PDA

View Full Version : My houserules, to be playtested shortly



Kiero
2008-10-18, 06:23 AM
Over the course of this weekend, I'll be playing a 5-6 player game of OotS (which means there may not be the option of just removing Belkar). So it's a good time to test out several of my houserules. There's two broad strands; firstly to speed the game up a little through increased starting competence; secondly to revise the most antagonistic Schticks to reduce the amount of game-slowing activity (as per this thread (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=36510)). Lastly there's an alteration in the scoring at the end of the game.

1) Increased competence

All characters start off with all four of their starting Schticks, plus draw two others.

They also start out with six, rather than three Loot. This is to encourage the Loot economy as early as possible (and foster more co-operation).

2) Fixing antagonism

Four simple fixes to two characters' Schticks.

Belkar:
-Twin Daggers of Doom: Boost changed to +2 Defense
-Deep Seated Emotional Problems: changed to a Boost on TDoD
-Doesn't Play Well With Others: changed to another Victory Taunt

Elan:
-Conscience Demon: changed to another Rapier

3) Altering scoring

To reduce the capacity of Haley to win simply by getting more Loot than everyone else, Schticks count for 2 points in the final summation. So people who've been developing their character with Loot as well as monsters aren't stiffed. At present there's little incentive to use Loot to get Schticks, when it's actually eroding your final score because the trade is disadvantageous.

I'll report back when the game has happened on how it affected things.

Kiero
2008-10-19, 02:29 PM
We played a couple of hours yesterday, and will resume the game when time permits.

Change to Belkar was definitely for the better (I'm playing Belkar, ironically), able to keep up in the same way Roy, Haley and Durkon can.

More when we're done.

Kiero
2008-10-20, 05:51 AM
Right, another game that took a long time in the end. Just short of seven hours all told, for a "medium" game of three levels plus Xykon's lair. Two new players out of the six, so there was a learning curve.

House rules didn't do a lot to speed up the game, though they did make it less antagonistic (I was playing Belkar, and being just as effective as Haley or Roy against monsters). The changes to Belkar were definitely a good thing, I had little incentive to attack the other players and lots to go after the monsters. Although we may need to look at some of the other player-specific schticks since Roy's player felt aggrieved that Logic was basically useless in our game. My reasoning was that there was still scope for antagonism if a player chose it (only now it wasn't encouraged) and thus was still useful.

So perhaps what we need to do is come up with some additional houserules that are specifically designed for a co-operative-only game (in terms of no direct PvP, not including use of Screw This! cards) which would take those kinds of things into account.

We're reviewing the starting schtick business. Thinking is to stick with six rather than four, still give all four starting ones, but then specify the other two, rather than picking at random. So everyone gets one Boost to their main fighting power, and one Boost that encourages co-operation.

So for example Elan would get the second Bard Song (because it encourages people to ask him for help) and the second Xtreme Diplomacy (so he's slightly more effective). Less trips to the Dungeon Entrance, less playing things cowardly and cautious at the start and turtling on the upper levels.

We had no one attack another player in the game, though there were a few moments of back-and-forth nastiness with Screw This! cards. Especially some retaliatory stuff after Haley's player broke Roy's sword just as he was about to enter Xykon's lair. Roy's player then responded by flipping Haley's Longbow, then breaking Haley's bow a couple of turns later.

We had three separate attempts at Xykon too; first V, then Roy and finally Durkon who managed to kill the lich. Haley was at the entrance by the time the final throw-down happened, so didn't bother coming back in to grab the points for first place. Which is pretty contrary to the game's ultimate objective of defeating Xykon. Everyone was having similar thoughts by the time Roy got to the end, instead of thinking about whether we could have a go at the lich if he failed, people were all thinking about leaving the dungeon early.

Which raised another problem as far as we're concerned - the scoring for what order you leave the dungeon. Specifically that you get as many points for getting out first as you do for killing Xykon in a six-player game. Durkon killed Xykon yet nearly came last (no matter how it was scored). What's worse, in order to kill Xykon, Durkon's player had to give out a lot of Loot (pushing everyone else ahead), which turned out to be a pretty uneconomical trade. Durkon's player would actually have come out higher if they'd not battled him and kept hold of all they had.

Killing Xykon should be worth a lot more, otherwise there's an incentive to either ignore him, or for everyone to turtle that much longer so they don't need assistance in the final act. Possibly half his attack value (in our game he had 26 Attack and 26 Defense, so he'd be worth 13 points of Bragging Rights).

Haley who did get out first still came last, largely because she didn't get the good schticks through not getting a single boost to her Longbow. That was actually because we played the monsters-for-schticks bit wrong, but no matter.

Final scores were (original scoring in parenthesis):
Roy: 63 (43)
Elan: 56 (42)
V: 56 (40)
Belkar: 50 (35)
Durkon: 49 (32)
Haley: 47 (32)

Unregistered
2008-10-26, 06:37 AM
Nice ideas but I always feel uncomfortable with changing sticks because I think it will unbalance the game. I do give out all starting sticks though and more loot.

I also have the feeling that killing Xykon should give more points.

donkyhotay
2008-10-31, 01:45 PM
It depends alot on how many people are playing too, I usually play with 3-4 people and in these games roy will rush through and kill xykon while everyone else (especially V) are painfully trying to keep gather enough loot/schticks to kill the level 2-3 monsters. Admittedly we increase the starting loot/schticks to speed things up as well.

TheDrone
2008-11-19, 10:03 PM
Nice ideas but I always feel uncomfortable with changing sticks because I think it will unbalance the game. I do give out all starting sticks though and more loot.

Really? Changing Seldom Used Quarterstaff would unbalance the game? lol:smallwink:

Castaras
2008-11-25, 11:00 AM
The thing with Belkar, is he's supposed to be attacking other players. He's an evil bastard, and should be played as such, same as Elan should be played in character as well to use his skills to their full potential. I've played an OotS game with Belkar attacking everyone, and he came second to Durkon, iirc. How Belkar got so good?

- He attacked other players. This got him loot. He used this to get shticks and more bonuses.
- He got loot from players bribing him not to attack their characters. See above point.

Kiero
2009-01-25, 08:01 AM
The thing with Belkar, is he's supposed to be attacking other players. He's an evil bastard, and should be played as such, same as Elan should be played in character as well to use his skills to their full potential. I've played an OotS game with Belkar attacking everyone, and he came second to Durkon, iirc. How Belkar got so good?

- He attacked other players. This got him loot. He used this to get shticks and more bonuses.
- He got loot from players bribing him not to attack their characters. See above point.

You've completely missed my point. I don't care if that's what Belkar is supposed to do (and besides which, he hardly ever actually does it in the comic, he's all talk), it slows the game down. The game is already slow, it really doesn't need that as well.

EvilDMMk3
2009-01-25, 08:13 AM
Looking at your scores it seems to me that these houserules failed. All you did was widen the gap in scoring, no actual changes occurred.

Wanderlust
2009-01-26, 01:16 PM
Let's not be too hard on the poster, here. Game length is an issue for a lot of people who play the game, and he's just trying to think of possibilities to maintain the fun but shorten the time commitment. I personally hadn't thought of giving out all of the starting shticks at the beginning of the game, so I will probably start doing that with my games. OP, if you have any other breakthroughs, please let us know!