Thursday, February 15, 2024

Slot Machine Level Up

The new level up method I am testing right now in this new campaign (We had only one session for now, so there is no feedback yet). Found in my old notes, probably inspired by this post. I call it the slot machine level up.


Instead of having your classic charts (for example the fighter's one above) I cut the requirements approximately into a third, rounding down to compensate the fact that I don't use prime requirement reductions.

level 1: 0
level 2: 600
level 3: 1200
level 4: 2500
level 5: 5000
level 6: 10000
level 7: 20000
level 8: 40000
level 9: 80000
level 10: 120000
level 11: 160000
level 12: 200000
level 13: 240000
level 14: 280000

Once a PC goes back to town with XP enough to get a new level, they do a training roll: a 2 in 6 chance to level up. No matter if you fail or pass, your XP amount is set to 0 after the roll.
This, in my humble mathematical knowledge, gives PCs stastically the same advantage rate as in the original (1 in 3 chance, with one third of the XP), but has a handful of things I like:

- Making uneven advancement for different PCs, because I like when there are PCs of different levels on a party as it makes for interesting hierarchy dynamics.

- Random payoffs have an addictive component. The feeling of "maybe I could level up at the end of this session" is something I think is cool.

- The amount of XP you have to track is small as it restarts from zero every time you level up. This has not any advantage beyond the psychological sensation of not tracking a big amount of numbers, but psychological shit is important. We live on the mind after all.

Wednesday, February 14, 2024

Stocking Dungeons fast with 2d6

Breaking news! I had my first game in ages yesterday, and when I grabbed my old notebook, I found a lot of useful shit I had written six months ago. The practical kind of stuff; which I intend to post in here in bits.

This is a table for stocking dungeons based on a 2d6 roll, instead of making two separate d6 rolls in two tables like BX says. The bell curve distribution is calculated to give similar enough probabilities (the actual calculations are lost but I trust my past self). Maybe you think that rolling 2d6 is about the same as rolling 1d6 in two different tables, but I drew 20 bubbles per page, connected them with random lines and stocked 2 dungeon floors faster than a cheetah. Roll once per room/area.

12 - Hidden treasure + special OR trap
11 - Hidden treasure
10 - Trapped treasure
9 - Treasure in plain sight
8 - Treasure guarded by a monster
7 - Monster
6 - Empty, showing tracks or clues about another room.
5 - Empty
4 - Special as by the book*
3 - Special + monster OR trap
2 - Trapped room

* I always struggle a little when coming up with special rooms. My first choice is put some useful items that are not considered properly "treasure". Other options are secret doors or windows to other rooms, stairs up or down to other levels, unsual features such as  an unnatural echo, a spring of fresh water, etc.  Maybe I should come up with a pre-planned list of random special features.

When a room contains treasure, you roll 2d6 in this table: sum both quantities and its the value of the treasure in silver pieces (using silver standard). Then multiply the amount per the dungeon level. A level 1 treasure is 290 sp on average.

6 - 500 sp
5 - 250 sp
4 - 100 sp
3 - 10 sp
2 - 5 sp
1 - 0 sp

If you roll doubles and the result is equal or lower than the dungeon's level +1, you also find a magic item. So if you get 0 sp you still get a magic item even at the first level of a dungeon (where the chance of magic item is 1 in 18 per treasure). If I recall correctly, I tried to replicate AD&Ds magic item chances with this, while also making treasure "level dependant" instead of "monster dependant".

 At the end is also written a table about what shape the treasure has:

6 - Gold pieces
5 - Silver pieces
4 - Silver pieces
3 - Jewels or gems
2 - Big or fragile items
1 - Small valuable items