Know Quarter

Things have been a tad bit more quiet around here for a whole hoary host of reasons. For one, I’ve been thoroughly entrenched in developing the Occult Detective RPG, I’ve had several writing projects that needed to be sorted, and I’ve been concentrating more on my physical, mental, and spiritual health. But perhaps the biggest undertaking that has kept me away from the blog table (something I aim to rectify from here forward) is the wrapping up of the Oak Hill RPG Club Campaign PDF.

The No Quarter Player’s Handbook sits at 258 pages and covers the politics, religions, and cultures of the island continent of Drakkarsys on a world called Enochia. It also has more than a little homebrew rule tinkering sprinkled throughout.

Two of the biggest changes I thought I’d share with you now.

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CRITICAL HITS

They’re a big part of the game and in this campaign, with wounds being such an important factor, I thought it appropriate to alter the damage levied by a natural 20 (or 19 in some cases). The change is nothing you wouldn’t find elsewhere, just a simple maximum damage allotted for the brutal blow. Far tamer than we’ve been using in recent years, but with Epic 6 in play, I thought it appropriate.

Characters are in a far more precarious position in No Quarter. Players are going to have to use their wits and manage resources in ways they simply have not in recent campaigns.

It makes for more sense to lessen the critical hit blow from what has been standard at our table. Maximum damage added to a roll of the dice seems like overkill in No Quarter. The world is dangerous enough and a critical hit’s impact will be the same in this world.

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SKILL CHECKS

The other change is a little more tinkery. Perhaps the most used mechanic in our games is skill checks. It has always bothered me that anyone can attempt a skill. If you have proficiency in the skill, you get your proficiency bonus. In an Epic 6 campaign, you max out at +3.

Think about it. Artemas is one of the most skilled rogues in the City of Sorrows. Crouched before a door with a lock that needs picking, at say a difficulty of 10, the thief needs a roll of a 7 to get in. She rolls an adjusted 6. Up steps Joe the Butcher, a 0-level lunkhead who says he’ll give it a go. He tosses his d20 and rolls a 10. Chest sorted. Too bad Artemas.

As stands, there’s just not a huge difference between a normal everyday Joe and a master burglar like Artemas. So, how do we set things right?

In No Quarter, if you do not have a proficiency in a skill you roll at disadvantage. Now Joe has to toss two d20s and hope they both top out at 10 or better. This does two things: it makes the character with a skill proficiency an even greater asset to the party and it makes a more memorable experience for the non-proficient player who succeeds despite the odds.

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All in all, I think these changes, along with so many others, will make for a thrilling campaign. By shifting the focus, enhancing the rules, but keeping the inherent simplicity of 5e I hope to craft a game with plenty of intrigue and swashbuckling action.

 

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