherwise noted. They may be used in one of 3 ways:
Mighty blow - If the attack hits it does the maximum possible damage and shatters the attackers weapon (it might still be possible to use it as an improvised weapon).
Last chance - Allows the character to take 20 on any one roll.
Cheat death - If a character has died, they may use a Fate Point and instead be at -5 points, unconscious and stable.


Gender:
When assigning ability scores, females add two points to Charisma to a maximum of 18, and subtract three points from strength, to a minimum of 3.


Feat Changes:
The Improved Grapple feat no longer has Improved Unarmed Strike as a prerequisite.
The Crushing Blow feat no longer has Str 17 as a prerequisite


Holy Weapons:
If a weapon with the attribute Holy successfully strikes a creature with Subtype: Evil listed as a feature, it will deal out 4d6 Constitution damage, doubled on a successful critical hit. In all other respects it is a normal non magical weapon. If the GM decides a holy weapon has been used to commit an evil act, it loses its special abilities and may be sundered (GM's decision).


Massive Damage:
Taking damage more than your Constitution forces you to make a massive damage saving throw DC is equal to damage. If saving throw is failed you are dead.


Recovery:
Endurance is recovered at a rate equal to a character's fortitude save per day (min of 1). Non lethal damage is recovered at 1 per hour. Ability damage is recovered at 1 point per week of rest.


Sneak Attacks:
All sneak attack class features are d3 damage per dice of sneak attack and ignore armour damage reduction.


So, combat is now very lethal, though blows are easier to parry and dodge. The grapple related feats have been changed a little to represent you don't have to be strong to use submissions techniques (though strength helps, hence it the str mod addition to the grapple chack in the first place).
The Pheonix on the sword bit has been replaced with a more general rule, to represent the fact all cultures have legendary evil fighting weapons. Of course, these would never be simply handed out to players: there are probably only a handful in existance at any one time.

I'll have to play test this a lot...

Anyone have any comments? :)
 

Jason Durall

Mongoose
taylor said:
Age:
Every 5 years after a character's 30th year, they lose 1 point of Constitution, Dexterity and Strength to a minimum of 3. Every year a character's age is under 18, they lose 1 point from each stat to a minimum of 1.
This would seem to run counter to having a character like the aged King Conan, who's still a fearsome opponent.
taylor said:
Critical hits:
The extra damage of a critical hit is constitution damage as well as Endurance damage. All constitution damage is considered a serious injury (broken bones etc) and carries additional penalties dependant on circumstance.
Wow. This will serve to make critical hits the equivalent of killing blows.
taylor said:
Gender:
When assigning ability scores, females add two points to Charisma to a maximum of 18, and subtract three points from strength, to a minimum of 3.
I'm not going near this one, but it seems profoundly sexist and seems to channel females into roles of hapless females rather than competent warriors. In most d20 games, any stat penalties are at least balanced with equal stat bonuses. Any reason in particular you don't want strong female characters? Red Sonja, Valeria, and Belit don't do it for you?
taylor said:
Holy Weapons:
If a weapon with the attribute Holy successfully strikes a creature with Subtype: Evil listed as a feature, it will deal out 4d6 Constitution damage, doubled on a successful critical hit. In all other respects it is a normal non magical weapon. If the GM decides a holy weapon has been used to commit an evil act, it loses its special abilities and may be sundered (GM's decision).
This goes almost entirely against the whole Hyborian mythos, where there are few outright "good" gods, and "holy" is an empty word. But it's you campaign. You mention that these won't fall into the PC's hands, so why bother to introduce them?
taylor said:
So, combat is now very lethal, though blows are easier to parry and dodge.
My players generally feel that combats full of lots of dodges, parries, misses, and otherwise ineffectual attacks are less interesting than ones where opponents are hit frequently and whittled down to size. If these rules apply equally to NPCs as they do PCs, you'll find the PCs with a sense of helplessness when they are spending much of combat missing or being parried or dodged.
taylor said:
I'll have to play test this a lot...
Yes. I'd recommend scaling back so many of the dramatic combat changes, or introducing them into your playtest one new rule at a time, to keep them in check against one another. My feeling is that you'll find that the rules make combat too much of a gunfight, where the first one to hit is usually the winner.
 

taylor

Mongoose
Thanks for your reply!

This would seem to run counter to having a character like the aged King Conan, who's still a fearsome opponent.
It would tone him down a bit, but his attack bonus and defensive values would more than make up for it.

I'm not going near this one, but it seems profoundly sexist and seems to channel females into roles of hapless females rather than competent warriors. In most d20 games, any stat penalties are at least balanced with equal stat bonuses. Any reason in particular you don't want strong female characters? Red Sonja, Valeria, and Belit don't do it for you?
Were Belit et al as strong as Conan? Maybe as deadly, but remotely as strong? You might say it's sexist, but I prefer to call it realistic. Women are, on average not as strong as men. It's a biological fact. Not very PC, but the truth. Doesn't make them worse, just different and therefore have to rely on different abilities a little more. You are right about the bonus bit though, I should up the Cha bonus by 3.

