On alternate rulings #dnd

Good gods I didn’t realize it had been so long since I posted. Some DM I am. Well work often takes precedence over pleasure, but sorry.  So:

I recently spoke with one of my newly discovered gamer-friends about his gaming experiences and how he got into tabletop gaming.  This fellow is one of the many who prefer the story and the action to the crunching and the grinding, a “right-brained” player VS a “left-brained” player as he put it.  Once we got out of the way that this really just meant that he didn’t like doing math to play a game, he explained to me an interesting method of ruling for games that he had learned from a system called FUDGE, which I had heard of very briefly but never looked into.  On a close inspection, I’ve noted that this is actually a great little system, simple and easily modified into whatever you would like to make it, and it would be particularly beneficial for a free-form game where the entire plot is run on the fly by the players.

So we’ve noted that this would work well for a free-form and highly PC driven game, but what about a more rigid setting like most pre-plotted D20 games? Where is the right spot to use a +1/+2 /-1/-2 ruling for your players actions when everyone is used to the 20+ rule? Personally I think this would fit well into situations where the PC is very skilled at whatever he or she is doing, or is simply attempting to maintain an already good performance.  Perhaps a situation would best explain this method: the PC’s are meeting with dignitaries in a council to see what should be done about the encroaching orc army, and are trying to gain favor and aid from the neighboring countries. The Bard in the party has rolled a high diplomacy check and has several of the diplomats eating out of her palm. Is another d20+ roll really necessary to make or break their allegiance? Not really.  I mean even if the player lets out a social faux pa or two it won’t completely turn their favor against the group.  So for this situation a roll of +/- 1 or 2 would do very well to see just HOW much the diplomats are willing to assist the party.  A negative reduces the amount of assistance, and a positive increases it.  Once the first test has been passed, it seems almost cruel to make the entire situation hinge on that last roll.

Then again, what about non-social situations?  While there aren’t many non-roleplaying situations that enable the player to just let themselves slide along on a single roll, you can use the +/- 1 or 2 to again determine the effectiveness of the outcome, or perhaps allow that to be used for a fate or action point to make an exceptional attack or action.  Again, this situation can run as such: The wizard in the party has just cast an offensive spell and wants to spend an action point to deposit another die worth of damage into the spell.  The DM can decide that fluxing magic in such a way can cause backlash, and asks the player to roll the +/- 1 or 2 die, either dealing more damage or less, or even dealing damage to the player or causing other arcane effects.

Another way this can be used would be for in-game customization with the players, such as creating a new ritual or magical item. The +/- 1 or 2 can add a lot of variants to your game if you play around with it and loosen up with your rules a bit. Sometimes things just turn out better or worse, and this can help add that touch of fate into your game.

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~ by darkpatu on August 29, 2011.

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