Sunday, February 13, 2011

Roll to Fail, Again


Well, I'm back to hating this Roll to Advance setup. I didn't even get 3 posts out tweaking the system and I still don't like it. Let me summarize the tweaks then talk about why I still don't like them.

Predictability. I posted this one. Essentially, we changed up the die roll to use a bell curve rather than linear advancement chance. Yet, the problem still remains. Every session, you know if you will level, yes or no. If yes, then you know the percentage. We simply lose a great aspect of the advancement game and I don't see how gaining a set amount of XP and/or rolling to hit an advancement target will ever be unpredictable like standard D&D.

Risk vs Reward. Here my idea was to offer a additional XP points and/or rolls if the players took on a big risk. It is totally arbitrary though. For example, if the party encounters a group of enemies with more than twice the HD of the total amount of the party's levels, it could be worth 2 XP points. Maybe thrice the amount could be three XP. But this really doesn't tackle risk and reward. Instead, it focuses on meta-gaming. Risk isn't so easily quantifiable by HD.

Plus this does nothing to address the original concern for trying out a Roll to Advance system, namely, the ability to give out XP outside of combat and loot. I could establish something like, if you enter a venture that requires the risk of more than half of your net worth, then you would gain 2 XP. Again, total crap.

Mixed Levels. Here we would establish a rule where you divide the average party level by your character's level, rounded to the nearest whole number. That is the amount of XP you gain and/or the number of rolls you make to advance. So a 1st level in a party of 4th levels gets 4 XP and 4 rolls, so he probably levels up after 1 session. By 2nd level, he gets 2 XP and 2 rolls, so maybe it takes him 2-3 sessions to level. Then, at 3rd level, he is back to normal advancement. This does actually address the problem relatively well.

However, in the end, these band aids still don't really solve the underlying problems I have. They just mechanically hide their worst symptoms.

SO! Back to XP for gold pieces and monster HD then...

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