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Old 10-19-2017, 01:23 AM   #1
tbone
 
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Default A sack of DFRPG questions!

  1. In both BS and DFRPG, I see no mention of how Cowardice interacts with Intimidation. Am I missing something, or is Cowardice, as written, simply not meant to reduce resistance to Intimidation?

  2. By the rules, does encumbrance affect Acrobatics? In Adventurers, neither the section on encumbrance nor the Acrobatics skill entry suggest so, but the description of thieves' armor (p110) does. (Wait – rules for Dungeon Parkour in Exploits give a definite "yes", so I guess this isn't actually a question after all. But let me know if I'm misunderstanding something.)

  3. Exploits p58 says poisoning a weapon is a long action, and refers the reader to page 32, which lists times for long actions – but not weapon poisoning. How long does it take?

  4. Notes for Esoteric Medicine (Druid) in Adventurers and medical treatment rules in Exploits state that a healer's kit is needed to use Esoteric Medicine – a pretty big consideration that's confirmed on Adventurers p114, tucked away in the kit description. The kit also gives +1 to skill. So, it would appear that one never rolls against straight skill for a practical application of Esoteric Medicine; you either roll at +1 for the kit, or you can't use the skill at all. Is this a correct understanding?

  5. Is Esoteric Medicine (Druid) affected by Nature's Strength?

  6. Wounded disad: Regular armor over the location of course protects the wound, but the writeup says nothing about whether natural armor (Tough Skin, fur, scales, etc.) covers what’s described as an "open wound". This omission would suggest that natural armor does protect, but that doesn't sound right. Am I missing something?

  7. Say a friendly group of players wants to cooperate in optimizing $$$ for the entire group, then share it evenly or however they like. (The rules don’t seem to place any arbitrary restrictions on how PCs can share starting wealth, treasure, or proceeds from selling loot; this is good, IMO.) Focusing for the moment only on selling loot, the winning formula to maximize income would seem to be this:
    1. Make sure at least one PC has reliable skills for correctly assessing the value of goods.
    2. Select one "moneybags" PC with either Very Wealthy [30] to automatically score 100% sell value, or Wealthy [20] and high enough social traits (which any bard PC will likely have) to almost always score 100% sell value.
    3. Get top coin for every sale, and share the proceeds as the group agrees.
    Is that a good understanding of how to maximize group income from selling loot?

  8. As above, but to even better munchkinize long-term group wealth: If all the sales are being made by Mr Moneybags, and if the group is willing to sacrifice collective starting wealth in favor of long-term income, does it make sense to further munchkinize the selling process by having everyone else take Poor or even Dead Broke? Those PCs can then divert the disad points into more delving awesomeness (to score even more loot). Mr Moneybags, meanwhile, in exchange for sacrificing so many character points on Wealth, can bask in the joy of financing the group (if that's what makes the player happy), or perhaps can benefit from some other arrangement (such as first choice of awesome loot that the group decides to keep and use, not sell). Any big flaws in this optimization strategy?

  9. Final, less-than-serious question: One Hand gives +1 to Intimidation if the hand is replaced with a knife, etc. Does a Corpse Golem get +2 for two knife-hands? (Less-than-serious rules lawyer response: "No; the book says the bonus is for One Hand; the Corpse Golem has no hands, so gets no bonus.")
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Old 10-19-2017, 01:28 AM   #2
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Default Re: A sack of DFRPG questions!

7. This is the same as it is with the DF line, yes. In my last game this was the Bard's primary role even above Diplomancy and he was optimized for it.

8. The main flaw, and it is a fairly big one, is that they won't have any gear to start, which could very well TPK before they ever get a chance to sell any loot.
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Old 10-19-2017, 02:04 AM   #3
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Default Re: A sack of DFRPG questions!

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Originally Posted by sir_pudding View Post
8. The main flaw, and it is a fairly big one, is that they won't have any gear to start, which could very well TPK before they ever get a chance to sell any loot.
Yep, it is a flaw... with a loophole. Imagine 4 Dead Broke PCs, plus Mr Moneybags with Wealthy: with his starting money, he can distribute $1000 to every PC at the start. (Make that $4000 per PC for Very Wealthy!)

