Monday, July 29, 2013

16-Bit Adventures v2.0

16 Bit Adventures
+Erik McGrath

Yesterday saw a moment of truth in 16-Bit Adventures. I had a vague suspicion that the math of DMG vs DEF was a time consuming and that it would break down in a few places. I was not prepared for the fact that it lead to LV5 monsters being largely ineffective vs low armor PCs and, in the case of Redcaps, incapable of doing any damage at all to the Fighter with their Goblin Punch.

Even a crit did 0 which was very bad for the monster since LV5 Fighters have Retaliate which gives them a free attack when they are critted by a physical attack.

The Trouble

The root of the problem is that offense needs to keep ahead of defense but more specifically the worst physical attacks need to keep pace with the best defenses otherwise you get these issues with monsters dealing 0. Its one thing if the physical attack of a caster monster is ineffective against a fighter with maxed defense, but these were standard monsters who only had physical attacks. Attacks that were meant to be dangerous.

Now I will admit that changing the math could have fixed that, but it would do so by inflating the numbers even more to the point where we would see great axes dealing +50 or more damage than staves by level 10. With defense factored in that would mean a staff has no net bonus and a great ax is more like +50 total. That would work but it requires doing more arithmetic than I am comfortable forcing people to do. I'd prefer most of the math to just be addition with subtractions being something special.

The Fix

The simple solution was to simply remove DEF and M.Def from the equation. It makes it so the DMG and M.Dmg numbers can stay smaller and let's HP take up the sole role of saying how tough a character is. Like I said, simple, but not entirely satisfying. 

To make it satisfying my idea was to move DEF/M.Def into the attack roll in a similar manner to how EVA works. If you roll equal or under EVA you miss, so its an easy matter to add a small step there: if you roll equal or under DEF you deal half damage. 

Now the ATK or M.ATK roll determines if the hit deals 0, half, full or critical damage just by comparing the result showing on the die. 

As a bonus this is more like how the video games parse attack vs defense. They work as a ratio with a randomizer that is altogether too much work for me to do at the game table but this method gives a decent approximation of the results with a minimum of effort. 

The last thing that's needed as some way to make relative level matter more and for that I will again use the solution I have for EVA. If the attacker and defender are more than 1 level apart the higher level one gets +1 to EVA, DEF & M.Def and the lower level one gets -1 to those. 

16-Bit Adventures Version 2

Look for the PDF mid-week. There's a lot of reformatting to be done. 

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Today's share brings the number of classes to 10 for 16-Bit Adventures.

+Erik McGrath

Yesterday was game day for Inspired and it went so well that I never got a chance to post about it until now. Well, fixing the toilet may have contributed but nevermind that...

So without further ado, here's a teaser pic of:

Monster Families

In this case the picture is of the Goblin Family. You can see there are only four of the evil, little buggers but no doubt you will encounter many dozens of each of those in your own adventures. Goblins are an example of a quick monster. They have low HP and DMG but high EVA and Agility. They aren't particularly smart, not personable nor strong, all they really have is their speed and the power of the punch. 

Their normal attacks are really nothing to fear. Most of them will hit the Party Leader (ie the tank) and they are not good at hurting anyone in heavy armor. Even a higher level Goblin is nothing to fear if it sticks to normal attacks. The catch of course is Goblin Punch. Zoom in on the pic above (or click on the link to it at the bottom of this entry) and you will see that Goblin Punch throws a lot of dice. the individual hits are still weak, in fact they are weaker than the Goblin's normal attacks, but there are lots of them. 

And that means lots of chances for them to crit. Due to their low HP, Black Mages find Goblins to be excellent target practice for trying out their AE2 spells.

Chapter PDFs

For ease of editing I am now handling each section of the 16-Bit Adventures rules as its own document complete with copy-pasta front page. This allows me to more easily focus on one aspect of the game and in the last week that has been Monsters and Job Classes. The monster chapter isn't even close to done which is why I've only shared a single page, but the JC chapter is perfectly usable and is included in this week's links. 