This goes almost entirely against the whole Hyborian mythos, where there are few outright "good" gods, and "holy" is an empty word. But it's you campaign. You mention that these won't fall into the PC's hands, so why bother to introduce them?
You are exactly right. They are inferred to be "bane" weapons rather than holy ones. They might work against demons, or humans, or man apes or any one particular creature type. The players won't get their hands on one as a matter of course, but they might obtain one temporarily during a campaign.

My players generally feel that combats full of lots of dodges, parries, misses, and otherwise ineffectual attacks are less interesting than ones where opponents are hit frequently and whittled down to size. If these rules apply equally to NPCs as they do PCs, you'll find the PCs with a sense of helplessness when they are spending much of combat missing or being parried or dodged.
Fair enough, though my players feel like getting hit a dozen times with a sword and still standing is a bit munchkinish. This approach might cure them of that though!

Yes. I'd recommend scaling back so many of the dramatic combat changes, or introducing them into your playtest one new rule at a time, to keep them in check against one another. My feeling is that you'll find that the rules make combat too much of a gunfight, where the first one to hit is usually the winner.
The first one to hit in a swordfight should be the winner. I think I'll have to speed up level progression by a decent chunk to compensate though. Thanks for your reply though mate, I appreciate it.
 

InsomNY

Mongoose
You're making the classic gamer's mistake, assuming that a hit means the sword found flesh and took a chunk out of the opponent. That's not what hit points are -- at least not until you're down to the last few and are in danger of the next hit dropping you. People have been doing this since 1976, and it drives me crazy. This type of combat isn't supposed to be realistic -- it's representational.

Hit points are exhaustion, near misses, luck and skill that turn a deadly stroke aside. To a lesser extent, they're physical toughness and how much harm you can take before you die.

Think of it this way: an attack that misses (meaning the to-hit roll fails) was turned aside without major effort by the target. An attack that hits was still blocked/dodged, but it cost the target something in order to get out of the way. They had to scramble, or their armor absorbed the killing force of the blow, and they're now in a worse position than before. If that happens enough, they're out of tricks -- the next hit, which would have been avoided, strikes home.

If your players think that taking multiple hits is munchkinish, try describing the combat in these terms instead of each fight being a giblet-fest contest to see who can carve the most steaks off of everybody else.
 

argo

Mongoose
taylor said:
Age:
Every 5 years after a character's 30th year, they lose 1 point of Constitution, Dexterity and Strength to a minimum of 3. Every year a character's age is under 18, they lose 1 point from each stat to a minimum of 1.
1) are you aware that there are already age adjustments for d20?
2) Those penalties are massive most of the population will be feeble and dotering by age 40 :?
3) King Conan's level bonuses would not make up for such massive penalties. At least not and leave him the sort of character Howard wrote about, who could take on dozens of elite warriors half his age.
4) and IME ... it doesn't really matter. Only very unconventional campaigns will see more than a few years pass in character. I've never seen age penalties come into play unless the character started off as old.

Defence Values:
Armour class (dodge) = D20 + base combat skill + dex mod + misc bonuses
Armour class (parry) = D20 + base combat skill + str mod + shield bonus + misc bonuses (ranged attacks cannot be parried without a shield)
Not sure what you mean by "base combat skill"? You mean BAB? That really will make characters impossibly hard to hit. Except that you are using opposed rolls. Normally I'm not too bothered by opposed rolls but combined with that it will make combat almost completly random (who rolls high, who rolls low)

Critical hits:
The extra damage of a critical hit is constitution damage as well as Endurance damage. All constitution damage is considered a serious injury (broken bones etc) and carries additional penalties dependant on circumstance.
So basically wound points. First crit wins. Thats certainly is deadly.

Gender:
When assigning ability scores, females add two points to Charisma to a maximum of 18, and subtract three points from strength, to a minimum of 3.
I don't give a hoot for politically correct in my RPG's. I also don't give a hoot for "realism" in my RPG's either. Gender is best left as a consideration for role-playing. You shouldn't pegionhole all potential female PC's like that, if someone wants a charming, weak female character let them put a high score in Cha and a low score in Str, like any other character.

Also, it is bad game design to use odd-numbered ability score adjustments. Use only even-sumbered adjustments.

Holy Weapons:
If a weapon with the attribute Holy successfully strikes a creature with Subtype: Evil listed as a feature, it will deal out 4d6 Constitution damage, doubled on a successful critical hit. In all other respects it is a normal non magical weapon. If the GM decides a holy weapon has been used to commit an evil act, it loses its special abilities and may be sundered (GM's decision).
I agree that this does not fit the Conan flavor very well. I have no comment on its balance since it is dependent on a hitpoint system that I am already starting to feel is unbalanced.

