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An Open Letter to Implore You to Play Old Games

Alban

Registered User
Validated User
That's like the RQ2 breakpoints. 13+, 17+, and 21+ for skill bonuses. Str+Siz=25+ for damage bonuses. Siz 16+ for the best SR. Forget the breakpoints for hit points in locations, but getting 4HP or more in the arms was pretty important. At the less heroic end on things, having the stats to use a greatsword or a 1-H bastard sword was considered fairly desirable, so that was another set of Str & Dex breakpoints.
Exactly. In both games, Siz 16+ seems a must-have for fighter types, as it contributes to both Hit Points and damage bonus.
Mythras as less breaking points though, as skill bases are the sum of 2 characteristics. DEX 16 or 17 only means 1% difference in (a lot of) skills.
Iit doesn't have minimum Str/Dex for big weapons either, so you can sacrifice it.
As a matter of fact, the following seems optimal to me in Mythras for a fighter type with 80 points:
Str 8
Siz 18
Dex 17
Int 8
Con 13
Pow 8
Cha 8

Of course, it has flaws, and is boring to play...
 

Mister Backdown

Registered User
Validated User
It's not just gazetteer/almanac-type data that can give gratuitous offense, though. Mechanics define worlds, too, in terms of who can do what - what stats different sorts of characters may have, what magic there is, what skills/talents/etc there are and who can learn and use them, who appears in examples and what they do in them, what's for sale from whom and who may buy, what bits of folklore and cliche are embedded in monster and treasure design, and on and on. This is stuff that many gamers don't have to think about much, but when you're looking for some relaxing game time after yet another days of being shouted at about how you're inferior, trying to fend off yet another attempt to strip you of the protection of the law, maybe being harassed or beaten up because of who you are, that shit stands out more.
That's fair, and I don't wish to defend problematic rules or mechanics. I just wanted to express that there are old games that are just as enjoyable as other games today, and we needn't dismiss out of hand all older works as being problematic without at least giving them a look.
 

SorcererNinja

Ace Valkryie Pilot
RPGnet Member
Validated User
Yes.
-Having DEX+INT equal to 25 or more is a must in Mythras, as it is the limit for 3 Combat Actions.
-Hit Points and damage bonus thresholds are all equal to 1+a multiple of 5, so you try to have SIZ, CON and STR set in such a fashion that (STR+SIZ) and (SIZ+CON) are as close as possible to these.
I believe they've introduced an alternate rule giving everyone the same number of combat actions, which could be a good way of helping make point buy work.
 

Strange Visitor

Grumpy Grognard
Validated User
Unless 'OSR' means 'OD&D only', I can't see how one could exclude anything pre-AD&D1.
There are certainly plenty of people who consider it to refer to old versions of D&D and nothing else. That's probably an artifact of the term's origin as Rstites says.
 

Strange Visitor

Grumpy Grognard
Validated User
Yes.
-Having DEX+INT equal to 25 or more is a must in Mythras, as it is the limit for 3 Combat Actions.
-Hit Points and damage bonus thresholds are all equal to 1+a multiple of 5, so you try to have SIZ, CON and STR set in such a fashion that (STR+SIZ) and (SIZ+CON) are as close as possible to these.
And there's standalones like that, too; for example, you'd really like Charisma and Power to both be 13 (for the experience and luck point breaks respectively), but if you can't do that, you don't lose too much by just leaving them at 8 (at least for a non-magic focused character).

That's like the RQ2 breakpoints. 13+, 17+, and 21+ for skill bonuses. Str+Siz=25+ for damage bonuses. Siz 16+ for the best SR. Forget the breakpoints for hit points in locations, but getting 4HP or more in the arms was pretty important. At the less heroic end on things, having the stats to use a greatsword or a 1-H bastard sword was considered fairly desirable, so that was another set of Str & Dex breakpoints.
Well, the latter is a nonissue in Mythras (they got rid of weapon use prereqs) but yeah, the rest of it is similar to how its always been, just a few more attributes have indirect functions.
 