Looks like "one rich PC, everyone else dirt poor" is a viable strategy for a money-hungry PC group in DFRPG (and DF, as you note).

Not that that's a problem; if it's what the players all want, then great! And if it does become a problem, the GM can always steer rewards away from salable loot, or place restrictions on selling ("the Wizard's Guild will henceforth buy magic items only from a licensed wizard"), etc.

It's also worth noting that selling stuff (or otherwise making money) is only part of the equation for optimizing $$$; buying stuff cheap also matters. And the rules for Getting Stuff Cheap call on a more varied set of skills (and miscellaneous traits like Dwarven Gear); it'll likely take varied PCs, not one specialized PC, to optimizing buying.

All in all, I like how these dynamics are playing out in DF/DFRPG...
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Old 10-19-2017, 02:58 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by tbone View Post
Yep, it is a flaw... with a loophole. Imagine 4 Dead Broke PCs, plus Mr Moneybags with Wealthy: with his starting money, he can distribute $1000 to every PC at the start. (Make that $4000 per PC for Very Wealthy!)

Looks like "one rich PC, everyone else dirt poor" is a viable strategy for a money-hungry PC group in DFRPG (and DF, as you note).
Which assumes that you start in town, and the town you start in has the stuff you need. If it was my game, you might find yourself starting the campaign attacked by bandits on the road or something, and really wishing you hadn't started naked and unarmed, next to a guy who spent all his points on being rich and is encumbered with bags of silver rather than armor and weapons.

EDIT: So not only a very likely TPK but the next party probably has to deal with especially well equipped bandits. Honestly this scheme seems more like a combination elaborate mass suicide and highwayman charity than a good way to optimize your character.

Last edited by sir_pudding; 10-19-2017 at 12:34 PM.
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Old 10-19-2017, 08:25 AM   #5
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Default Re: A sack of DFRPG questions!

Quote:
Originally Posted by tbone View Post
In both BS and DFRPG, I see no mention of how Cowardice interacts with Intimidation. Am I missing something, or is Cowardice, as written, simply not meant to reduce resistance to Intimidation?
Two things:

1 - Intimidation isn't always about physical danger, someone can make threats concerning others that the character cares or other things.

2 - Intimidation is all about convincing someone that you are not only capable of doing as you threaten, but willing. Failing to Intimidate means you've failed at one or both of these things.


Quote:
By the rules, does encumbrance affect Acrobatics? In Adventurers, neither the section on encumbrance nor the Acrobatics skill entry suggest so, but the description of thieves' armor (p110) does. (Wait – rules for Dungeon Parkour in Exploits give a definite "yes", so I guess this isn't actually a question after all. But let me know if I'm misunderstanding something.)
Not as far as I can tell.


Quote:
Exploits p58 says poisoning a weapon is a long action, and refers the reader to page 32, which lists times for long actions – but not weapon poisoning. How long does it take?
Good rule of thumb is one minute.

Quote:
Notes for Esoteric Medicine (Druid) in Adventurers and medical treatment rules in Exploits state that a healer's kit is needed to use Esoteric Medicine – a pretty big consideration that's confirmed on Adventurers p114, tucked away in the kit description. The kit also gives +1 to skill. So, it would appear that one never rolls against straight skill for a practical application of Esoteric Medicine; you either roll at +1 for the kit, or you can't use the skill at all. Is this a correct understanding?
huh. Didn't notice that dumb line in the Druid's write up of the skill. I thought the Druid and Cleric write ups would be nigh identical.

Quote:
Is Esoteric Medicine (Druid) affected by Nature's Strength?
No. Likewise for Clerics.

Though it should, as with the Cleric's ability it requires Sanctity to use.


Hmmm.... so maybe the Cleric's is bestowed by their diety and the Driud's by their kit?

Quote:
Wounded disad: Regular armor over the location of course protects the wound, but the writeup says nothing about whether natural armor (Tough Skin, fur, scales, etc.) covers what’s described as an "open wound". This omission would suggest that natural armor does protect, but that doesn't sound right. Am I missing something?
As per the write up for Tough Skin, it would be an open wound (if not covered by unnatural armor).

Quote:
Is that a good understanding of how to maximize group income from selling loot?
Yes.

