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#1 AM_Odin

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Posted 17 December 2012 - 09:03 PM

Hi all,

I've started a new Warhammer Fantasy campaign taking the Witch's Song as my groups first adventure. We've played for four sessions/nights now and although I really love the combat mechanics, the best thing about 3rd are the social dynamics this game offers (both in and especially out of combat). Add the mumbling dove-enthousiast of the Witch's Song and you have a great game. 

One thing that does not quite work for me is the appearance of chaos starts in rolls. The module we play is full of things that happen when the players roll one, action cards have these effects and so on…but the only way to roll a chaos star is when purple dice are added to a check and that rarely happens. I tried adding a standard purple die to all checks while navigating the swamp and although that gave some fun bits, it also made it almost impossible for my poor players to succeed at basic tasks.

So my question is: am I missing someting? Is there another way to get chaos stars on rolls? Or is it normal to add at least one purple die to any check? How do you handle this?

Thanks for any thoughts.



#2 DurakBlackaxe

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Posted 17 December 2012 - 09:38 PM

Sorry, I am sort of new myself.  In the errata it mentions

 

Actions: Default Challenge Level

Unless indicated otherwise, the default challenge level for Melee

Attack and Ranged Attack actions is Easy (1d). Unless indicated

otherwise, the default difficulty for other actions, such as casting a

spell or invoking a blessing, is Simple (0d). The GM is still the final

arbiter of a task’s challenge level, and may adjust these to suit the

story and the particular task at hand.

 

So there is always a purple dice in ranged and melee combat. If I am remembering correctly, that purple dice = difficulty (Challenge) level



#3 valvorik

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Posted 18 December 2012 - 01:22 AM

Welcome to game.  Yup the combat/social mechanics are great.

As said above, unless a check is Simple (and hardly any check worth making is, really these checks are not to see if you fail but to see how well you succeed) or an opposed Stat check where the acting character is ridiculously better in Stat than opposing, there is always at least one Challenge Die in a pool.

Sounds like Ruinous Powers have been easing the path of your heroes by magically making life easy for them, for some mysterious reason of their own.  It's probably Tzeentch.  That can only end up being very, very bad for them.



#4 Emirikol

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Posted 18 December 2012 - 02:06 AM

see house rules download in my sig for a long list of randomized ideas.



#5 AM_Odin

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Posted 18 December 2012 - 02:32 AM

Thank you for the quick and insightful replies. It seems my reading skills are lacking as I was using black misfortune dice as challenge dice. Looks like things will get a bit harder in Fauligmere for my players (and thanks for the visit from Tzeentch tip, that might be a fun diversion).



#6 Jericho

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Posted 18 December 2012 - 06:21 AM

Yep.

Purple dice for basic difficulty level, black dice for circumstances.

Ex.: You want to lockpick a regular padlock (GM calls for an Easy (1 purple die) Skulduggery check), but unfortunately, you have no tools (+1 black die), no time (+1 Black die) and you're working in the dark (+2 Black dice). That check just got a whole lot more complicated !

Total difficulty = 1 Purple + 4 Black

Good luck !


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#7 LordoftheMilk

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Posted 19 December 2012 - 03:49 AM

Considering that the base book difficulties are for easy mode, I use the following house rule:

 

Grim and Perilous World:

All checks always have an extra challenge die added to the pool, except for Recovery, Corruption, Insanity and Disease checks.

 

This has allowed me to keep things simple for house rules, as it nerfs most of the broken action cards (which usually have chaos star results, and thus the extra challenge die adds chaos stars), allows for harder opposition checks, gives more value to higher skill levels, which usually constitute most of the reasons why people add in house rules in the first place.

I explained it very simply to my players: we are playing in hard difficulty.

 

I might try out an extreme difficulty setting, where 2 challenge die are added to all checks, and without exception.



#8 Jericho

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Posted 19 December 2012 - 05:12 AM

I thought difficulty levels were too easy also at first, in combat particularly.

But with good use of Active defenses, circumstancial misfortune and things like Guarded Position, I find everything evens out nicely.

