Bell Digest vol03p08.txt

Subject:  The Walktapus Cookbook,  Volume 3,  Number 8

First Distribution:  May 31,  1989

This issue:
	Re: character advancement		(Allan Donsig)
	More errata				(Allan Donsig)
	Yet another experience system (YAES)	(Mats Ollson)

Readership might be higher than I thought;  this issue includes a posting
from someone who isn't on the mailing list...



Subject:  Re:character advancement

	I have some questions about character advancement (in RQ III).
My hope is that other people have either solved these problems or never
run into them because of a different gaming style.  In either case, I
would appreciate any comments or advice.
	Most cults seem to have a limited range of cult spirit spells
(3-5 in the magic book).  Thus, most initiates can expend POW for
one-use divine magic and learn these few cult spirit spells.
Depending on how often you get POW increases, this could be a bad deal
compared to an individual with the same 'investment' in spirit magic or
sorcery.  In my campaign, POW increase roles happened about every three
or four months (sessions were once a week) and initiates did have a
rotten deal.  By the way, I found spirit magicians and sorcerers at
equal if different power levels, so initiates seemed the group to
change.  Any comments/suggestions/rule changes ?
	On a related note, I (dimly) remember a posting (in
a few months ago claiming that character advancement in RQ III was
'unrealisticly' rapid and giving suggestions for slowing it.  This is
completely contrary to my experience, where skill experience rolls
happened about every month or so and some long (game-time) training
sessions were needed to ensure steady advancement.  I would like to
know how other people have structured their campaigns and how well
(or poorly) the experience increase rules have worked.



Subject: Rules changes in GDW's hard-cover Advanced RQ book

A friend recently bought this book on a trip to the UK.
Here is a list of the changes we could find from the
Avalon Hill 'books.'

A rapier does 3D6+3 on an impale.
A naginata does not impale

The various sword descriptions are included:
Sword, Bastard:  A long, double-edged sword which can be wielded
in both hands, or in one.  Only strong characters can wield this
weapon in one hand.
Sword, Broad:  A short sword, designed to be used in one hand,
double-edged and pointed.  It can be used a cutting weapon or as
a thrusting weapon, and is the normal equipment of professional
soldiers and new adventurers.
Sword, Great:  A very long and heavy sword, which requires great
strength and dexterity for use.  Such weapons can actually be as
tall as a man.

The only change in the spells is that the spirit magic spell
Silence adds 15 percentiles per point of spell to your Sneak skill,
instead of 5 percentiles.

Allan Donsig
Pure Math Student & Maple Programmer	watmath!watmum!apdonsig
by the misty wharves         		on the margin of the world

From: Mats Olsson 

Subject: RQ-article

		  Yet another experience system (YAES)

  One problem I have found with the RQ experience system is the "We've got the
POW check, main weapon check and shield parry check. Let's go home and increase
our skills". Some people aren't bothered by this. More power to them, but I am.
Also, I cannot understand why just that one specific roll allowed me a chance
to increase skill, when all subsequent rolls had no effect.
  I do like the way the RQ xp system automatically slows down gain rate for
high skills.

  Having thought about this for some time, I have come up with something that
might suffice:

  "If a player succeeds in using a skill but would have failed if the dice
would have been read backwards then the player is eligible for a 1% advancement
in the skill used".

Hmm... Sounds complicated. Alternative phrasing:

  "A player succeeds in using a skill. Would he have failed if he read the
dice the other way? If so, he is eligible for a 1% skill gain."


Hmm... Must have forgotten the skill bonus. Can't have that. Revision:

  "A player succeeds in using a skill. Would he have failed if he had read the
dice the other way and added his skill bonus? If so, he is eligible for a
1% skill gain."

  What are the chances of of rolling a skill gain roll for a specific skill
percentage? Hmm... well, without delving into mathematics, it should be approx
(skill * (1+skill bonus-skill)), which means a bell curve, with a maximum of
25% at 50% skill, assuming a low skill bonus. Approx the same curve as for
the usual RQ xp gain, I would think.

  Only, if using the ordinary RQ, the number of "wasted" rolls, ie those that
are rolled without chance of gaining in the skill, is much higher in skills much
used, for example main weapon attack, scan and such compared to open locks,
hide, survival and others. With this system, no rolls would be wasted, which
would mean a much higher skill gain rate in skills much used.

  Hmm... (I like humming :-))

  A fast approximation of "worst case" gain rate ( for GM's that is :-)) would
be approx four rolls for 1% gain. For skills seldom used, this might be ok.
But if the players are doing something like 50 attacks/parries per session,
they will go up 10% - 12% in those skills. Too much? I would think so.

  How about saying that a skill gain does not give 1%, but only a certain chance
of gaining 1%? Low use skills might have 100%, intensely used skills such as
attack and parry might have 10%.
  Personally, I would think (without having played with this system) that a d6
for attack and parry, d3 for some others, and no dice for most other skills
would be pretty good.

  Not too good. This would slow down fights, as the players would have to first
check if they are eligible for experience, then roll dice to see if they
really gained. I do not see any need to slow down fights.

  Hey! If you have to roll a dice everytime you would gain, why not roll that
dice at the same time as when you roll the skill roll? This would speed
things up, as the eligibility for skill gain would only be checked whenever the
skill gain check dice said so.

  Now, that doesn't sound too bad. A new definition:

  "Whenever a skill is used, a skill gain check die appropriate for the skill
is used. If the skill gain check die indicates a skill gain is possible
and the player succeeded in using the skill, the player checks if he would
have failed if he had read the dice the other way and added his skill bonus.
If so, he gains 1% in the skill."

  Well, I think this has some good points, namely

  - RQ-feel.
  - Not _too_ complicated.
  - More realistic than the standard rules.
  - No more "I'm stuffed. All my boxes are checked, lets go home".

  Ok, I've said my bit. How about some comments?

                 "There's no justice, there's just us"                   Mats Olsson

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