Massive Damage:
Taking damage more than your Constitution forces you to make a massive damage saving throw DC is equal to damage. If saving throw is failed you are dead.
Most games either pick Wound Points OR Lowered Massive Damage. Using both is extra special deadly. But that seems to be what you are going for.

Later.
 

argo

Mongoose
taylor said:
Fair enough, though my players feel like getting hit a dozen times with a sword and still standing is a bit munchkinish. This approach might cure them of that though!
As InsomNY said, hitpoints are an abstract concept. No part of the d20 system requires that a loss of hitpoints always means an injury, or even physical contact, occured. As a matter of fact the system (and the system designers) strongly encourage just the opposite. A loss of hitpoints that does not leave the character dangerously close to death can easily be described as a near miss, a desprate last-moment dodge by the character that exhausts his endurance somewhat. A massive-damage blow is one that involves running a sword through someones' gut.

The first one to hit in a swordfight should be the winner. I think I'll have to speed up level progression by a decent chunk to compensate though. Thanks for your reply though mate, I appreciate it.
Have you ever seen Ken Hood's Grim 'n Gritty rules? I don't use 'em because they are too deadly for my taste (and I love Conan) but they really are excellent and highly regarded.

Hope that helps.
 

taylor

Mongoose
1) are you aware that there are already age adjustments for d20?
2) Those penalties are massive most of the population will be feeble and dotering by age 40
3) King Conan's level bonuses would not make up for such massive penalties. At least not and leave him the sort of character Howard wrote about, who could take on dozens of elite warriors half his age.
Conan is about 44 in hour of the Dragon, so going by the present d20 stats would have 2 less str, con and dex. Not exactly game breaking. The current d20 aging rules are rediculous IMO.


As InsomNY said, hitpoints are an abstract concept. No part of the d20 system requires that a loss of hitpoints always means an injury, or even physical contact, occured. As a matter of fact the system (and the system designers) strongly encourage just the opposite. A loss of hitpoints that does not leave the character dangerously close to death can easily be described as a near miss, a desprate last-moment dodge by the character that exhausts his endurance somewhat. A massive-damage blow is one that involves running a sword through someones' gut.
Then why bother with non lethal damage? Hit points are good for reducing the effects of randomness of the system and for the survivability of higher level pc's. Simply put, a lot of people like the threat of their pc's dying, but only if it's a distant threat. The people in my group feel that any combat is dangerous, and that the threat of death is always imminent when fighting. They are mostly soldiers in real life, so maybe that's where they get that from?


Have you ever seen Ken Hood's Grim 'n Gritty rules? I don't use 'em because they are too deadly for my taste (and I love Conan) but they really are excellent and highly regarded.
They look really good, though fairly complicated. And it would be a massive effort to convert all the conan bits than effect hp into pips.
 

Higa

Mongoose
Taylor: check out Dragon Lords of Melniboné for ideas: as I recall, it has alot of goodies for making combat deadlier (well, one thing, at least) - yet still simple and uncomplicated. I ran a couple of sessions some years ago, and the Pc's that choose combat had to live with really hurting bodies, broken bones, pierced lungs, disfigured faces and stuff like that.

As I recall, every time some one took more damage than their CON, or got Massive Damage, they had to roll on a critical hit chart aswell... very nasty.

I feel that Dragon Lords of Melnibones Critical Hits Rules is maybe exactly what you need (if Im not misinterpreting things) in your game. It can be incorporated into any D20-game.
 

Bregales

Mongoose
Hi there. Well, I don't go for real real life in my game, but I like it to feel as if it's really going on. However, I'm not adopting aging or such rules per se in my game, but thought I'd just add --

Women in the middle ages typically married by the age of 10, and had a kid or two by the age of 12. The average male lived to about 36 years old. This assumes mostly the serf class, but can be considered among the upper classes as well.

Now in Howard's stories, you don't usually see many old people about. You certainly do in the case of sorcerers, witches and oracles, but not the general populace. Conan ages between the various stories (which as most people know weren't written chronologically), but doesn't weaken.

Lastly, most people accept that the stories were escapist, allowing people to dodge the woes of the Great Depression, yet the stories were believable, felt more realistic even as the things happening, terrorizing or battling in the stories were escapist, compared to some of the other writers of escapist fiction goes. So basically, I like the realistic feel of combat, but am not going to impose aging or sex modifications in my game, even though I think there's validity in your posts. If you really want that kind of realism, then check out Chaosium's soon to be released 5th edition of the King Arthur Pendragon game (if it's anything like the earlier releases, aging you describe is covered in winter phases, differences in sex, emotions and passions all have direct effects on the characters, who typically don't live past age 50).
 