Strange Visitor

Grumpy Grognard
Validated User
Exactly. In both games, Siz 16+ seems a must-have for fighter types, as it contributes to both Hit Points and damage bonus.
Well, except it doesn't do much else (it contributes to all of one skill) and that's a pretty good bite out of an 80 point build. Also, without support from Strength and Con the benefit is modest (in particular, the damage breaks are less sharp edged, so its not clear how visible, say, a D2 damage bonus over no damage bonus is going to be, since its much harder to rack up a lot of armor points in Mythras (most spells replace rather than add, and you can't stack armor).

But its still true that there are pretty sharp breakpoints in some areas.

Mythras as less breaking points though, as skill bases are the sum of 2 characteristics. DEX 16 or 17 only means 1% difference in (a lot of) skills.
The big reason to chase it is, as you say, it contributes to just a ton of skills, almost all important to an adventurer. And the initiative contributor isn't useless.

Iit doesn't have minimum Str/Dex for big weapons either, so you can sacrifice it.
As a matter of fact, the following seems optimal to me in Mythras for a fighter type with 80 points:
Str 8
Siz 18
Dex 17
Int 8
Con 13
Pow 8
Cha 8

Of course, it has flaws, and is boring to play...
It's pretty close, other than my argument that Size doesn't contribute to skills much, and over the spread of useful skills that's non-trivial. You've also kicked your carrying capacity down more than I'd want to for a fighter. I personally think I'd live with one less hit point per location and push the strength up by scavenging some from Size. The poor INT is also not entirely consequence-free, given how advancement rolls are calculated, though it may be a subtle effect.
 

Strange Visitor

Grumpy Grognard
Validated User
I believe they've introduced an alternate rule giving everyone the same number of combat actions, which could be a good way of helping make point buy work.
Well, there's two things there:

1. You have to want everyone to have the same number of actions; its certainly defensible, but its not necessarily what someone wants just to use point build; and
2. It can, in fact, make the problem in some fashions worse, since it makes Dexterity less attractive. While it contributes to a lot of skills, in terms of direct calculations the only other thing but actions it factors into is Initiative, and that isn't the be-all and end-all it is in some games.
 

Alban

Registered User
Validated User
The big reason to chase it is, as you say, it contributes to just a ton of skills, almost all important to an adventurer. And the initiative contributor isn't useless.
I was comparing the effect of a 17 characteristic on skills in RQ2 and mythras. I picked DEX as an example, but it could have been INT or STR.

It's pretty close, other than my argument that Size doesn't contribute to skills much, and over the spread of useful skills that's non-trivial. You've also kicked your carrying capacity down more than I'd want to for a fighter. I personally think I'd live with one less hit point per location and push the strength up by scavenging some from Size. The poor INT is also not entirely consequence-free, given how advancement rolls are calculated, though it may be a subtle effect.
The plan was to have Str+Siz and Con+Siz both equal to 1 modulo 5, to match Hit Points and Dmg bonus breakpoints.
I prefered to max Siz, because it impacts 2 derived attributes while Con and Str each only have an effect on 1.
As a result, I'd rather sacrifice from Con than Siz, so that the extra points also increase damage bonus.

I agree it means some skills will be 5% or 10% lower than they could be, but my opinion is it's more important to look at derived attributes, which can't increase with experience.
Having Str 13 (instead of Con 8) and Dex 17 gives a basis of 30% for fighting skills, though, which is excellent.
 

Redforce

Press 'Play' to Scarlet
Validated User
This feeds into a common reason these discussions can be frustrating - people who favor older games routinely make pronouncements about the state of modern games that are, to put it lightly, absurd. Sure, D&D has gotten a lot slicker. There's more high production value games being produced, and there have been technical changes to printing and the like.

There's also a very big indie scene that isn't remotely slickly produced, full of earnest charm and goofiness.
Uh. I forgot a word in there - 'some'
 
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