What I tell my players is that if they charge in just striking every round, that represents a slugfest where defence is minimal. Basic 1 purple + defence + one minor active defense. It makes combats brutal and fast.

Then, when my PCs meet trained soldiers or high level combatants, they realize that IN ORDER TO SURVIVE A MELEE you need esprit de corps !

Trained soldiers SYSTEMATICALLY use formations and Guarded position or Improved Guarded Position. They'll fight in threes or fours and have one guy just use the Guarded position action. Combined with active defence and ACE, these trained opponents become very hard to overwhelm.

And I find this very realistic.

 

To sum it up:

1) Chaotic melees with reckless and/or untrained combatants are vicious, quick and deadly.

2) Organized confrontations against a tactics trained opponent are harder, longer and fatigue and stress become much more important, as are rally steps and the sudden arrival of fresh troops (the classic use of reserve forces, for example).

Makes for two very different types of combat encounters.


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#9 LordoftheMilk

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Posted 19 December 2012 - 06:09 AM

I hear what you are saying, but I have not found that the use of Guarded position and situational modifiers make rolls too difficult. It's a question of gameplay, and really depends on what you are looking for. In a harder setting, I expect people to fail their rolls. That each action be carefully thought out, and it is risky to act when you have not racked up a maximum amount of situation and skill modifiers.

A bit like going into a higher level area than what you should be into in a MMORPG.

Simply making rolls more difficult in some circumstances makes rolls less successful but only rarely makes skilled PCs fail.

 

 

Also, and as you may have noted, my difficulty modifier applies to every roll, not just combat ones. Our group finds the setting a lot more akin to their first edition exepriences, and way more credible.

 

 

 

 



#10 Jericho

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Posted 19 December 2012 - 06:28 AM

All other rolls, (outside of combat), are easy to adjust to taste. After all, the GM determines if a roll is Easy, Hard or Daunting.

At my table, we like that skilled characters succeed on most average checks, that's why they are trained, to pull off that kind of roll.

 

Each to his own of course. But I wonder if adding a purple to all checks doesn't make Chaos stars a bit too common. I prefer to add misfortune to up the ante, because misfortune are linked to story elements. To add misfortune to a scene, you need to add narrative challenge, descriptions of challenging circumstances. That, IMO, really adds to the story.

i.e.: If I want to make a situation harder, I add elements that hinder the PCs actions. That could be gale force wind, heavy rain, deep mud, an extremely fatiguing ordeal just before the scene at hand, faulty equipment, misinformation for social checks, etc…

By doing this, I send a clear signal that circumstances are perilous and PCs should be cautious and well prepared or supported to make their checks. And it adds flavour, mood. It makes for memorable scenes and fires up the player's imaginations.

Lastly, it makes good conditions seem a blessing. PCs really appreciate rolls without misfortune after having gone through hell. It creates a nice mechanical contrast between climax scenes and day to day activities. Which, in my view, is compelling story-wise and also feels realistic at the same time.


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#11 valvorik

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Posted 19 December 2012 - 08:57 AM

I too find base system works okay.  

I have critters dodge and parry (if they have weapon), spend A to add misfortune (a creature dying with unspent ACE - a waste of opportunity, bad GM!), and apply a "Potent" modifier at times to more dangerous creatures and NPC's - inspired by the feature of some Daemons - that does add a challenge die to anything targeting them.



#12 Emirikol

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Posted 19 December 2012 - 03:52 PM

LordoftheMilk said:

 

I explained it very simply to my players: we are playing in hard difficulty. 

