The goblins lay battered and moaning around Rongar as he counted the strange ten-sided nuggets that they had left scattered on the table. Gold to be sure, but oddly shaped. The last conscious goblin had told him they had taken them from a kobold mine to the East. Should be easy enough to run them off and take over the operation. He'd need a bit of help, though. There had to be a wizard worth his salt in town somewhere. Preferably a dwarven wizard.
Do any of you remember way, way back when Rongar Darkhammer made his first (and only) appearance here on the blog? It happened in June of 2010 in the "Taking Out the Trash" post. Almost two and a half years later, I'm finally ready to continue his adventures. I'm nothing if not patient.
A lot of that time was filled with a bunch of life stuff. But some of the delay was because I hadn't really worked out just what it was I wanted to try to do with the plot line. The rest was deciding what adaptations I wanted to make to Sword Play and Warrior Heroes. I decided that I would rather use Rongar's adventures as a way to help me work out some issues I'm sure to have while writing my own rules. I can play through each scenario several times and see what I like and what I don't before I subject some friends to them. Back to Rongar.
Rongar took stock of his assets and pondered the best way to approach the problem. Aside from his stein, decent armor and fine battle axe, he had very little in the way of possessions. Kobold gold would go a long way toward rectifying that if he could find quality veins. His natural Dwarven ability would help, but magical dowsing would increase the prospects of greater fortune. Now where to find that wizard?
"Wench! Would you bring me another tankard of Root Cellar Surprise? And I'm in need of some information."
"Emily," she said. "The name is Emily, not wench." A perky bar maid plopped a beer down in front of him and headed back to the bar.
All right. Here are the first few hurdles. Rongar needs to interact with Emily.That can always be done purely by role-playing the situation out and the GM deciding what happens. But what if he doesn't have a set agenda and wants to let things happen more randomly? I'll need some quantified stats for characters, monsters and NPCs. I'll also need some mechanic for determining success and failure of actions. I'd also like to incorporate variable degrees of success or failure.
I like the look of White Wolf's Vampire and Werewolf game mechanics. So I've chosen ten-sided dice for my system. For the basic rules, one could use any type of die they wanted since I'll be counting pass/ fails based on 50% of the numbers on the die; 1-5 fail, 6-10 succeed. I'm going to stick with 10-sided for now because want to build in a critical failure/ success method; 1s subtract a success from the total rolled, 10s can be rolled again for additional successes. Very similar to White Wolf, but I don't want to mix adding/ subtracting dice with variable target numbers as game mechanics. One could use 6-sided dice, but the chances of the addition or subtraction of successes greatly increases. I want enough variance to give about a 10% per die of each result.
The characters will need attributes. I've broken them down into six that I want to use. I've broken them down into three physical and three mental.
Physical: Strength (STR), Agility (AGI), Fitness (FIT)
Mental: Personality (PER), Intelligence (INT), Willpower (WIL)
I have a general idea of what each attribute encompasses, but they will probably mutate over the course of writing and play testing. It would be easy to go way overboard and list a couple of dozen attributes to use. But for the goal of RPG lite, six will suffice and may end up being more than I want.
Rongar's attributes: STR 3, AGI 2, FIT 3, PER 1, INT 2, WIL 1
Emily: PER 3
For this interaction, Emily only needs one attribute. I'll add more later if needed. How I chose attributes will be discussed at another time.
Rongar has a slight problem on his hands. He's already insulted Emily and his Personality attribute isn't very good. Rongar will be rolling 1d10 vs. Emily's 3d10. Emily will be bumped a die to 4d10 due to Rongar's faux pas. He needs to sweeten the pot so he'll offer her one of the gold nuggets. That's more money than Emily would see several months so Rongar will get a hefty 3d10 bonus for a total of 4d10.
"Miss Emily, my excitement got the better of me," Rongar said. " Would you accept this trinket as apology and payment for any information you could provide?"
Emily tucked the gold into her waistband. "This will buy forgiveness for the slight," she said. "But the information will cost you more. I want in for a cut. Take me with you."
Rongar thought a moment. "Done, " he said. "Now where can I find a wizard?"
"We'll need to go down into Little Moria and find Old Crow. I finish work at ten."
Rongar rolled 4 dice for: 1,5,8,10. The 10 was re-rolled as a 3 for no extra successes. His total was 1 success (2 -1 for the 1 he rolled). Emily rolled poorly: 2,3,3,5 for no successes. Rongar barely persuades Emily to tell him what he wants to know and ends up with more than he bargained for.