Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
mtowle

3rd Session of WHFRP [SPOILERS]

Recommended Posts

My group and I met for the 3rd session of WHFRP last nite. I am looking for some feedback and thoughts on issues I am having with the system.  I am running with 3 players (4 now). 

The first session was character creation, game explanation, and a small bar brawl/poker game to test the mechanics.  We enjoyed the narrative quality of the dice, but I have some reservations about the longevity of game system.  Forced changing of a career seems a bit odd and I'd love to see more ideas people have on this.  As well, after 25-30 sessions players will be rank 3 and possibly have 3 yellow dice available to them, plus tons of fortune dice from specializations and attribute dice.

The second session was a straight running of the Day Late adventure here on the FFG site.  It was fun and we saw the priest of sigmar almost one-shot the gor had he not missed.  The players took some serious damage initially but had little trouble killing the henchmen and gor once they just attacked them.  The wargor they two-shotted.  Two of the three characters had enough criticals and wounds on them that any hit would have killed them (put above wound threshold and with the one flipped, put over their TOU in criticals).  The barber-surgeon certainly got his creation-points worth from his first aid action and skills.

Some flaws in the system that bug me from that session: fixed damage of really lethal proportions, poor defensive options, and limited maneuvers.  It seems like non-attack actions are almost wasted since hitting first and hitting hard are the primary means of survival.  The one character was actually taking non-combat actions which, while interesting and certainly helpful, caused her to take damage.  Another thing we noticed was the second wave starts at long range which means 4 turns of closing (5 to engaged) if they arent willing to spend wounds/fatigue, yet their actions were wasted as they didnt have ranged weapons to throw or other actions to attempt while closing.  We tentatively thought about allowing another manuever in place of your action so you could "double move" if that is all you did.

The third session was the start of Eye for an Eye in the GM booklet.  In the initial combat the party (now 4 players) killed 2 of the 4 henchmen right out of the starting gate and were untouched by the gor and ungors's counterattacks.  Meanwhile, at extreme range the other pack plodded forwards (7 turns out, 8 to be engaged).  When the other characters initiatives arrived they made short work of the remaining mobs, one-shotting the gor and the remaining henchmen.  There was some confusion and arguement about the next course of action, but zero fear of the second group now that they had a better grasp of the mechanics.  The second group of ungor were broken at the sight of the slaughter ahead, and even the gor vanished into the woods, prompting one of the characters to leap in pursuit.  The sounds of the rest of the herd arriving changed their minds and they retreated into the safety of the gates just in time (at this point I started using the double move rule and the ungor being driven by the gor being driven by the wargor reached the gate as the party helped swing it shut).  Very dramatic and fun.  We wrapped up there with the manor coming to full alert (such as it can).

In this session the same flaws came to light again: the manuevers (but I am definately allowing an action to be replaced by a manuever if desired as it speeds up the board a bit) and the flat damage (but my players refuse to let me roll it either for or against them, prefering the "fast" flow of the game as it stands now).

I really got a feel for the party stress meter this session, puttting a token on it anytime the players hesitated or argued about initiative or did something in character that made everyone/anyone frustrated.  I took tokens off for teamwork and looking out for each other.  Once I rewarded a player with a fortune point for reminding me of a rule I had overlooked in dealing with another character, but then added a stress token to the party sheet for the "betrayal".  Awesome roleplay tool.

Much of session three was actually eaten up trying to heal from the combat in session two.  Criticals are really nasty, especially 3 + severity.  The party was really sympathatic with Vern Hendrick after learning about his hand and the damage being taken over a week ago (severity 5(!) festering wound; hello lifelong lasting injury!).  Even tracking down a priestess of shaylla with the rank 2 cure wounds spell was not helpful and the dwarf's severity 3 broken nose is well into its fifth day of not healing.  This we all liked as it added a layer of gritty harshness to the world.

TL;DR : flat damage seems borked, characters seem like they are pretty powerful already and it will only get worse as they gain advancements, and the best defense is a good offense.  Also, pray you never let a festering wound fester.

Are any other GM's seeing this and how are they dealing with it?

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Is there not an edit feature on this forum?

I just remembered the other thing that struck me as unworkable/unfair while we were playing: when I (the GM) ask a player to make a skill check to receive information from the envirnment (such as an observation check, education, folklore, or intuition) is it reasonable to apply the universal boon/bane rules?  I think not, since I cannot imagine a situation where a passive roll asked for by the GM should inflict stress, nor heal stress.  As the GM I can arbitrarily set the challenge of an observation check (and those in Day Late are pretty hard) knowing that the character is probably going to fail and/or accumulate some stress.  Silly.

