– The Second Santa Claus-ification

Posted: September 14th, 2018 | Author: | Filed under: News | No Comments »

Back in 1999-2000 I was playtesting the game, then in its 11th and 12th edition, with several group of players. The rules back then were very different from the 14th edition which you may know, and even more dis-similar to the 15th edition, which is in the works now. There were more abilities, more attributes, and a lot more mechanics to keep abreast of and in mind when playing. A lot of mechanics were in the form of “x number of D10 dice under a particular stat, ability or attribute”. This made it hard to remember, but allowed for a great deal of detail.

To avoid Acid Wave, roll 6D10 under CON (Constitution) or 4D10 under SPD/2 (Speed) or be dissolved by the magical acid spray.

Then there was Santa Claus. That wasn’t her real name, but everyone called her Santa Claus for reasons that have no bearing on this story. Santa Claus didn’t hold with numbers very well. Her talents were elsewhere, and she struggled trying to keep the rules and all the rules straight.

I took this on board and performed a process which was later dubbed the Santa Claus-ification. This was a rightening of the entire system into D100-format, so that all rolls were D100 against a modifier and a goal, not a nearly arbitrary number of D10 that had to be summed up.
This process also informed me in working with the 15th edition of game, building on the 14th to make it sturdier, and easier.

However, obviously the process tied a knot on itself somewhere along the line, and I have noticed some structural issues creeping in.

The roll is modified by 35, so the trait of 90 plus the roll of 41 minus 35 (90 (trait) – 41 (roll) – 35 (modification)) results in a difference of 14, which is not enough to succeed.

Somewhere in the back of my head I have felt this was the wrong way to go, and have been almost subverting these structural issues as they arise when writing adventures for the playtesting. It wasn’t until yesterday that I understood the full breadth and depth of these issues, however. Luckily the fix isn’t very difficult, only time-consuming, and I am calling this the “Second Santa Claus-ification” as it is a rightening of crooked rules, to make them more harmonious, sturdier and robust, and easier to learn and play with.

The trait is modified by -35 for this roll, resulting in a trait of 55 (90-35). The roll is 41, which results in a difference of (55-41) 14, which is not enough to succeed.

I am happy I caught these issues now so that they didn’t make it into print.

I am also happily working away at an online character sheet that does most of this math on its own. All the player has to do is put “x” where it applies, and the sheet will take care of burden, injury and magical modifiers, for instance.



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