Thursday, November 18, 2010

Wiki, November 18, 2010

Hopefully, there will be updates every day, and eventually I'll settle down and only list them once per week.  But I feel quite boisterous at present.

Here are the updates from the last two days.

James has added some House Rules, Spell Fatigue and Magical Mishaps.

I've added some additional cities lists, for Bavaria, Bohemia and Brandenburg.  And I have added an upgrade to my Mass Effects table.

Looking over my computer files last night, I've determined that a great deal of what I want to post needs serious reworking in order to be comprehensive and valuable to the player.  If nothing else, I feel the wiki is going to be helpful in pressuring me to finally tidy up many tables which, for years, have really only been half useful since they have always been half done.  At the moment, most of what I can post easily here is fairly dry, but technical material I've developed for my trade tables and mapping ... things that needed to be exact in order for them to work.

As well, I'll have to stretch myself to work on projects I've long since given up on or done no work on for years, such as treasure and encounter tables.


Some of you may have noticed that certain maps failed to link properly on the wiki: specifically, that of Lithuania-Poland, the Baltic Sea, and the Lower Yenisey.  Thank you Anthony for pointing this out.  Those links have been fixed.


Symeon Kokolas said...

It's interesting to see the mass effects so described. Both of the pros are indeed handy benefits. A few words on the cons:
1) these ratios were discovered, not planned, and rely on arbitrary decisions made by the game's original creators. I find it more realistic that a character doesn't actually know how much more combat they can reliably take. This may not apply to later versions or other games where combat probabilities are/were used to generate experience tables.
2) instead of giving them additional skill-based hit dice, consider improving their AC instead. They are small, fast, and agile, and these things tend more toward avoiding blows entirely than in resisting them. Your alternative does work, provided these creatures' mass is more effective than human flesh at sustaining damage. Taking that approach opens the door to much more adjustments to the MM to account for natural armor, unusual or magical flesh, etc. Either approach should work out in the end, and both are already used in the MM to some extent.
3) an epic-length combat with a gargantuan supernatural being would at least be accurate. If it isn't fun (and they refuse to give up), then either give the party access to more powerful equipment/assets/allies or assign specific weak points and treat them almost as separate monsters. For instance, the 10-story dragon's hind leg tendons might be considered two separate targets, and overcoming their hp would represent a disabled body part. The party would not have killed the creature if it flees with a severed tendon, but they have certainly accomplished a difficult and dangerous task nonetheless. The same logic applies if the party gets smart and teams up with other adventurers or even armies to take down very large threats; they would still take a share of their effort in xp, proportionate to the amount by which they had disabled the creature. This is probably easier to calculate under later rulesets (particularly 3rd ed.) which provide methods for calculating encounter experience with various combinations or fractions of monster encounters. It also wouldn't really be necessary using your xp system (except as a tool for handling partial disabling of large creatures), since characters already receive an award representative of their effectiveness.

KenHR said...

Still working on my promised piece of the wiki...sorry I've been out of communication. Getting up to speed with a new band (again).

graham said...

It just occurred to me how elegantly mass based hit points could work with your idea of rewarding combat xp for damage given and received.
Are you still using that system?

Alexis said...

I am indeed, graham.

The party loves it, I love it, there will be no going back to the old method. In fact, cleaning out my computer last night and looking for stuff to post on the wiki, I found my old increased-complexity file about monster experience calculation vis a vis p. 85 of the DMG and threw it away. Deleted, gone forever.

Felt great.

Anthony said...

I was looking through your population stats on the new wiki. Just at a glance, I noticed Berlin had a listed population of over 200k, but my understanding is that the city didn't boom in population until the early 19th century. Do you go back and modify outliers where there is decent population statistics or just let the system roll onward?

Alexis said...

Since I don’t have any better information for what centres did and did not ‘boom in population,’ how much, or when, then yes, I let the system roll onward. It seemed easier to just allow a Berlin (which is, you pointed out quite correctly, is probably much larger in my world than it would have been in 1650) to be big and important, than to try to fiddle with every individual centre on the basis of no better a measure than historical conjecture.

Truth be told, we have no idea how many people any city had at virtually any point in history prior to 1800. Very often, only certain groups were counted, contemporary sources had a tendency to over-count for the sake of importance, and in any case ‘counting’ is a remarkably poor methodology for determining any population, anywhere. Present day figures are really only accurate in a mathematical sense, based more upon statistical analysis than upon the census – which can still only count those persons who choose to answer, and which guarantees in no way that those who answer are being honest. People lie for all kinds of reasons. That is why a statistical calculation tends to be a practical methodology.

In any case, it’s my world, I needed consistent numbers, so Berlin is a big, big place. Strangely, individual centres aside, I find the total population figures I have gotten from this system have proved to be quite reasonable, however those people might actually be distributed.

I did make some manual changes, based on key words in wikipedia, applying the changes across the board whenever those words came up: 'destroyed,' 'plague,' 'burned to the ground,' 'pestilence,' 'massacred,' 'abandoned' and so on. I couldn't list all the words, but I have a head for this sort of thing.

I'm still doing the research, of course; intermittently working on India at present.