Re: Questions and Answers (sent to greg)

From: Roderick and Ellen Robertson <rjremr_at_...>
Date: Tue, 7 Mar 2000 10:58:09 -0800

Hi Gang,

> Don't know if this is going to the right place but I thought I'd send it
> by you...

I'll be compiling a FAQ for the game, so I'm the one.

> Jeff Kyer
> P.S. There's a Taiko drummer group that I saw last night.
> **Incredible**! I think they are going through the LA area next month.

Hmm, too bad I'm in Northern California... :-)

> Q: Ranged combat. What happens if they don't have anything to throw
> back at us? How can they get APs from me when they're helpless?
> A: Good question. What I do when I'm shooting folks without missile
> weapons is a bit different from normal. Its one answer but it seems to
> work. They can't challenge us (they've got nothing to do it with) and
> forfeit their challenge or can do an un-related action. Performing a
> feat, readying a missile weapon or diving for cover seem good ideas.
> But when it comes time for us to shoot them, we can't Transfer points
> from them but they can't Transfer points from us. However, you can wound
> them like normal. Of course, if they've got spells or feats that can
> strike at a distance, then we just have a normal contest, don't we?

If the possible outcome of an extended contest just seems wrong, try rethinking exactly what the contestants are trying to do. If it is important that you run it as an Extended contest, then figure out what the targets of the bowfire are trying to do: get under cover, get in melee range, get away, etc. If they aren't trying to injure the archers, then there is no physical risk to the archers, and they won't end up wounded, though they may suffer penalties when facing this group of targets again (because they are scared of them perhaps), or maybe they'll get a penalty on a relationship instead ("oh, you're those jokers that couldn't even stop the enemy"), etc. Try not to get into the "combat must have a physical risk to both sides even if one can't harm the other" mindset - there are blows to prestige, self confidence, links to the god(s), etc that can be applied instead.

> Q: What happens when I have 3 mutually hostile opponents?
> A: I run it like a 2 sided contest where the characters can choose who
> they contest and run it in order of descending AP, just like a regular
> one. This gives people an opportunity to play 'Kingmaker' and spoiler.
> Just like in Real Life (tm)

It's called a Free-For-All, and is noted under Tactics & Options for Extended Contests. Basically it is a Group Extended Contest with three sides.

> Q: What happens when I have a bunch of people trying to win a contest.
> A: This happened when I was running a Spring Queen's Husband ceremony.
> Seven contestants. In many cases, it boils down to a series of contests
> based on skill vs resistance, the resistance being the attempted act --
> be it jumping or riding.
> When it came to a long term test, like an extended horsemanship contest
> (you can see where I stole my source material...) it turned into the
> following:
> Seven contestants vs their own "opponent." All the opponents had the
> same skill (except for the fellow who cheated and the fellow under a
> curse, they had higher and lower skilled opponents). The first
> contestant to reduce his opponent to 0 APs was the winner. Of course,
> there were ways to boost/hinder one's opponents if one wished to do so.

See the the first boxed text under Tests. You can run it as above, or as a Free for all (letting them attack each other if they wish - often better for a Gladiator-style combat than a horse race, but...), or just a series of Simple contests or even a bunch of Ability contests where the lowest roll of the best result wins.

> Q: Um, what OTHER subcults/traditions can I join and what can I do
> about getting more feats?
> A: Good question. I have no clue! This is completely location and
> campaign specific. And you and the Narrator will have to work out
> yourselves. But they should be more than just mere 'I pay an AP and you
> let me join.' Perhaps a small favor might be owed or better yet, a task
> perfomed that exemplifies the subcult -- hunting down some undead for a
> Humakti temple, for instance.

Correct. we don't have the complete list of Heortling gods in the rules (the much more but still not absolutely complete list will be in the Thunder Rebels book, but even then you can make your own cults). The player should always describe what the Hero Points represent - calling in favors, promising future favors, gifts, etc.

> Q: Uh, okay. So I may not be able to join one of those little cults but
> what about me joining all those Thunder Brother cults. That looks
> confusing.
> A: Yes, it does.

Go ahead and join. The average person will become an initiate of one cult (in heortling society), but that takes up only 30% of his time - so you can double up your initiations (60% of your time) or even go for a triple (90% of your time). The Thunder Brothers are individual gods, but it may be that in future products there may be a "Thunder Brothers Collective" that allows "cheaper" initiation to a group of cults (I'm not saying this *will* be the case, just that it *might* happen - I can't foretell the future...)

> Q: But I'm a Humakti devotee and I don't want to be an initiate of
> Orlanth but I still want to join the subcults.
> A: That's too bad... And those Geas of yours are VERY powerful.
> Perhaps
> they should be scaled back a bit...

Join a subcult of Humakt :-). Devotees shouldn't be looking at other God's subcults - though anything is possible if you can convince the priests (and the narrator). Devotion to a god is meant to represent major identification with the deity under question. Humakt doesn't fly, or throw thunderstones. A devotee of Humakt shouldn't *want* to do those things. If a god has a flight aspect, then he will have his own subcult that teaches it. Maybe a Humakti hero 'way back when learned the Flight affinity and is now worshipped for it, or your character might actually be the first one to do it - which may allow *him* to become a worshipped hero!

> Q: Are the +5 With Sword Skill gifts stackable? Or is +5 with Sword and
> Shield, +5 with Sword, +5 With Sword and Dagger, +5 with Greatsword...
> or are they stackable and specific?

> A: I would say that they are stackable but each +5 Gift is only usable
> with a specific Sword related skill -- such as your Sword and Shield.
> The fighting style of Sword and Shield is much different from Sword and
> Dagger, for instance. However, if your Narrator allows them to be
> stackable, you may become overpowering compared to your companions.

We do not specify in the rules (partially because we didn't think of it...)

The intent of the +5 Sword gift is that you must specify the type of sword in the gift - +5 Sword & Shield, +5 Greatsword, etc. and the type of non-sword skill in the geas - all maces (that includes maces, batons, mauls, etc), all axes (hatchets, hand axes, battle axes, great axes, glaive-guisarm-voulges...) etc.

Personally (as opposed to being an Issaries corporate minion), I would not allow two +5's to a particular skill without a *much* nastier geas - in the specific case of Humakt's +5 sword skill, if I allowed a +10 then the character would be unable to use *any* non-sword skill, not just two non-sword skills (note that he would not be able to take a different +5 Sword gift, since there aren't any Non-sword skills left to "never use"). This may become the rule in a product down the road (again, I can't foretell the future).


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