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From: George W. Harris <*gharris_at_mindspring.com*>

Date: Thu, 13 Aug 1998 16:49:52 -0400 (EDT)

Date: Thu, 13 Aug 1998 16:49:52 -0400 (EDT)

It is my impression (I would welcome correction) that skills in Hero Wars basically work like this: the skill is represented by a pair of numbers separated by a slash, the numbers usually totaling 20, such as 6/14 or 15/5, where the first number is what the player has to roll *over* for a success, and the second number is the number of action points available at least at the start; for each level of Mastery, the number of action points is twenty higher, so you could have skills like 19W/21, 0r 6WWWW/94, and in an earlier version of the rules, the two numbers would add to 24. Is this substantially correct?

Now, with the switch from 24 to 20 it seems to me that by changing the nature of skill rolls so that you attempt to roll *under* the skill number and if you modify the number of action points so that in the current method the total of skill level and action points is 21, then the skill can be represented as a *single* number, which represents both the number under which to roll and the number of action points available (with an additional 20 for each level of Mastery, so 6/14 would turn to 6/15 and then just 15, and 15/5 would become 15/6 and then just 6, while 19W/21 would then become 19W/22 and then just 2W, and 6WWWW/94 would be 6WWWW/95 and then simply 15WWWW. This would make the skill rolls behave in the more common method where one tries to roll under, rather than over, the skill, as used in Pendragon, GURPS, Hero, etc., and give a more intuitive relation to the player between level of skill and chance of success, ie, high skill equals high chance of success, as well as being a simpler and more compact representation of skill levels.

I realize that Robin Laws isn't taking note of discussion on the digest, but if any of the playtesters/commenters think this change would be a good thing, I urge you to present it to the developers.

One aspect of the HW mechanics which I very much like is the idea of
levels of Mastery; I think this could be very easily adapted to other game
systems; in fact, Pendragon skill already behave probabilisticly in a nearly
identical manner to Mastery, with a skill of 22 giving a 15% chance of a
critical while a 2W would give a 10% chance of a critical. For anyone who
still wants to play with the RQ rules, adopting the Mastery mechanic would
well-answer the complaints of the meaninglessness of skills above 100%, so
that a Storm Bull with 80% sword skill who casts Bladesharp 4 and Fanatacism
to get a skill of 160% with 8% critical, 24% special, 63% success, 4%
failure and 1% fumble would instead get a skill of 60W, with a 12% critical,
48% special, 38% success, 2% failure and 0% critical; of course if he were
opposed by a dodge or parry >100%, then there wouldn't be the bump up, but
with the two now fighting with a greater chance of failure than in the
current rules, the fight wouldn't necessariuly be the interminable
hit/parry, parry/hit that we so often see now.
- --

Doesn't the fact that there are *exactly* 50 states seem a little suspicious?

George W. Harris gharris_at_mindspring.com ------------------------------

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