Monday, November 23, 2009

Dungeoneer: Part II

The third part of the book is The Rules of the Game
This is obviously the meat of the system. It starts out with a discussion of character creation. As I mentioned in my previous post, heroes have three characteristics: Skill, Stamina, and Luck. They are generated as follows:
Skill d6+6
Stamina 2d6+12
Luck d6+6
Skill determines how good you are at doing things.
Stamina determines how much damage you can take. If it reaches zero you go down. If it reaches -3, lights out.
Luck can be used to try reducing damage or avoiding negative consequences. You spend a luck point for the opportunity to roll.

The system has two major mechanics. In combat you make an opposed roll of 2d6 + weapon skill, higher roll does damage. The other mechanic is a 2d6 under skill or characteristic.

There are no character classes. The player can come up with a concept and then build the character to suit. There are no artificial constraints on these concepts either. If you want a sword-wielding sorcerer, go for it. There will be certain drawbacks to this, which I will explain momentarily, but you can certainly create one.

Advanced Fighting Fantasy is a skill based system. It has few skills, just 20 noncombat skills plus individual weapons skills. This isn’t many when compared to other systems but you can still build a variety of character concepts with them. The skill characteristic determines the amount of points you can put into special skills. If you have an initial skill of 10 you can put 10 points into special skills. The number of points you put into a special skill is added to your initial skill score to determine the final special skill score. So if a character with an initial skill of 10 puts 2 points into Axe, then the Axe special skill score is 12. This leads to the major criticism leveled against the system. A character with a high initial skill score will have more skills at a higher level than those with lower initial scores. These high skill characters have a good chance of dominating the action. I think this is easily remedied. Either give each character the same number of points to spend on skills or have some sort of inverse proportion solution. The higher your initial skill, the less points you have to spend on special skills.

Magic is handled the same way but with a slight twist. You can take magic as a skill, as many points as you can afford. For each skill point you put into magic you select three points worth of spells. Each spell is rated by the number of stamina points it costs to cast. So if you put one point into magic you could, for example, choose three spells that cost one stamina point to cast. Now the catch is this: You reduce your initial skill level by the number of points you put into magic. So, if you start with an initial skill of 11 and put 3 skill points into magic, you reduce your initial skill score to 8. Since your initial skill level is reduced so is any other skill you have selected. The spell list is limited to 38 spells ranging in cost from 1 to 10 stamina points. Magic has its drawbacks though. Like any other skill test a roll of double 6s is an automatic failure which can cause bad things to happen to the caster.

The rest of the rules cover combat in a bit more detail and noncombat skill in more detail, including positive and negative modifiers.

The rules section is followed by another, longer adventure. This is a sequel to the first adventure in the book. It is also fairly railroady also.

The fourth part of the book - Further Adventures – is a short section for the director. It discusses how characters earn experience points, how to create an adventure, how to set up a campaign, and contains a short monster section. Very succinct.

All and all I find this to be an interesting little game. Quite simple. I think it could be quite fun if you take it for what it is. I kind of wish I had this when I introduced my sons to rpgs.

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