Because of popular demand, here is a Wednesday post.
Going to Torchbearer game night again. Will see how the actual dungeon experience is, since that is where a lot of the game system kicks in. The game really does draw a sharp line between ‘in town’ and ‘in dungeon’. Which is one of the few places I think that sort of thing works. A lot of the other places it contains in specific mechanics is a bit too confined to me. Combat especially. So looking forward to how it works out. From last week, my main takeaway is that I don’t think I like it much. Yet going to give it a few weeks, probably a month, until I decide for sure one way or another. It just doesn’t seem like that flexible a system is all. Party is too big, a lot of things have to be done in a specific way, etc etc.
Another thing that popped up both during that Torchbearer game and the Dungeons & Dragons game a few days after was something I tend to think about and is a secondary strain of advice in a lot of GM/DM advice I’ve read. Skill/ability checks, or dice rolls to determine success at something, should not really be used whenever a player wants to try something. In these cases it was PCs doing stuff that didn’t really have any real time pressure or interesting failure states. Like, most RPG systems are built intending the skill and/or ability checks to be things attempted when in a dangerous dungeon while being chased by monsters. Or similar time and event pressured situations. Doing skill checks for things attempted while puttering around in time with all day to kill just doesn’t really work. It comes up a lot with skill assist rolls. Someone wants to try something and everyone else in the party wants to help. If the rest of the party isn’t busy with other things, the skill check probably isn’t necessary. Unless it’s a very precise use a skill nobody else can pull off.
On the other hand, I did manage to volunteer to run something in one of my favorite systems when the Torchbearer game wraps up. So I should probably pick something, refresh my memory of the system, and prepare a dungeon. Sure it’ll be two months or more but more preparation time is better I think. Spelljammer adventure is what I’m pondering.