Quote:
Final, less-than-serious question: One Hand gives +1 to Intimidation if the hand is replaced with a knife, etc. Does a Corpse Golem get +2 for two knife-hands? (Less-than-serious rules lawyer response: "No; the book says the bonus is for One Hand; the Corpse Golem has no hands, so gets no bonus.")
Corpse Golem doesn't even bother to make Intimidate checks.

But yeah, if you want to have the Corpse Golem make some cutting remarks to scare it's foes, I'd give it +2.
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Old 10-19-2017, 10:12 AM   #6
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Default Re: A sack of DFRPG questions!

Quote:
Originally Posted by tbone View Post

In both BS and DFRPG, I see no mention of how Cowardice interacts with Intimidation. Am I missing something, or is Cowardice, as written, simply not meant to reduce resistance to Intimidation?
Cowardice works just as it does in GURPS: It is about physical danger, mainly fighting, and doesn't have a social danger facet. Intimidation is social (even if it can have physical overtones), so it has no interaction with Cowardice. Fearfulness is the trait of being a general fraidy cat.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tbone View Post

By the rules, does encumbrance affect Acrobatics? In Adventurers, neither the section on encumbrance nor the Acrobatics skill entry suggest so, but the description of thieves' armor (p110) does. (Wait – rules for Dungeon Parkour in Exploits give a definite "yes", so I guess this isn't actually a question after all. But let me know if I'm misunderstanding something.)
In general, no – as in GURPS. Encumbrance has no effect when you use Acrobatics to pounce (Exploits, p. 40), dodge (Exploits, p. 48), deal with knockback (Exploits, p. 53), attempt the tricks in Speed Is Armor! (Exploits, p. 58), or break a fall (Exploits, p. 67). But for the specific tasks under Dungeon Parkour (Exploits, pp. 20-21), yes. You'll note that Adventurers, p. 12 speaks of "all uses" for Climbing, Stealth, and Swimming, but not for Acrobatics; this is why

Quote:
Originally Posted by tbone View Post

Exploits p58 says poisoning a weapon is a long action, and refers the reader to page 32, which lists times for long actions – but not weapon poisoning. How long does it take?
So long that you have to do it "before combat" – say, several minutes, so it makes no sense to try to do it when counting seconds.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tbone View Post

Notes for Esoteric Medicine (Druid) in Adventurers and medical treatment rules in Exploits state that a healer's kit is needed to use Esoteric Medicine – a pretty big consideration that's confirmed on Adventurers p114, tucked away in the kit description. The kit also gives +1 to skill. So, it would appear that one never rolls against straight skill for a practical application of Esoteric Medicine; you either roll at +1 for the kit, or you can't use the skill at all. Is this a correct understanding?
All forms of Esoteric Medicine require a kit when you treat injury – so yes, this skill is nearly always used at a bonus in that context. Many uses don't mention the kit, though; e.g., weird treatments (Exploits, p. 63), dealing with swallowed acid (Exploits, p. 65), and counteracting a heart attack (Exploits, p. 66). That is, when the skill stands in for "general medical knowledge."

Quote:
Originally Posted by tbone View Post

Is Esoteric Medicine (Druid) affected by Nature's Strength?
No. Druids use the roots and berries in their kits, so even when Nature is in a bad way around them, they have access to that. Clerics . . . mostly, they pray and hope for the best, so their situation isn't the same.

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Originally Posted by tbone View Post

Wounded disad: Regular armor over the location of course protects the wound, but the writeup says nothing about whether natural armor (Tough Skin, fur, scales, etc.) covers what’s described as an "open wound". This omission would suggest that natural armor does protect, but that doesn't sound right. Am I missing something?
Sort of . . . for one thing, Wounded doesn't actually say "open wound." It says "old wound."

More important, all DR protects against blows. Armor DR goes outside the wound, while natural DR reflects general toughness (i.e., you are injured and bleed but don't lose as many HP as somebody else). The missing link is under Tough Skin (Adventurers, p. 16), which is quite explicit: "It's also flesh, so it won't stop anything that requires a scratch (e.g., poison) or skin contact (e.g., electrical shock) if the attack carrying it does damage equal to or greater than the DR of any armor."