Sutek

Mongoose
Taylor, my man, I just think you and your players are missing some key things, the first of which is that Conana is already freakin' deadly enough without all your ammendments. Now some of these comments may sound harsh, but it's all really intended as constructive, but some of your ideas just as flat-out broken. I may have crossed a sarcasm line down there a coupold of times, so brace yourself (lol) and take it all with the best of intentions from me.:
taylor said:
Age:
Every 5 years after a character's 30th year, they lose 1 point of Constitution, Dexterity and Strength to a minimum of 3. Every year a character's age is under 18, they lose 1 point from each stat to a minimum of 1.
Age adjustments have already been beat down. I'm comfortable with the age penalties and bonuses given in the rules, but I can only assume that you are under 20 and just feel that 30yrs+ = Crippled (lol). Those are harsh penalties and dont'jibe with King Conan, as stated already.

taylor said:
Defence Values:
Armour class (dodge) = D20 + base combat skill + dex mod + misc bonuses
Armour class (parry) = D20 + base combat skill + str mod + shield bonus + misc bonuses (ranged attacks cannot be parried without a shield)
Doesn't work. Opposed rolls leave everyone with the better option of choosing light weapons and making Finesse attacks. If one person rolls a low Defense roll, just about any enemy blow ignores his armor entirely. That's insane and totally unrealistic. Reread the rules for Finesse attacks (AE pg154).

taylor said:
Critical hits:
The extra damage of a critical hit is constitution damage as well as Endurance damage. All constitution damage is considered a serious injury (broken bones etc) and carries additional penalties dependant on circumstance.

Um...you do know that a broadsword deals 2d10 damage plus strength, and that can easily make the current Conan Massive Damage value of 20 against nearly any medium armored opponent, right? I mean, one shot can force a FORT save in round one, which the opponent could fail and die. It's really that easy to kill stuff in Conan right now so I totally don't see the need for Crits dealing CON damage. Now, one thing you could say is that CON x CON bonus = WOUND THRESHOLD. I like this. In other words, say there a CON 15(+2). This guy would ahve a 30 WT, and so if he makes it through a combat, for each time he suffers 30hp of damage he is inflicted with a scar or wound that can't be fully healed (like a finger that got chopped off or a severly broken nose).

taylor said:
Endurance:
Endurance equals Constitution. For every size level above large double a monster's Endurance. For every size level below small half a monster's Endurance. Any change that affects Constitution affects Endurance. Monsters without any Constitution use Endurance as given in the LWRPG book.
I presume this is to have a Load capacity for mounts or something? Combat Fatigue maybe? Not sure what you're doing this for.

taylor said:
Fate Points:
Each character has a maximum of 1 fate point unless otherwise noted. They may be used in one of 3 ways:
Mighty blow - If the attack hits it does the maximum possible damage and shatters the attackers weapon (it might still be possible to use it as an improvised weapon).
Last chance - Allows the character to take 20 on any one roll.
Cheat death - If a character has died, they may use a Fate Point and instead be at -5 points, unconscious and stable.

You can feel free to do what you like with FP, but allowing only one seems harsh.

taylor said:
Gender:
When assigning ability scores, females add two points to Charisma to a maximum of 18, and subtract three points from strength, to a minimum of 3.

That WWF chick, China, could kick my ass. It's because she's friggin strong, dude. I'd say, make it an option of r starting female character so get a +2CHA in trade for a -2STR if they want to. No upward limit capping at 18, because there are races that can achieve higher than that off racial adjustments alone.

taylor said:
Feat Changes:
The Improved Grapple feat no longer has Improved Unarmed Strike as a prerequisite.
The Crushing Blow feat no longer has Str 17 as a prerequisite
I just think this is unnesecary, particularly in the case of Improved Grapple. Grapples are bad enough, and without imposing IUS as a prereq, you put normal human beings on par with wild animals in the bestiary. Read the entry for Saber-tooth and Improved Grab and you'll see what I mean.

taylor said:
Holy Weapons:
If a weapon with the attribute Holy successfully strikes a creature with Subtype: Evil listed as a feature, it will deal out 4d6 Constitution damage, doubled on a successful critical hit. In all other respects it is a normal non magical weapon. If the GM decides a holy weapon has been used to commit an evil act, it loses its special abilities and may be sundered (GM's decision).

I guess that all depends on if you want demons to be something like 3 times easier to kill than, say, a Badger. I don't get this as a "gritter" change at all, man.

taylor said:
Massive Damage:
Taking damage more than your Constitution forces you to make a massive damage saving throw DC is equal to damage. If saving throw is failed you are dead.
Using this instead of the normal MD value of 20 is reasonable and makes the game tons more deadly. Good call here, but keep in mind that people will then just choose to use Bardiche (2d10+(STRx1.5)) and kill people in one blow left, right and center...

taylor said:
Recovery:
Endurance is recovered at a rate equal to a character's fortitude save per day (min of 1). Non lethal damage is recovered at 1 per hour. Ability damage is recovered at 1 point per week of rest.
I wouldn't make it on the FORT save because there are feats and other things that emphasise the more abstract nature of saves versus actual abilities. Current healing is 3+CON mod + 1 per character level) SImply drop the +1 per lvl part and then everyone heals the same rate no matter thier experience level. That's a massively deadly change right there.

taylor said:
Sneak Attacks:
All sneak attack class features are d3 damage per dice of sneak attack and ignore armour damage reduction.
Well, I don't know what that "d3 damage per dice of sneak attack" is...it doesn't really make sense, and if it's meant to be +d3 per die, then that's far too much. The "ignore armour damge reduction" is already the case should the sneak attacker make a successful Finesse Attack. I think that's deadly enough. Not only that, but with a high Bluff skill, they can do it every round almost.

