Roleplaying Ideas E-newsletter #1218

How To Improvise When Gamers Do Fight Stunts in OSR RPGs

Bonjour, Johnn!

Final session a participant went manner outdoors the principles. He wished his character to leap by way of the air onto an enormous hen’s leg, climb up the tarsus, then launch a magical belt connected to the beast’s limb.

This occurred simply hours in the past, so I keep in mind clearly my preliminary response:

  • Oh crap! What do I do?
  • Rattling, this appears sophisticated
  • Are there guidelines for this?
  • If I enable it, will I break the principles?
  • If I enable it, will it open the floodgates to abuse?

It was a cool participant motion. I need extra of stuff like this. So I made a decision to settle down and determine tips on how to give the participant an opportunity to roll for it. And right here’s the thought course of I carried out to realize that, additionally recent in my reminiscence:

1. Break the Stunt Into Elements

How do you eat a roc?

One chew at a time.

Right here’s what the participant requested:

I need to leap from the cart onto the roc’s leg and rip the belt off.

So I break up that one large motion into bite-sized actions that didn’t really feel pixel bitchy:

  • Leap from cart
  • Seize leg
  • Climb up leg
  • Free the belt

I wasn’t anxious about how the character would get down. Not my drawback. 🙂

In order that gave me 4 steps complete.

2. Resolve on Roll Rely

An RPT GMing axiom says that the extra rolls you ask for, the extra you improve the prospect of failure. And I didn’t need to nerf the motion. So I made a decision I wished solely two rolls for a complete success.

3. Apply a Timeline

I break up the participant’s said motion into 4 elements and two rolls. Now I put these elements alongside a continuum.

In Outdated College Necessities a spherical is 10 seconds lengthy. So the best place to begin a timeline is by asking, “Can the entire stunt can happen in a single spherical, or wouldn’t it make extra sense to make every half one spherical?”

I made a decision no to each, making a call a bit more durable. However not less than now I’ve received boundaries to assist: two to 4 rounds. Two rounds felt proper. So I went with that.

4. Clarify My Considering

First, I discovered what the participant wished to do. With out that readability, I’d have been making the mistaken choices. The cart bounce and roc climbing was clear to me, else I’d have clarified with the participant what consequence they have been desirous to impact.

Then I break up the stunt into elements.

Subsequent, I made a decision what number of rolls I wished, which influences the chance of success up or down.

After which I made a decision what number of character turns the stunt would eat by making use of the rolls to a timeline.

Now I paused the sport to clarify my considering to the group and requested for suggestions. Being clear lets gamers perceive the way you’re approaching motion decision to create a precedent for future stunt makes an attempt. And suggestions offers everybody an opportunity to enhance the method.

I didn’t talk all of this within the second. I used to be on my again foot most of that encounter getting the ol’noggin in control and figuring issues out. However subsequent time issues shall be extra seamless.

So How’d It Go?

We had a brief retrospective after the session. I used Jonathan Hardin’s Stars & Needs technique to listen to what gamers appreciated and what they need extra of.

The encounter was talked about as a Star by all of the gamers. So it looks as if the stunt was efficiently facilitated for Outdated College Necessities. And kudos to Jochen for performing it!

Image a dwarf standing atop a bucking cart with horses rearing and thrashing about as a large hen stretches out a claw greater than a Buick to assault from the sky.

Bartram’s robust legs catapulted him into the air (computerized success) and colliding with the beast’s leg. The dwarf managed to maintain his grip and climb up the dry, leathery claw pores and skin (profitable STR test). Finish of flip, and everybody was cheering.

Subsequent spherical, Bartram climbed as much as attain the feathered higher leg, however he couldn’t maintain on (failed roll) and he fell to the bottom (5 harm, ouch). Jochen requested to make one final determined seize for the belt. I requested a d100 “Hail Mary” test, but it surely failed.

The hen continued to wreak havoc after which made off with a pony in every claw. Everybody stored a cautious eye on the sky after that. And Bartram has vowed to get that belt, which it seems belonged to his nice nice grandfather, a well-known common for The Empire. General, this method labored nice. And it feels nice to get all this rust off and be GMing once more!


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