Rather than sticking two different classes on one page and then doing the same for their character sheets the new method is to put the sheet and class info on one page and then print the entire thing for play. This gives the player a reference since all the rules for their abilities are on the sheet and also let's them salivate over what is to come as they level. 

The sheets themselves are much improved and now have spaces for such things as XP and GP.

16-Bit Adventures PDFs

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Stopover in Secondville: a module for 16-Bit Adventures

An Old Tower and a Dark Knight

+Erik McGrath

These days the small village of Secondville is little more than a waystation across the plains, between the river crossing and the northern mountains.

Long ago it was part of a thriving cluster of settlements ruled by the wise Count Orlock. From his fortress in the western hills, he could survey his entire domain and see invaders and monsters approaching days before they could be a danger.

But old age is an enemy that even the wisest are ill-prepared to face, and the Count could not go quietly into the night. He dedicated his wealth to finding a way to reverse his aging and give him more years to guard his people, but year after year there was no result and eventually the Count was too old to leave his bed and one night he finally died.

The seasons turned and for awhile the county prospered but then soldiers came from the west and without the old Count there was no hope of turning the invaders back. All seemed lost when the enemy arrived at the old tower, but the soldiers who went in with the first wave never returned and when the second wave attacked they were met by a towering figure in black armor with eyes of fire leading a battalion of howling ghouls and whispering shades.

The unholy force easily destroyed the invaders adding the many dead to its own ranks and then for a brief time there was peace once more... until the undead began to hunger once again and there were no invaders on which to feed. The Count, as he called himself though none could recognize their noble lord in the terrible monster they beheld, demanded sacrifices from the people and soon the villages became abandoned.

Now only Secondville remains. It is too far for the undead to reach in one night from the forbidding tower, though many lurk in the hills to west and north, emerging when the sun sets. Most disturbing are the living soldiers who have entered the Count's service. How they withstand the hunger of the damned is unknown, and why they would serve such a monster even less understandable to the villagers.

16-Bit Adventures PDFs

Now that you have some backstory, here are the PDFs you need to go and slay the evil Count!

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Feedback Updates for 16 Bit Adventures (v1.2)

+Erik McGrath

This is a short post. I spent some time since my last tests fixing the errors we found and making some minor changes to help bookkeeping and better explain things. I expect to keep making these over the week and will post again on Sunday with the best version.

For now I have:

  • Added M.Atk columns to the class pages.
  • Added M.Atk and M.Dmg boxes to all character sheets. The reason for adding those to the non-casters will soon be revealed.
  • Changed ATK and M.ATK progressions. My test group hit Lv3 this past Sunday and we discovered that Monks were getting a 3rd attack before anyone else ever got a 2nd one.
  • Changed the Fast weapon property to work more like AE magic.
  • Simplified AE magic spells. They now only roll 1 die per target and gain a static bonus for additional dice.
  • Adjusted amount of HP Cure restores.
  • Clarified some spell descriptions.
  • Changed Crits. The previous way was too swingy at low level. The new way changes very little at higher level but makes a huge difference at low levels.

16-Bit Adventures PDFs

Sunday, July 7, 2013

16 Bit Adventures Update, a TTJRPG

+Erik McGrath

Sunday is for Gaming

Today I'm pleased to announce that not only is my blog post on time, but I have updated the 16-Bit Adventures PDF to include clarifications on all the questions I have gotten over the last week as well as to add new material. For example there is now a page with item costs and effects and the EVA value of each class has been added to the class page.

Additionally I have added the adventure I have been using to test with my own group: Adventure in Firstown. Hopefully this will give people some ideas on how to make their own adventures or at least some insight into how to use the formula tables in the basic rules. 

New Classes: Paladin & Dark Knight

The first batch of additional class options is in this version. Class pages and character sheets are included. Those familiar with Final Fantasy should find the classes familiar. Both are similar to the Fighter in that they are strong, tough melee combatants but the Paladin sacrifices offense for white magic while the Dark Knight sacrifices defense for black magic.

New 16-Bit Adventures PDFs

16-Bit Adventures: Basic Rules
Adventure in Firstown