Saturday, November 20, 2010

Bye, Bye, Size

Size has been removed from DINO-PIRATES OF NINJA ISLAND.

The d20 ruleset introduced a quantified set of sizes, from Diminutive to Colossal (or is it Gargantuan? I can never remember), with a whole host of modifiers to go with them (of course). They work pretty well, and in a game like D&D, where you're fighting beasties of all sizes and types, and where you (and your compatriots) might be changing size with some regularity, it's a useful thing to have quantified.

But it kind of makes life difficult.

Especially so with DPoNI's use of two defensive values, Dodge and Parry. When I combined that with the Pathfinder notion of Maneuvers, I had a bit of a pickle in that there were now FOUR defensive numbers that attackers might need to hit:

Base Defense (used for when you're flat-footed)
Dodge (Base Defense + Dex (+ Size Mod))
Parry (Base Defense + Str (+ Size Mod))
Maneuver DC (Base Defense + Str (+ reverse Size Mod (like Grapple)))

Way too much to be worrying about.

So I thought, why not apply Maneuvers against PARRY, rather than Maneuver DC? They're the same thing... except for the size modifier...

Now I did think about just going with the reverse Size Mod for Parry (it kinda makes sense -- bigger creatures ought to be better at Parrying), but in virtually all DPoNI combats that I've run to date, the characters are fighting other humans, not big (or tiny) monsters. DPoNI games aren't about fighting monsters, they're about awesome swashbuckling awesomeness, which doesn't depend on monsters.

So it seemed like losing Size wouldn't be a big deal.

I'm running a PbP with this revised ruleset, so we'll see how it plays. I've also monkeyed with the Damage system -- removed the whole concept of Fatigue (so now Powers deal non-lethal damage on failed Resilience rolls), and made the Bruised/Hurt level more likely than later ones. My hope is that you get more carry-over conditions (where a more serious injury is due to using up all the lower slots rather than just rolling really bad once), and that the Warrior core ability to remove all Bruised and Hurt becomes a more commonly-used ability (to date, nobody has ever used it in any game I've run).

So some quick rule changes. One of the benefits of an online ruleset like DINO-PIRATES is that these sorts of changes can be made without having to release "a new version".


  1. Anonymous1:50 PM

    Most of those changes make a lot of sense given the the scope of the setting. I'm a big fan of modifying the rules to better fit the setting. With True20 based systems I worry off and on about mixing the magic system with the damage system. What's keeping you away from a Mana point system?

  2. If I end up with the Everly Brothers stuck in my head all day long, it's your fault, you know.

  3. DT: To be honest, I've never liked point-based magic. I much prefer the "maybe I have enough juice for one more shot, maybe not" feel of the Resilience save. But it may not work out -- we'll have to see.

    Joshua: Heh. I was going to call it "Wake Up, Little Size"

  4. Better than "I'll Do My Sizin' In the Rain" I suppose. And I couldn't make "All I Have to Do is Dream" or "Bird Dog" or "Cathy's Clown" into anything that made any sense at all.