 

I like the idea of one die harder on the checks rather than having to find every justification in the book to throw in all kinds of extra dice.  Also it takes slightly longer to succeed in actions rather than traditional checks.  Here is the math:

 basic, one purple (85% chance of success)..your typical brand new character out of the box…85% seems more like something that should be for a more experienced character.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Chance of 5 or more successes:
Chance of 4 or more successes:
Chance of 3 or more successes:
Chance of 2 or more successes:
Chance of 1 or more successes:
Chance of no successes:

Chance of 3 or more boons:
Chance of 2 or more boons:
Chance of 1 or more boons:
Chance of no boons:

Chance of 3 or more comets:
Chance of 2 or more comets:
Chance of 1 or more comets:


Chance of 1 or more delay:
Chance of 2 or more delays:
Chance of 3 or more delays:
0.0441
0.1609
0.3847
0.6496
0.8552
0.1448

0.1466
0.4248
0.7475
0.1783

0.0000
0.0000
0.1944


0.2000
0.0000
0.0000







Chance of 3 or more banes:
Chance of 2 or more banes:
Chance of 1 or more banes:


Chance of 3 or more stars:
Chance of 2 or more stars:
Chance of 1 or more star:


Chance of 1 or more exhaust:
Chance of 2 or more exhausts:
Chance of 3 or more exhausts:







0.0000
0.0154
0.0743


0.0000
0.0000
0.1250


0.0000
0.0000
0.0000
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2 Purple check (68% chance of success)


Click on the die color with number in left column to set quantity of that die in the pool. Probabilities of various results will be given below.



 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Chance of 5 or more successes:
Chance of 4 or more successes:
Chance of 3 or more successes:
Chance of 2 or more successes:
Chance of 1 or more successes:
Chance of no successes:

Chance of 3 or more boons:
Chance of 2 or more boons:
Chance of 1 or more boons:
Chance of no boons:

Chance of 3 or more comets:
Chance of 2 or more comets:
Chance of 1 or more comets:


Chance of 1 or more delay:
Chance of 2 or more delays:
Chance of 3 or more delays:
0.0245
0.0936
0.2436
0.4612
0.6862
0.3138

0.1136
0.3403
0.6320
0.2088

0.0000
0.0000
0.1944


0.2000
0.0000
0.0000







Chance of 3 or more banes:
Chance of 2 or more banes:
Chance of 1 or more banes:


Chance of 3 or more stars:
Chance of 2 or more stars:
Chance of 1 or more star:


Chance of 1 or more exhaust:
Chance of 2 or more exhausts:
Chance of 3 or more exhausts:







0.0112
0.0524
0.1592


0.0000
0.0156
0.2344


0.0000
0.0000
0.0000
 

 

This also levels off the fact that with the current version of WFRP, statistical probabilities favor ONLY people with high soak.  You're GOING to get hit, regardless of your agility, so why bother with anything other than being an ironbroken?

 

jh

 

 

 

 

 

..



#13 No:12

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Posted 19 December 2012 - 07:36 PM

Hi,

The success rate is a tricky one. I gotta say I like the analogy made earlier about trained soldiers fighting with tactics (Imp Grd Pstn,etc). It took me a little while to get to grips with the difficulty level that was right for my group. In the end it came down to being far more liberal with skill training and action cards for npcs/monsters.

Our group at one stage had a merchant with armour and Imp Grd Pos on repeat, and the other chars burning through trained/improved active defences coupled with things like catlike reflexes. It did get to the point where basic npcs just werent getting through, and wargors/orcs werent triggering the really nasty results.

I do err on the side of 2-3 challenge dice for many tests through narrative play to reward the players who have characters trained to deal with particular challenges. In combat I keep the base difficulty at 1, and adjust the foes individually. I totally agree with the earlier comment that fast wild combat generally leads to quick results and lots of hits for both sides, but that is not necessarily a bad thing.

Either way for me personally this is an improvement on 1st and 2nd ed hit/dodge/parry rolls. The idea you can have an unmodifyable 80% chance of completely negating an attack from a well trained opponent never sat well.



#14 AM_Odin

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Posted 21 December 2012 - 07:54 PM

Thanks for all the replies. I will be playing chapter four of the Witch's Song tonight which gives some opportunity to test with the right combination of black and purple dice. As I play a more heroic player friendly setting the bigger chances of succes are ok, it just gives them more chance to see the misery of the Warhammer world around them and do something about it (or at least attempt to). Thanks for all the feedback. 






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