I just think you need to read up on some of the key rules here a little more, buecause this is already one of the most deadly cames out there. Lowering MD to be equal to CON is a good plan, and that coupled with changing recovery to not be affected by character level will make the game almost ...well, probably about...twice as deadly right there.
 
Jason Durall said:
taylor said:
Gender:
When assigning ability scores, females add two points to Charisma to a maximum of 18, and subtract three points from strength, to a minimum of 3.
I'm not going near this one, but it seems profoundly sexist and seems to channel females into roles of hapless females rather than competent warriors. In most d20 games, any stat penalties are at least balanced with equal stat bonuses. Any reason in particular you don't want strong female characters? Red Sonja, Valeria, and Belit don't do it for you?

Taylor's lucky I am lot less ornery than last year after that comment but I'll actually argue in his favour- though I won't back his game mechanics. The less fair gender has better upper body strength per effort expended in strength conditioning that we do, though we've got the higher level of endurance if we choose to develop it. Evolution meant you to do all the rough stuff and us to survive long enough so we can carry on creating the next generation. That's why rape is more or less one sided affair- and why I usually carry an lethalsque equalizer on my person most days. I'd love to bag a would-be rapist legally one day. It'd make me smile. 8)
 

Bushido

Mongoose
Were Belit et al as strong as Conan? Maybe as deadly, but remotely as strong? You might say it's sexist, but I prefer to call it realistic. Women are, on average not as strong as men. It's a biological fact. Not very PC, but the truth. Doesn't make them worse, just different and therefore have to rely on different abilities a little more. You are right about the bonus bit though, I should up the Cha bonus by 3.

I got to say that I agree wih you, generally, women are not as strong as men, but there are RARE exceptions. I't silly to have a women as strong as a men in this RPG. Their BAB, dex, dodge and parry might be equal to men, but not strenght.
 

Sutek

Mongoose
It's not silly at all, fellas. This is an RPG and physically strong women willing to break into castles, fight demons and all that are only as comon as the players willing to make them. That's why there are no gender bonuses/penalties right now in the rules.

You don't think a woman can be as strong as a man, don't make STR your highest ability.

Besides that, I've seen hot looking women that can bench press a Chrysler...
 

argo

Mongoose
Bushido said:
Were Belit et al as strong as Conan? Maybe as deadly, but remotely as strong? You might say it's sexist, but I prefer to call it realistic. Women are, on average not as strong as men. It's a biological fact. Not very PC, but the truth. Doesn't make them worse, just different and therefore have to rely on different abilities a little more. You are right about the bonus bit though, I should up the Cha bonus by 3.
I'm repeating myself but, this is a fantasy game with magic, demons and all the rest. "Realism" is defenitly a lesser consideration than fun. If a player wants to make a strong female PC why shouldn't they?

And once again, odd-numbered ability score adjustments are bad game design.

Later.
 

taylor

Mongoose
Bregales,
Hi there. Well, I don't go for real real life in my game, but I like it to feel as if it's really going on. However, I'm not adopting aging or such rules per se in my game, but thought I'd just add --

Women in the middle ages typically married by the age of 10, and had a kid or two by the age of 12. The average male
lived to about 36 years old. This assumes mostly the serf class, but can be considered among the upper classes as well.
Now in Howard's stories, you don't usually see many old people about. You certainly do in the case of sorcerers, witches and oracles, but not the general populace. Conan ages between the various stories (which as most people know weren't written chronologically), but doesn't weaken.
Saying what typically happened in the middle ages is full of holes. Are you talking about the 11thC or the 15thC? Are you talking about France or Sweden or Italy or Hungary? They all had different standards of living and different customs and life expectations. And that's not even going into the different classes.



Sutek,
Taylor, my man, I just think you and your players are missing some key things, the first of which is that Conana is already freakin' deadly enough without all your ammendments. Now some of these comments may sound harsh, but it's all really intended as constructive, but some of your ideas just as flat-out broken. I may have crossed a sarcasm line down there a coupold of times, so brace yourself (lol) and take it all with the best of intentions from me.:
No problem mate! :)

Age adjustments have already been beat down. I'm comfortable with the age penalties and bonuses given in the rules, but I can only assume that you are under 20 and just feel that 30yrs+ = Crippled (lol). Those are harsh penalties and dont'jibe with King Conan, as stated already.
I'm almost 26. :)
These effects represent, I think, a fairly realistic aging process. The majority of men in their mid 30's are not as fit as men in their early to mid 20's. Some are, but even they usually aren't as fit as they were at that age. Look at your favourite sport.

