Monday, April 14, 2014

FF redux - SKILL and WITS

Having one score (SKILL) in Fighting Fantasy for all tests can lead to pretty similar characters with similar abilities across the board, especially if you run your FF with a fixed SKILL, as I suggested in another post.

This is a simple variant for character creation that introduces a new ability, WITS, and a new test for WITS. With a balance of SKILL and WITS, it's possible to create more varied characters that emphasise different abilities, from battle to stealth and cunning.

New Abilities

SKILL: represents general fighting ability, strength and coordination. SKILL is used in fights, and in tests of SKILL which requires force or agility.

WITS: represents resourcefulness, cunning, nerve and dexterity. WITS are useful for tests of stealth, cunning and awareness, and tasks that requires a light touch, such as picking pockets or tampering with locks and traps.

STAMINA and LUCK are unchanged.

Initial SKILL and WITS

SKILL and WITS begin at 6. Then distribute a further three points between them.

GM's Notes

In Arihmere, adding WITS means characters can divide their efforts between combat and stealth. One can master one or the other, or find a near balance, but not both. An armoured knight might choose a SKILL of 9 and WITS of 6, showing contempt for 'dishonourable' tactics, whereas a lightly armed rogue (SKILL 7, WITS 8) may prefer subtlety and stealth in many a dark spot.

You may supplement battle with tricks and traps, but WITS should never be a substitute for clever play. That is, don't prompt a player to test WITS to find a hidden trap unless they are already directing their attentions in a particular direction by announcing a search.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Is there an RPG in this dungeon?

Looking through the beta rules for Dungeon Robber (the solo, pen-and-paper random dungeon-delving game), the tinkereage wonders if there is not a viable multi-party RPG hidden within these rules.

Dungeon Robber is now online in flash-format as a sort of hybrid rogue-like/OD&D dungeon crawler. It's a fun, often frustrating game, but the thrill of random dungeon creation and solo resource management in the face of arbitrary death by statistical misadventure does not last long.

But looking through the 'rules' behind the browser game, there is enough content to forge a working RPG which would resemble a streamlined version of the original dungeon-crawling system. Take the character generation rules, the classes, and the very compact method for creating monsters based on 'home level', add a simple task resolution system based on the saving throw (with modifiers for hard/easy tasks) and one would have a simple, workable system ready to go.

The only drawback is that combat would have the swift and deadly feel of OD&D. But then, wouldn't raising the threat of monster encounters bring a new feel to the old game?

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Simple damage rolls for Fighting Fantasy

The fixed two points of damage for any normal hit against any character in any armour with any weapon in Fighting Fantasy is something of an over-simplification, and damage is usually the first feature of the combat rules to be house-ruled or adapted for advanced games.

But in the spirit of Fighting Fantasy, if you are going to roll another die for damage, why not make the rule as simple as possible?

Rolled Damage for Fighting Fantasy

When a hit is achieved, roll one die. This is the number of STAMINA points the wounded character will lose.


Heavy weapons (two-handed swords, troll clubs) add 1 point to the total STAMINA loss.
Light weapons (goblin swords, short-staffs) deduct 1 point from the STAMINA loss.


Light armour deducts 1 points from the STAMINA loss.
Heavy armour (like plate or a full mail hauberk) deducts 2 points.
A shield deducts one more point from the STAMINA loss if the character carrying the shield makes a successful test for skill.
(The GM may apply the protective value of armour (1 or 2 points) as a penalty to any test for skill involving agility or speed.)


A successful test for luck will cause a 1 point hit, if wounded, or a 6 point hit, if attacking. There is no penalty for failing the test for luck: a hit is bad enough.