Friday, January 29, 2010

Wisdom Redux

All right then, starting with Interpersonal Relationships.

The worst results are primarily about being exiled from the state; a traitor would be vigorously pursued, someone excommunicated might bear a mark of shame, a wanted criminal might have chains on their wrists (if they had just escaped) or are simply being hunted.  The principal fact would be that, in the realm where the game starts, these people are known and may even be actively hunted.

13 above is a particularly nasty result, and as a DM you might want to grant some means by which the character can be redeemed.  In this case, it is not the player's charisma that is driving others away, but the player's deeply held belief systems - prejudicial, perhaps, or simply of the sort that fails to produce any faith at all, ie., the player has been a coward so long, they can't be anything else.  Since it requires a wisdom of 7 or less to get this roll, it must be impressed on the player that such a low wisdom MUST be played in accordance with the character's ability stat ... that is, as something of an intolerant prick, a selfish asshole or an ignoramus.

The land of a character's birth is determined in my world by another system ... if it happens the character has been exiled from the same land where the player's happen to be, we are back to worst results - except that it could be argued the player is in the process of leaving ...

Sworn enemies, the action that has saved a member of the community (9 below), the action that gained the approval of the nominal lord (12 below), or the 'miracle' (17 below) are left up to the discretion of the DM.  Rather than produce a list or a table for these things, I tend to consider how these results juxtapose with the many other results of these tables.  Combinations usually suggest their own explanations.

I think most of the other results are self evident.  If the character has been made a member of the Illuminati, recognize that this allows for some interesting knowledge, but the player would NOT be an important member of the secret society ... only one of the many peons, possibly to be given instructions when the time seems appropriate.

Prudence would be those things towards which the character is inclined, or those things the character has determined that they should know.

Again, great ignorance, great foolishness or craven behavior can only strike those with pathetically low wisdom scores.  Wisdom from the Player's Handbook gives modifiers for certain spells - a character who was determined to be greatly ignorant would have as much as a -8 modifier against charm spells and the like.  Very poor business, that.

The results for 10 through 13 above, where characters or races are lacking parts of their abilities which they would normally be expected to have, is meant to reflect the habit of ignoring their masters and tutors, due to their low wisdom.

"Falling in love" is something rarely done in D&D ... but believing that people really don't have a choice of whom they become enfatuated with, I sometimes have characters roll a saving throw against their wisdom, to determine if they have been bit hard by the bug (or Cupid's arrow, if you prefer).  The homoerotic inclination is similar ... but then, who ever heard of homosexuality and D&D?

I treat starting addictive habits, and kicking addictive habits, as saving throws, like any other poison or paralyzing effect.  I often add modifiers, when they seem appropriate ... usually an additional -1 modifier for every saving throw failed.

The result for 6 & 7 below represents the first time I've ever considered giving starting players more than zero experience; but here, and in this case, I think 10% is warranted.  It's only a moderate head start.

The results for 9 through 12 below represent simple crosstraining with other disciplines, or secrets gained from other races.

An 'opportunity purchase' goes like this.  The player is in a dungeon, and realizes they've forgotten to buy a lamp ... but what do you know, by the benefit of their wisdom, THEY DID remember to buy a lamp (retroactively).  Assumes the character has the money to pay for the purchase, else it isn't possible.

Of course, the result for 14 & 15 below requires my combat system.


Harlo said...

Am I misreading you, or are you saying that "homosexual inclinations" are somehow the result of a deficient wisdom score?
Because duuuude, that is not cool.

Alexis said...

Is it not humorous, knowing that this would definitely be brought up.

You will take note that the result appears if you exactly roll your wisdom ... which means, if your wisdom is 17 and you roll a 17 on a d20, or if your wisdom is 10 and you roll a 10 on a d20, you have homoerotic tendencies. It has nothing to do with how high your wisdom is. It is an utterly neutral result, and there is ALWAYS a 1 in 20 chance of getting it, regardless of what wisdom your character has.

Consider, Harlo, that I am including the result very carefully, in a game that NEVER gives one word towards the possibility. If you take the position that homosexuality is something one is BORN with, then it ought to be something a character has by chance, not something the character 'chooses' to play.

Harlo said...

I guess it just seems strange to connect it to wisdom of all things- if anything sexual orientation seems like it should be a roll unconnected to anything else-
BUT I really don't think that you need any sort of system, or that one is desirable. Obviously you don't choose your orientation any more than your race or sex in life, but I don't think anyone's gaming will be improved by you looking up from a table and gravely telling them that their character is gay, because you say so. It's just uncomfortable to have your sexuality dictated. Obviously this depends on the maturity of the group, but I can't see how that improves anything.

Alexis said...

I must play with some really mature people then. Rolled this result last night, for one of the two girls who play in my world who happen to be of lesbian orientation. My 'looking up from the table and gravely telling them' was met with cheers, much laughter, and arguments about why I didn't also include "transvestism" on the table (I consider this a choice). I already have a character (played by my daughter) who has chosen to run as a transvestite.

Incidentally, it was particularly humorous that the girl who got the homosexual result was playing a MALE character.

So, 'add' something? I don't know. Game is supposed to be fun, right? Is 'fun' an addition?

Harlo said...

I'd like to apologize for being so confrontational in my posts. I guess I just went through F.A.T.A.L flashbacks-
Bad memories of the harlot-breast-size tables in the Ready Ref sheets and neckbeard DMs aside, I really don't have any strong objections to the table itself, but I feel like this attitude can open the game to a level of granularity and intimacy that can become both cumbersome and uncomfortable.
My problem with the table (now that I step back) is pretty much purely rhetorical- I just strongly believe that level of detail (character sexuality in general) doesn't need to be introduced unless the player wants to.

Peppermint Nightmare said...

I was wondering if you ever reworked your tables for Dexterity, Constitution, and Charisma? And if so, where did you post them?

Alexis said...

Yeah, I should have done this and posted ages ago. I've worked at bits and pieces of it. But seeing that this is almost two years old, makes me feel guilty.

Let's say I'll try to have something to show in November.