Doesn't work. Opposed rolls leave everyone with the better option of choosing light weapons and making Finesse attacks. If one person rolls a low Defense roll, just about any enemy blow ignores his armor entirely. That's insane and totally unrealistic. Reread the rules for Finesse attacks (AE pg154).
Cheers mate. This is the sort of info I'm after!

Um...you do know that a broadsword deals 2d10 damage plus strength, and that can easily make the current Conan Massive Damage value of 20 against nearly any medium armored opponent, right? I mean, one shot can force a FORT save in round one, which the opponent could fail and die. It's really that easy to kill stuff in Conan right now so I totally don't see the need for Crits dealing CON damage. Now, one thing you could say is that CON x CON bonus = WOUND THRESHOLD. I like this. In other words, say there a CON 15(+2). This guy would ahve a 30 WT, and so if he makes it through a combat, for each time he suffers 30hp of damage he is inflicted with a scar or wound that can't be fully healed (like a finger that got chopped off or a severly broken nose).
That's a good idea, but then I'd lower it to any time you suffer more damage than your Con in a combat.

I presume this is to have a Load capacity for mounts or something? Combat Fatigue maybe? Not sure what you're doing this for.
Lol, I've been reading the Lone Wolf Rpg, Endurance = hit points! :)

That WWF chick, China, could kick my ass. It's because she's friggin strong, dude. I'd say, make it an option of r starting female character so get a +2CHA in trade for a -2STR if they want to. No upward limit capping at 18, because there are races that can achieve higher than that off racial adjustments alone.
Let's "pretend" China has say, str16 (18-2) and is a 6th level wrestler, she could have a total strength of 18, compared to the average male's str of 10-11. This, combined with the wrestling feats she's no doubt picked up, easily enable her to kick the crap out of the majority of the men in the world. And despite her strength, she isn't exactly Batista... ;)

I just think this is unnesecary, particularly in the case of Improved Grapple. Grapples are bad enough, and without imposing IUS as a prereq, you put normal human beings on par with wild animals in the bestiary. Read the entry for Saber-tooth and Improved Grab and you'll see what I mean.
I have to admit I'm a bit biased on this one. I wrestle 2 days a week in my own time, and I'm not too bad at it. Not great or anything, but certainly competant. I box at work, and I'm crap at it. Shite. Realistically (I know, I know), there is no correlation between a person's ability to strike and to grapple. Just as aside, I only have the core book and rok, are there any other wrestling feats in any of the other books?


I guess that all depends on if you want demons to be something like 3 times easier to kill than, say, a Badger. I don't get this as a "gritter" change at all, man.
Originally I got rid of hit points and just had con, but it didn't make sense to me that a massive demon thing had to same survivability as a little human, so I let monsters keep their full hit point score. This ability is exactly the same as it is in the book. Changed my mind about the con thing since though.

Using this instead of the normal MD value of 20 is reasonable and makes the game tons more deadly. Good call here, but keep in mind that people will then just choose to use Bardiche (2d10+(STRx1.5)) and kill people in one blow left, right and center...
Yeah, but I sort of like that. The bardiche or bill if you are English, according to the 16th century master George Silver has the advantage over any weapon whatsoever in melee combat. Of course any time you have to sneak about somewhere, it's going to hinder that a lot.

I wouldn't make it on the FORT save because there are feats and other things that emphasise the more abstract nature of saves versus actual abilities. Current healing is 3+CON mod + 1 per character level) SImply drop the +1 per lvl part and then everyone heals the same rate no matter thier experience level. That's a massively deadly change right there.
Cheers, I really like that. :)

Well, I don't know what that "d3 damage per dice of sneak attack" is...it doesn't really make sense, and if it's meant to be +d3 per die, then that's far too much. The "ignore armour damge reduction" is already the case should the sneak attacker make a successful Finesse Attack. I think that's deadly enough. Not only that, but with a high Bluff skill, they can do it every round almost.
It's supposed to be +d3 per dice rather than +d6. For example, if a thief does +4d6 damage when he sneak attacks, he will now do +4d3. I lowered the damage because the hit points are so much lower.

I just think you need to read up on some of the key rules here a little more, buecause this is already one of the most deadly cames out there. Lowering MD to be equal to CON is a good plan, and that coupled with changing recovery to not be affected by character level will make the game almost ...well, probably about...twice as deadly right there.
Sure mate, thanks for the advice it's really appreciated!


Raven Blackwell,
Taylor's lucky I am lot less ornery than last year after that comment but I'll actually argue in his favour- though I won't back his game mechanics. The less fair gender has better upper body strength per effort expended in strength conditioning that we do, though we've got the higher level of endurance if we choose to develop it. Evolution meant you to do all the rough stuff and us to survive long enough so we can carry on creating the next generation. That's why rape is more or less one sided affair- and why I usually carry an lethalsque equalizer on my person most days. I'd love to bag a would-be rapist legally one day. It'd make me smile.
The whole endurance advantage thing of women is a fallacy. It's not true. Every single endurace related athletic record in the world is held by men. Just like the strength issue, some women are stronger and/or fitter than some men, but most aren't. I don't mean any offence, but it's the simple truth.

