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[RPG]: Houses of the Blooded, reviewed by Lev Lafayette (3/4)

Hatfreak

Pyongyang Policeman
A nice review, but I am perplexed by one thing. You write that if you roll over 10, then the player narrates the success and if you roll under ten the narrator narrates the failure.

I was under the impression that rolling over ten allowed the player to narrate the outcome as a success or a failure, and that rolling under 10 gave the narrator the narrative control over things. You dont really roll for success or failiure, but rather roll to see who gets to say if it fails or succeeds, and therefore add twists and turns to it.
But of course, I could be drunk and misunderstand the rules.
 

Lev Lafayette

Lawful Good Anarchist
Validated User
I was under the impression that rolling over ten allowed the player to narrate the outcome as a success or a failure, and that rolling under 10 gave the narrator the narrative control over things. You dont really roll for success or failiure, but rather roll to see who gets to say if it fails or succeeds, and therefore add twists and turns to it.
You're correct; the term 'success' and 'failure' was ill-chosen for it rather represents 'Privilege' to narrate the outcome of the risk. I should have made that more explicit.
 

John Wick

Just Wicked
Validated User
Lev,

Thank you for taking the time to review my game. I appreciate identifying what you saw as negative elements were elements that prevented you from enjoying the game. In other words, they were matters of taste and my own personal decisions rather than absolute failures or errors.

I am confused by the use of "course mechanics." Can you explain that to me?

Thanks again, and well done!
 

Lev Lafayette

Lawful Good Anarchist
Validated User
I am confused by the use of "course mechanics." Can you explain that to me?
Coarse, not course :)

As mentioned in the review "But a dice-pool mechanic where an additional basic bonus can mean the difference between almost certain success and an equal chance of success or failure needs some additional cruch; maybe not much more."

In other words, if you have a dice-pool of 3, you have roughly a 50% chance of the target number of 10 and gaining privilege. If you have one less die, the chance is roughly 16%. If you have four dice however the chance is in the 70%-range. That's a <i>huge</i> difference, imo.

Thanks again, and well done!
A pleasure; something I should have mentioned is that I reckon that game would work particularly well as a competitive PBeM as well..
 

Leo Comerford

Leo Comerford
Validated User
Anti-D&Ds, a grand tradition

<cite>Wick describes the game as "the anti-D&D" RPG, written with D&D in mind, but with a reaction to it. "Almost everything that is true in D&D is untrue in this game".</cite>

That makes it at least the third game conceived - to a large extent - as the inversion of D&D, after Call of Cthulhu and Paranoia. And each one of that three is quite a different game from the others. (Though often not quite as different from the others, or from D&D itself, as some like to think.) The irony is that the motivation for each of these anti-D&Ds (certainly Paranoia and Cthulhu, I'm not sure about Houses of the Blooded) was fairly anti-D&D, yet on balance it probably says something good about the daddy of 'em all that you can generate several diverse and interesting games by trying to stand it on its head.
 

Shining Dragon

Tough Tiger Fist
Validated User
Coarse, not course :)

As mentioned in the review "But a dice-pool mechanic where an additional basic bonus can mean the difference between almost certain success and an equal chance of success or failure needs some additional cruch; maybe not much more."

In other words, if you have a dice-pool of 3, you have roughly a 50% chance of the target number of 10 and gaining privilege. If you have one less die, the chance is roughly 16%. If you have four dice however the chance is in the 70%-range. That's a <i>huge</i> difference, imo.
I got the impression that it is quite easy for you to get enough dice to easily roll a 10. Its when you want to Wager that makes things interesting. Doubly so when its a Contested Risk and you don't know how many dice your opponent has Wagered (when losing the contest can still allow use of Wagers to narrate the outcome).

I.e. you only have a dice pool of 3 because you've Wagered too many dice.
 

weaselheart

Retired User
Coarse, not course :)

As mentioned in the review "But a dice-pool mechanic where an additional basic bonus can mean the difference between almost certain success and an equal chance of success or failure needs some additional cruch; maybe not much more."

In other words, if you have a dice-pool of 3, you have roughly a 50% chance of the target number of 10 and gaining privilege. If you have one less die, the chance is roughly 16%. If you have four dice however the chance is in the 70%-range. That's a <i>huge</i> difference, imo.
Have you played out many duels? I only ask because, for me, the system seems to read one way but play another. On the face of it, the coarseness of dice rolling ought to make fights a foregone conclusion, but when we tried it there was a lot more to it. In duels in particular, for example:

a) you have to beat 10.
b) You have to beat what your opponent bid - if you don't become the attacker then you don't do damage without advanced manouvers.
c) You have to also bid enough to actually do damage.​

I found that even a weak player could shift dice around in unpredictable ways to make interesting things happen. Eventually, character skill probably wins out, but it does give fights that back and to, swashbuckling feel.

For me, the game's about what you're prepared to risk, not direct mathematical odds.
 

smascrns

New member
Banned
Re: Anti-D&Ds, a grand tradition

That makes it at least the third game conceived - to a large extent - as the inversion of D&D, after Call of Cthulhu and Paranoia.
I know nothing about Paranoia but this is the first time I read that CoC was conceived as an inversion of D&D. This can't even be said about RuneQuest, its fantasy predecessor and "older brother".
 

Leo Comerford

Leo Comerford
Validated User
Re: Anti-D&Ds, a grand tradition

I know nothing about Paranoia but this is the first time I read that CoC was conceived as an inversion of D&D.
Let me put it this way to start with: why does Cthulhu automatically eat 1d3 adventurers per round?

This can't even be said about RuneQuest, its fantasy predecessor and "older brother".
Indeed, Runequest is one of the RPGs conceived - to a large extent - as a reform of, or fix for, D&D. But it's not an anti-D&D in the way that CoC and some other games are.
 
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