I told the players upfront that the universal bane/boon rule applies only to active rolls they request and that all banes and boons generated on passive checks called for by the GM would be applied towards the quality of information gleaned, with successes determining the quantity.  Thoughts?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

- re edit feature - at the top of your own posts when you are logged in you see edit option

- I can easily see inflicing/recovering fatigue/stress on optional checks, Player asked to check Observation, stress "Looking into the woods you think you see things but realize they're not there, the sun is bright in your eyes...", recovery "The air is cool against your face and relaxes you as you see...".  I do think that this is a game where the dice should come out "when it matters".

Rob

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

valvorik said:

 

I can easily see inflicing/recovering fatigue/stress on optional checks, Player asked to check Observation, stress "Looking into the woods you think you see things but realize they're not there, the sun is bright in your eyes...", recovery "The air is cool against your face and relaxes you as you see...".  I do think that this is a game where the dice should come out "when it matters".

Rob

 

Empahsis mine: that is not a passive check, it is an active check as I was defining it.

By passive I meant more, does the character notice he is being followed (Observation)?  Does he remember the name of the minor noble and their deeds at some battle (Education)?  Does he get a bad feeling from the traitorous barmaid (Intuition)?  Checks made by the player and the GM's whim to see if the character receives information outside the scope of the player.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

mtowle said:

Is there not an edit feature on this forum?

I just remembered the other thing that struck me as unworkable/unfair while we were playing: when I (the GM) ask a player to make a skill check to receive information from the envirnment (such as an observation check, education, folklore, or intuition) is it reasonable to apply the universal boon/bane rules?  I think not, since I cannot imagine a situation where a passive roll asked for by the GM should inflict stress, nor heal stress.  As the GM I can arbitrarily set the challenge of an observation check (and those in Day Late are pretty hard) knowing that the character is probably going to fail and/or accumulate some stress.  Silly.

I told the players upfront that the universal bane/boon rule applies only to active rolls they request and that all banes and boons generated on passive checks called for by the GM would be applied towards the quality of information gleaned, with successes determining the quantity.  Thoughts?

mtowle said:

Is there not an edit feature on this forum?

I just remembered the other thing that struck me as unworkable/unfair while we were playing: when I (the GM) ask a player to make a skill check to receive information from the envirnment (such as an observation check, education, folklore, or intuition) is it reasonable to apply the universal boon/bane rules?  I think not, since I cannot imagine a situation where a passive roll asked for by the GM should inflict stress, nor heal stress.  As the GM I can arbitrarily set the challenge of an observation check (and those in Day Late are pretty hard) knowing that the character is probably going to fail and/or accumulate some stress.  Silly.

I told the players upfront that the universal bane/boon rule applies only to active rolls they request and that all banes and boons generated on passive checks called for by the GM would be applied towards the quality of information gleaned, with successes determining the quantity.  Thoughts?

Even in passive situational checks, the mind (and body for that matter) doesn't always cooperate fully.  Have you ever had something grab your mind and itch to come to consciousness but you can't seem to comprehend what it is or can't quite get it out properly?  Especially in a tense situation where there are people waiting for you to figure it out so you can get back to the business at hand?  Maybe you know nearly everything there is to know about something but can't get over the fact that there might be more that you are forgetting.  Stressful!

 

Example: You instruct a PC to take an education check to remember what they learned about some topic.  Tell them the corresponding information given the success/failure of the roll but 2 banes could represent the fact that they should have known more but can't and are irritated about it.  They were trying so hard to remember but just can't.  Arghhhh!  Two boons on the other hand might represent the fact that either they passed the check, helped the party out with info and are relieved a little about it or that they failed the check but were relieved that they did not remember since it might have been bad news and they didn't want to be the bearer of bad news.

 

Example: On a passive observation check, a PC passes the check but rolls a double bane, it could represent the unconscious mind noticing something out of sorts but can't process it fully (because of the situation?) and get stressed trying to figure it out or they failed the check and got irritated.  A double boon might represent relief for spotting something that might help or hurt the group or relief they don't see anything nasty when they thought there might be (if they failed the check).

 

Those were all the RP side of it.  Gamewise, stance dice are a factor in checks and if you were to disregard certain aspects of the dice, it would change the dynamics somewhat.  Just my thoughts.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

on the other hand I think that often the checks should be made in secret by the GM. Sometimes the GM should roll some dice behind the screen even if they don't mean anything. it'll keep the player's on edge. why is he rolling?  are we about to be ambushed? did we miss something? a character stealthing just in case there are enemies around should not know if he is succesful or not as he doesn't even know if there are any enemies around.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...