Has that got you ornery? ;) :twisted: :wink:
 

Sutek

Mongoose
taylor said:
Saying what typically happened in the middle ages is full of holes...

hehe...no, actually it's complete b*ll**ks! Conana is Conan and even though weapon technology is similar, styles most assuredly are not and anyway...it's all fantasy folks. Forget the history books and stick with the rule books. (lol)

Taylor said:
These [age] effects represent, I think, a fairly realistic aging process. The majority of men in their mid 30's are not as fit as men in their early to mid 20's. Some are, but even they usually aren't as fit as they were at that age. Look at your favourite sport.

But we arent'talking modern society. I made this same point in a discussion about literacy. This is a different time and different cultures. Even in the dark ages, barring all the plagues and what not, the average human life span was about 70yrs, but most successful knights were in their 40s. Those blokes were career warriors and were tough as nails. Age polays more of a deteriorating role nowadays because of our pasty, sedintary lifestyles (well those of us not boxing and wrestling on a daily basis) so you can't apply a modern model to Hyboria.

Taylor said:
Cheers mate. This is the sort of info I'm after!

This was re:Finesse. I think this is where a lot of your msiconceptions stem from really. Finesse is the Thieve's bread and butter. Anything that deprives a target of Dodge and Parry means a sneak attack can be made. Those sneak attacks can be Finessed, and should be. Target DV is often 10 at that point making hitting a breeze. Since the "To Hit" roll need only exceed the target's armour DR beyond what is normally necessary to hit, that means at 10 DV, a DR4 armored target can be sneak attacked by rolling a total "To Hit" roll of 15. That is not hard for a 5th level Thief with BAB+3 and 3d8 sneak attack damage dice using a 1d8 short sword.

You see? That right there, even without a Crit being rolled, is an average of around 18, so that is very near the 20pt Massive Damage Threshold. Don't ever think that an attacker needs to get 49 points of damage to killa 48HP target. All they need is 20.

Taylor said:
I have to admit I'm a bit biased on this one. I wrestle 2 days a week in my own time, and I'm not too bad at it. Not great or anything, but certainly competant. I box at work, and I'm crap at it. Shite. Realistically (I know, I know), there is no correlation between a person's ability to strike and to grapple. Just as aside, I only have the core book and rok, are there any other wrestling feats in any of the other books?

I'll look, but apart from the Choke thing in the back of ROK I can't recall any off hand. The thing you're missing here is that IUS negates the AoO that occurs when attempting a Grapple. That's big. If you waive that prereq, you're waiving a lot IMO.

Taylor said:
Originally I got rid of hit points and just had con, but it didn't make sense to me that a massive demon thing had to same survivability as a little human, so I let monsters keep their full hit point score. This ability is exactly the same as it is in the book. Changed my mind about the con thing since though.

hehe...you're kust not thinking of HP properly I don't think. It's not really damage so much as it is wearing someone down. Plus, demons and the like have miss chances or deadly magickal strikes that can finish combats before they start. You just have to puzzle out the tactics and read the rules carefully to do so.

Taylor said:
Using this instead of the normal MD value of 20 is reasonable and makes the game tons more deadly. Good call here, but keep in mind that people will then just choose to use Bardiche (2d10+(STRx1.5)) and kill people in one blow left, right and center...
Yeah, but I sort of like that. The bardiche or bill if you are English, according to the 16th century master George Silver has the advantage over any weapon whatsoever in melee combat. Of course any time you have to sneak about somewhere, it's going to hinder that a lot.

Well, what I mean is that you don't need to be that harsh to get the same effect. All one need do in this game is manage to score a 20pt damage blow to kill something....it really is that easy. If you go the CON as MD threshold route, it's even easier to do it.

Taylor said:
Well, I don't know what that "d3 damage per dice of sneak attack" is...it doesn't really make sense, and if it's meant to be +d3 per die, then that's far too much. The "ignore armour damge reduction" is already the case should the sneak attacker make a successful Finesse Attack. I think that's deadly enough. Not only that, but with a high Bluff skill, they can do it every round almost.
It's supposed to be +d3 per dice rather than +d6. For example, if a thief does +4d6 damage when he sneak attacks, he will now do +4d3. I lowered the damage because the hit points are so much lower.

But Thieves do d8 damage with thier sneak attack style weapon type. They do d6 damage with other weapons outside their style. Zingarans gain an aditional d6 that increments just like the Thief ability and stacks with it! A 5th level zingaran Thief can deal 3d8+3d6 sneak attack damage!!! I think a max 42 + weapon + STR before CRIT is pretty massive, personally.
 

