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[ORE] Advice for GMs?

Kath

The Furthest Away
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I'm going to be running an ORE-Exalted game this Saturday, and it'll be the first time either I or my players will have used the system. (P.S. My players, shoo, as there are spoilers ahead!)

For those of you who've run ORE before, do you have any advice specific to this system?

For reference, as Sidereal Exalted, these PCs are highly competent, especially in their areas of expertise - getting to 10 dice isn't too hard at all, and they've got Charms to back them up as well (as a change from the 'official' OreXalted conversion, I've put back in discrete Charms & mote pools, as it seems a better fit for sidereals than free form stuff).

One area I'm a little stuck on is how to come up with an appropriate combat challenge - I want to test out the combat system, but I don't want to risk a tpk either! I'm less worried about the non-combat parts of what I've got planned, as it's harder to kill people by talking, even in Exalted...

The first 'big' scene is going to be a flashback to a horrible demon-y thing invading a wedding (after being summoned by a jilted ex of the bride). Initally, the big lump of ozze will be represented by squads of unworthy opponents representing different psuedopods, but after a while it'll split off discrete chunks, which will fight as 'proper' opponents (the idea is heavily based on the Reign demon, obviously). My plan is to adjust the power of the initial wave/discrete opponents as I see how the players are doing, but advice on how to gauge the rough challenge of a beastie in a fight would be great. If anyone has any suggestions for what 'funky' abilities to give to a giant amorphus blob of hate-filled essence, capable of splitting itself apart, that'd be great too :).
 

Bailywolf

bwakbwak
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ORExalted... cooooooool. Please post the AP when you run this.


It sounds like you have a good plan there- hitting them with a threat, and then dialing it until you find the sweet spot.

If you're worried about TPK events, hit them with threats which inflict shock rather than killing damage early on until you have a sense of how much punishment they can dish and take.

When introducing new players to ORE, I go around and point out how each of their individual powers and special case rules work in play, and fit into the turn resolution sequence, so they know the advantage of a power that lowers their place in the declaration order, increases the speed of their resolution, or adds to Width in the form of damage of additional defense. I make sure everyone understands the declare/roll/resolve scheme pretty well, and make notes of which order everyone typically declares in so I can look to the next person in the order, and ask for their intended action.

Build complicated action scenes.

Rather than just fighting off the bandit king and his minions, they have to also protect the princess from being kidnapped, save the villagers from being hung in the town square, put out the fires consuming the local temple so the town's patron god won't be totally pissed at them, and rescue the Empress's prize winning tomcat which has fallen down a well and is drowning.

Make sure there's something for everyone to do- whether its holding off the demons while the sorcerer banishes them, convincing the brigands to change sides, or invoking the local gods to help out.

With characters with big dice pools, this lets them stretch themselves by taking interesting multiple actions- silently fending off the blades of the ravening sidhe, while keeping the Baby Who's Screams End Worlds from waking up in their arms.

For your own sanity, keep a few pages of the phonebook on hand for quick referencing series of numbers (or use one of those neat auto-generators to produce series of number sets, and print them out). Make regular use of the Unworthy Opponent rules. And don't roll every damn time the PC's want to do something minor or something without any dramatic resistance. Just call a lowball difficulty to skew the odds a little bit, and let the players do the rolling.

Hmmm...

If you can post the PC stats, I can give you some specifics on how to meet and challenge them.

-B
 

Jackleg

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I have been running StarORE for the past 6 monthes. No real problems. Just make sure that you have a good understanding of the rules and combat procedures. I would not worry about tpk too much. My players all have read the rules and realize how deadly combat can be.
 

Kath

The Furthest Away
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ORExalted... cooooooool. Please post the AP when you run this.
I'll do my best too, as I know Democritus wants to know how things go as well :).

If you're worried about TPK events, hit them with threats which inflict shock rather than killing damage early on until you have a sense of how much punishment they can dish and take.
A good point! OreX characters are rougher tougher than their Exalted cousins (15 health levels vs. 8, and lower damage dealt generally), which should also help.

<snip some very useful advice>
Hmmm...

If you can post the PC stats, I can give you some specifics on how to meet and challenge them.
Sure thing! I've just put up the relevant combat stuff for now, to save on my typing. Thanks for the great advice so far though, especially on how to teach the game to everyone else :).

Yellow Moon, Journeys
Stats, skills & stuff
Strength 2 Dexterity 4
Athletics 5 (2 SiD)
Thrown 5 (1 SiD)
Dodge 2
Skycutter (Dam: W+2/0, Range 30)
Silken Armour (AR 1)
Charms
* Jump 3x as far; Ignore movement penalties
* Get an unblockable immaterial attack; Throw essence to drag yourself along
* Add a Dodge to your action with no penalty; expensive perfect defense

Sagacious Wave, Secrets
Stats, skills & stuff
Strength 4 Dexterity 4
Dodge 1 (1 Sid)
Melee 4 (2 Sid)
Dire Lance
Reinforced Buff Jacket
Charms
* get 2 extra attacks; counterattack (same W&H as set which hit you); pseudo-perfect; expensive better perfect

Cathak Xunu
Stats, skills & stuff
Strength 4
Dexterity 3
Performance 4 (2 SiD)
Archery 5 (2 SiD)
Long powerbow
Lamellar Armour
Charms
* Dodge with Performance and get 1 free dodge/action
* turn anything into an arrow; ignore 50% cover; apply effects of an attack 3 times

Kufora Churi
Stats, skills & stuff
Strength 3
Dexterity 2
Brawl 5 (2 SiD)
Smashfists
Silken Armour
Charms
* you first attack is faster; your next 5 attacks are faster; you get motes when you defend succesfully

Sapphire Leaves
Stats, skills & stuff
Strength 3
Dexterity 3
Dodge 4 (1 SiD)
Melee 4 (1 SiD)
Charms
* Add a Dodge to your action with no penalty; expensive perfect defense
* get 2 extra attacks; counterattack (same W&H as set which hit you);
 

Democritus

One Roll Monkey
Validated User
A small note on Sidereal Excellency Dice - they work as follows:
Sidereal ExD writeup from Keth said:
Sidereal ExD (+3)

Sidereals play the odds. Because of their connection to the Loom of
Fate, a Sidereal stacks probability in their own favour as
unconsciously as their heart beats.

Sidereal ExD can be spent for height as usual.

If you roll your SiD, you can choose to use each SiD to 'spool'
another dice.

When you spool dice you can set them to whatever number you like
provided that the sum of the two dice does not change. You can only
choose 'legal' face values for a dice- no zeros or elevens are
possible.

Example:

Lucid Sapphire is trying to outrun an enraged Terrestrial on a frozen
lake, at midnight, in heels (don't ask). A Chosen of Venus with
Dexterity 4 and Athletics 2+2 ExD (again, don't ask),
she rolls 6D +2 SiD. As she is trying to outrun someone else, she
needs to be fast; as she is seeking to retain her dignity, she needs
to be graceful.

She rolls 10, 8, 5, 5, 4, 3 on her regular dice and 9 and 4 on her
SiD.

She chooses to spool the 9 with a 3, turning them into a 10 and a 2.
She then spools the 4 with her 8, turning them into a 10 and a 2 as
well.

Accordingly, her final result is 3x10, 2x5, 2x2.

Unsurprisingly, she chooses the 3x10.

(Disclaimer- I deliberately built that example to show off the SiD
ability to snatch victory from mediocrity- it's a pretty optimal
situation for SiD, and the rare corner case where they do better than
a Lunar. Such situations show up very rarely in the "wild").
 
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