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Tom Grimshaw

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New Digs!
Hi everyone! It seems like an age since I was last here, but boy does it feel good to be back in the blogging game. But where did I go? Not far really. I just decided that I needed a break as the writing wasn't coming easy, and I felt that I was pushing mys...

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Let me thrill you with tales of mundane adventure.. Said no GM ever.

That's because there is a lot of onus on the GM to weave an intricate and engaging story that leaves their players crying out for more. They have to be original, but what of the players?
There is no real pressure on the players to create  fresh and original characters. Obviously those that do get a lot of enjoyment out of the new opportunities that they open up to themselves but by and large it's a lot easier just to stick to the familiar archetypes. The rules are geared that way, so why would you do anything different? Well, because it just doesn't make sense.

I mean, think about it. Your warrior has just spent days risking life and limb to haul back that sack of gold, and what does he do with it? He spends it on weapons and armor like some kind of survival nut. In real world terms that is the equivalent of someone who works to work, which in my opinion a rather joyless existence but why would the player do anything but? They need those weapons. They need that armor.

Back to putting the onus on the GM.

So what to do? Well if you're players are the kind that fixate on draining every last copper piece for all that it's worth, I would recommend introducing what I loosely refer to as hobbies and obsessions.

It's only a work in progress at the moment but, essentially what you are creating is a means of spending gold and time between adventures that helps flesh out the character a little more. Quite how I would implement this I'm not sure as of yet but I would suggest relating the reward given for the activity to the cost, availability and, legality of the hobby in question.

For example, Olaf The Drunk likes ale. He LOVES ale! So every GP's worth of ale he consumes (which is a fair bit given how cheap it is) gains him 1AP, because his particular vice cheap, readily available and, generally legal. It's also only a hobby, not an obsession, so Olaf can go without if more pressing needs present themselves.. He just wouldn't be happy about it.

This is only a quick example of a common activity, turned hobby but it already adds more dimension to the character. No matter the quest at hand he has a reason to delve and, the impairing effects of alcohol gives the GM something to play with in return.

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It came to me in a dream (quite literally a T&T themed dream that I had last
night / this morning). In the dream I played Tunnels and Trolls but, the combat mechanic that I happened to be using was the SR.

The dream itself was also prophetic as I can remember how the system worked, which means I can make it happen, thus play it and fulfill the prophecy.. A person can go mad thinking of such things though, so without a further ado, down to business.

The system was quite simple. Every combat round consisted of two phases, which could be likened to the "to hit" and, "roll for damage" steps in D&D. The to hit roll was a SR with the target number being the monsters MR, followed by a roll for damage (Weapon dice + Adds) if you were successful.

Looking at this system objectively in the cold light of day, I really do think it has legs but, I know it's going to need work before it's ready for practical usage. For one, I think that Combat Adds would have to serve a dual purpose with this system. They could either be used to increase the chance of a hit (before rolling), maybe on a 1:1 basis. So you drop 1 point of potential damage and in return you gain +1 to your SR, or you simply take your Combat Adds as a bonus on the "damage roll".

Other matters that need consideration are whether or not to reinstate the "death spiral" effect that was removed with 7.x, and the viability of this system outside of 7.x (the AP increase granted by more frequent SR's offsets the generally high nature of MR rated monsters but, 5.x requires a lot more AP to increase attributes).

It's on these matters that I could really use some input and some feedback. What do you think to the idea guys? How might you tweak it to make it work for you and your group?

Talents are one of the few big tweaks that came with Tunnels and Trolls 7.x. There was also obviously a couple of new attributes thrown into the mix and, the way you measured character level changed significantly. Experience points were spent as well as earned but all of this was pretty black and white.
Talents however where left (quite intentionally it would seem) ambiguous. They could be pretty much anything you wanted them to be and, you don't even have to declare them from the get go. Which is all well and good but, I'd be lying if I didn't say that the vague nature of the official ruling didn't bug me just a little.
It's all well and good when you're constructing a vanilla Talent, such as Climbing say. It's bonus applies when you're climbing, but what of Talents with a combat or magical focus. You know a player will want to take one eventually. Just how do you handle it?
If you're playing it by the rulebook Talents don't do anything for improving how well you fight, which I frankly don't agree with. In the example given in the rulebook Fang uses his Swordplay Talent to disarm an opponent when he is outnumbered, which logically suggests that he is armed with a sword of some description. Yet his Talent affords him no bonus directly to his combat total.. Which just doesn't add up to me.
He should get a bonus, but what exactly? The value of his Talent (not his Talent plus his Attribute) in adds? In dice? Something else completely?

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Giant Taco Beast
One for the record keeper
Go for the eye stalk.

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Central Casting really is an amazing resource.. Which is all I can really say about it other than recommending that every GM stock his library with a copy. It's that good!

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Initially when I looked at it I saw an underground Dwarven city but, looking at it again I can't help but think Klingon.
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