Iron_Chef

Mongoose
Why not just introduce VP/WP to replace HP if you want a deadlier game and want to keep track of when damage is just "vitality points" (fatigue) or "wound points" (actual damage)? Your CON + Toughness feats = WP, and your HP (from class + CON mod) = VP. Critical hits bypass VP and are applied straight to WP (subtracting Armor DR). If you take any WP damage, you must make a Fort save or be knocked out. Taking wound damage incurs a penalty to Strength and Dexterity. See Unearthed Arcana, Star Wars d20, or d20 Modern for details on this mechanic.

A Game of Thrones d20 uses even more reduced HP than Conan, just 1-2 HP per level. IIRC, your base HP are equal to your CON.
 

taylor

Mongoose
I've been thinking about the hit point issue, and I think the reason I don't like them is that they are still too "safe". If a level 10 character (say with 60HP) gets shot with a longbow by a str 12 character, he will 95% of the time suffer between 3 and 11 damage, right? So, it would take around 9 longbowmen shooting him point blank to render him unconscious? Sounds silly to me.

On the other hand, hp=con may be a bit too deadly, especially if it's so easy to hit. Maybe con x 2 = hit points (with the extra damage from critical hits coming off Con instead of hit points) is a better solution? I dunno...
 

taylor

Mongoose
Iron_Chef said:
Why not just introduce VP/WP to replace HP if you want a deadlier game and want to keep track of when damage is just "vitality points" (fatigue) or "wound points" (actual damage)? Your CON + Toughness feats = WP, and your HP (from class + CON mod) = VP. Critical hits bypass VP and are applied straight to WP (subtracting Armor DR). If you take any WP damage, you must make a Fort save or be knocked out. Taking wound damage incurs a penalty to Strength and Dexterity. See Unearthed Arcana, Star Wars d20, or d20 Modern for details on this mechanic.

A Game of Thrones d20 uses even more reduced HP than Conan, just 1-2 HP per level. IIRC, your base HP are equal to your CON.
The VP/WP system sounds pretty good, might give it a shot. Cheers mate!
 

taylor

Mongoose
Hi Sutek,

hehe...no, actually it's complete b*ll**ks! Conana is Conan and even though weapon technology is similar, styles most assuredly are not and anyway...it's all fantasy folks. Forget the history books and stick with the rule books. (lol)
Perhaps, but my comment was in reference to the supposed fact medieval people all died at 35, married their daughters off at 10 etc. But you are right, it's irrelevent to this discussion.

But we arent'talking modern society. I made this same point in a discussion about literacy. This is a different time and different cultures. Even in the dark ages, barring all the plagues and what not, the average human life span was about 70yrs, but most successful knights were in their 40s. Those blokes were career warriors and were tough as nails. Age polays more of a deteriorating role nowadays because of our pasty, sedintary lifestyles (well those of us not boxing and wrestling on a daily basis) so you can't apply a modern model to Hyboria.
I think the ability score increase as you level up would make up for the aging process I put forward, at least at first. For example, say a successful 45 year old knight (@lvl 10) has a starting Con, Str and Dex of 14. He's bigger, fitter and more skilful than average, as benefits his training since he was a page. His 10 levels of experience have raised his stats to Str 18, Dex 16, Con 16, but age has reduced them to their present values of Str16, Dex14 and Con14. So, he's stronger than he was as a strong lad, but a bit (note, only a bit) slower and not quite as fit as he was in his prime. And he's 45! Most professional athletes retire 10-15 years earlier than that!


This was re:Finesse. I think this is where a lot of your msiconceptions stem from really. Finesse is the Thieve's bread and butter. Anything that deprives a target of Dodge and Parry means a sneak attack can be made. Those sneak attacks can be Finessed, and should be. Target DV is often 10 at that point making hitting a breeze. Since the "To Hit" roll need only exceed the target's armour DR beyond what is normally necessary to hit, that means at 10 DV, a DR4 armored target can be sneak attacked by rolling a total "To Hit" roll of 15. That is not hard for a 5th level Thief with BAB+3 and 3d8 sneak attack damage dice using a 1d8 short sword.

You see? That right there, even without a Crit being rolled, is an average of around 18, so that is very near the 20pt Massive Damage Threshold. Don't ever think that an attacker needs to get 49 points of damage to killa 48HP target. All they need is 20.
I've had a look at it, and you are right, my system was broken. I think I'll stick with the original one for all things combat.


I'll look, but apart from the Choke thing in the back of ROK I can't recall any off hand. The thing you're missing here is that IUS negates the AoO that occurs when attempting a Grapple. That's big. If you waive that prereq, you're waiving a lot IMO.
Ok, I'll simply dump the cancelling out of AoO when you start a grapple. Getting tagged as you shoot in for a takedown is something every grappler has to live with. A lot of the grapplers in competitions like the UFC or PrideFC who have been knocked out copped it when going for a takedown. :)

Thanks for your reply!
 
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