Thus, if you have Wounded and natural DR, the DR will subtract from damage from blows; otherwise, Wounded would reduce the cost of or forbid Tough Skin! However, natural DR won't help you against "poison that merely gets on your wound," because with Wounded, that's always something that requires skin contact.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tbone View Post

Say a friendly group of players wants to cooperate in optimizing $$$ for the entire group, then share it evenly or however they like. (The rules don’t seem to place any arbitrary restrictions on how PCs can share starting wealth, treasure, or proceeds from selling loot; this is good, IMO.) Focusing for the moment only on selling loot, the winning formula to maximize income would seem to be this:
  1. Make sure at least one PC has reliable skills for correctly assessing the value of goods.
  2. Select one "moneybags" PC with either Very Wealthy [30] to automatically score 100% sell value, or Wealthy [20] and high enough social traits (which any bard PC will likely have) to almost always score 100% sell value.
  3. Get top coin for every sale, and share the proceeds as the group agrees.
Is that a good understanding of how to maximize group income from selling loot?

As above, but to even better munchkinize long-term group wealth: If all the sales are being made by Mr Moneybags, and if the group is willing to sacrifice collective starting wealth in favor of long-term income, does it make sense to further munchkinize the selling process by having everyone else take Poor or even Dead Broke? Those PCs can then divert the disad points into more delving awesomeness (to score even more loot). Mr Moneybags, meanwhile, in exchange for sacrificing so many character points on Wealth, can bask in the joy of financing the group (if that's what makes the player happy), or perhaps can benefit from some other arrangement (such as first choice of awesome loot that the group decides to keep and use, not sell). Any big flaws in this optimization strategy?
If somebody thinks it's fun to play fantasy Reuben Tishkoff, why not? If they want to give up 20-30 points of delving abilities to have Wealth and/or high social traits, that's their chosen role in the group – and more power to them! It isn't any more "bad" or "broken" than somebody playing the cleric who shells out for Power Investiture 5 and lots of Energy Reserve to Bless people all the time and walk around at -1 to spells, or the knight-defender type who gets Rallying Cry, Sacrificial Block, Sacrificial Parry, Shield-Wall Training, and trades quirk points for more Leadership and Tactics so he can use "Onward to Victory!" (Exploits, p. 57).

(Aside: I've always had one player want to be the party moneybags, so I might be biased in favor of it.)

Quote:
Originally Posted by tbone View Post

Final, less-than-serious question: One Hand gives +1 to Intimidation if the hand is replaced with a knife, etc. Does a Corpse Golem get +2 for two knife-hands? (Less-than-serious rules lawyer response: "No; the book says the bonus is for One Hand; the Corpse Golem has no hands, so gets no bonus.")
Welll . . .

They'll be terrible at Intimidation due to low Will (a mere 8) and the Automaton trait (which gives -3). Starting at default Will-5, they'll have skill 0; with the equivalent of 1 or 2 points, they'll have skill 4-5. So I say go ahead and give them +2 because they need the help!

Of course, no official monster has Intimidation at all because it isn't very worthwhile against PCs . . .
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Old 10-19-2017, 11:46 AM   #7
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So I say go ahead and give them +2 because they need the help!
So you're saying they need a helping hand?
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Old 10-19-2017, 11:55 AM   #8
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If somebody thinks it's fun to play fantasy Reuben Tishkoff, why not? If they want to give up 20-30 points of delving abilities to have Wealth and/or high social traits, that's their chosen role in the group – and more power to them!
In my experience, this goes two ways - either there is absolute trust and co-operation within the group, or at least for Mr. Moneybags, and the ability to get better prices on loot is just a small subset of the benefits. Co-operation without suspicion is just a powerful tool, period. (As Kromm mentions, it is less important to group success than having a good & trustworthy healer.)

The other way is that someone gets resentful or suspicious, and suddenly it matters a LOT that only one PC owns all the stuff, but is significantly weaker at the murderizing part of the game...
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Old 10-19-2017, 12:22 PM   #9
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So you're saying they need a helping hand?
I think you've put your finger on it, yeah.
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Old 10-19-2017, 12:29 PM   #10
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I think you've put your finger on it, yeah.
I don't think I have a full grasp of your line of puns.
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