Monday, July 22, 2013

Internets, debateabke

My inter web access is spotty at best, so I'm updating from my phone. It is less than adequate.

I'm running two lotfp games, one of which is online over g+ and I must say that it is working way better than I thought possible. Provided, of course that I have internet.

Any way,

I was thinking about how fragile first level characters are in lotfp and whether that is a function of the system or my DMing style. I've yet to run a session with rookie PC's where somebody didn't die.

My stock baddies for low level have 4 HP and no armor, generally hitting for d4 or worse damage and the party is almost never out numbered.

Statistically, the average PC starts the game superior in every way.

The only major difference between with lotfp is that my combat rolls are made in the open, meaning I cannot fudge the dice in favor of the players, something that I admit to doing, especially at low level. Because when your party gets wiped out by two goblins in an alley, it is usually not very fun.

I feel the need to note that I have never once done the opposite and fudged in favor of the baddies. As a DM, I'm winning when we're all having fun, not when my numbers are better than your numbers.

I do feel, however, a twinge of guilt at fudging at all, as I feel that to provide an advantage to the players is just as dirty a trick as trying to murder them.

Any advantage the players gain should be their own doing. (not by fudging, mind you, but by setting up an ambush or learning a monsters weakness for cheese)

So, is the x-factor me? Are players dying in droves because I'm not shielding them?

Death is so prevalent that I've instituted the Shields Will Be Shattered rule and the It Gets Worse rules.

My instincts tell me to drop all that nonsense and roll and let die.

1 comment:

  1. In which I rant with little oversight and too many parentheses.

    As one of those players with a character that's died twice, a lot of it is the system vs our expectations. LotFP has a purposely deadly system where the only actually competent soldiers are the fighter class & monsters (if you make them that way).

    To hit a naked guy (AC 12) as any other class @ 1d20+1 you've got to roll an 11 or above. That's a 50% chance of failure or success. Random results have a tendency to group. So when things go sour, they go fucking south and tend to stay that way for several rolls. If the Ref. also has some rolls grouping (good or bad) then combat drags on forever or gets deadly really damn fast. Hard to say which of these situations is worse. This situation NEVER improves.

    All non-fighter classes aren't really designed to do anything other than their one-note thing: spells, skills, or whatever (or offering meager & haphazard combat support). (And in the case of spells it's one fucking note a day @ lvl. 1 ... period.) The default assumption for a LotFP group (whether PCs or PCs and Hirelings) seems to be a large group with one of every class and a few soldiers where everybody does their one thing (and somebody's probably gonna die anyway). We don't have that large a group and aren't used to playing that way.

    I think the problem is that we're trying to play LotFP like it was 2E w/ all the options turned-on (or like my system, Grit). It just doesn't work that way. Even using 2E without the situational modifiers for attacking smartly I used to give out like candy when I DMed, it still kind of drags. (and special moves via stat checks

    As for keeping the characters alive but with bad consequences that may be worse. Continuing to play a character with a bad track-record and increasing penalties tends to get progressively less fun. It may be better to start fresh each death. That of course makes plotting very difficult so yeah.

    In short, LotFP is different. Do we change the way we play or change the system or just play something else?